TFB Review: Defense Mechanisms Ankle Med Kit

Richard L.
by Richard L.
The Defense Mechanisms ankle kit carries essential gear from an IFAK in a way that protects the medical items and opens up pocket space.

Why Medical

EDC is always a hot topic, but the importance of medical gear is often overlooked. This might be because it doesn’t seem as sexy of a topic, but it is an important part of the gear we might need. There is a greater probability that we will need to plug holes than make them. This simply means the likelihood of us having to defensively protect ourselves is far outweighed by the probability we will come across someone in medical trauma needing medical gear. However, there are some drawbacks to medical gear. Often medical gear is large and difficult to carry, getting torn up when carried in a pocket or taking up valuable space for other tools. Defense Mechanisms came out with an ankle med kit to solve this problem. I previously had never carried anything on my ankle so it was a new endeavor for me, but it was worth the effort.

Medical is an often overlooked element of EDC due to its bulk and limited pocket space.

Ankle Carry

For me, the largest hurdle was getting used to wearing an ankle kit. I am not used to carrying anything on my ankles so it did require a short learning curve. While not highly uncomfortable, having the ankle kit on bare skin for extended periods was not as comfortable as other options. By wearing a tall sock or long underwear, the kit did not directly contact my skin and carrying the kit was far more comfortable.

Clothing choice was also important. Pants obviously need to have wide enough pant legs to fit over the kit and be loose enough to not print. This was not difficult and darker colored clothing helped conceal any conspicuous lumps. I wore the kit while wearing everything from dress pants and jeans to combat pants. I did not find pants that would not work, but obviously the wider the bottom of the pant leg, the easier it was to conceal.

The concealability of the ankle kit was impressive.


Defense Mechanisms makes mission-focused gear. They have tested their products well and have a very clearly defined and educated use for their products. As such, they consulted tactical medical professionals in what would be considered a good loadout and built the kit around that gear from the ground up.

Suggested Loadout

This is not the first ankle med kit on the market, but it does have plenty of upgrades that make it a great contender. This kit was built around the selected medical gear needed while maintaining a strong emphasis on concealability.

On the right, you see the size of a reasonably compact IFAK next to the low profile ankle med kit seen on the left.

This allows me to have it readily accessible whether I am in dress pants at a Gala, jeans at Walmart or combat pants on the range. As you can see from the picture each pocket was sized with certain medical gear in mind. Suggested items for the kit include the following:

  • Cat Tourniquet Gen 7 or SOF-T Wide TQ
  • Hemostatic Gauze
  • NAR S Rolled gauze
  • HyFin Compact Chest seals
  • NAR mini Responder 4in ETD
  • Bear Claw Glove Set
The ankle rig was designed to carry necessary items but no more in an effort to cut down on bulk.

Key Features

My favorite feature are the pull tabs. These allow for easy access to the medical gear in the pockets completely ambidextrous.

Folding the edges in on items like the ETD and Chest Seals allow for a more compact package.
By adding pull tabs it is easy to access items with either hand.

My purpose of wearing an ankle med kit was to protect my med gear. I also wanted to carry in as low vis a means as possible. While The Cat7 works, I found the SOF-T Wide TQ to be minimally more concealable and less bulky. This is down to splitting hairs at that point. However, when properly staged, the SOF-T is thinner and more concealable in this kit than the Cat7.

Here we see a SOF-T Wide staged and providing a relatively flat option for better concealment.

The ankle kits come in left and right hand models just to put medical gear in the optimal position based on which ankle the kit is worn. The 500D Cordura comes in color options including Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Tan499, Multicam and Woodland. MSRP is $45.00.

The Inconspicuous Personal Ankle Kit comes in a variety of colors as well as left and right side versions.

Products are made to order and buyers should expect a 2-4 week lead time for production. To check out this and other products from Defense Mechanisms click HERE. I was unsure when I initially got the kit as this was my first time concealing anything on my ankles. The kit is light even fully stocked and does not get in the way even during rigorous activities. It might not be the solution for all, but this is now my primary method of carrying medical gear.

Richard L.
Richard L.

Richard lives in southern Indiana and has a strong interest in training, modified pistols, optics, and low profile gear/tactics. Some may consider it hoarding or some form of addiction, but he never tires in his pursuits as a stamp and lumen collector!For any corrections, input, or interest in posts, you can reach him at

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4 of 10 comments
  • JJJingleheimerSchmidt JJJingleheimerSchmidt on Apr 10, 2020

    I don't like stuff around my ankles so I use one of Phlsters emergency pocket wallets and a flatpack tourniquet holder.

    • Dick Lidell Dick Lidell on Apr 11, 2020

      @JJJingleheimerSchmidt Those are a great choice too. I never liked anything on my ankles before but I actually really like this setup. It keeps gear off my waste and can be used whether in full kit or just Walmart EDC with no changes needed. I was expecting unequal weight to be an issue but once you wear it a few days you forget you have it on, much like a few days after you start carrying a quality appendix setup.

  • Noob Noob on Apr 12, 2020

    do you find that ankle carry is like wearing ankle weights? they feel heavier because they are on the end of your leg not up close to your body?

    • Dick Lidell Dick Lidell on Apr 15, 2020

      @noob With the weight of a pistol o could see that being an issue, with the medical gear I use in this kit I don’t notice the weight. I did some testing going on a couple jogs and that was not made any more difficult and I also didn’t lose any of the gear so the retention impressed me.