I was chosen to test the Drop Leg MOLLE Panel. Without diving too much into the review right off the bat, I have to say the shipping process was smooth and quick. The package itself was nice and neat and the panel itself came in a half plastic/ half poly cloth type zip bag, which I thought was a simple and interesting way to ship the item.
After taking the MOLLE Panel out of the bag, the first things I noticed were that first, the overall size was smaller than I'd expected. It's not tiny, but it's also not very large either. My first impressions of the material and quality of the stitches is very good, and it definitely didn't feel like it was going to fall apart at any point any time soon. The buckles were also good quality and didn't feel like they were going to give away with slight pressure. I did give them a hefty tug to be sure they'd hold up.
After initial adjustments to allow the thigh rig to fit my leg, I put it on and looped my tactical belt through it (a 5.11 tactical belt, 2.5 inches wide, just for reference). It is very comfortable and doesn't feel too tight or too loose. I found that the section of elastic was nice to keep a good pressure on the leg strap. Additionally I was pleased to see a wide (1.5 inch) leg strap as opposed to a skinny one (1 inch or less) that would have been much more uncomfortable. Walking around in it felt normal, and when sitting down it rode up slightly and made sitting slightly more uncomfortable but that's to be expected, and it wasn't overly annoying.
Now, after I did a "dry" test, ie without a load, I added a military canteen to the rig. For reference, it weighs about 4 pounds with water. Again it felt comfortable and the weight was evenly distributed. After a bit of walking, however the two loops that the belt goes through pulled down and together which made the whole thigh rig sag on my leg, thus making the whole thing flop with every step. It was a bit annoying feeling it flopping around as well as having my pants tugged awkwardly to one side. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take pictures of this part of the test.
My Recommendations for Improvement:
First, as I mentioned the thigh rig seemed small. Specifically, I couldn't fit some of my smallest MOLLE pouches on the rig like my favorite EMT rip-away pouches. I would recommend adding at least 2-3 more rows as well as making the rig slightly wider as well to allow for more options. Also, making it slightly larger would help spread out the belt loop straps which would help with the bunching that occurs when walking.
My second recommendation is to add another around-the-leg strap at the top of the MOLLE panel, identical to the existing one already at the bottom, in order to better distribute the weight and also to help reduce the "flop factor."
Credit: @KillerHawk, 1TG