Well, when I was in country we had to wear the new IBA with ESAPI plates (the new heavier ones rated for 7.62 API), but i know a lot of guys who like blackhawk plate carriers. TacTaylor is my favorite for just about everything. Their equipment holds up very well.
For the Tactical Taylor i went with a simple rack system with shoulder suspenders, and their standard M16 magazine pouches- BUT, I got those pouches because they will accept 1 M14 magazine, or 2 M4 magazines. You can switch out really easy that way. I had 6 of them, there the ones with the chemlight bands on the outside and velcro straps (you can fold them inside and keep the mags exposed and they wont come out. To add to it I had two of the large all-purpose pouches on the sides. You can put anything in them and configure them for anything- radios, NOD's, misc equipment. You can fold it down and use it as a hang-bag for shotgun shells for raids or to stuff empty magazines in too.
The rack is the best because unlike guys who just strap molle to their IBAs or plate carriers, you can change out configurations quick an easy just by changing racks. I had three, one for patrols, one for MG work and another for sniper work, which I was mostly reponsible for.
Tactical Taylor all the way man, and they back their stuff. No problems with stitching coming loose or anything like that either.
Was issued the IBA first, wasn't to bad. Then got the IOTV with side plates....that thing sucked. Got a SOTECH Falcon Chest rig on it, liked it better.
Got here, was issued a new Army Plate Carrier.....hated it. Not enough room on it to mount the necessary pouches. Plus, the side plates always droop and never stay in the correct positions.
So, I ordered a London Bridge Trading Company 6094B plate carrier. Best purchase I ever made. Fits perfect, stays in place, keeps the plates where they need to be, and is cut with the shooter in mind. I have a side hydration pouch, a triple M-4 mag pouch (6 pmags), my IFAK, double M-9 ammo pouch, chem lights/spare Tourniquet etc on it. It also has built in compartments for IMBTR and M-9, so no need for external radio pouch etc. I'm pretty positive LBT makes M-14 pouches as well, if not there are several other companies out there that do.
I have been wearing an Interceptor vest on duty for four years and I hate it. In some units we just throw either blackhawk tac vests over it or other LBE gear instead of using MOLLE on it(if authorized). No tactical vest should be held closed by velcro. Stupidest idea that the air force has ever had. Course sand and grass makes it completely useless. I purchased a Condor Modular Operator Carrier recently. Extremely comfortable and holds side and front ceramic plates tight. No major movement in them at all. Condor is pretty inexpensive also. The only downside to Condor gear is that they aren't made in America. Right now I have multiple M14/FAL mag pouches from Condor with bungee retention loops for playing around off duty. What I see the most in the air force for M4/M16 MOLLE pouches come from Spec-Ops. Also, all Spec-Ops stuff is lifetime guaranteed. An extemely soldier friendly company.
I am currently wearing a Marz Tactical Gear Plate Carrier in MC with side plates in the cumberbund. Mag pouches using 2 Esstac 762 Triple Wedges/ 4 pistol mag pouches. I'm in a Tier 1 unit so we can wear whatever kit works for us. I assume you are a "professional lead slinger" (I don't mean law enforcement). Look at whether you need a full BALCS cut vest or just a plate carrier. Full sized BALCS cut go with EAGLE or BAE Eclipse. Plate carrier go with SKD's PIG, Eagle, Mayflower, Marz etc. If your in the Big Army you have no options my friend. I have worn Eagle's CIRAS and the Eclipse SF releasable carrier. I prefer the versatility of a plate carrier backed by soft armor while dismounted. More range of motion, and a lot lighter. Now if I'm in a vehcile it is full coverage BALCS cut body armor with throat, groin etc(IEDs etc).
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