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View Full Version : Phantom Replica CIRAS impressions.



Marimba
07-11-2006, 09:36 AM
After some waiting, I received my Phantom Replica CIRAS maritime version size small in Khaki last Friday.
Now that I've had it for a few days, I'll share my initial impressions.

It comes complete with the vest, admin panel, double pistol mag pouch, double M4 mag pouch(holds 4 mags) with adjustable lids, 2 ea. single M4(holds 2 mags) mag pouch with fixed lids, upright GP pouch, horizontal GP pouch, grenade pouch, saber(large) radio pouch, front and rear foam plates.. All of these things are included in the $170 package price.

The vest is well made with plenty of double stitching, bartacking, and edge tape. The Cordura material is 1000D weight, and appears to be just as sturdy as products from BHI, Paraclete, and EMDOM. The plates are held in place very securely, and help to give the vest shape, and a bit of light padding around the torso. The shoulder straps are also padded via removeable/positional velcro backed pads. The PALs channels are evenly spaced vertically, but there are some areas near the elbows where the horizontal spacing narrows. This is nothing serious, as pouches are still easily added/removed in these areas. The khaki color is a good match for Coyote Brown. It blends in well with my real issue MARPAT, and other MARPAT pouches I have begun to collect. FYI, Coyote Brown is a weird color...Brown from a distance, and has a greenish sheen up close. The vest does have the quick release function of the original, but you will only try it once...because it's a PITA to reassemble. Oh, important note: unless you are smaller than I am, 5"5" and 120lbs DO NOT get the small size. As the vest was packaged it was too small for me to wear. I had to adjust everything outward. Fits me great now. The main reason I chose the maritime version over the land version was the internal adjustable cummerbund. This helps to keep the vest in place while running about. The land version is a slightly different cut, and lacks the internal cummerbund.

The pouches...well, the mag pouches aren't all that great. They are OK quality, but I'm not impressed with the button snaps, and they just sort of seem flimsy. They are designed to secure M4 mags, and since I use a G36 they really aren't my thing. The mag pouches are all being replaced. The GP pouches were the most suprising thing about the entire package. Sturdy, well made GP pouches that include internal compartments seperated with elastic retention straps, double sewn seams, and edge taped. If these had better button snaps, they would be awesome. Still, I think I will continue to use them.

Do I think that this is good value? Sure, you could pay a lot more, and get a lot less useful gear. I spent more money on my ACU rig, and have no good way to carry 3l of water on it.

Pictures will come later.

AustinWolv
07-11-2006, 09:47 AM
Cool info, thanks for the rundown.

Katana
07-11-2006, 01:55 PM
Great review... it covers lots of important details.