A year ago, DJ from GBRS Group said in our interview that went into OFFGRID #43, “As the war progressed, more senior veterans brought real knowledge to tactical gear companies.” Part premonition, part putting their money where their mouth is, we watched as they started releasing gear, starting with the GBRS Group Assaulter Belt. While re-inventing the two-point sling gives re-inventing the wheel a run for its money, the GBRS Group Second Best Sling delivers more than humor.
It’s the details that set one sling apart from another, whether it’s the material used or the overall layout. Major considerations are width, weight, and method of adjustment, yet the smaller details still play a big role, especially in specialized situations. As plate carriers become more normalized through civilian ownership, more and more are experiencing the exasperation of having a part of a sling snag on other gear. At the same time, those who engage in maritime operations will be concerned with how much water the sling holds.
The GBRS Group Second Best Sling consists of two halves: the part with the pad, and the part that tightens and loosens. At each end, the user is able to set the sling to their specific size, with the option to trim and melt the nylon webbing for a more precise fit. Out of the package, there’s no metal hardware on the sling to bang against a firearm and give away one’s position. The pull-to-tighten slider has a 4-inch tab that the user can turn into a loop by cutting the stitching.
The 16-inch pad is constructed of 4-way stretch material and has tapered edges where it meets the webbing to avoid snags. The QC process for GBRS Group inspects each sling to make sure the transition from padding to webbing is smooth.
The GBRS Group Second Best Sling is not the only one that uses 1-inch webbing, and the adjusting side can be swapped out for other preferences, such as the Ferro Concepts Slingster. The intentional preference towards universal buckles and attachment points has the deployed user in mind, where Murphy’s Law will eventually take its toll.
At 3.1 ounces, the GBRS Group SBS certainly fits within the minimalist category. The slider stays in place when you leave it alone, and adjusts the overall length easily, a sharp departure from earlier two-points. Whether extending to swim out of the sling, or cinching down to climb or go hands-free, both directions glide with intentional adjustments.
The padding makes a difference, especially as it tends to reside at the back of the neck when worn. Slightly stiff, it holds just enough shape length-wise to make donning and doffing considerably easier than a floppy sling. However, the width holds its shape instead of rolling into a sharp “V” which could rub the skin raw.
As a whole, perhaps the best part of the sling is how little it catches and snags on other worn gear. The transition from padding to webbing takes the pain out of wearing equipment on your back, and should not be overlooked. As a whole, the sling holds enough of its shape to lessen the chances of getting hooked on a mag pouch, and even less so when the user takes the time to set each end to their personal size.
The GBRS Group Second Best Sling doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but certainly greases the axles, and improves the quality of the rubber.
GBRS Group Second Best Sling
Colors: Multicam, Desert Digi, (and more to come we hear).
Mounting Gear/Options: Open-Ended/User Preference.
Weight: 3.1 ounces