Very Good, but needs a few improvements
from Georgia United States
22 Jan 2011
First of all, it's BDS. Which means it's comfy, and rugged as **** That's a given.
The problems I have are:
1. The cumberbund in back does not lock into the rear plate pouch. It can move freely, allowing the rear plate pouch to drift or twist out of position and put strain on your back. It needs to have a pals flap on either side in back to allow the cummberbund to be woven into the carrier and locked into place after adjustments are made. I solved the problem with zip ties, but it needs to be an integral feature of the carrier. As a retrofit for guys like me who already bought a carrier, I think that two 2-pals-wide strips that could be woven onto the vest would be a godsend. One strip attaching to the rear plate pouch, the other to the cumberbund, with the same effect of locking it in place.
2. The side plate carriers. Despite what I was told, they are about 3/8" too narrow in circumference to accomodate standard army side plates. I am forced to tuck the plates in behind the pouches and tie them in with 550 cord. Also, the plates sit in a velcro-fastened pouch created by opening the cumberbund. The problem with velcro is that it 'travels' during the natural movement of the body, and loses it's grip when it gets full of dust. I haven't found a way around this yet. Also, the plates ride very high in the armpits, and I lose sensation in my fingers during long missions. The fix I would like to see is a one-piece cumberbund without a flap, and a separate plate pouch that pals' onto the outside of the cumberbund, allowing the wearer to adjust the height of the plate to their preference. It may mean a little extra thickness, and may cause minor issues with side-mounted pouches, but to have the comfort and durability of a BDS carrier, I would consider that a small price to pay. On the pouches themselves, if they were even 1/2" bigger around and maybe 1/2" longer, it would accomodate army pouches perfectly.
3. Every point of adjustment needs to have a way to isolate tension. The cumberbund does not. The shoulders do not. Over time, without a tension bar, the straps loosen, beginning on whichever side of the carrier bears the most weight. Simply feeding it back through the buckle doesn't work, and taping it down only lasts as long as the adhesive in the tape. Tape + a tension bar would solve things pretty much permanently.
4. The cumberbund wings have 1.5" tabs to adjust with. At the top on one side, at the bottom on the other. It's a minor thing, but I would like them better as a looped handle that runs the width of the wing. It seems like that would keep one corner of the velcro from wearing out faster than the other, and would ensure a firmer grip on the wing when adjusting.
That's all I have. Aside from those corrections, the carrier is everything I hoped it would be. BDS, if you're reading this, I volunteer to field-test any and all of the modifications I just listed. You're a great company! Keep up the good work!