I want a plate carrier!
I know! If you are an airsoft player like me, I can completely understand the need to purchase a plate carrier. They look cool and provide plenty of real estate to attach all your favourite pouches.
I’m sure you know all the high end brands like LBX, Tactical Tailor, Crye and tons more. They are great, but their prices are… well, let’s say they might be a tad too much for airsoft. This is where Viper comes in. As a company, they offer a wide selection of quality products at a very affordable price. Viper Elite Platform costs a fraction of what other companies charge for their products.
The Carrier Itself
The Elite Platform is a plate carrier that allows you to wear medium or large size plates in the front and in the back. It comes with a cummerbund with extra built-in pouches on the sides that can either carry extra side plates or be used for carrying items. The cummerbund itself has plenty of MOLLE webbing which means that apart from adding pouches on the front, you can also put them on your sides. Great for adding extra ammo magazines or attach medic or utility pouches.
The front contains good size Velcro ID panel for your patches. The panel is also MOLLE compatible. Below you will find the main MOLLE panel which is secured by Velcro. Lifting it allows you to undo the cummerbund which is also secured with Velcro. The cummerbund itself is optional. You can completely remove it and wear the plate carrier without it.
The back part is completely covered with MOLLE and Velcro ID panel. Together they allow you to attach backpacks, or any other type of compatible pouches. Viper offers plenty of them, so I’d recommend to go and have a look.
Front and back armour carriers are held together with a QR buckle, so taking it off is very fast.
Shoulder straps are fully customisable. They have built in cord-lock fasteners and as an extra, you get two bungee retainers to manage your extra MOLLE or secure the hydration line for example.
From the inside, you can find padded breathable lining which increases the comfort of the operator and makes sure you get enough ventilation on the body contact areas.
The whole plate carrier is built using Cordura 600D which is more than enough for airsoft use.
Let’s Put This Thing On
The carrier comes in one size only. It does provide plenty of room for adjustment but it is definitely not small. Being a skinny guy as I am, I had to adjust all the buckles to the minimum. And it worked!
With plates installed, 9 full metal GBB magazines in the pouches and a GBB rifle attached, the carrier performed very well. The padded lining makes it very comfortable to wear. Shoulder pads are wide which helps with the weight distribution. In the end, even during prolonged periods of time it felt solid. I like having the plate carrier sticking tight to my body, so for it to be ideal, given my size, I’d need a little bit more adjustment to make it just a few centimetres smaller. Testing it with a size M person made it fit perfectly.
Obviously given that it’s a plate carrier, I would not recommend using it without ones installed. Dummy SAPI plates cost the equivalent of 3 coffees in a coffee shop, so definitely order them for any plate carrier.
The great thing about how the carrier is built is that even a small person is not restricted in the movements in any way. My arms and shoulders had no issues and were not blocked by the front plate.
I definitely enjoyed the extra space for the pouches. Moving from a chest rig was surprisingly exciting. This is due to the fact that the upper part of the front carrier has more MOLLE webbing, which allowed me to place the PTT in a far more reachable place compared to my previous setup.
The Viper Elite Platform is a great product for the price. For around 60GBP (~85USD, ~80EUR) you get the whole carrier with a cummerbund and some extras (like the webbing management clips). It’s full Cordura 600D and it comes in 4 different colours (V-Cam, Green, Coyote and Black) and plenty of webbing. It’s comfortable and adjustable to many sizes. All in all a great investment for people looking to buy a plate carrier and don’t want to break the bank.