The S.O. Tech Viper Flat IFAK kit is a great low profile IFAK capable of holding pretty much all the essential medical kit you might need. The size is spread lengthwise to avoid extra bulk. The attachment system is simple and doesn’t require tools. The handles need to be properly stowed to avoid getting caught on brush etc. Overall, the S.O. Tech Viper Flat IFAK is the best solution I have tested to date!
For some reason I feel a little hypocritical writing this review. In the back of our minds we all know that we should have at the very least, a tourniquet and some med supplies. But how many of us do? I know from personal experience, that most people, don’t carry and IFAK, including myself in the past.
In the military the IFAK is pretty much SOP but in the law enforcement world the med pouch or IFAK is almost resigned to specialty units and experienced officers with prior military combat experience. So why are IFAK kits not standardized like body armor in the law enforcement community? And why has this item of kit been left out of my standard load-out almost my entire career as an LEO?
Those are questions that might be better suited for an article in itself, but if you are in the market for an IFAK, the S.O. Tech Viper is definitely worth checking out.
When I started searching for my own IFAK, I quickly found out that the majority of kits on the market are extremely large and bulky. The standard military IFAK is huge and hangs of to one side. The Viper Flat IFAK on the other hand, distributes the bulk over a longer and thinner dimension, perfect for placing in the small of the back or on a side utilizing a cummerbund.
The viper’s outside pocket sports three strips of pals webbing and attaches to your pals kit via two strips of nylon webbing with an ingeniously simple securing mechanism.
The sleeve itself reminds me of the cardboard sleeve on a pizza pocket. The back of the sleeve features a thin sheet of kydex like reinforcement to give the viper a stable mounting platform.
Inside the sleeve is the IFAK pouch itself which features two handles on either side which provides the wearer with access to the the IFAK from either side. The inner pouch features a Velcro loop strip on the outside to provide added security to the already tight fitting pouch.
Pulling the pouch out of the sleeve takes a good bit of brute force, which is a good thing as both ends feature exposed handles that technically could get caught on tree limbs or vehicle equipment etc..
After pulling out the pouch, it is easily opened revealing a handful of pockets and a med scissor retention sleeve. Adding the med supplies takes some thought and while the viper has a lot of supply capacity, items should be placed in a way that they don’t add bulk.
The pouch is quickly closed and secured by way of Velcro. Furthermore, if the pouch is being used and the circumstances require that you stop treatment or need to move, the pouch features a para-cord loop that can quickly be pulled tight closing the pouch and providing an easy way to hang it from anything from the neck to m4 pouches.
We have had the S.O Tech Viper Flat IFAK since early June and since arriving at the Black Sheep Warrior man cave, it has been passed around several different units, including Federal SOG and SOCOM.
The feedback has been phenomenal and while some people did mention that it is a little large for day to day law enforcement, it is perfect for tactical teams and special operations operators.
We recently sent the kit to Boy Scout who used it for a few weeks during training and I’m pretty sure we will have to send in a S.O. Tech Viper Flat IFAK recovery team to get it back, he is totally sold and it is probably going to be a permanent feature fixture on his kit.
I asked Boy Scout what he thought and here is what he had to say:
“Since Blacksheep Warrior sent me the S.O. Tech IFAK to try out, it has been a complete game changer for how I run my kit. Before sporting the S.O. Tech, it had been a constant game of where to put my bulky IFAK. With the standard special ops IFAK, I was always running into problems with it being either too far back so I couldn’t access it well, getting in the way of my pistol draw, or directly above my 9mm/extra M4 mags when running a gun belt. Additionally, I was always having to move my old IFAK around on my kit (left front, left rear, or on my gun belt) based on the mission at hand.
When I first started trying out the S.O. Tech, I started out with it on the left side of my kit; it worked quite well and I noticed that I could access it very easily with either arm while located in that position on my kit. I also loved the fact that it wasn’t bulky like my old IFAK. However, one day I decided to try something new. I had been running a gun belt for some time and quite frankly, it was really bugging the piss out of me. I decided to attach my drop pouch, drop leg holster, and IFAK directly to my riggers belt and see what happened. I remembered that the SO Tech was originally designed to be worn on the back and was easily accessible by both arms when worn there, so I gave it a try.
I thought I might have issues when riding in GMVs etc, but the S.O. Tech actually proved to make the ride more comfortable by filling the gap between your body armor and the seat. By wearing the S.O. Tech on my back, it also freed up my workspace/kit even more. One drawback to the kit is that teams/units that you integrate with on the fly might not know where to look for your IFAK if you are bleeding out. The S.O. Tech Viper Flat IFAK has no issue keeping up with standard issue SOF IFAKs as far as load capacity.”
Well, to wrap things up, the kit has a couple downsides worth mentioning. First, the loop handles on each side are a possible snag point if not stowed properly. We didn’t test the kit with any crazy free falls etc. so we can only speak to operating on foot and in and out of vehicles. The law enforcement guys were mixed, with some liking the size while others felt it was a little large for everyday use. Speaking for myself, I liked having the IFAK on my right side, but ever since a “good idea fairy” visited and managed nix my Safariland DFA drop leg holster (read the review), I have been trying to find a better spot (belt mounted holsters suck).
The positive points on this IFAK far out number the negatives:
– Low profile spreading max lengthwise instead of outward
– Ease of attachment
– Great storage capacity without the added bulk
– Can be accessed from both sides
– when used with a plate carrier it fills the gap in the small of your back added support
– Very easily stowed after deployment via the para-cord loop (Outstanding feature)
– Available in all the right colors
Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!
Where to buy:
I would recommend picking up the S.O Tech VIPER FLAT IFAK at their website of through one of their dealers. You can also find it on Amazon which helps us pay our bills.
On a lighter note:
When the S.O. Tech Viper Flat IFAK first arrived, I opened up the box and took a step back…….. Staring creepily back at me was an S.O. Tech Battle Bear! A co-worker suggested he be named “Loadout” so that his his official name! I say we send him around the world and see where he shows up! He was recently seen taking a Russian ammo bath while watching me torture Proto Tactical’s new $199 PT199 suppressor!