We received this armor carrier evaluation from a department in Texas that was in the early stages of testing our carrier for patrol use. They have a similar pocket configuration as the sheriff vest on our website.
It was a bit of an adjustment for me, having all that muscle memory of where to reach for what, but I’m getting used to the change. Everyone has been interested and has been checking it out. I’ve only had minor issues, but none of which has to do with the quality of your product or the fit. Both of those are superior! It’s easy to see you’ve got a high quality product and it looks good on me…lol
So far, my only issues have been with the flaps on the mag pouches and maybe the flashlight pouch as well. I’ve been tucking those in to expose the tops of those items for quick access. Also, the handcuff pouch on my gun-side gets in the way of drawing my sidearm, so I’ve contemplated going back to at least one cuff case on my belt. The only way to eliminate this would be to transition to a drop holster, but then we start causing other issues….lol Everything is give and take.
Being able to get EVERYTHING off my belt and onto the vest is an awesome experience and may well be worth dealing with the few issues. One huge plus is the weight, although significant, is perfectly distributed. When I have the vest on, it seems I never have weight bearing down on my shoulders and I don’t feel it on my back or mid-section. It also moves freely (not confining or restrictive at all). I have a hard time figuring out exactly which part of my upper body is carrying that load because after two consecutive 12 hour rotations I have no soreness or anything!
In response to the two issues that were raised in the email:
As an option we make the flashlight and pistol magazines with elastic or kydex retention and open tops. The pocket flap offers protection from the elements and keeps items from becoming lost during a foot pursuit or physical altercation. This is an option that we leave up to the individual, and usually depends on their training and department policy.
As a rule we do not place pockets above the pistol to avoid interfering with the draw of the weapon. The cuffs above the handgun do not normally cause any interference. Some factors to consider when designing your vest are the style holster you use, how far from your body the gun sits, and the ride height of the gun on the belt. If you use the beefier handcuffs than we do not recommend placing the cuffs on the gun side of your vest.
We welcome feedback, or evaluations of our armor carriers. We are always working to improve the function and comfort of our external armor carriers.