I have carried medical gear on my person on a daily basis for quite a few years now. The primary medical device that is always with me is a tourniquet. I have carried compromise versions of this tool in the past, but as of late I have made the dedication to carry only a combat-proven windless design, my favorite being the Soft-T Wide. These are great tools and can be folded to a comparatively small size. One problem with folding a windless tourniquet is the means by which you must keep it folded up; most often rubber bands are used to keep the folds together. A big downside to this is that in order to use the device you need to take the rubber bands off. What if you have only one functioning hand when you need your tourniquet? Taking the bands off during such a crisis is hardly intuitive. The best way to carry a flat-folded windless tourniquet that I have found thus far is the Phlster Flatpack.
The Flatpack is little more than a thin slice of polymer with shock cord to tether a folded tourniquet. However, in this simplicity is incredible functionality. The Flatpack comes with belt loops and it works great as a means of carrying the tourniquet on the belt. However, I struggle to carry anything outside the waistband on the belt as I simply can’t seem to conceal it. Even the Flatpack, which does indeed lay flat, is too conspicuous under my un-tucked shirt. But the belt loops are removable, and the Flatpack remains the best way to carry the tourniquet even in a pocket, as I do.
The Flatpack adds no perceivable bulk to the package, yet it makes carry much more efficient because it is easy to get the tourniquet out of the Flatpack and into use with a single hand. I actually carry a pack of quick-clot gauze under the tourniquet and the Flatpack ties these two pieces of gear together perfectly. I use only one of the small packs of 3X24 inch gauze as a larger pack of combat gauze would make the package bulky. Carried like this, however, the Flatpack makes pocket carry easy.
I have worn an ankle wrap trauma kit for a while now and it can hold more gear but it can’t be used when wearing shorts, which I often do in the summer months. But the Flatpack gives me the ability to carry the most critical pieces of gear even when wearing shorts or pants that can’t accommodate the ankle rig. Honestly, the ankle wrap is a hassle compared to just dropping the Flatpack in the pocket, and the smaller package of gear that will actually go out the door with me every time is better than the larger kit that may be left behind due to the added hassle of putting it on.
I highly recommend the Phlster Flatpack as a means of carrying a windless tourniquet, whether you wish to carry it attached to your belt or in a pocket.