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Posted: 2/16/2006 11:05:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 7:35:50 AM EDT by die-tryin]
Previously ive delt with USMC LBE and it did what it needed to. Welp times have changed. About 2 years ago, I picked up an SDS improved Chest harness, it worked well but I felt it wasnt complete enuff for me. One of the main things was no place to really add Body armor or plates and there was no back to it. So through my searchings I came across Blackwater gear. Ive ordered pouches from them b4 and liked their stuff, so I thought id see how their chest rig setups were. Realistically im only goin to use this for tactical rifle comps or any tactical classes I may venture into. But if SHTF, id like to be better prepared than what I was previously.

The Gear:

Blackwater Gear I-O Tactical LB Vest


(this is what it looks like bare, I wasnt about to take all my shit off for photo op. lol)

I ordered mine in ranger green (OD), I personally dont mind the mix matched colors of Tan, desert and OD.

The pouches are a mix of SDS and Blackhawk and Blackwater.

Double Ar mag pouches, Quad .45/9mm pouch, single mag pouches (used for smoke and LED), accessory pouch (has survival/shtf type gear), 1 20rd mag w/EBC subsonic 62gr.

For Level II protection, I picked up some Plate backers from D-R on here thru the EE. For rifle protection ill had some hard plates when and if I can get some.

Here it is all loaded up



Here is the Underneth



I added the side pouches that come with the chest rig, it adds more molle panels and you can put more panels or gloves ,etc inside it they have a velcro encloser.

Here are the plate backers from D-R, they are encased cordora material. They are lightweight and flexible.



Here is the Platebackers installed in the front panel. You can also see the side panels attached to both sides of the front panel.



There are 2 buckles on each side of vest to help get in and out of it. But honestly they are so far behind you that they are a bitch to reach. I guess the ppl at Blackwater thought about this and get this easy escape hatch for their vests. It is zipped offset on the front with velcro on the bib part. I have mixed reviews about this. Once I field test it, ill know if I like this or not.



Here is the layout. The survival pouch on the one side and the LED & 20rd mag actually are on the side.



Overall its pretty comfy for the limited time ive had with it. Im hoping to go thru some real movements in the next month or two when we have the tactical rifle comps. There is pretty good adjustments. So, itll fit a wide range of bodies. The material from Blackwater is pretty thick and seems durable. The buckles are supposedly some anti NV paint or material. Ill have to take a peek thru my NV and see what I see. lol.

Welp this is my initial review of these products. Once I field test them, ill revisit this thread and give my honest opinons on this setup.





Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:44:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:39:38 PM EDT
Cool! Thanbks for the pics! I'm trying to come up with a good setup for myself. Something for me to consider. How do you think it'll work with a heavy ruck sack? Will it interfere with the shoulder straps or the sternum strap?


-K
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:40:39 PM EDT
cool, I would love to hear a range report when you get around to it
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:12:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:
Cool! Thanbks for the pics! I'm trying to come up with a good setup for myself. Something for me to consider. How do you think it'll work with a heavy ruck sack? Will it interfere with the shoulder straps or the sternum strap?


-K



Funny you mention this. I have a medium alice pack that I keep ready to go and decided to put it on. It was wierd at first. The shoulder straps tend to get pushed out some, so its pretty important to use the sternum strap which was fine, it went under the pistol mag pouches, but I did have to extend it all the way out. This rack seems to be WIDE, I think the Zippered section up front makes it that way. I guess this would be my only complaint. Im 5'9" 180lbs anyone smaller than me may not like this setup. Itll be too loose and too wide to fit properly, IMO, im kinda boarderline, but it works. The pack rode fine, I have the enhanced waist belt from tactical tailor and it does what its suppose to.

IF you have a pack setup right now, adjusted all that without a pack, once you put this chest rig on, youll have to totally readjust your pack. This isnt no big deal for my alice pack, but packs like Kifaru that have a gazillion adjustment points could be a PITA.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:49:33 PM EDT


Here are the plate backers from D-R, they are encased cordora material.




Who is D_R? I've been looking for some of these. And the side pockets will hold some of the mini rifle plates? Can you get plate backers in that size also?
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 4:27:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By x556:


Here are the plate backers from D-R, they are encased cordora material.




Who is D_R? I've been looking for some of these. And the side pockets will hold some of the mini rifle plates? Can you get plate backers in that size also?



yes the side pockets will hold whatever you can fit in there. I jus stuffed some tac. gloves

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=90&t=325119

Here is the ad for D_R.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:14:25 PM EDT
Your last pic with all the mags/gear laid ON TOP onf the pouches is an excellent idea...many times guys will post pics and it is hard to figure out what they are using "Brand X pouch" for.

The way you have done it you can see what you are loading out and still tell what pouches are being used and where! Good Stuff!
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 3:50:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dawg180:
Your last pic with all the mags/gear laid ON TOP onf the pouches is an excellent idea...many times guys will post pics and it is hard to figure out what they are using "Brand X pouch" for.

The way you have done it you can see what you are loading out and still tell what pouches are being used and where! Good Stuff!



Yeah. Part of the reason I do this is cuz some of the pouches are being used for other than their intended purpose. Like the tri color desert pouches, those are really 9mm mag pouches but as you can see, Smoke and my LED occupy them now.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:38:01 PM EDT
I like Blackhawk gear, and since my unit (Guard) still has old gear, most of us have "upgraded" and use improved designs that are awailable.

great pics.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 2:58:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 7:36:25 AM EDT by die-tryin]
Welp I had to move some pouches around. I couldnt bring rifle to right shoulder with the one pouch up there. Im hoping to get some action pics this weekend, maybe even vid. We are setting up some courses are the range on sat. Goin to use IDPA type scenerios and a few of our own.


Should be fun ass weekend.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:33:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 3:36:59 PM EDT by die-tryin]
Welp it was an entertaining weekend. I spent a total of 7hours with the Blackwatergear vest on totally loaded up (15lbs). ( I realize real operators wear this stuff 24/7 but im jus an average joe, so its a big deal to me. lol )

Anyways, we did alot of run/gun type scenerios. Spent the whole day on my feet and moving around ALOT. The rig wasnt uncomfy. The soft panels (level IIIA ) I got from D-R (here on the EE) actually made the vest more comfy, cuz it gave some cushion and didnt allow the weight of the mags to dig into my chest/stomach. Also goin prone the panels helped as well. Mags werent hard to get out, its jus something I gotta practice and get use.

Running with the vest on was interesting, there was ALOT of movement. With the side panels in place I only had SO much adjustment to tighten things down. With the panels removed, I think I couldve got the rig tighter on my body.


I was also using an HSGI drop leg for my 1911. Getting the retaintion strap latched was a bit of a pain, but the release was quick.

Moving around in the rig wasnt an issue. after wearing it for an hour you jus get use to it and can function pretty normally (picking up stuff, kneeling, etc)

ANyways, here is short vid. of me running the badguys down. lol

media.putfile.com/Untitled5590



Its a free upload so it may take a couple times hitting refresh to get it to work.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 4:38:03 PM EDT
Cool vids,always refreshing to see guys putting their gear thru its paces!
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:15:25 PM EDT
How well do you think this vest would fit a guy bout 5'8" 140 lbs? I just got a SO Tech hellcat and it is WAY too big without armor underneath it. My chest is about 36" and waist about 32". Thanks
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:21:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gardman007:
How well do you think this vest would fit a guy bout 5'8" 140 lbs? I just got a SO Tech hellcat and it is WAY too big without armor underneath it. My chest is about 36" and waist about 32". Thanks



IF you dont use the SIDE panels that come with it, it should be fine. IF you use the side panels it will be big on you. When I was running from turning on the camera to get ready to run the course, it moved around alot. I took the side panels off and it adjusted down pretty tight. If you look at the vid I posted above, (YOu have to REFRESH 2-3 times to get it to play properly) But you can see me holding the chest rig running back to the table after I turned on camera. I am thinking of having the side panels modified to be a lil shorter so I can use them and get better fit. I jus havent gotten around to it.
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