Back in February of 2011, I purchased a new survival knife for back country carry. I wanted to treat myself, so I bought the very tough [and expensive] Fallkniven A1. The knife itself is quite awesome. It can baton wood as if it was going through a stick of butter, yet still shave the hairs off my forearm without irritation. It's a workhorse of a knife.
The problem was the sheath that came with it. It was a simple plastic thing with a piece of nylon webbing for a belt loop. I've always been highly disappointed with the sheath that is normally shipped with the knife it is supposed to protect. You would think that a company that retails their knife for $200 would invest some effort to putting together a sheath that would appropriately compliment the blade.
Well, after thinking about it, I decided I wanted to get a new sheath that would do the knife some justice. I wanted something that would protect the knife, be easy to access and carry, and also look good. After all, what's the point of having a really nice looking knife with a junky looking sheath?
After a little research, I found Apocalypse Gear, a local maker of high quality kydex sheaths. Buying locally was important to me on this because there are so many makers out there that there really wasn't any reason not to.
After a few email exchanges, I decided on what I was looking for, how I wanted it optioned, and had a price. I paid $60 for my setup, but prices may vary due to the economy, so don't take my cost as gospel. However, you can take the quality of this sheath to the bank! What a fantastic piece!
Along one side, rivets provide not only retention and strength, but give a place to either wrap para-cord, or secure it to your pack or leg. The material used is a thick kydex that provides strength and protection from the elements, and won't expand or contract, or dry out from getting wet. At the top of the sheath, a thumb push off has been thoughtfully placed, allowing a good draw of the blade. The sheath is formed so that there is positive retention of the knife, so it will not fall out, even if carried upside down.
I opted to get a leather belt loop on my sheath as well as a large tek-lok. This gives me a few options for carry. When out using the knife, I prefer the carry the knife higher on my torso with the tek-lok attached to my belt. But for packpacking, using the leather belt loop at the top is ideal because the knife will ride lower on my thigh, thus not interfering with my pack's waist belt. Both the tek-lok and the belt loop can easily be removed, but the sheath is well contoured and doesn't require this for carry. You can also remove a component if it becomes damaged and replace just that piece at a nominal cost instead of replacing the entire sheath. Smart!
The bottom of the sheath has a small drain hole so it will not hold water; this is an important consideration in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the sheath, along the knife's edge is firmly held tight and the quality of the finish work is fantastic. The sheath, with the belt loop and tek-lok, weigh only a few ounces, so it's not a ton of additional weight to carry around.
Apocalypse Gear can create any custom sheath for you in a vast array of colors, for seemingly any blade. If they do not have the knife you need, you can send your knife to them and they will custom make the sheath for your blade. I was lucky, and the owner was able to make mine without the need for me to send him mine.
You can also get a holder to hold a fire starter, and a pouch to carry your whet stone. I opted not for these options at the time of purchase, but will probably get the firesteel holder later on.
I've carried this knife in the sheath and it is very comfortable. I'm used to carrying pistols that weigh a lot more than my knife/sheath combination, so the weight of my knife and sheath don't bother me at all. I have no problems drawing when carrying and no problems putting the knife back into the sheath when I'm done using it. It's all one-handed, leaving me a free hand for whatever I'm doing.
If you have a good knife, but have been disappointed in the sheath, as I was, I'd suggest giving Apocalypse Gear a shot. You won't be disappointed.