Ryker Nylon Gear Ankle First Aid Kit


Description:
The Ryker Nylon Gear Ankle First Aid Kit (AFAK) weighs about 2.3oz, unloaded, has three vertical pockets and one horizontal pocket.  Specifically designed for ankle carry of must have first aid/trauma items, which are retained via hook/loop tabs.  Designed for any type of shoe/boot (with extension) carry.


I started carrying the AFAK around the beginning of June in 2016 with the medical items which were provided to me by Ryker Nylon Gear.  The black model shown is their original AFAK, their current model (Gen2?) is of better quality and slightly different design, I will get into that further along in the review.  I have been carrying the original AFAK every duty shift since I received it.  They go for $54.95 at the Ryker Nylon Store, in four different colors.


Reason For Purchase:
I have carried the Tactical Medical Solution Uniformed Medical Kit (Gen1) since it came out and through experience I figured out that I needed an additional kit (on duty) for others as the UMF is for me.  The AFAK was just the piece of kit I was looking for to fill a void in my equipment.  If you have not yet figured it out, you should always have medical items on your person, specifically for yourself and not others.  If you have to use an item you carry for yourself on someone else to save their life, great, but realize that unless you have a backup (preferably redundant) you are setting yourself up for serious failure.  On duty I have always carried a medical kit on my person and then a larger one in my bag.  I, however, found myself in several situations with multiple people experiencing trauma which caused me to use my personal kit on them and that was unacceptable.  With the AFAK, I am able to carry a TacMed Solutions SOF-T Wide TQ's which is my "go to" tourniquet, a HALO Chest Seal, a small H&H bandage, shears, and nitrile gloves.  This being a kit I carry on duty for other people, I need quick access to these items in the field.


First Opinion:
The AFAK was slightly substantial in weight and size than I first imagined it to be from photos.  Packing it was not very difficult as the pockets were purpose designed around specific items.  The pocket which carries the H&H bandage and the Tourniquet are about the same size and interchangeable in terms of items, though the tourniquet pocket is slightly smaller in diameter, you could still get some other types of bandages to fit.  I could probably get two RATS TQ's to fit into the tourniquet pocket if needed.  The tourniquet pocket also can accept a folded down NAR CAT TQ if needed.  The larger bandage pocket will accept most standard sized smaller bandages and hemostatic's like Celox Z-Fold.  The shear pocket accepts most shears.  Inside the bandage pocket I also keep a pack of nitrile gloves - they go on the outside of the AFAK so that they do not cause irritation during wear.


The hook patches are really large feature a "made in USA" tag.


This is the outer view which would face away from the ankle when mounted and the items which go inside their respective pockets.  You can see on the bottom left an extension attached to the AFAK.  I carried it around this way because it was more comfortable as I wear boots to work and I wear the AFAK resting on top of the boot, not over the entire boot, both methods would work, on top just felt more comfortable and did not move around as much.



The above IG post illustrated how I wear the AFAK on duty.  Those are Salomon Quest 4D boots which I wear during the winter time in the exact configuration with the AFAK.

In the Field:
I have posted about some of my medical applications here several times as well as on pistol-forum and there are a dozen, or so, TQ / bandages applications which I have not posted about that I have deployed directly from the AFAK and reloaded later on.  I have actually began to carry items which my local FD stocks in the EMS units and that way I can reload directly from one of their trucks when they come on scene.


Sometimes situations are fast moving and you do not know what exactly happened until you are well through a situation.  I had one particular situation during which a person required two TQ's to be applied onto them.  Thankfully I carry more than one on my person and made the decision to use two on that person.  They survived and if I had not had an AFAK on at that time, they may have not.


The HALO Chest Seals are good to use on full sized adults, unfortunately victims of trauma may not always be full size adults.  As such I have had to cut one of the chest seals in two in order to apply them properly to juveniles victims.  This is one of the reasons why I have switched over to FOX Chest Seals almost exclusively and that means using an item which the AFAK was not designed for.  Fortunately the FOX Chest Seals are just slightly small, when folded, than the HALO's so that I can fix two packs of them into the larger pocket on the inside of the AFAK and they stay in place during use. 

After about a year of using the Gen1, I was sent their new Gen2 version:


Which is the, but slightly different.


Still made in the USA.


Cooler logo tag.


Clearly made by a company with a bit of experience making kit behind them.


Other than the color, the only obvious changes are the added loop on one of the sections for smaller ankle sized people.


Also the addition of a pliable extension which is slightly elastic for guys like my who wear them on top of the boot rather than around the boot. 

Overall construction is similar, if not better.  Material feels the same though.  I have been using the Gen2 since I got it in June of this year.


Ownership and Usage: 
The first and obvious issue with using any AFAK is that you need to be comfortable with it and you need allow yourself a period of getting used to it being there.  It took me about four days to get used to it, but through daily use I noticed that I needed to have a long pair of socks which the AFAK could go around because AFAK on skin contact bothered the hell out of me.  So wearing long socks is a must with this AFAK, especially on duty.  Then again you should have long socks anyway on duty for various reasons, so this should not be that much of an issue.  The other consideration is that you need find the right orientation for the AFAK around your leg/ankle so that you can stay mobile.  I ended up with the hook/loop closure on the back of my leg, rather than the front as that allowed the tightest to the leg fit and did not hinder or bother me when I was out and about.  You will find the right setup for you, but if you feel discomfort it is probably because you did not secure it tight enough or its orientation is incorrect.  Those are the only two "use" issues I found.  Other than that, you can wash it with a hose and use disinfectant wipes on it to remove blood from it.  I had a situation where I took it off in order to get it closer to a victim and ended up getting it pretty bloody.  I used a container of hydrogen peroxide on it and then hosed it down, let it air dry over night and then just in case used some disinfecting wipes on it, color did not bleed and the hook/loop did not mess up, the material stayed in tact.  Probably should have just thrown it out, but figured it was worth a try if I was going to throw it out anyway if it had not worked.


Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
The only changes I would make is to made the chest seal inside pocket smaller to accept a FOX chest seal and create a specific pocket for disposable gloves.  I do not see these changes as mandatory and the way it works right now is exactly how it needs to with the configuration of items suggested for use (like the HALO chest seal).  As most LEO's, I carry numerous pairs of disposable gloves on me in various pockets, as you always need them, and there are never enough on scene since someone is always unprepared, having a pocket specifically for them may help people remember during their gear check in the beginning of a shift (which they should be doing anyway and would know they do not have gloves).  Other than those two things, the AFAK is an extremely valuable piece of kit which I have grown accustomed to having on me, as much as having a pistol on me.  I carry the Gen2 on duty and the Gen1 off duty when pants are called for.  I would just highly recommend getting an AFAK from Ryker Nylon Gear, I would recommend it becomes a permanent EDC item for uniformed LEO's and anyone who cares enough to carry something which can undoubtedly help save lives.  I have posted on this site, numerous times, after incidents like the Las Vegas Massacre and while talking about gift giving/getting/requesting specific items, medical items should be the #1 item asked for and given every single year.  We are all responsible for ourselves first, then our families and then the people in our communities.  To borrow a line from my friend Bill Rapier - "If a serious situation occurs, you will likely be the most highly trained person there," you should prepare yourself and act like it.

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