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Pheonix
04-02-2008, 06:23 PM
I hope this is not a repeat of a forum but if it is please tell me.

So im looking for a new vest and i was wondering what some pros and cons were of Molle vest, plate carriers, chest rigs, and cross draw vests.

Over all I would appreciate and vest advice

ss190
04-02-2008, 06:58 PM
I ran a Chest rig for the logest time..having a chest rig you dont get as hot, it's not as heavy. But you cant hold alot of stuff depending on what chest rig you get. Hope that helps...

patmann90
04-02-2008, 07:54 PM
I run a Tactical Taylor chest rig and it is great. The only con that I have found with mine is putting it on and taking it off, because of the design I bought; it requires you to slip it on and off like a t-shirt and can be difficult sometimes. Heres the one that I bought:
http://tacticaltailor.com/ProductImages/vests/350/23017-4_350x350.jpg

And heres the one that I comes off easier:
http://tacticaltailor.com/ProductImages/vests/350/23018-4_350x350.jpg
This design allow you to unbuckle it from the front and take it off like a zip up jacket or vest.

I believe both designs are great and would buy another one in a heartbeat.

AustinWolv
04-02-2008, 08:14 PM
pros and cons were of Molle vest, plate carriers, chest rigs, and cross draw vests.Now, the following will be as relating to an airsoft viewpoint, not real-world use and intents. They are also opinions based on running all of them at one point or another.
Firstly, MOLLE isn't a specific style of vest as much as a modular platform based on PALS webbing.
MOLLE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOLLE_%28military%29)

Plate carriers
Good: Tons of real estate to attach anything and everything you want
Bad: Many do not tend to ride correctly on the user if armor plates are not installed; fairly hot during Texas summers; they are made to house armor plates so if you don't have plates in, they can be sized a bit large for smaller users

Chest rigs
Good: Lightweight for hot Texas summers; lightweight rig; most are modular; made to ride high on the user as they were originally intended for vehicle use; fairly low-profile
Bad: Can have limited real estate for pouches; most do not have integrated hydration carriers which is an essential feature in Texas summers (hydration carriers have to added in the form of a separate pouch or attachment at extra cost); more difficult to low-crawl and eat dirt since these tend to prop you up off the ground. All the weight is on the shoulders which can get uncomfortable after a long day.

Cross-draw vests/tactical vests
Good: low-profile, compact; typically have hydration carrier built into the best; plenty of pockets in addition to standard number of pouches; these generally have loops on the bottom to grab a pistol belt which helps distribute the load between shoulders and hips
Bad: Overly hot and restrictive in hot Texas summers; cross-draw gets in the way of a slung weapon when transitioning; most are fixed-config; puts the sidearm right in your gut/ribs when low-crawling and depending on the type of sidearm you have, it is easy to hit the mag release and lose a mag; tends to get the sidearm dirty also when low-crawling; is the typical gear that pretty much all airsoft players start with

jeremywills
04-02-2008, 09:26 PM
Theres also the option of the US issue surplus gear. The LBE, LBV and FLC. Each has its own pros and cons.

The LBE or load bearing equipment is essentially just a standard US issue pistol belt supported by shoulder padded suspenders. I can't stress this enough and he already mentioned it, we live and play in South Central to Central Texas and hydration is essential. Unless you added a seperate camelbak to this setup you would be best to get some surplus canteens to go along with it. This was the Vietnam era gear. I actually used a setup like this for scenario paintball. Honestly it sucks. I wouldn't go with this system but the nice things about it are its cheap and easily obtainable at any surplus outlet. You can usually get a complete package with a few mag pouches and canteens with the suspenders and belt.

The LBV or Load bearing Vest was the US Militaries first real assualt vest. It just improved on the pistolbelt and suspender design but added a mesh torso section that has magazine pouches and some grenade pouches hard sewn on to it. Again you have to have an issue pistol belt with this. Mainly utilized throughout the 80s and 90s. I have a modified version called the CMVS or Combat Medical Vest that incorporated Molle webbing into the mesh area where the pouches are usually hard sewn. Its ok. It does get hot. These were introduced in the late 90s. What is nice about the LBV is the pouches are already on there so all you need is the vest and a pistol belt.

Finally, we come to the modern era FLC or Fighting load Carrier. This is the latest US issue load bearing gear. Its got Molle webbing on the front and theres a Molle waistband that effectively replaces the pistol belt attached to it. I have one of these as well and its much more comfortable in my opinion than the other two. The only problem with any Molle vest is that it might or might not come with any pouches at all. Again some places will sell package deals with the pouches and some will charge seperate for each piece. The beauty of any Molle design is you can mix and match pouches according to your individual needs.

Note none of these have built in hydration carriers so you will have to go canteens or a seperate camelbak which I highly advise over the canteens.

Im a big fan of contract grade gear so if your going to get anything, stick to well known combat proven stuff. USGI surplus stuff I've suggested unless its really worn out will last a long time. If you're more interested in the plate carrier or chest rig type of stuff, Blackhawk, Tactical Tailor, HSGI, Specter Gear, and Spec Ops are just a few of companies I would be on the look out for. Get the real gear. In the long run it holds up and is worth the cost.

I've found the so called Airsoft and Paintball copy cat stuff just doesn't hold up in the long run. Guarder might be the only knock off company that actually produces something that will hold up that Im aware of.

Good luck.

Pheonix
04-02-2008, 09:33 PM
Wow, thanks guys it definetly has given me alot to think about. I might go with a cheap chest rig mostly just so i have an appropriate vest and then once i begin to play more i can figure out what vests I like better and move up to a nice custom MOLLE vest after that.

K-Pack
04-03-2008, 12:27 PM
Honestly it sucks. I wouldn't go with this system but the nice things about it are its cheap and easily obtainable at any surplus outlet. You can usually get a complete package with a few mag pouches and canteens with the suspenders and belt.

I would have to disagree on it's suckiness :). True it's ugly, but it's also very functional. You can carry everything you need for a full-day op while having nothing around your torso to contribute to overheating. So if you're strapped for cash and want something authentic and functional, LBEs/ALICE gear is a good choice.

That being said, if you've got the cash, a better alternative would be newer gear like the CMVS or FLC like Salami mentioned. I recently picked up a CMVS and am loving it. Like Salami said, go with real gear if you can...it'll last longer.

Spooky1291
04-03-2008, 03:41 PM
I definitely agree with AW about the types of gear and what Jeremy said about buying decent gear at an affordable price. Buying gear is like a crack addiction; once you start you can't stop. Look at what you want versus what you can afford. Buying an LBV is an affordable way to start out. If you want to get something with the MOLLE system then I would suggest you buy a Tactical Tailor MAV 2-piece. It runs about $210 and comes with all the basic pouches. If you want something that can stand up to a deployment to the sandbox (or the equivalent in your back yard) then SO Tech, Paraclete, HSGI, and Esstac all make great stuff, but it will cost you a little bit more.

jeremywills
04-03-2008, 08:14 PM
I definitely agree with AW about the types of gear and what Jeremy said about buying decent gear at an affordable price. Buying gear is like a crack addiction; once you start you can't stop. Look at what you want versus what you can afford. Buying an LBV is an affordable way to start out. If you want to get something with the MOLLE system then I would suggest you buy a Tactical Tailor MAV 2-piece. It runs about $210 and comes with all the basic pouches. If you want something that can stand up to a deployment to the sandbox (or the equivalent in your back yard) then SO Tech, Paraclete, HSGI, and Esstac all make great stuff, but it will cost you a little bit more.


Thanks Spook, I knew I had left a few of the better gear makers out of my original list.