View Full Version : Review: Arktis 1604

04-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Those who know me know that I can be somewhat....finicky. I'm constantly trading guns, gear, all sorts of crap. But one rig that I have had almost since I started in this hobby is one that I think is one of the best load carriage systems made.


The Arktis vest has been in use for many years with the military of the United Kingdom in both regular line units as well as the Special Air Service and the Royal Marines. Some scoff at the lack of modularity (limited to two removable utility chest pouches), but in spite of that so-called deficiency the Arktis 1604 is one of the most versatile platforms I've ever used.

The storage compartments consist of four rifle mag pouches up front, two large utility pouches under the armpits, four grenade pouches, two small general purpose pouches, two map pouches, and a hydration sleeve on the back. The vest can be secured via zipper or fastex buckle in the front and enough adjustment exists so that the vest can be worn standalone on most body types or over armor.


The four rifle mag pouches up front can hold three AR-type mags with magpuls, two AK mags, two FAL/G3/M14 mags, or two G36/Sig mags per pouch. I also found that 100rd M249 nutsacks fit perfectly.


The large utility pouches under each armpit of the vest a large enough to hold an M249 drum, MRE, a couple of nalgene bottles or similarly sized items.


The internal vest pockets show the mesh construction of the vest, allowing for better cooling in hot weather. The left side map pocket contains a simple holster, but I have found that with most Airsoft replica pistols the mag release is almost always engaged resulting in the mag dropping out of the pistol or at least becoming unseated.


If there is one deficiency to my particular vest it is the hydro pouch. I believe my vest is an older model due to the construction of the hydro pocket, which is a sort of cotton canvas. It is well faded and honestly does not fit modern hydration bladders well. I have examined newer models and this issue has been resolved with nylon mesh construction and a velcro foldover cover at the top. I altered my vest slightly by adding a SpecOps hydro pouch to the back.

Overall, I love this vest and will never give it up. Be forewarned, however. Overloading this vest is very easy due to the copious amounts of storage space.

04-06-2009, 09:43 AM
I agree, Bear. It is a great platform.