This plate carrier has been the basis of all of my load outs since sometime in 2011 so I’ve definitely had the chance to use and abuse it.
Who are Patrol Incident Gear (PIG)?
PIG are an American gear maker that appeared in around 2010 and started off just making a few products like the PIG Plate Carrier and the PIG Chest Rig but have since branched out into slings, gloves, pouches and all kinds of other tactical nylon. Their gloves have become particularly popular amongst the real steal, and therefore airsoft community. Generally their gear is only available through https://www.skdtac.com/ but you can get the gloves and some other bits from UK based retailers, however SKD Tac are an excellent retailer and if a UK dealer doesn’t have what I want, I will go to them everytime.
The PIG Plate Carrier
The pictures really say it all. You’ve the standard front and back plate bags which are fully covered in MOLLE, providing 8 rows by 8 columns of MOLLE loops, with plenty of velcro real estate to add some morale or callsign patches. The Plater Carrier also comes with two kangaroo pouches as shown by the two small tabs on the front of the carrier, and you can buy PIG kangaroo inserts separately which each hold one mag.
When buying the plate carrier from SKD Tac you do have a choice of cummerbunds. You can can either order an elastic cummerbund that has no MOLLE at all, for the slick look, or a cummerbund with MOLLE (when I purchased this there was 2 MOLLE cummerbund options, one that could take soft armour and one that didn’t, shown here is the one which didn’t although that is no longer sold) so that you can attach more gear on your sides. The cummerbund is fully adjustable through the usual pull cord affair that is hidden behind the back plate, nothing special there but it works and should allow it to fit most body sizes.
The shoulder straps are also fully padded, which you will appreciate if you’ve been running and gunning for a long period of time with any kind of weight. They are also fully adjustable by lifting the velcro straps and adjusting as needed. You can also adjust the attachment point of the buckles onto the shoulder strap by moving the G-Hooks. Each shoulder also features elastic to help tidy away any drinking tubes, radio wiring or a sling can be threaded through if you so wish.
For about half the time I’ve had this plate carrier, I was running it without any kind of faux plates and it definitely wasn’t flapping about like a lot of carriers that have not got them in. For about the last year or so I have been running with a faux plate in the front but keeping the back
empty and it has helped stiffen the carrier up a bit but it isn’t a must have althoughit does make it more comfortable to use.
I’ve run this plate carrier fully laden with pouches hanging off of every MOLLE loop available and have, and currently run it in a much slicker configuration with only 2x BFG TenSpeed Double M4 pouches up front and a First Spear Exigent Circumstance Assault Pack on the back to hold water, comms, a helmet if needed and any other bits and pieces I might need for a longer game. The PIG has held up brilliantly to both set ups and does a decent enough job of distributing the weight when fully laden.
Given its age, its only just starting to start to show signs of wear, mainly on the velcro sections on the front and back, where a few bits are starting to fray, but for 3 years of use, I can’t really complain. At $329 (£196) before shipping for just the plate carrier and the cummerbund, the price is definitely steep when you’re not putting your trust and life into the kit doing its job, but I definitely can’t fault its performance from the start and most other genuine gear is going to set you back about the same, if not more in many cases so in perspective of real steel kit, its around the mid price range.
Here’s an overview shot of how I am running it now, and will probably keep it for sometime:
Overall I would give this a:
The only things holding this back is that I would prefer the shoulder adjustment straps not to be just secured by velcro, which whilst this makes adjustment easy, you only really need to do once so doing it on the fly isn’t that crucial and they can occasionally get caught and lift off the velcro. Also for airsoft purposes I do accept that the price is on the high side for something you might use twice a month (that said, I’d buy this plate carrier again without a thought).
The only other thing that might influence you’re decision to buy, is that I haven’t seen many military units picking up this plate carrier for use, with the odd individual within some units seen rocking one, so if you’re going for a specific look, this might not be for you, but otherwise, I’d fully recommend it!