Originally Posted by scooberoo
My turn. I just saw a Phantom CIRAS Coyote from a friend yesterday. It was size small. I am 135lbs size 30-32 waist 5'9 tall. The fit on across my body was perfect. I don't know what setting it was in the rear velcros, but the side flaps' PALS lined up perfectly to the front PALS. No gaps. There was no soft armor or no 0.25inch thick closed cell foam padding to act as replica soft armore. I think that would help give the vest some thickness.
I examined the stiches on the PALS webbing. They look decent. They are not as good (perfectly aligned, consistent length ) as the real Eagle CIRAS (my brother has one). They won't matter since most PALS will be covered with pouches.
Anyway, the thing that bothered us the most was the wires on the shoulders stuck out too much. If you are tall, you might be annoyed with the shoulder strap/padding covers as they will be off centered. As if they apprear to fall down in the back.
The vest's bottom was at my belly button. For me that's perfect since I'm able to bend more freely. The PALS in the chest have 6 rows down and 6 columns across. Same as the Eagle CIRAS Maritime Small.
The side flaps would also be a problem if your radio has a long antenna. When you pull up the flap holding that radio, the antenna would poke you.
The best part that caught my attention in the Phantom was, the Coyote Brown color is indeed Coyote Brown. I put my Tactical Tailor (new generation) , BHI, and Patriot Performance Materials pouches next to the Phantom. Big smile. Unbelievable folks. We have found the perfect match. Yeah. I was thrilled. PPM pouches tend to have a greenish tint, the BHI tended to be lighter, but the TT was paaaarfect! I own Diamond Back Tactical (Battle Lab) pouches as well, but those are in the darkest shade of Coyote Brown. They are more of "Brown." Forget the Proud CIRAS Coyote. That is what I call "Chocolate Brown". To each his own. Not bashing on the Proud.
Another plus is that the PALS webbing color matches the vest's fabric. The vest doesn't look cheap because of that. Most do. Quickly glancing at the fabric, I'd say it was Cordura 1000 Denier.
So, what's not so good about the Phantom CIRAS? The inner mesh fabric is lighter in color than the real counterpart. It's light tan. The Eagle is tan. Just letting you know, some folks pay attention to detail. Real vest is $475 USD brand new. I believe HK stores are now selling Phantoms as stand alone vests for about a $100USD. Don't quote me on the price, I'm just relying on my memory from last week.
I don't own one yet. I just wanted to give my opinion. It's definitely worth the price. Perfect for the average milsimmer. Hardcore gearwhores need not read my review. You know the deal. Those mid lever gear whores would probably buy the Proud separately, then buy real brand name MOLLE pouches.
Jeesh, editing already:
The wires on the shoulder stuck out because of the adjustment/ settings of the shoulder straps. Adjust them tightly, then the wires would be gone. Your head will be in for a tight squeeze though. My head is small, still, but my ears stick out like Ernie from Sesame Street.
Doh, first post here. Brief Intro. I'm playing airsoft since 2003. Sold my sould to the airsoft devil. I got loads of pics of my M4, M4 CQBR, SPR Mk12 Mod zero, homemade prorno, I meant homemade M4 Shrike, M9 Dolphin, etc posted in the galleries, and I never contributed to the forums. LOL.
Nice review everyone, especially Shinjit! That is the Shinjit man!