VIPER ELITE Platform plate carrier and accessories
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- Last updated: 19/12/2016
In fairness VIPER have been known in the past for their well-priced tactical gear; their pouches especially have offered great ‘bang for your buck’ They have always traditionally offered a basic plate carrier and chest rig that are perfect for airsoft, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be trusting my life to them!
That has certainly changed this year though as the new range contains some absolute peaches when it comes to thoughtful and innovative design and clever use of materials. The entire range of plate carriers, pouches, and accessories are all tough as old boots 600D Cordura and are very solidly put together. The stitching is neat and well achieved so nothing is going to be falling apart any time soon. The individual components have been assembled with full modularity in mind, and they are also fully MOLLE compatible, so if you just want to add a few pouches to an existing rig then that’s easy to do. All the gear is available in V-CAM, Black, Green and Tan so there’s a lot to go at.
Flagshipping the new line-up is the ELITE Platform with an SRP of £65.95. This is a fully specified plate carrier that offers extensive load carrying capacity and is highly customisable. The EP has removable side panels and fully adjustable shoulder straps which are all made with 15mm foam-lining for comfort even when the Platform is fully loaded-up. It has a ton of MOLLE webbing panels, Velcro ID panels, Quick Release Buckles, and fully adjustable padded shoulder straps. Internally VIPER make good use of their Ventex technology which helps to manage moisture and keep things cool. This really is a cracking bit of kit if you want to load up ‘Direct Action’ style!
The first thing you’re going to be wanting to add to your new carrier is magazine pouches, right? VIPER are still offering their simple Single Mag Pouches of the open top/bungee variety for £12.95 apiece, but they’ve added to these with a great new design. At £16.95 and £19.95 respectively come the Duo Mag Pouch Double and Treble. VIPER have been darn clever here by making pouches that are effectively already ‘stacked’ when you buy them, so the Duo will let you carry four M4 magazines and the Treble lets you carry six! If like me you carry mostly midcaps or realcaps, then these two new additions to the line are a godsend; both new designs enable the user to easily and simply stack magazines on most MOLLE panels. The 600D Cordura enhances smooth operation while magazines are securely held by quick release bungee retainers.
Initially I found the pouches to be very tight, and I really had to heave the magazines out; over time though they have loosened up a little and now offer great retention and smooth extraction. Do work with these pouches before you go to a skirmish as otherwise you may find yourself in a sticky situation when you go for a fast change-out!
The next must-have for me is hydration; I like to carry a three litre hydration bladder so I can really keep my intake up, and this means either carrying something like the VIPER One Day Modular pack or a dedicated carrier. The pack option can be quite bulky when attached to the back of the plate carrier, so if you’re going urban or playing in very thick vegetation then the carrier is a better option. The Modular Hydration Pouch (£14.95) is of a minimal size to allow it to be neatly added to most MOLLE platforms whilst maintaining a low profile. It’s big enough for a three litre bladder (you’ll need to find this separately) and has a MOLLE panel on front, a Velcro ID panel and a simple Velcro release lid; if you want to keep hydrated on the move then this a great, well-priced bit of kit. If you prefer a simple, straightforward waterbottle though, VIPER offer a US-Style version in a 600D pouch, again for £14.95.
There’s a whole series of great utility pouches in the line which will allow you to carry all those little bits and pieces that are so useful on a skirmish day. There are phone pouches, notebook holders, GPS and map wrist pouches, operators pouches, and a special ops pouch; in a nutshell, if you want to carry something then VIPER have a pouch for it! One neat little design that took my eye especially was the ‘V-Pouch’; this versatile little pouch can be used in multiple roles or even everyday use. You can load it up with medical supplies, small electronics and personal belongings. Items can be stored safely and securely within one of its two compartments and loaded to a belt or MOLLE platform, and it costs a miserly £11.95!
Talking of medicals, the last pouch I’m going to cover is the first aid kit. This handheld kit is conveniently sized so it can be attached direct to most MOLLE platforms. Its contents, all the little first aid items for a skirmish day are included and everything is securely retained with a drawcord nylon closure and a Velcro flap making things easily accessible. For £13.95 you get a fully loaded FAK and even a subdued rubber medic’s patch is included. Bargain!
To keep up to date with the new VIPER tactical products as they become available please visit www.viperkit.co.uk. You’ll also be able to find full stockist details there too. You can also follow VIPER TACTICAL via their Facebook and Instagram pages which are regularly updated.
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