Crye JPC & MRB Review

image

Crye MRB (Modular Riggers Belt)

Okay,

I’ve dabbled amateurishly at this for a few publications, and quite frankly not sure what would make me an authority or even have an opinion of any validity …

That said, I’ve spent enough of my hard earned salary on enough gear, and subsequently used and abused it to personally know what works and doesn’t work for me …

image

Let’s rewind a little, and start roughly at the beginning to see how I personally arrived at this juncture …

By now, you all know that this page is off the back of one of my favorite pastimes, no not coffee, Plastic Deth (Airsoft) !!!
As I ventured into this new and exciting world I was immediately bitten, a holdover from a passion for Militaria and History, and faithfully began researching ‘Loadouts’ down to the very last pouch, stitch, boot often seeking that elusive bit real steel kit often at exorbitant prices – only then to joyfully run it out, putting it through its paces and getting it dirty, all the better …

Now, whilst all of this kit being amazingly good, either looking or functionally I started learn, with a degree of authority what works in one AO doesn’t extrapolate to another, even weather or temperate conditions or topography affecting it’s effectiveness …

It was around this time, SF Units at the peak of their powers in the GWOT had started to do something rather spectacularly, and arguably something they had always done – sourcing their own kit, and adapting, customizing or setting their own SOP’s to provide them with optimum functionality, reliability and keeping them in the fight …

Again, I’ll leave that up to the experts to discuss …

Nonetheless, I applied my own personal knowledge to look at solving the issue of having variable kits, and additionally, predominantly finding myself playing events longer in duration yet needing to reduce profile and still keep all the essential requirements to keep me ‘proverbially’ in the fight …

Well, having already selected the JPC as a new Plate Carrier, I was mindful of disrupting it’s low profile yet needed to find away to still carry magazines, ordnance and other related ‘mission’ essential equipment …

I’ll come back to the JPC, but for now I really made a conscious effort to keep pouches off the front and sides – moving 2nd Line kit such as Hydro, IFAK etc to the back plate …

This left me with the conundrum of carrying additional ammo, holstering a secondary weapon, storage of spent magazines …

Well, as you can see my research and investigation led me to arrive at the purchase of Crye’s MRB, initially intrigued with it’s ability integrated seamlessly with their own venerable range of combat pants, it’s low profile and proprietary attachment system via the supplied riggers belt had me intrigued.

It additionally, functionally and aesthetically was in keeping with the design and low profile styling of the JPC – seeing how that too had solved a lot’ve questions regarding bulk – this was on paper the solution and alternative to traditional load bearing on a PC.

Generously rung with MOLLE – there is more than sufficient space to apply pouches as required by the user, as originators of the pattern Multicam it’s Cordura and MOLLE is of an incomparable quality rarely found elsewhere.

It has several means of attaching itself, and Crye even advocate the use of alternative riggers belts if so desired, however, it’s intended original configuration, in use with their pants belt loops is my personal preference.
The supplied, shaped and stiffened riggers belt is initially fed through two loops on the outer belt cover, these are then simply threaded into the belt pant line and tightened and secured. The outer cover is then brought around, and secures itself by the Velcro on both belts mating and securing it place by its outer buckle.

Even when outfitted with the plethora of pouches seen here, it’s slim profile is still evident and the simple yet effective locking system holds is firmly and distributes weight evenly and producing no lower back fatigue seen with regular duty belt loads, I’m sure physiologically Crye have figured out some science here …

Now, I’ve run this over the last few games in both urban and woodland/grassland and even quite unforgiving wasteland and elevation and all over considerable distance in both cold and heat.
Aside from abusing in the natural course of the game it has stood up well, with regards to comfort and security. Staying firmly locked in place.

This has been equipped with a multitude of pouches. The thought process being to cover a wide set of variations whilst keeping the reduced profile brief in mind. Firstly Blue Force Gears (BFG) Ten Speed Pistol Magazine pouch. This is for want of a better phrase a duty or admin load pouch, before any event is begun this my first load for secondary weapon, the remaining magazines being drawn from across the chest on the JPC. The two BFG Helium Whisper Magazine pouches are where from I initially start to reload from upon primary use, durable, lightweight and moreover secure. These magazines once expended are recycled to the HSGI Mag-Net dump pouch – which whilst not as deep as some other options, it’s foldable design and low profile is again befitting of the design brief. Importantly it’s secure.
First Spear Grenade pouches being slightly oversized made them any easy choice, struggling to draw ordnance on the hurry, often by feel rather than sight made them an ideal choice, rugged legit kit and economical too …

image image
The Crye Gun Clip, probably worthy of a review in it’s on right is essentially a combat holster, secure in retention, and allowing a quick draw and feels intuitive to use, only drawback is the slower re holster over conventional models. All of this pretty much is my immediate go to duty gear in game, and this configuration with a little use has built muscle memory to make it all very quick and easy to draw upon.

Initially when pulled from it’s package, compared to other slimline pieces of bar tacked Cordura and Velcro it struggles to justify the price tag, however it’s simplicity in design, functionality and overall effectiveness are unparalleled to anything else I’ve used before.

A great investment, and perhaps until I explore some other options in relation to direct action kit I’m looking at – this is here to stay.

S23

image

Crye JPC (Jumpable Plate Carrier)

So ‘We Jumped The Shark’ last week by reviewing Crye’s Modular Riggers Belt (MRB) – we’ll rewind and look at the Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC).

If you recall, I had loosely been looking at pushing forward plate carrier set ups to reduce profile, weight and even to a degree complexity. Previous incarnations had either been AO specific or performed better in some topographies than others.

Well, having already found not only an overall effective camouflage in Crye’s Multicam, but an enhanced concealment over traditional patterns. It was fairly apparent that Multicam would be the optioned pattern.

I’d been researching a lot’ve products by London Bridge Trading, whose extensive range, whilst all excellent, yet again seemed to be specifically tailored to individual mission specifics.

First Spear, also subject to extensive reading again seem to have several great products, specifically Strandhögg. I felt this was for me personally a step back towards the likes of the CIRAS in it’s size and coverage and possibly would not offer the level of articulation and movement I was seeking.

I even previously ran an Eagle Industries EPC which, whilst a great Plate Carrier retained a lot of bulk and thus felt restrictive to really upping the speed and getting ‘into the fight’ …

Well, this brought me back to the creators of the camouflage that led the revolution, Crye !!!

Initial options, which are still on the table and all potential considerations for future projects included the Crye Cage Plate Carrier (CPC) and the Adaptive Vest System (AVS). I must confess the AVS seemed to straddle unsuccessfully, the middle ground of what I was looking for …

The CPC, again is an amazing piece of kit but seemed to step outside of my own personal brief and whilst streamlined it seemed to over reach in design what I required …

Thus, I arrived at the Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC). It’s minimalist profile, simple snag free design, yet retaining sufficient ‘protective coverage’ put this heads above the competition …

Lightweight, even when fully loaded with magazines, plates and soft armor this struggles to reach over double figures in weight (Lbs).

The two plate panels are initially twinned together by two adjustable Velcro straps, covered by soft Multicam’d Tweave shoulder pads are easily manipulated to get the plates sitting at the right height, and thusly not only providing optimum comfort and utility, but more importantly in the real world coverage of the vital areas of the torso.

The panels are Cordura front facing and on the body facing reverse, a Tweave, again providing a more comfortable aesthetic, and has been meshed at the top top reduce heat and promote air circulation.

Both the front and rear have generous amounts of MOLLE real estate, however apart from the rear being pouched out – I opted to only use the proprietary magazine shingle integral to the vest adding on a double pistol magazine pouch to the weak side.

The front plate has a generous amount of Velcro, also bar tacked so pouches can be threaded through, naturally, I opted to stick a patch on there … a big one !!!

Behind that though, is an interior pocket, with three elasticated loops, which I use to store additional pistol magazines. A great concealed storage idea, easily accessible and reduces profile and snagging of kit.

  
As I mentioned earlier, all of the additional pouches I would traditionally front load a PC with got moved off and down onto the MRB.

Well, this is all secured to together by it’s proprietary stiffened airlite cummerbund, which is initially secured through the rear panels MOLLE and brought around the front and secured via Velcro underneath the fronts magazine pouches.

I additionally added not only the MBITR pouches, which can be used for magazines but the two side plate panels. Obviously in the real world these quite rightly upscale the plate carriers protectiveness forward facing any threat, and an additional complete Airlite side plate set covering the cummerbund completely can procured. However, if circumstances prior to any real world deployment dictated such an upscale in armor I’d be opting to use the CPC. But, it is an option and a well considered thought process that covers such modularity.
  
Such minimalism, yet still offering the relevant level of protection is truly an asset of the JPC, more over over it seamlessly works with under armor shirts or even heavier garments, weather dependent without losing it’s functionality.

It’s proven to carry mission critical equipment, yet given me optimum articulation and movement and specifically allowed me to get low and prone to see best cover either for protection or concealment.

Either in the cold or heat, by aiding cooling or allowing correct use in conjunction with other weather gear it’s proved it’s modularity and firmly made itself at home within my gear collection.

It’s been gotten wet, dirty and dusty and hasn’t been particularly well cared for or taken to anywhere particularly nice, thusly, testament to the quality of construction and materials used it’s still looks like it’s virtually fresh out’ve of the box …

  
A great piece of kit, that effectively met the very unique specifics of my personal brief. Still flexible enough to meet even some of the most demanding circumstances and if you hunt around, new these can be found at very comparative prices indeed.

S23

image

Advertisements

One thought on “Crye JPC & MRB Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s