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OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund Review

OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund Review
by Jason Hills

Plate Carriers have become part of the military’s standard ballistic protection program based on their additional protection against high velocity rifle rounds, starting with the Interceptor Body Armor. Since then there have been a wide variety of commercially available plate carriers made. However, each plate Carrier is designed to carry a standard Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) Ceramic Plate. Designs like the Interceptor or the new MTV that emphasize maximum protection have become standard issue for the military, however they can be considered bulky. So, many commercially available plate carriers have scaled down the size for added mobility. The purpose of this article is to review the OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund and compare it to a different available plate carrier.

Although these plate carrier are designed by different manufacturers, are made from different material, include different features, and represent a range of prices, all share some traits. The fact that each vest includes a cummerbund makes them competing products. The cummerbund’s purpose is two fold. It offers the addition of side armor, smaller side SAPI plates (not necessary for airsoft), to protect the user from shots received at other than direct angles. The cummerbund also gives the user more real estate for carrying additional equipment. That brings us to the most unifying characteristic of these designs, each plate carrier has a PALS/MOLLE webbing grid. For those who are unfamiliar, PALS/MOLLE is a system of webbing that enables the user to mount pouches onto their load bearing equipment or plate carrier for the purpose of this article. These pouches can include radio, utility, magazines, medical equipment, grenades, hydration bladder, and much more specific equipment.

The first plate carrier I got my hands on was the Eagle Plate Carrier with Cummerbund. The Eagle retails for about $200 but can be found online for $160 if you’re lucky. It is constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon insuring a long life span in even the harshest environments. The shoulder straps are adjustable for some variance in height but Eagle does offer several sizes. The shoulders also include d-rings for attaching equipment, quick release buckles, and elastic loops to keep radio wires or hydration tubes in place. The font and back have compartments for SAPI plates that are sealed by means of a heavy duty velcro closure. The back of the vest incorporates an emergency drag handle. The front features a velcro compartment that can be used for administration like carrying maps. The cummerbund is an adjustable one piece design that is removable. It passes through a space in the rear of the carrier and closes under a velco bid in the front.

Last and the primary focus of this article is the OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund. The OE TECH most resembles the Eagle in its form and function but with a few of its own features. Like the Eagle the OE TECH has a removable/adjustable one piece cummerbund that closes under a bib on the front. The “bib” on the OE TECH is larger and is covered by to additional columns of PALS/MOLLE webbing, so you get more room and enough space for an additional magazine pouch. The “bib” also incorporates a compartment similar to the Eagle with a button and velcro closure. The cummerbund itself comes with a pouch on each side for a side SAPI plate like the Eagle. Their design seems to be fuller and more secure. Moving to the back of the vest it has a emergency drag handle similar to the Eagle. Also, from the back the large quick release buckles for the shoulder straps can be seen. The shoulder straps incorporate a form of velcro adjustment. Now I am average sized and I required no adjustment. The OE TECH also comes with shoulder straps, something I find of great use to better distribute the weight of a full rig. I had to purchase shoulder pads separately at a cost of about $15 for my Eagle. I do not know if it is an intended part of the design but the shoulder pads have room for a hydration tube and radio wires to keep them neatly out of the way. One last feature of note is the velcro panel on the front for patches and ID placards. Instead of eliminating the PALS/MOLLE on that portion like I have seen on some designs they choose to sew velcro into the webbing so the user can still mount pouches.

After reviewing these plate carriers I came to what I consider an odd conclusion. Despite the fact that I own a Eagle Plate Carrier and like all the features offered by it. I believe the OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund is the best value for your money. The only weak point for the OE TECH was the material and stitching, 600 Denier Nylon, was of a lower grade then the Eagle with 1000 Denier Nylon. But, the OE TECH is more then enough for airsoft. If you have the money then by all means the Eagle is an excellent choice, but the most bang for the buck is the OE TECH. For an even better value Airsoft GI offers OE TECH Plate Carrier with Cummerbund in a Combat Set that includes two OE TECH Dual M4/M16 Magazine Pouches, OE TECH MOLLE Dump Pouch, OE TECH Hydration Carrier w/ bladder, and OE TECH Utility Pouch.

Product Name: OE TECH
Eagle Industries
Price:
Less
More
Material:
600 Denier Nylon
1000 Denier Dupont Cordura

Adjustable Cummerbund:

Yes
Yes
Adjustable Shoulder
Yes
Yes
Adjustable Waist
Yes
Yes
MOLLE/PALS Webbing:
Yes
Yes
Drag Handle:
Yes
Yes
Shoulder Pads:
Yes
No
Overall Score:
7
6

This article was published on Friday 07 November, 2008.
Current comments: 0
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