Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HSS Gear Plate Carrier

I have been using this HSS Gear "Desert Shield" plate carrier for quite a while now. They have this plate carrier in multicam now, but I tested their Desert Shield version in coyote brown. In the display pictures there is no spray paint on it, but when I started putting it to use I broke up the solid coyote with some OD and black spray paint. (**note...the multicam version has some slight differences in design).

For starters, I haven't had the opportunity to test this plate carrier with plates in it. But I've used it in a load carrying capacity. It's very comfortable for load carrying and able to hold SAPI and E-SAPI plates. They are inserted through the bottom and held in with a decent amount of high quality Velcro.

The quality of the materials and stitching is great for such a value priced item. The carrier is made of double layer 1000 Denier nylon. I've used this carrier quite a bit and have had no quality issues. The MOLLE webbing isn't too tight or loose either. All side release buckles are of YKK brand. The velcro is extremely tough and durable too.

Adjusting the size is pretty easy. The shoulders adjust with strong velcro, and the sides adjust in 2 ways. There are side straps that attach via side release buckles (SRBs) and those are adjusted with straps and buckles. The plate carrier also has a cumber bun that can easily be adjusted via MOLLE system.
To put the plate carrier on, I find it's easiest to leave one side closed and open the other side and get into it that way. The only thing that is somewhat difficult is getting the SRBs on the side snapped together yourself. It's just hard to reach. For my personal use, I'd rather just use the cumber bun, which attaches via velcro in the front,and get rid of the side buckles. Although, some people might want to remove the cumber bun in hotter environments and the side buckles allow you to use the carrier in that way.

Also on the back is a 2" drag handle. This is held down onto the vest via velcro. I've had my sling get caught up on this velro before, which in the heat of battle could become detrimental to your health!!!

One item I haven't gotten any use out of is the shooting pad that is made of the same nylon with a rubber coated padding. I can't get it to go on one shoulder or the other and appears to be for crew served machine gun use where you might hold the butt of the machine gun against the center of the chest where the plate is. I just haven't had a use for this.

The shoulder straps have padded sleeves that go over them to help with the added weight of the plates. They also have routing straps on the outer portion for routing your hydration tube through. A nice added touch. Also, the addition of side release buckles help you f=to get the vest off easier and faster if need be.

There is also a decent amount of velcro on the upper chest area, which is designed for the shooting pad, but is great for adding velcro backed
name tapes and patches.

This carrier, as you can see, is a load bearing vest that uses MOLLE webbing. There are 6 rows of webbing on the front and 6 rows on the back. The cumber bun also has 3 rows of webbing as well. On this platform, with the cumber bun you lose a little bit of modular ability due to the fact that the cumber bun runs to the front of the carrier and pouches have to either be on the carrier orthe cumber bun. You can't overlap a pouch from the carrier to the cumber bun or getting in and out of the carrier would be impossible.

Overall I have to say that, for the cost of this item, I've been very impressed. In fact, I've now attached the proper pouches and made this into my SHTF vest. Comfort has been excellent and, once you get in on and properly adjusted, you start to forget it's there. If you're in need of a plate carrier with load carrying capabilities but don't want to pay out the nose for it this HSS gear carrier is a decent choice.

Colors: Coyote, multicam

MSRP: $80.00


stinky634 said...

I have had the same plate carrier fot about a year. It kicks ass and hasnt shown any sign of giving up yet after heavy use.

Jake said...

I's heavy duty for the cost. You'll see it on a lot of airsoft pages, but it's been good to me in real life training.

Chris said...

Where can I find this product? I've been looking all over the place and can't find it in CB.

Jake said...

Something happened to the company since i posted i think there's limited stock...having trouble myself finding it in CB now... used to be able to finnd it easily.

Anonymous said...

Contact Group H3. They can send you a brochure which has some HSS Gear items in it such as this one.

Anonymous said...

THe HSS Gear Site is down. Hasn't been up for awhile. Anyone know who to contact?

Jake said...

I think you're going to have to just google this item now. The company was making changes, but I'm thinking they might be closed now.