Sometimes you want to carry more gear than you can put on your chest rig, while still being able to grab that gear in a hurry. One way to do this is with additional pouches mounted on your legs, called a drop-leg subload. Putting a sidearm, spare mags, or other accessories on your thigh makes it super easy to grab, just put your arm down and its right there at the ready. You’ve also freed up some much-needed space on your chest or back at the same time!
Modgear Leg Platform
Here’s your cheapest option for a drop-leg rig, only ten bucks. You get two pistol mag pouches in the middle and two multi-use pouches on the outside. I have one of these units and the pistol mag pouches work great. Putting pistol mags in the multi-use pouches isn’t as good, those pouches are a bit bigger so the magazines slide around some and I worry about them falling out. Also, the buckles on the multi-use pouches aren’t something I want to be fooling around with when I’m supposed to be shooting and I have an empty pistol in my hand. So when I’m training I put a little packet of spare tactical light batteries in one of the multi-use pouches, and a small can of CLP gun oil in the other one. Now I can get to those items more quickly than if they were in my backpack or if I had just left them in my vehicle.
5.11 Tactical Thigh Rig Platform
5.11 Tactical makes this drop-leg MOLLE platform that comes with no pouches at all, just a whole bunch of nylon PALS loops that wrap around your thigh using the high impact plastic clips and some wide straps. You can put on any MOLLE compatible accessories you want. I put two utility pouches on mine, one above the other. If I’m carrying a shotgun as my primary weapon, the top pouch holds about twenty-five 00 buckshot rounds and the pouch below it holds slugs. That’s fifty 12-gauge shells I can carry comfortably, and easily access right below my left hip. Since I have less than $60 in the whole setup I think that’s a pretty good value and it works great for 3-gun matches or long training sessions.
Blackhawk Omega Elite
The Blackhawk! Omega Elite rig, intended for law enforcement, comes with two pistol mag pouches and a handcuff pouch underneath them. It is less bulky than any of the other drop-leg rigs we carry and costs less than buying the 5.11 setup and fitting it with pistol mag pouches. This is an older setup and not MOLLE compatible, instead it uses the old school ALICE clips so you can attach it to a chest rig or belt using that system. I do like its adjustability; you can wear the Omega Elite belt mounted, as a high ride drop-leg, or as a low ride drop-leg, depending on what you’re most comfortable with.
Blackhawk Modular S.T.R.I.K.E.
We carry one other Blackhawk! drop leg rig, the state of the art S.T.R.I.K.E. platform. The platform itself is mostly polymer instead of nylon, and the adjustable straps holding it to your thigh are of the highest quality, so this is one tough unit. The platform is MOLLE compatible but what’s cool about it is that you get four “CQC” mounting accessory rails included, which are basically 1913 Picatinny rails that Blackhawk uses for all their CQC accessories. You can change how the rails are oriented, so once you snap on four of the CQC accessories of your choice you can fine tune which way you want everything pointed. There are literally hundreds of CQC compatible Blackhawk! products to choose, from holsters made for your exact model of pistol to flashlight carriers made for your exact model flashlight. The S.T.R.I.K.E. platform is the most expensive one we carry and the compatible accessories aren’t cheap either, but if you want to mount your Sig 229 and Streamlight Scorpion light to your thigh rig in the toughest, most secure way possible, then this is by far your best option.