Previous Post
Next Post

By Lee Williams 

The first piece of tactical gear Shadow Equipment owner Sean Parker ever made was a set of sling silencers. Parker was hanging out with a buddy who complained that his QD mounts jingle-jangled on his AR. Parker saw that the solution was simple. 

“I bought some elastic, folded it in half and stitched it a few times,” he said. “My friends bought a bunch of them. I only spent $10 on materials, and this was fun. I thought, maybe this could be a thing…a way I could get more into the gun community, since I don’t have an aerospace degree to make firearms.” 

That’s how Shadow Equipment was born and Parker has been on the cutting edge of high-quality tactical gear ever since. 

Parker, 34, is somewhat of a rarity in the tactical gear world. Before we spoke, I assumed he had a background in special operations or law enforcement, since his products are definitely made for professional end-users. He has neither. Parker has an arts degree from the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design – an intensive three-year program that “prepares artists and designers to share their creativity with the world.”

Parker is definitely sharing his creativity, and the medium he has chosen is Multicam, Multicam Black and Multicam Arid. His “art” has created a lot of buzz and interest among folks who demand the best. 

Today, Parker is a one-man operation…think boutique tactical. He still has a day job as a project manager for a construction firm building custom homes, but evenings and weekends are devoted to his tactical gear passion. 

“I went to art school, so I have this creative thing that needs fulfilling. Construction was getting old. I wasn’t feeling like I was allowed to be creative,” he said. “Now, I do everything: product photography, maintain the website, make and package products, develop new products, assist with prototype products for other people and work as a design consultant.” 

His expertise didn’t happen overnight. Parker is self-taught, so he purchased and examined scores of chest rigs and other pieces of tactical gear. 

“With my art background I can visualize how to put things together and how to improve on what’s been created in the world,” he said. “Each product goes through various iterations before it’s released onto the market.” 

If you’ve always had an idea for a piece of custom tactical gear, Parker’s Boise-based firm can make it a reality. “I do custom stuff all the time – it’s about half of what I do,” he said. “A lot of people want a one-off product.” 

Like all American tactical gear manufacturers, Parker knows there are cheaper imported options available on and other websites. Most of these Chinese imports can’t withstand the rigors of an Airsoft match, much less real world use, but Parker said those $20 rigs can serve a purpose. 

“They’re good for figuring out what you want – how many pouches do you need and where do they need to live on your body,” he said. “A full chest rig is expensive, and that can be a barrier for a lot of people. ‘Do I want to get into this thing?’ That’s why my products are modular, so they can get into it slowly, without a financial barrier.” 

The Multicam Arid chest rig Shadow Equipment made for the author includes: Micro Molle Placard v2, $64.95; H Harness, $54.95; Back Strap, $14.95; Triple 556 Mag Insert v2 Coyote, $19.95. (Photo by author.) 

Parker sent me a Multicam Arid chest rig to review. It consists of four components – placard, harness, back strap and mag insert – with a combined MSRP of $154.80. 

It will be the last chest rig I’ll ever need. 

It’s minimalist and modular, which I prefer, so it’s easily expandable given the recent interest in larger recce loadouts. The cuts are incredibly precise…Parker uses a laser cutter. It’s over-stitched so nothing will ever blowout, and it’s very, very light weight. 

The rig takes about a second to doff and don, and it is far more comfortable than anything I’ve used before. Period. More importantly, the rig stays put, with or without the backstrap. I’ll run the rig independently, but it could easily be added to a plate carrier. 

All of Parker’s components come with a lifetime guarantee.

“I’ll fix it for life, but I have never had anyone return anything yet,” he said. 

Bottom line…I highly recommend these products. 


Lee Williams publishes at The Gun Writer. This post originally appeared there and is reprinted here with permission. 

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Hush, I don’t know what you mean. My main travel rig is. 16″ Galil ARM .223. It carries nicely folded in an Eagle discrete carry case. Looks like a little large laptop carrier. The outside pouch carries an Eagle four cell chest pouch. It also carries a Wilson 1911 magazine and a Benchmade/Emerson CQB in the smaller pouches. There’s still room in the outside compartment for a 1911 in a Blade Tech holster. w/1911 mag pouch and belt. Chest pouches are great. They deploy quickly and don’t take belt room. I wish I could find chest pouches for 20 rd .556 mags.

        • No problem. I don’t have any experience with the GBRS stuff, it’s pretty new.

          The Esstac Kiwis work really well in my experience. I have a mid, not a shorty, I can stuff a 20 rounder in it and post an image for you so you can compare it if you like. It’ll take me about an hour to get home, the wife’s currently burning through the end of a pile of 10mm food for her birthday present.

          So if you ain’t in a hurry amd want a middie to compare, let me know.

  2. This is equipmet for a person who wants to open carry. I have yet to see anyone were this at a gun range. Unless they are on a TV show.

    • This stuff isn’t really for everyday normal use like your concealed pistol. This is more SHTF Minute Man rifle type gear. It is a different category, and some people (like perhaps yourself) think it unnecessary. The same thing could be said about semiautomatic carbines themselves.

      This does look like excellent gear 👍

      The article derides cheap Chinese gear from Amazon as being low quality and not durable. That may or may not be true. There is cheap junk on Amazon. There is also inexpensive (but tough, useful, and durable) legitimate Chicom milsurp stuff on Amazon. That stuff is generally fairly well regarded (though I assume this gear is still substantially better).

  3. Chest rigs would make me hot and slow me down if I was ducking bullets. They would help prevent a projectile from hitting an orangutan, kinda like an extra layer on the bullet proof vest.
    The main complaint I have against chest rigs is when I spill my chocolate chip ice cream it gets all over my bullets and sometimes me so then I have to take a shower and taking a shower with my daughter or granddaughter could get me in trouble with the law because I’m not The President. It’s okay for U.S. Presidents to fck skank hoes in the Oval office and take showers with your grandchildren, yes your Grandchildren because this is the land of the free and preventing some high ranking elected officials from fcking whoever or whatever is either racist or an unpunishable offense. Especially hard to prove when our duly elected high ranking official is a senile dementia ridden mentally ill pedophile that’s to fcked up to stand trial in a courtroom.
    Thank you for your service 1st Sargent R Hoffman. Yah did good for your/my country, to bad we couldn’t return the favor. You did your job, I didnt do mine.
    No excuses

  4. Whenever I see one of them real fine lady commandos, I waste no time complimenting her ’bout her Chest Rig. Let er know I could rack one for her if she would like to go down range.
    That usually gets them wanting to place the pumpkin on the ole pole but we end up shooten in the air instead.

Comments are closed.