Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alberta. Sherwood Park.
Tactical Vests VS PCs
Are you playing on a team?
Do you have an intended role?
What is your budget?
What is your fitness level?
Do you want to carry the kitchen sink on your back or go low drag?
First things first:
If you are playing on a team you will obviously want to "fit in" therefore that will determine what you run.
Your loadout will be different if you are running as a Rifleman/assault det to that which a recce guy or marksman would carry. ( LBE is better if you plan to lay down for awhile as there is nothing to apply pressure on your chest.)
Budgetary constraints will basically put you into one or the other catergory: Yes, you can get cheap, knock off PCs but they tend to fall apart due to having piss poor build quality. Buy real, buy once.
Fitness level is important and it directly impacts the last question:
If you carry a lot of gear (PC, 8 mags, IFAK, helmet, primary, secondary, secondary mags, food 24hrs, water, maps, compass, GPS, Go Bag, Multitool, Knife, IR marker, frags, smoke grenades, knee pads, elbow pads, Radio, spare batts, spare batts for GPS, Flashlight, spare batts for flashlight, spare batts for Primary, box mag for team SAW, electrolyte replacement pack, kill rag, wet weather gear and extra ammo) then you see the weight starts to add up. This will directly inhibit your ability to play the game over an extended period of time if you are initially unfit. You may well wish to think about what you need to FIGHT EFFECTIVELY.
My biggest biggest piece of advice here is strip it down to the bare bones. Keep your speed.
A PC has the ability to give you a modular load out, therefore allowing you to tailor your loadout to a specific situation quickly.
A tactical vest does not allow you to do that, sure, you can put less stuff in it, then you just have empty pockets flapping around.
Now which PC: Oh my god you have the world as your oyster; CIRAS, RAV RBAVS,EORS etc etc to name a few. Most offer solutions that are not neccessarily specific to Airsoft as their use within this sport is obviously secondary to why they were introduced in the first place, realistically for this sport, one is as good as the other. ( I say that as your life does NOT depend on your equipment)
Lastly your choice will, in some ways, be dictated for you by who you wanna look like. SEALS, ParaRescue, British Paratroopers, Spetsnaz to name a few.
Thorough research is key.
The above are just my personal opinion.
I have used PLCE and the osprey when I was serving, now I am no longer serving, I use a battered old eagle industries CIRAS that I have had to repair a couple of times just because of how I play. Has it failed me ? Never.
I will give you an indication of how I set mine up just so you can see what you can do if you choose:
6 Mags front (Shingles)
Training knife on the right upper plate threaded between the molle so the handle is easily accessible by my right hand when in tight spots)
Left Side I have my radio pouch which feeds my PTT mounted to the left upper shoulder support.
Left side 2 Cyalume sticks, 1 red, 1 yellow.
Right side: Multi tool, knife, Biner (Snapgate) roll of tape.
Rear right kidney: IFAK.
Hydration carrier on rear.
Left Kidney: Grenade pouch and smoke pouch.
No admin pouch (Think maps, compass, pencil, chinagraph,GPS,spare batts of all kinds) that goes in my BDUs.
Food (Mars bars, that kind of thing, goes in the left cargo pocket of my BDUs along with my personal FAK)
If the SAW gunner needs extra ammo I carry my share of the box mags by replacing the grenade pouches over my Left kidney with the ammo pouch for the 249.
I have beaten this equipment in the UK and now in Canada and I cannot kill it.
Personally I think a PC but do some more research ask guys when you see them for feed back. Most airsofters are really nice people and will let you try their gear on.
Good luck and may the Plate Carrier be with you!