View Full Version : What kind of vest?

04-22-2009, 08:30 PM
I am looking to get a new vest and I have been wondering what type of vest you all would think would be the best. Should I get a molle vest, chest rig, plate carrier, or cross draw style vest, Im not sure what the correct technical term is. I usually prefer to have mobility because i prefer to be more of a cqc person, however i haven't used either a molle/plate carrier or chest rig before and have no idea which type of vest would be the best for my type of role. I usually run with a smaller gun such as a g36c and prefer to get up close even in field operrations.

Any advice would be great, thanks.

04-22-2009, 08:55 PM
Please follow Rule #18. Personaly I'm a fan of the plate carries and the chest rigs. I wouldn't recommend a cross drawn styled rig because I don't feel that they are very well balanced. Do you have a pistol? The cross drawn styles limit the amount of ammo you can carry, and if your pistol is heavy then it can cause your pistol to sag/move around when you run. There are alot of great rigs you can get for literally 20 bucks. So make sure to do a fair amount of looking before you make your mind up and buy something.

04-22-2009, 10:16 PM
MOLLE is more a modular attachment system than a specific vest or rig.

Go modular if you can, meaning something that has plenty of PALS webbing.

Quick, random thoughts:
Tactical vest/cross-draw tac vests - can be hot and restrictive during Texas summers depending on the layout/material....they can retain a lot of heat. Typically can carry a large load overall, but lose primary weapon magazine space as Chief pointed out because the pistol takes up space. The benefit of the cross-draw is having the pistol right there instead of on a belt where the vest blocks you from getting to it easily or having to wear the pistol on a thigh-rig. However, I prefer a thigh-rig to losing primary magazine space.
LBV - typically light and airy, inexpensive
Chest rig - can be light and airy depending on how much stuff you start loading on it. Leave the optional bib off that many chest rigs have available, and the setup won't retain as much heat.
Plate carriers - typically don't sit quite right unless you have plates in them (or mock plates at least). Can get quite heavy if you start thinking you need to load up every inch of PALS with a pouch. Tends to keep a bit more heat in compared to a LBV or chest rig.

Regardless of what you get into, integrated hydration pouch or at least a functional plan for carrying water is one of the first and most important things you should consider in my opinion. There are easy ways around everything else.

04-22-2009, 11:16 PM
Just to offer a counter point, being new to the sport myself, I chose a cross-draw tac vest for my first setup. Not having much experience skirmishing, it just made the most sense for me. Modular molle rigs certainly have their advantages, especially the ability to easily customize. But as a new player it's difficult to truly know what your going to need until you actually start actively playing. For now, the vest I got fits my needs perfectly. It's a good all-in-one kind of setup. Mine has a pocket in the back to add a hydration bladder. I can carry up to 8 M4 mags, plus 6 pistol mags. It has a radio pouch, three small utility pouches, and a larger pouch on the upper right side. It includes the web belt, and on mine, the pistol holster is removable, so if I wanted, I could easily add more mag pouches or whatever, and move the holster to the belt or even turn it into a thigh rig.
At skirmishes lately, I've been loading up as heavy as I can, just so I can condition myself. I carry 2 liters of water, a pistol, 2 spare AEG batteries, 4 loaded M4 mags, 2 pistol mags, loaded speed loader, radio, leatherman multi-tool, a bag of around 1000 rounds, an energy bar, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. I have about 1000 rounds ready to shoot at any given time, which has been more than sufficient to this point. It doesn't feel out of balance to me. I have yet to use it in the Texas heat, but I do see how that could certainly be a factor very soon. We'll see.
My only regret is that I chose the ACU color. It looks great with ACU, but not great with other styles of camo. I would suggest OD green or coyote tan.
Here is a link to the one I purchased. http://www.airsplat.com/Items/AC-APP-PVC-547A.htm
Good luck.

04-23-2009, 08:40 AM
That vest is limited and unbalanced because of your rifle magazine carrying limitations which are substituted by pistol magazine locations. You won't use pistol mags often, so you are in a sense 'wasting' space that can be used to carry more rifle mags. This is not to say you are wrong for picking that vest, I am stating why it can be considered limited and unbalanced. Plus you can't add on to that rig.

Magazine carrying options are a personal choice and as long as you have reloaders, one doesn't need as many mag carrying options. Then you have to judge when is the best time to reload in a fire fight, call yourself out if you run out of ammo and can't reload, or wait to reload at respawn. Midcap users do this all the time, except we carry 6-16 magazines (depending on the occasion).

When I first started I had a similar vest in Coyote Brown, except it had PALS webbing on it so I could configure it as I chose. I dropped it after a while because it got too hot to use in the summer.

04-23-2009, 11:31 AM
Yeah I get that. For me, for now, it's limitations havn't been an issue. it is able to carry everything I have needed thus far.
The pistol mag pockets are the perfect size for my batteries, speed loader, and leatherman tool. So for me, it isn't really a
waste of space at all. I just think it is a cost effective way to go for a new player who doesn't truly understand what their
needs are just yet.

04-23-2009, 04:02 PM
My recommendation would be for a player to go with a cheap solution when first skirmishing. First, see if the hobby suits you and see if you'll stick with it long-term. Second, you are going to change to a different rig that better suits your needs after you gain experience. It will happen. I went through several rigs before settling on what I've run for the past several years, for example.

04-23-2009, 05:40 PM
My recommendation would be for a player to go with a cheap solution when first skirmishing. First, see if the hobby suits you and see if you'll stick with it long-term. Second, you are going to change to a different rig that better suits your needs after you gain experience. It will happen. I went through several rigs before settling on what I've run for the past several years, for example.

Especially when some of us keep adding different types replicas to the collections. Depending on the magazine types for each one can dictate a different arrangement. Definately consider this fact if you plan to change from an AR style AEG to an AK type if your initial selection on a vest had mag pouches that were only sized for the AR mag platform. I have never ran a G36 setup so I'll let someone that has better inform you of which pouch style would be best. I'm assuming the AK would actually be a bit better.

In my example I was trying out some of the different contract grade surplus issue stuff which is fine if your sticking to AR types of replicas but as soon as I acquired a few AK ones those pouches were useless and it was either a, buy some molle/pals AK pouches and always switch/swap em or b, a whole new rig dedicated to the new platform. I chose the latter. Actually with the larger AK sized pouches I started using it for when I bring the AR as well and for a cheap non contract grade knockoff rig its actually suited me well. I've been using it almost exclusively now. Go figure. Good luck, part of the fun in this hobby is figuring it out and having an excuse to spend money on stuff haha.

04-23-2009, 07:21 PM
Double M16 mag pouches fit G36 mags if you don't want specialized G36 mag pouches.

If one anticipates using different types of replicas with different mag types, the HSGI universal mag pouches are a great product. Look them up, as they'll take a wide variety of types and are well-designed. Needless to say, HSGI is good kit.

As one gets more replicas and more involved in the hobby, modularity is a good thing.

04-23-2009, 07:58 PM
I think I will try to go with some kind of molle vest just because of the versatility. My next question is about the color or pattern. As I have been playing, I have noticed that Texas is almost to dry for a woodland color load-out. Because of this, I'd like to get a lighter colored vest to go along with my woodland marpat to fit the dry colors. In your opinion, would it be better to buy a coyote tan vest or buy a multicam vest and later multicam BDU?

04-23-2009, 11:18 PM
That's a personal preference. Anything light works well in our region, but Multicam gear costs a little more than other camo schemes/colors.

04-23-2009, 11:29 PM
Im not sure if Im using the correct terminology, but has anyone tried a "CIRAS" style Body Armor/ plate carrier?

It claims to be designed so that the operator has full range of motion as well as modular capabilities (MOLLE).
It's not big, bulky, nor heavy from what I gather.
This maybe something that fits your needs since you are looking for versatility and mobility.

I'm looking into getting one. Hopefully it will perform up to my expectations.

As for your color choice - have you ever been to a TXPB or TACPB skirmish?
You will notice that there are plenty of woodland field settings. It's true that Texas is pretty dry and has desert like climates in most parts, but at the fields where Airsoft is commonly played the back drop is pretty green.

Most people I've seen wear woodland type gear.

04-24-2009, 10:08 AM
The CIRAS is a bit..."thicker" than most of the rigs you'll see people using out here, unless things have changed lately. I've noticed a lot of LSA members use the HSGI Weesatch/Woosatch series of plate carriers, as do I, since it provides just enough PALS webbing without being overkill. The CIRAS has tons of webbing space, but it's gonna be a little less "breathable" than the 'satches or a FAPC, for example.

As for the OP's color options, I'd say Coyote Brown if you're using MARPAT, since that's what the USMC issues. I happen to like my tri-color desert, so I use a mix of khaki (which is lighter than Coyote Brown) and olive drab. The nice thing about OD or khaki is that it complements the color schemes of a lot of patterns, so if you switch from ACU to DCU like I did, for example, you don't have to rebuy your entire loadout just so your gear doesn't make you stick out like a sore thumb.

04-28-2009, 12:08 AM
Does anyone think a vest like this would be any good? It looks cool and weird all at the same time. Just looking for an opinion.


04-28-2009, 06:02 AM
I would steer away from this one. Think about it. Wearing that thing in the heat of a Texas afternoon is a one-way ticket to heat stroke.

04-28-2009, 08:46 AM
Not to mention that you'll probably only fit 3 g36 mags. Honestly for a g36 rig I can only recommend an ARKTISrig or BHI Commando Chest Harness (theres a few good clones out there). If you go MOLLE be prepared to cry when you're looking at pouches for those magazines.

04-28-2009, 09:59 AM
Entering a little late into the thread, I would would definitely go with a MOLLE setup. That being said, you can find most types of vests in MOLLE form. Wolv brings up a lot of excellent points about heat retention and weight and the idea of going cheap when you start out.

If you like the crossdraw style vest here's an alternative: Condor (OE Tech) MOLLE Modular Vest (http://www.hillcountrytactical.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_10_32&products_id=157) or the Condor (OE Tech) Mesh Hydration Vest (http://www.hillcountrytactical.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_10_32&products_id=154). You get the relative simple design of a crossdraw, however your pouches aren't presewn into the vest, instead you attach pouches via the MOLLE System.This allows you to configure you layout to your heart's content. Though, the disadvantage is that the pouches need to be purchased separately adding to your overall exspense. Don't forget that many of the tactical vests need a belt of some sort too.

I personally run a plate carrier (http://www.hillcountrytactical.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_10_38&products_id=115) that I purchased as a set from Airsoft GI (http://www.airsoftgi.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=combat+set&x=0&y=0). The set got me started with some basic pouches and a hydration carrier. Here is a write up of my vest setup (http://teamhct.hillcountrytactical.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2&sid=70cf3cf5edcdfa0f74ac17f5fe4bb74e) and my experience with it to date has been quite satisfactory.

As mentioned above, you'll want to stay away from Evike (airsoftpost). I would recommend Airsoft GI (http://www.airsoftgi.com), San Antonio Airsoft (http://www.saairsoft.com/), Kapowwe (http://www.kapowwe.com/), Airsoft Extreme (http://www.airsoftextreme.com/store/index.php?main_page=index) for local stateside retailers. For overseas, I've heard good things about eHobby Asia (http://shop.ehobbyasia.com/index.php) and UN Company (http://www.uncompany.com/).

04-28-2009, 12:58 PM
Before you go ordering gear off the internet I would reccomend you check some out in person. Come to a skirmish and check out/ try on other peoples rigs. You may also want to stop by Banan Bay off of Airport blvd (http://www.camonow.com/). They have a pretty good selection of surplus and new gear, vests and chest rigs you could try on to see what style you like.Some of it is actually decent stuff, made by Condor.

04-28-2009, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the advice, I probably will try to check out the banana bay place to see what they have there first. Anything local would be very nice.

04-29-2009, 01:48 AM
Alternatively, if you want to go REALLY light, you can always get a MOLLE belt and attach mags to that, sling on a Camelbak backpack-style, and go from there. I'm selling my Pantac MOLLE belt if you're interested. It's a size L, worked nicely but was just too bulky for my tastes when using it with a Weesatch.