Although not ideal I use an 8 Fields plate carrier which cost the total of £28 (without pouches link with pouches). Not because i’m tight but since leaving the military not keen on carrying the crap we used to. Although I never carry anything I don’t need, I strongly believe if you don’t need it don’t take it.
The carrier has a thin all over front and back Molle panel with velcro sides and clips not the usual front pouch lift up velcro securing system.
I just unclip the cumber band slide it off a bit like the modded Osprey I used to have. The back is plain with a large elasticated utility pouch which houses the 48ci HPA tank.
Front chest houses my old Lancers zap badge, 5 magazine pouches which are a mix of 2 Osprey single’s and a triple unknown make.
Rig is comfortable, light and highly manoeuvrable. You can get caught up on spending hundreds on a brand but I recommend a cheap one you don’t mind chopping and changing to get it right then finding exactly what works before splashing out.
In conjunction with the plate carrier I use a FRV Tailoring shooters belt. Having used FRV for years their attention to detail, quality and ability to accommodate any customisation requirements is second to none. They have supported almost every unit in the British Army and I would always go back so check them out below.
When on from left to right 11 o’clock position an issued Osprey pistol mag pouch because I’ve never lost a mag with one, good quality and very cheap being found for a fiver new or used. I carry 2 pistol mags as it’s a secondary with one loaded and one spare and quickly accessible on the belt.
Next is what I call a mini utility pouch by Disciple tactical with an elastic draw string. One hand operated clip so I can get access to ammo, grenade primers and camera batteries quickly.
RHS 5 o’clock position single velcro flap rifle magazine pouch used for an additional mag or radio for the larger fields.
3 o’clock Safari QLS mount which is interchangeable with my other loadout in seconds. Attached is a Blackhawk Omnivore holster which allows over 100 different pistols to be used and locked in place from the Surefire x300 light.
Grenades next from the 3 o’clock position with an issued Osprey smoke grenade pouch as it fits my Dynatex timed grenade perfectly. Used with the pin on a lanyard so I can open, remove, pull pin and throw one handed quickly.
Second grenade 1 o’clock is in a elasticated unknown pouch for very quick access to a Dynatex 6 shot 209, again pin on a lanyard for one handed release.
Like any Infantry man will tell you his belt kit is the extension of him, although I was Formation Reconnaissance I was pretty obsessed with it. It needed to work on and off a multitude of different vehicles.
My belt kit is very similar to the shooters belt and run complete with air, ammo and grenades.
LHS carabiner for gloves on all loadouts saves loosing the Mechanix fast fit gloves. Gloves that offer great feel, protection, a little warmth and quick drying. If you have hand pain from arthritis check out some tips here.
11 o’clock back is 5 M4 mag pouches 4 Osprey pouches, 1 solid pouch all full until primary is loaded leaving an empty pouch always ready for a swift mag change with an empty pouch. The osprey pouches have molle on the outside which is tough and allows me to fix a Novritsch pistol mag pouch and an elasticated grenade pouch.
6 o’clock is an issued MOD MTP utility pouch housing a 48ci HPA fitting perfectly, allowing full movement for aggressive attacking or CQB. Next is one of my old issued Osprey medical pouches complete with scars used for ammo for all offensive weapons.
3 o’clock has the same QLS mount mated to the Blackhawk holster allowing a quick draw. 2 o’clock is the faithful Osprey smoke grenade pouch with lanyard for a hasty posting of the grenade.
I call it headgear which includes everything on my head and don’t shoot without it.
Helmets are just normal to me after wearing them for some many years and I feel naked without one. My helmet weigh in at 80% less than the 1kg mk 7 I was used to and does the same job.
Helmets are much more practical than people think mainly preventing head injuries around buildings, branches of trees, protection from incoming fire and also a secure platform for night vision or recording. My lid is a Nuprol fast helmet nothing special or expensive but its light and breathes well.
With the helmet is eye protection and although I have tried many different types over the years for airsoft I only use Nuprol Mess. These are cheap, fit well, some stick and have no fogging being able to work in all weather conditions.
Together with the goggles I always use a snood with integrated teeth protector supplied and made in the UK by Delta Mike face pro, great face pro at great prices in 13+ colours.
Boots are a bit of an obsession of mine with many boots failing to live up the punishment of multiple tours and extreme environments all over the works. But two have and after many years still in use today.
AKU Pilgrims are by far the best boots I have ever used fitting and feeling like trainers, some say slippers but that’s a bit much. They are expensive but require little maintenance and build like no other with self cleaning soles that work. My go to boot for walking or Airsoft any day can be found used in surplus stores as they are now MOD issue for £40 – £80 condition dependant or New for circa £180.
If the price is an issue the next best is the Altberg Defenders with similar fit and durability of the AKU, but you need to look after it with regular dubbing and polish as it’s leather. Can be found for £30 – 40 nearly new and if you have specific boot requirements the Altberg factory is located in Richmond North Yorkshire and can make a boot exactly to your feet.