About 2 months ago I was introduced to a retailer called Sniper Airsoft Supply based in Germany and I was posed a very unique question “What would you like to review?” now this is quite a rare opportunity as 99% of the time I review what is asked of me not the other way round. Sniper has a very good reputation for stocking some of the Tier 1 tactical manufactures you would expect and then some! Going through the product lists of what was available and what was coming in I came across a name I had not heard of ‘MARZ Tactical Gear’ from the USA. I asked about the Plate Carrier and the next thing I knew I had a medium sized carrier, pouches and whole lot of options in a very nice package.
Now due to what they kindly provided to me, for me to carry out this review I will endeavour to cover off as much as possible, however I will say that although pictured I never used the tourniquet or radio pouch on any of my setups. But I hope that will not discourage you from reading further?
The Plate Carrier itself is a very well designed and finished product with a number of quite surprising attributes.
1) You have three different sized PC’s ranging from ‘medium, large and extra-large’ with smaller plates (easily being accommodated in the medium sized PC) secured by internal straps.
2) Very comforting shoulder straps, yep, they come with this PC so no need for an extra purchase. These are incredibly comfortable, distributed the weight, were quick to adjust and easily supported any weight I added in the set ups including that of my M4 Style rifle utilising a TUC Clip (pictured elsewhere).
3) It comes with TWO cummerbunds (more on this later).
4) It is constructed out of 1000D and that includes the matching MOLLE straps that run the course of the front & back main PC as well as the external armour cummerbund. The stitching & binding that tie this all together has certainly not been scrimped on either.
The front & back panels are attached via the shoulder straps, which are well padded, easily adjusted and with the use of Velcro provide a non-slip solution once set up. The front & back panel have a very cushioning foam padding which certainly goes a long way to improving the users comfort level especially when wearing lightweight garments. As you can see it also includes a drag handle, sadly no one was available to drag this reviewer through the mud, but having said that now, I am sure plenty will offer hahaha. I have no doubts on its capability purely based on all the other elements I have seen of the level of quality produced by MARZ Tactical. You have two sets of 3×4 Velcro Loop on the front and back panels to affix patches & identification markers made out of industrial strength loop. You also have the regular features of the hydration / communication tabs (Velcro) running left & right.
As I mentioned earlier this Plate Carrier system comes with two cummerbunds as part of the setup, something which I feel is a great selling point compared to other carriers of a similar nature on the market!
1) The primary ‘external armoured carrier’ cummerbund is very similar to the core plate carrier in respect of the 1000d, matching MOLLE, stitching and binding. I also like the ‘pull cords’ making life that little easier when you do have a larger set up. One of the factors I have to take into account is that being a civilian in the UK my requirement for ‘ballistic’ protection is minimal, although I do run training plates (medium SAPI size and weighted to 3.5lbs each) I do not run ‘side armour’ which this cummerbund is designed for. However there was no sagging or issues without running it and it held its form even when I had a variety of pouches set up along both the left & right. It also has a very tough shock cord adjusting system in place that gets quite neatly hidden.
2) The secondary one or the ‘internal’ cummerbund is the complete opposite. It’s made from a cordura / tweave mix and has x2 inserts both left & right to store radios, pyro, magazines etc. Although it does not have the pull cords it does still retain the ‘hidden adjustable’ shock cord system.
The other good thing about this is that you can run them independent or you can combine them together to increase your load capacity. This is a great feature and I could envisage this being quite beneficial to those that are in a more active role. My personal preference after running them both was to just stick with the internal cummerbund due to a more stream lined set up and comfort factor.
As I mentioned I was kindly provided a wide selection of pouches to run with this plate carrier, as if two cummerbunds were not enough win! I will list them out and provide an overview as after a few weeks I was quite comfortable with a particular load out. In no particular order, triple M4 Shingle tall, single M4 shingle tall, admin pouch + chem light slots, double pistol, flash-bang, small utility, tourniquet and radio pouch. Again being a civilian in the UK I do not have access to ‘flashbangs’ but I was able to carry a replica and that seemed fine. All the other pouches performed as I was expecting them too based on every other element of construction and detail that has gone into this plate carrier from MARZ.
The key element I loved about all these pouches was their MOLLE strapping & threading system, it was the easiest & quickest system I have ever used to attach & detach pouches; it was a pleasure not a chore. Once threaded and ‘locked’ in place I had absolutely no movement or detachment either from other pouches or from the plate carrier itself.
I ended up sticking with the Admin pouch both triple & single M4 shingle pouch and small utility pouch.
Once I move towards the final stages of a review on the kit I am running most of the time, not all of the time, I am happy for some friends to try the gear out and get their thoughts. Admittedly the setups are usually for me and that does not change and their exposure to actual use may only be a few hours but it can never hurt. The general consensus by most people exposed to the MARZ Tactical Plate Carrier was very positive both in respect of size, price, features and extras. The padding on the front & rear plate, the comfort of the elasticated cummerbund, the overall attention to detail as well as the pouch threading system for the MOLLE scored highly with people.
All I would say is that with the availability of this carrier in Multicam, Black, Ranger Green and Coyote Brown and with the above extras & features and with the ‘Made in the USA’ giving you that final seal of quality it surely should make the list of anyone looking for a new Plate Carrier and I am surprised we do not hear more about the products from MARZ Tactical Gear.