This is a gear question, but I'm looking for for feedback from geardos and novice players alike. I'm going to be stocking gear at ASCA more actively soon, and I'm wondering if there is any interest in panel-based modular gear. I have a feeling the gut response is "laaaaame", but still I thought I'd consider it.
My interest isn't in making or saving more money, it's just about bringing in what's good for the player. MOLLE is the standard for tactical gear, but the panel based gear might present a more simple but still airsoft-friendly option.
For those not familiar with the panel-based vests, basically in the picture below, the shotshell pouch and triple pistol pouch are fixed on the vest, and the m4 pouch and holster are on panels that cover one entire side of the vest, attached by buttons and velcro (very securely). It allows the user to change the panels very quickly.
MOLLE is on the left, panel based is on the right.
The pros and cons...
Existing standard, almost unlimited options for pouches and pouch arrangement
Many different vest types, supported by a wide variety of gear
Easier to resell individual parts
Somewhat more expensive (about 25% more for the particular loadout pictured, for instance)
Labour intensive to mount/change pouches
Very quick to re-spec your loadout (takes seconds)
Limited options in terms of pouches
Currently only one base type of vest supports it
Buying and selling panels limited to owners of the vest
I think MOLLE is still a clear winner, and I intend to stock quite alot of it, but I wonder if there is room for more noob-friendly gear. Less thinking involved, easy to respec your loadout (switch from an armalite to an AK one round to the next, just swap the panel out). I realize many of us here already have rigs, but think about your friends who might just be starting: would you recommend they give it a try, or go right to MOLLE?