There’s not a lot of gear from eastern part of Europe we get to test, and definitely not a lot of rigs that come preconfigured. 365+ changes that as they sent us their hybrid chest rig/plate carrier called Buri. Let’s see what it’s all about!
What is it?
The interesting thing about this piece of equipment is that it can function as a plate carrier, or if a chest rig is more desired, can be transformed into one. The front part stays unaffected, but the built in mounting system allows the operator to drop the back plate carrier and use it as a typical chest rig with the front plate only. Another interesting feature is that it comes with the whole set of pouches. The front panel contains 6 built in bungee pouches for anything between AR and AK magazines. The bungee can be adjusted and I had to make them shorted for my G36 Magpul magazines. It looks like by default it comes configured for longer, AK style mags.
The additional pouches are as follows:
- A double pistol magazine pouch with Velcro flaps that can be taken out
- A radio pouch that can be adjusted for both small and large radios
- A foldable dump pouch
- A nice small to medium size utility pouch
- A full size admin pouch with a built-in pistol magazine pouch and two pockets
The chest rig itself also contains a large built-in admin pocket which makes the external one optional.
Plate Carrier Configuration
As mentioned before, the operator might choose to use both front and back plate carriers, effectively opting for a full plate carrier configuration. This way the rig accepts up to two XL SAPI, ESAPI or XSAPI plates. You have to bear in mind that this means that the whole plate carrier is quite wide and depending on your body size, it might not be the best option, given the weight of potential plates. Additionally, the way that the system attaches to the back plate carrier makes the straps quite hard to manage, as there straps normally used for the chest rig configuration have to be folded and can be quite difficult to manage. You can see that in the photo below.
The back plate carrier gives plenty of space to attach anything you desire, including backpacks, hydration bladder carriers, radio pouches or what have you. In total it’s six rows of MOLLE in eight columns.
Chest Rig Configuration
The second option is to completely ditch the back plate and transform the carrier into a typical chest rig. In our testing this proved to be a better configuration, but more on that later. The straps cross at the back in a standard X fashion. The great thing about the system is that shoulder straps come with extra padding, so both configurations are comfortable. It all comes down into losing weight and picking the best option for the mission.
We’ve been very pleased with the quality of the materials used and the stitching. All the pieces are cut very precisely and the pouches fit very well. Even the bottom of the MOLLE straps on the pouches come with extra pull tabs to ease the reconfiguration. All D-rings and buckles are UTX Duraflex branded which is a plus. Extra steps can be managed with included rubberised loops.
We’ve tried both setups and we’re going to get straight to the point. We’ve found the plate carrier configuration a bit awkward. It has definitely to do with the size of the plates, and this should fit much better on bigger bodies. For us, the extra large size is simply too big. This also included the front chest rig portion, as it limited the movement of our arms while aiming. The included soft dummy plates were helpful as they allowed the front to bend. Having hard plates installed would have been even more uncomfortable.
Having said that, the chest rig configuration was much more comfortable. Clearly the system was designed as a chest rig and the plate carrier functionality was added as an afterthought.
Another issue was the position of the left and right-most magazine pouches. They were difficult to operate and putting a magazine in was nearly impossible without unbuckling the back straps.
They might be better to keep a radio or other things in them. Again, this might have to do with the sizing, and larger persons might find it much more natural.
The rest was great. I particularly liked the included utility pouch which comes with a divider inside and is very sturdy, even when empty. The radio pouch is solid and allows any size of the radio to be kept in it. The dump pouch was easy to use, unfolded nicely and was never in the way. It also feels very strongly built, so carrying even extra cargo in it is not an issue.
The built-in admin pocket is huge and allows the user to put larger maps or notebooks in it. The additional external admin pouch, we felt, was a bit too long and interfered with the open magazine bungee pouches. Making it a tad shorter would resolve the issue.
The Buri is a very versatile solution that can adapt to the needs of the user. The quality is great and the included pouches and accessories are very good. What we’d like to see in future revision is additional sizing options–not everybody is of size XL.
- 2 systems in one
- Included dummy SAPI plates
- Full set of included pouches
- Great quality
- Plate carrier configuration is less comfortable
- Problems with access to the left and rightmost magazines
- The amount of extra strap length that has to be managed when using the plate carrier configuration
€169,95 EUR / ~$189 USD