A reliable plate carrier is the foundation for an effective Airsoft load out in today's Airsoft world. While some may settle for cross draws and soft-shells for their protection and load-bearing requirements, MOLLE has arguably taken over the genre of harnesses/vests and become the Airsofter's norm. In searching for a quality plate carrier, one has to take several factors into account, primarily function, comfort, aesthetic/realism, and economics. As a conservative spender (being in high school), I purchased the Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier because of its satisfaction of nearly all these criteria, and after running it in a few outdoor and indoor games, I have experienced the following:
Function: The Condor MOPC is neither the lightest nor the heaviest of plate carriers. It does not have the light, down-to-straps feel of a high-speed chest rig but does not bog you down with the weight and area of an assault-harness or extreme load-bearing carrier. It can accommodate for real or dummy SAPI plates in the front, back, and sides, and has padded shoulders that can accept hydration tubes, cords, or kevlar shoulder pads. The molle webbing itself covers the surface area of the vest, and even has velcro surfacing on the upper front and back regions of the vest. There is a pouch that opens on the front of the harness that can allow an internal magazine harness for up to six magazines. The nature of this carrier makes it versatile because it can either become a very ergonomic and light-weight set up, or a decked out 3-day support platform. Ultimately, it is very functional and can be easily tailored to the needs of any player.
Comfort: This plate carrier has a number of features that make it extremely comfortable, if not for a few slight drawbacks. Beginning with the positives: the inside of the vest is mesh material and wicks away sweat: you don't feel like a furnace in a closet running this rig. The shoulders are padded with a rubberized/pleather material that makes even a heavy load very bearable for long periods of time. The cummerbunds are adjustable via a simple mechanism on the carrier's back, ask thus it accommodates a wide variety of user sizes. While the cummerbunds are substantial and can hold their own share of pouches and plates, they do not interfere with arm space and do not become abrasive with frequent contact. They are also removable. On the negative: this plate carrier, although adjustable, is a large-medium at its tightest. Unless you are wearing a shell under it, if you are a medium shirt size, this guy will jostle a little bit on you unless you are willing to draw in the cummerbunds as tight as they go, which leaves little velcro for the front flap to secure onto. Once you figure out your proper strap adjustment and preferred tightness, however, you will find it is easy to tighten things to stay as you want them without much future need for tuning. Ultimately, this vest is very user-friendly and will keep you comfy throughout your operation.
Aesthetics/Realism: This plate carrier is available in a number of colors. Each one corresponds well with various camos (be they MARPAT or ACU/BDU, digital, desert, tri/six color, all that jazz) and their versatility as a base-vest means that just about any style or load out can be applied without looking awkward or off at all. I personally tend to run TRU-spec digital BDU's with a black MOPC. As afore-mentioned, the carrier can take authentic plates and serve as the real-deal should you desire to run around with 10x13 metal shields on your front and back.
Economics: For below seventy dollars, this vest is a bleeping steal! The competing brands such as matrix and lancer tactical cannot offer something as robust, versatile, and comfortable as the MOPC for the same price. There are more expensive brands out there and more reputable names than CONDOR, however for the given price, the positive traits of this MOPC outweigh just about any other vest I've ever run, and as a base vest I cannot recommend any other plate carrier more fervently. If you are in need of a base carrier that will last you and accept your mood swings/changes of load out without fail, this is your model.
Great Base Carrier
Tight/Clean MOLLE webbing
Numerous Other Gimicks
Big (like most carriers)
Would Not Use Drag Handle Too Roughly (again, as with most carriers)
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]