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2/19/13

Costa Leg Rig Review


I picked one of these up a couple weeks ago, for range/class use, as well as to have the ability to run lighter and lower profile than a plate carrier plastered with mag pouches. Does it work? Is it overpriced hype gear? Thumbs up or down? Click below for the low-down.

Chris Costa does a good job explaining the thinking behind the leg rig named after him, so I'll let him (and the Hoss) do the talking on that:




I like it for its intended purposes - it's not a full-on battle set up, but it lets you carry mags without all the trade-offs that come with a big, bulky, heavy "Ninja Force 5" set up. And, if you're running multiple weapon systems, the Rig allows you to maintain consistency across platforms. No switching between pouches and mag locations when moving from your AR to your AK to your pump shotgun.

War belts are all the rage these days, but a big war can often get in the way of movement - crouching, sitting, kneeling, dropping prone, or even just running. Check out photos of military guys working in the Sandbox - you'll see very few of them running war belts. There's good reason for that - nearly all of our guys are based out of vehicles, and riding in an vehicle + a war belt just doesn't work out very well.

The Costa Leg rig drops the important parts of the war belt - the magazines - down a couple inches off the belt line, which gives you freedom of mobility that you lack with a big foamy war belt, bulky chest rig or similar solutions.  The Leg Rig does not interfere with movement, and it's not heavy enough to slow you down like a full-blown rig can. It does project an inch or two off of your leg, which could conceivably cause some hang ups navigating through close quarters or heavy brush, but a chest rig, big war belt and so on would be much worse.
The Costa Leg Rig allows you to carry two rifle mags and two to three pistol mags in a low-profile package.
 Some people hate on drop leg set ups, but those are usually the same dudes who are wearing the drop leg around their calf. They're not supposed to ride that low! Mid/upper thigh is where the Costa Leg rig is supposed to ride - just a couple inches down from the belt.

The Costa Leg Rig's suspension system
The Costa rig is designed to ride quite securely - the elastic leg band wraps tightly but not uncomfortably around the leg, the twin belt straps secure it to the belt, and the rig's padded backing helps keep it "stuck" in place and keeps things nice and cozy. I was concerned about the comfort level, until I strapped it on for the first time. It's barely noticeable. And, importantly, it doesn't flop around during movement or magazine changes.

The Costa rig is easily integrated into a heavier system, if you do need to armor up. Have your chest rig or plate carrier, plus the Leg Rig for 1st line and speed reloads.

It's also a heck of a lot more low-key than full-on battle-rattle; probably more likely to see use on the range, in classes, plinking and in competitions. It's convenient and small enough to chuck into your range bag or current kit.

For situations where you only want a light, fast, low-key magazine carrying solution, the Costa Leg is the best solution that I've seen on the market.

It is a bit pricey at $139, but price out the component pieces - two Double Decker Tacos @ $42 a pop, one pistol taco @ $25 a pop and you're at $109, before a drop leg panel. And, I haven't seen a drop leg panel that's as well designed as the Costa Leg Rig - most are of the ride around the ankle variety. So, all-in, you're not seeing a dramatic mark up because this has Chris Costa's Costa Ludus Logo on it. It's a fair deal, and using the same components, you'd have a hard time building one on your own.

The mag pouches of the Costa Leg Rig are sewn on, so you can't switch them to another set up, but you get some weight/bulk savings for that tradeoff.

When you've got the Rig all loaded up with magazines, the middle pistol pouch becomes a bit more difficult to access, which makes it the best choice for carrying something like a multitool, flashlight or folding knife. If you wanted to carry a pistol mag there, it'd just be the last magazine you drew, as the other two are faster/easier to access.

The Tacos are as fast as any magazine pouch I've used on the draw - there's no flaps or bungees to clear out of the way, so the access speed is the same as you'd see with kydex. They are a bit slower when stowing magazines, like on a tactical reload, but, as the pouches loosen up a little bit and you get the "rock into place" motion down, they're pretty quick. I'm less concerned about speed in stowing a mag anyways, as it's something that would only be done during a lull in a gun fight.

So, to recap the virtues of the Costa Leg Rig:
  • Holds a variety of magazines - pretty much anything you want. AR, AKs, AR-10, Saiga 12s, etc.
  • Low profile - integrates easily with your normal gear, isn't going to interfere with movement or get in the way.
It excels in both departments. The elastic HSGI Taco pouches can hold just about anything you jam in then, and they do so securely. And, the leg rig, worn properly, allows you to carry two rifle magazines and two to three pistol magazines in a very maneuverable, easy to access package. Big thumbs up from me.

Got any questions? Ask away in the comments section.

11 comments :

  1. The taco magazines are great, I have a few distributed on a war belt and chest rig. You can fit a VEPR-12 shotgun magazine with no problem, and then switch out to your AR 556 without changing anything.

    That high ride drop leg system looks great, would love to grab one and pair it with G-Code's "Mule" high ride holster system.

    http://www.tacticalholsters.com/product/Accessories/GCA77.html

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  2. Hi. I've just found your website, and I think it's great. I'm a prepper in NZ and have been for quite a few years. I'm just wondering where in world you are based? Are you in the USA?

    The big problem we have here is that our tiny population means that choice in the shops is very limited. Most things I read about on are unavailable here, not even by mail order. Many things I've tried to order in from the States but they won't send them because customs won't allow them in. What is available here is often 3 or 4 times the price. When I look at American sites and see the prices, I read it and weep!

    Anyway, I'm glad I've found your site. I'm going to trawl back through your past blogs over the next few weeks. All the best.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I'm in the good ol' USA. Ordering stuff internationally sucks - but at least you are in beautiful New Zealand!

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  3. I like mine. It is my way of doing a war belt like setup without the big silly padded foam belt. Rock a holster on one side, the leg rig on the other and a rigger belt to keep my pants up.

    The taco's are pretty awesome. Great retention sufficient for anything except scuba diving or parachuting. Could stick in AK mags instead of AR ones or mags for another pistol (if I had another type of pistol).

    One of the things I like best about the Costa leg rig over a pouch on my belt is that it is easier to take on and off. I keep the straps tight enough the mags are in the same place anyway. If things went all Katrina or whatever I could just buckle it to my belt, slap the thigh strap on and go wherever with enough reloads for most likely situations.

    A solid piece of kit.

    As to value. Considering the cost of HSGI taco's a la cart and what a decent pannel/ leg rig costs I think it is a pretty decent value. You can't expect a collaboration between HSGI and Chris Costa to come out at Condor or Uncle Mikes prices. Personally I am happy with the purchase even taking price into account.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like yours too, Ryan. Mine lives at the top of my bug out bag, ready to go if needed.

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  4. Nice review. I'm waiting for mine to arrive. Seems like a nice minimal setup.

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  5. So this has me intrigued. Where would one go about finding this for purchase?
    thanks

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    Replies
    1. much appreciated.

      enjoy the blog and the info. Keep up the good work!!

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  6. I've read the that belt attachment straps are adjustable, but haven't found specifications. Will they fit on a 2" belt?

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    Replies
    1. Yep. They use tri glides and are very adjustable.

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