Welcome back to our blog and the third part of the PenCott Greenzone gear review series. In the previous parts we gave an introduction into the topic and an overview of the gear and apparel we are going to review in this series. Then we started off with the UF Pro “Boonie Hat” and the Leo Köhler “KSK-Smock”. In this article we are going to have a look at gear from Tactical Tailor. We will talk about advantages and disadvantages give some tips and share our experience from testing.
Tactical Tailor is one of the big players in the tactical nylon industry. The guys from Lakewood, Washington invented and patented the famous MALICE clip and developed great gear like the Modular Assault Vest (MAV). Almost every product of this traditional company was designed and is being produced in the US. A lot of their products are NSN listed, meaning they are officially approved by the Military forces of NATO and many other countries. This means: the guys at Tactical Tailor are 100% professional.
So I was really happy when Tactical Tailor announced that some of their gear will be available in PenCott Greenzone and Badlands. There is also the chance to get some stuff in snowdrift custom made. Most of this gear is part of Tactical Tailors the ”Fight Light” Series meaning made from 500D Cordura material instead of 1000D. This means almost the same durability and fire resistant as 1000D Cordura at a reduced weight.
Now let´s have a look at the stuff. We´ll start with the “Fight Light Platecarrier (FLPC)” by Tactical Tailor.
Price: 335,00 USD (other colors and sizes differ slightly in pricing)
Available SAPI Sizes: M (other colors also available from M-XL)
Weight: 1120g (Size M) / 1370g (Size M with both Side SAPI Pouches)
Other colors (multicam. Atac-s, RG etc.) are available
As we can guess from the name the FLPC is part of the “Fight Light” Series. At first glance the FLPC looks much like any other modern light plate carrier. It has got plate bags for front, side and back armor, modular webbing on the front and back (4 rows/6 slots) and the sides (2 rows/4 slots), a drag handle, loops for cables and hydration, etc. So why talk about it? We´ll have a closer look.
Very soon you will notice the high level of detail: all stitching are perfect. The webbing and even the velcro is printed in PenCott camouflage. Did I write velcro? Well in fact this is not just velcro but a material called “Quiet Loop!”. This innovation from Propel LLC is 50 percent less noisy than normal hook and loop material. It is used on the FLPCs front, back and even the sides of the cummerbund. Optional Side SAPI Carriers can be mounted over the cummerbund. They are fixed with velcro and will stay in position very well. The advantage is the easy modification of the level of protection according to the mission. You can go rather low profile or mount the side plates and have a higher level of protection.
Right when you put the FLPC on try to close the cummerbund, you will be surprised. There is no flap or velcro in the front. Instead the cummerbund can be opened at either side with a fastex buckle at the ten and two o´clock position. These fastex buckles are covered by a velcro flap that features two slots of molle in two rows. The cummerbund is attached to the vest at the backside with MALICE clips that are covered by a flap. The cummerbund has stretch inserts so it can adjust according to the kind of garment the operator is wearing. The pros of this system are easy use of fastex clips and no velcro damaging your combat shirt. The disadvantage is that the fastex-covers tend to tilt over when for example pistol magazine pouches or a radio pouch are attached. Notice the TACO-pouch mounted on the right of the FLPC in the picture standing in front of the Landrover.
Another nice detail of the FLPC is the integrated admin pouch on the top of the front with openings to both sides. But be careful! There is no velcro or button to close this pocket. So do not put anything in this pocket that is not secured with a strap or anything likewise. You will lose it!
The FLPC can be easily adjusted in height with velcro straps on the shoulders. They are covered by very comfortable shoulderpads. They have a mesh-padding just like the cummerbund has. The adjustment of the cummerbund works the same way. Open the covers and adjust it with the velcro. Having the side plate pockets installed though the adjustment of the cummerbund of course takes more time because you have to remove these guys first. A quick release cable is not featured. Instead you can quick release the FLPS with two big fastex buckles located where the shoulder straps are connected to the rear platebag. Here is another small criticism. Some people that wore the FLPC had problems with these buckles tending to push a little to their bladebone.
I did not have problems with this. So how does the FLPC fit? For this review I used my “Mehler Vario System” SK4 plates. The size is 310mm x 250mm x 15mm / 12,2" x 9,84" x 0,59". So they are bigger than a standard SAPI size M and honestly a little too big for the size M FLPC. Inserting them is not easy. The platebags are stretched to their limits. So I strongly recommend using plates the correct size. For me as a person of 172cm and 71 Kg the platecarrier in size M (based on the SAPI plate size!) must be trimmed down to the smallest adjustment possible. Anyone smaller or thinner than me will have problems because the FLPC will not be tight enough. Having found the right adjustment (and maybe adding some custom extra padding to the fastex buckles), it fits me nearly perfect. The two platebags have 5 very comfortable paddings made from molded foam that ensures a very good airflow and prevents the plates from bouncing when I run. I can wear the FLPC for hours and hours. This is really one of the best systems we have seen so far.
Still we have some suggestions for improvement in a next generation of the FLPC. Compared to other PCs we miss an integrated kangaroo pouch for magazines. Also we would like to see an easier option for adjustment of the cummerbund on the back and a solution for the tilting of the fastex covers mentioned above.
Of course without pouches attached the FLPC is only worth half the price. So next time we will have a look at what the guys from Lakewood have tailored for us. Also we will focus on 2nd line apparel. We´ll have a good look at the innovative UF Pro combat shirt and the Molay Gen2 combat pants, a clone of the famous Crye pants. So stay tuned, like and share. We are looking forward to your comments and suggestions. Also if you have any questions fell free to ask. See you next time.
Written by : Philipp Wolfertz