The FirstSpear AAC Frog kit is without a doubt a game changer in the world of those who like to get wet. No other company specializes in product development quite like First Spear and my relationship has grown with them over the past year. I was ecstatic to be able to test out the AAC Frog and be able to use the AAC Frog in real world and training operations. You have companies like London Bridge, Shellback, and 5.11 that try to get the maritime stuff out there, but nothing is even close to the technology that FirstSpear brings to the table; I mean it even says on their website “FirstSpear® is in the business of providing innovative solutions to long unanswered challenges.” and they’re right. Literally, you can go from running helo operations to the water to land-based operations in a matter of seconds all with the same plate carrier. In the past, it was all about adding floatation to the vest by inserting foam but FirstSpear came up with a way to create a buoyancy compensator and an aid to floatation through their flotation system which is incorporated through the sides of the plate carrier in the AAC Frog. In the past, you would have to use a “horse collar” attached to your vest. Now, with FirstSpear there is no need for any flotation attachments but your plate carrier during high-speed boat and/or dive operations.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Swimmer cut plates are the best ballistic plate cut there is. Change my mind. In my opinion, it gives your arms freedom to move and its a little bit lighter than standard plates. I personally use the ShotStop Ballistics Swimmer Cut Duritium III+PA plates. Only 2.8 lbs per plate and they aide in floatation, but with the FirstSpear AAC, I used heavier non-floatation plates for the testing process. I wanted to throw everything I had at the plate carrier system… I mean that’s how you establish the proof in the pudding. The AAC Frog Kit fits most swimmer cut plates (every company is a little different on the exact dimensions) although its an absolute pain in the ass to put them in there – but for good reason. They are secure and will not move when running or moving. That results in less friction which is key for comfort.

The FirstSpear AAC Frog Kit: From land to maritime operations
The AAC Frog Kit broken down piece by piece. *Photo courtesy of First-Spear.com*

THE AAC FROG FLOTATION

Or what I call “water wings” is an incredible design and so simple. It’s one of those things that you think to yourself – “Why didn’t I come up with throwing a C02 cartridge with a ‘water wing’ in each side of a vest if shit hit the fan and I needed to surface quick”? With Floatation up to 73lbs and being as compact as it is, the AAC is really a work of art when speaking in terms of maritime operations. With quick pull tabs located in a position where it won’t get snagged on anything, but also easy enough to find them and pull them to release your aides to flotation, it makes for easy use. I mean imagine if you’re in a crazy airsoft game and you know your mom’s picking you up in the minivan in a few and you gotta get the last player but accidentally fall in a puddle? You have you be able to pull those tabs and release those “water wings”. Just kidding, but in all reality, the pull tabs are very easy to find, but it’s not something that is going to rub into your side either. You also have a built-in buoyancy compensator that you literally blow air into or release air you’ve blown into by a simple tube method. No, I’m not talking about their Tubes Technology.. yet. It makes for the perfect “just under the surface” swim or way below the surface swim. Not to mention you can also hook up your rebreather with the Rebreather Harness Kit. I have never used a Rebreather, so I won’t bullshit you on that, but I will say those who do use rebreathers often have said nothing but good things about the Rebreather. “Being able to hook up your rebreather for your swim to the beach, then being able to completely transform the same plate carrier to a land-based plate carrier is an incredible new technology. First Spear makes our lives easy.”

The FirstSpear AAC Frog Kit: From land to maritime operations
The Aegir-38™ showing off the Floatation devices fully inflated. It runs the same floatation system as the AAC Frog Kit. *Photo courtesy of First-Spear.com*

THE AAC FROG IN THE ELEMENTS

Somehow makes life more comfortable. I do not know how, or if it was on purpose, but the AAC Frog keeps you cool during hot days and also keeps you warm during those brutally cold days. Hot day’s, cold days FirstSpear has you covered. Even going 45kn in a RHIB, I was never cold or hot. In fact, I usually had to ditch a layer in the cold, but could also wear just a T-Shirt in hot weather and not be miserable. I’ve had numerous plate carriers in the past that were either too hot, too heavy or would never keep you warm. It’s just an added bonus that FirstSpear put into their design. On long missions, I have never felt discomfort or rashes from the AAC Frog. It’s comfort is next level even with heavy plates in it. It’s kind of like you’re not wearing a plate carrier at all. The ability to also add a pack to the back of your plate carrier and not have discomfort is another great quality that the AAC Frog brings to the table.

The FirstSpear AAC Frog Kit: From land to maritime operations
It was about 95 degrees and about 95% humidity on this day. Unbearable to say the least, but the AAC Frog kept me cool.

FIRST SPEAR’S TUBES TECHNOLOGY AND THE 6/12 PANELS

Are one of First Spears greatest gifts to us. The 6/12 Panels are at least twice as durable in my opinion as standard panels and offer a 20%-40% weight reduction (that’s a fact). According to the FirstSpear website they describe the 6/12 Panels- “The FirstSpear 6/12™ technology eliminates these components and achieves a 20%-40% reduction in weight per standard Assaulter configuration when compared to current pocket attachment systems. The FirstSpear™ team invested more than a year developing and testing the FirstSpear 6/12™ Pocket Attachment System. It utilizes state of the art fabric technologies to deliver a completely modular system, compatible with standard MOLLE pockets.” Now the Tubes Technology is badass and super easy to ditch your kit or pack and easy to put it back on. NO MORE VELCRO BULLSHIT for your plate carrier shoulder straps. Easy as 1.. and your kit is off.

The FirstSpear AAC Frog Kit: From land to maritime operations
“Brad” enjoying a cup of coffee while wearing a modified AAC Frog Kit during a morning training operation off the East Coast. You can see the Tube’s Technology located where the side panel connects to the front panel.

ALL IN ALL

It seems that FirstSpear is the leader in the most innovative technology and they have the answers to those questions you always asked in regards to making the life for the guys that don’t exist easier. Everybody I’ve ever talked to that has a way cooler job than I have that uses FirstSpear products or the AAC Frog, in general, have nothing bad to say about it. Thank you FirstSpear for continuing to stand by your product and keep up the great work. You’re in the lead as far as technology goes for gear and those that have used your gear have nothing but positive things to say about your products.

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