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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this thread is kind of a culmination of a review of a vest I bought a little while back and the training I did tonight while wearing it. So being that I am posting this in the reviews section I will do the review first then the training second.

The Vest:

For years I have depended on tactical tailor for most of my gear needs.

My requirements for the vest was something that was molle compatible, would hold SAPI plates, as well as soft armor, had a place for side SAPI's, and could accommodate other armor accessories such as a groin protector, yoke, arm guards and collar.

Tactical Tailor (TT) came through for me with their Hybrid Enhanced vest.
http://www.tacticaltailor.com/hybridenhancedvest.aspx
I also ordered through TT level IIIA soft armor for the whole set up. I already had front back and side SAPI plates. Cost was a little under 2 G's.

First impressions out of the box: The vest seemed huge, I am a big guy, but this thing was seriously big, or at least seemed so. First thing I had to do was insert all the soft armor into this thing. And again, these soft armor sections seemed huge. No assembly instructions, no care instructions, just a receipt of sale. However TT did include a few front, back, and arm patches free of charge.

Soft Armor: The actual soft armor is made by Protective Products and is certified NIJ IIIA, larger panels are certified for frag protection, and can withstand up to 5.7mm rounds. This is the only company I know that has advertised their product to withstand these rounds and still be level IIIA. The soft Armor has no real care instructions on it, so I have to assume its like all other soft armor I have had experience with.

So after inserting all the soft armor, it was time for the plates. The front and back takes up to Large plates, the side pouches take 6"x9" side plates.

This is when the vest started to come all together. After a few minor adjustments to the waist strap and shoulder straps and the finished project really surprised me. All this extra gear weighed approximately 30lbs. Not to bad to what i am use to carrying. From what I could gather the accessories all mounted to the vest via the molle webbing on the vest. Not my favorite way to attach gear, but it would have to do. I decided to leave the vest the way it was without all the extras for the time being. Allot of velcro on this thing, but it is very good at what it does and it is where it is suppose to be.


The Training:

So tonight was cooler than most and raining, so I thought this was the best time to get an initial test out of my gear. If it aint raining then I aint training, you cant always train in nice weather, cause that's not what the case will be when SHTF.

So first I wanted to see how this thing wore while running, so first was a two mile endurance run. I think it was harder on me than it was the vest personally. Vest was comfortable, didn't rub, good load bearing capability. Only real downfall was that under heavy breathing the vest restricted the expansion of your chest. Not so uncommon with tight heavy vests and armor.

Second I decided the way back was going to be a little fun. I was already saturated because of the heavy rain, so i decided to take a detour through a marsh at the end of my two mile run, I didn't know how deep it was going to get, but thank god I didn't fall into any beaver runs or drop offs. Water only got to about waist height, and I moved through it in the way I was trained in the military when paroling. About two hundred yards of swamp and it was time to move into urban terrain.

Third evolution was moving in urban terrain, while moving along the military crest/horizon I found a good spot to enter the edge of the town. I had to cross a small but deep reservoir before entering the area. Only way to keep from getting into this water was a downed log that i navigated well without slipping off.

The last mile was spent bounding through the area, doing my best to stay concealed. And I did a pretty good job, except I forgot to check my six, and ended up having to locals come up behind me. I just so happen to be using shadows to my advantage, and I think I got away without being noticed. But it was close, and if they did see me they didn't say anything. So lesson re-learned. What this did for me was practiced moving fast between building into shadows. And for a mile, this got my heart pumping.

Got back sheded my gear, and here I set pretty da** sore.

Final word on the vest during this training:

-Really comfortable for a guy my size. I have used quite a few vests in my day, but this was by far the most comfortable for the time it was worn.

-Despite it weight and size it was really easy to move in. Moving up and down was a little rough, high knees and running up a set of bleachers would be out of the question but moving, getting down in the prone, taking a knee, twisting your trunk, pull ups and push ups no problems.

-The groin protector is in like a little pull down concealed compartment, and this is really cool and real easy to get to.

Overall I am glad that I bought this system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am beginning to get mildly annoyed with the vest. There are an odd number of vertical molle loops on the back panels. What this means is that anything I want to attach with an even number of molle straps goes on this thing slightly off center. It drives me crazy not being able to center my gear. I have no idea if this goes the same for both the small/medium vest. Maybe its the Large/X-Large vest.

Never the less, still one of the more comfortable vests I have ever wore.
 
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