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CLEER Medical’s MBOK – Miniature BlowOut Kit

While I was at SOFIC I spent some time with the Raven Concealment Systems and CLEER Medical guys going over their new MBOK (Mini BlowOut Kit). Later, after I started reading the comments left on Facebook under MBOK-related posts, I went and spent some more time with them. You see, the MBOK may be the most maligned piece of gear to come out in a long time. I've posted a screenshot below to give you an sample; you'll see many more examples once I put this article up on Facebook. Many of them will be from people who are responding to just the image and the MSRP, which is unfortunate – not because I'm an MBOK apologist, but because I think all declamations should be based on all available information.

But I digress.

The MBOK is a miniaturized IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) that can be worn on your belt as an “EDC” item or in/on gear as a lightweight replacement for one of the many other medical kits out there (many of which are very good kits, all of which are substantially larger). It retails for anywhere from $249.99 to $329.99, with the possibility of $20.00 off if you preorder.

MBOK - CLEER C LowPro Sweep

I will leave it to you to determine if it's worth the MSRP.

The MBOK is comprised almost completely of proprietary individual components, each developed specifically to streamline and lighten the kit (this is plays no small part in the price). The contents are kept inside a medical “wallet” that fits inside a tubular “sleeve” designed so you can deploy the contents up or down. The kit contains all of what most would consider your “first line” trauma gear for immediate response to something like a gunshot wound, shy of applying a TQ (tourniquet), which you can carry alongside the MBOK in a Eleven 10 Rigid TQ Case. There is a reason why the TQ is not included in the MBOK. We'll get to that eventually.


MBOK - CLEER Contents

This is an evolved version of what we first looked at after SHOT back in January. Although the contents have remained consistent, the pouch itself is much different. There are 2 types of MBOK – basic and advanced. The difference lies in the contents of the wallet, not the sleeve. Inside the basic kit are a NAR (North American Rescue) dressing built specifically for the MBOK, a proprietary CELOX Rapid ribbon, dual chest seals (so you can address both entry and exit wounds), 3M medical tape and tan bear claw gloves. The advanced wallet includes a Rusch nasal pharyngeal airway with lube and chest dart (14 gauge x 3.25″). The initial MBOKs will be in a MOLLE pouch built of Blue Force Gear's Helium Whisper and Ultracomp, with the option to pick up the rigid TQ case (built by Eleven 10, carried by CLEER) and an RCS paddle. In the very near future there will be additional mounting options available.

Each piece of the kit, from the gloves (which were chosen in brown to better show the results of a blood sweep) to the medical tape (which is in pre-cut strips), was selected, sized and packaged after much deliberation. The end goal was a comprehensive medical kit that takes up the absolute minimum amount of real estate.

MBOK - mounted on belt

MBOK - mounted on belt 2

They have achieved that goal and there is already substantial demand. However, criticism remains as constant as it is (I believe) uninformed – which is no reflection on whether that criticism is right or wrong necessarily, it's just galling. I grilled RCS and CLEER about most of the questions I could anticipate – including why does it cost so damn much (that was my first question) and how is this different than taking off the shelf trauma necessaries and vacuum-sealing them?


I'll post that interview later in the week. First let's take a look at what sort of discussion develops and if my shot group was correct when assessing the most frequent complaints of the doubters and haters.


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