Assessment of the Snakestaff Systems Tourniquet

So, there is a new outfit on the trauma medical scene named Snakestaff Systems and they are producing a couple of tourniquets that are claimed to be specifically designed for on-body carry.   Being a nerd for anything preparedness related, I bought one.  These things, literally, sell out within five minutes.  The website lists the next re-stock date and time.  I don’t know how many units they produce, but it is nowhere near enough to fill the demand.  I am pleased to see so many people buying tourniquets, however. 

So, this company makes two different models of their in-demand ETQ (Every Day Carry Tourniquet); the official ETQ, which is 1” wide, and a slightly larger version that is 1.5” wide.  Other than the difference in width, both TQs are identical in features and functionality.  I bought the slightly larger 1.5” version.

Frankly, I don’t know why they make the 1” version at all; the COTCCC guidelines for approved tourniquets stipulates in black and white that 1.5” of band width is needed for reliable occlusion of blood flow.  Also, the wider the band, the less potential nerve damage after the fact.  I suppose that producing the smallest tourniquet possible might encourage more people to carry it, and if it generally works then certainly having a less-than-ideal 1” tourniquet on your person is better than not having one, but I can’t see how the additional half-inch makes it a deal breaker.  The 1” version can fit in a pistol magazine pouch, so that is kind of cool, but I still can’t get on board with a tourniquet that is smaller than the committee recommended 1.5 inches. 

Anyway, Snakestaff Systems claims on their site that they have submitted the 1.5” version to the committee, hoping to get it approved (the 1” version can’t get approved).  If this 1.5” version does get approved I think it will make a great carry TQ. 

My initial impression is that it is very solid and well built.  Testing it, I can get it tight before even using the windless.  This TQ works like the industry standard CAT, utilizing Velcro.  This thing seems built well and seems to work fine, if you are used to a CAT then this will be familiar territory.  This Snakestaff Systems TQ incorporates a glow stick that breaks upon application, with the idea that it can help EMTs locate the TQ in the dark on a patient.  I am agnostic about this feature, I think it might just end up breaking in the pocket. 

This 1.5” is still purported to be 50% smaller than the industry standard TQ, which I would think references the CAT.  That it might be.  However, it is by no means 50% smaller than a flat-folded SOFT-T Wide, my preferred tourniquet.  It is slightly smaller, but not by much.  It is, however, noticeably lighter in weight. 

The Snakestaff Systems 1.5″ tourniquet is slightly smaller than a flat-folded SOFT-T Wide, but not dramatically so

So, my thoughts on this are as follows: if you get one of these, get the 1.5” version unless you will only carry a TQ in a magazine pouch.  Consider, though, if it is even worth it since a flat folded SOFT-T Wide is almost as small.  Bottom line for me: if the 1.5” version gets COTCCC approval then I think it will be another good option for on body TQ carry.  It is small and light, and while it won’t replace my usual SOFT-T Wide for my usual carry, it will be my TQ to carry for my minimalist needs when in dress cloths or board shorts.  I think it has the ability to be the J-Frame of tourniquets.  If it gets committee approval I will consider it exactly that. 

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