‘Crye Or…Replica?’ – Flash Force Industries CPC (CAGE Plate Carrier) Review

I love Marine Raider (MARSOC/Force Recon) loadouts. I also love the Crye CPC. I am also not made of money… an achievable middle ground needed to be found. Introducing the last piece of my ‘Marine Raider’ Inspired loadout, the Flash Force Industries CPC (CAGE Plate Carrier).

ffi-c-plate-carrier-vest-_-cordura-500d-cb-_-_-m-_-_-limited-_-2I’ve owned a few pieces of FFI’s collection and ever since seeing the CPC Replica they produce, I’ve always been intrigued. The real deal piece of kit, made by the famous Crye Precision, would have cost me around £600-£800 to buy outright and in ‘Coyote Brown’ maybe more. Don’t get me wrong, if I could afford one I’d seriously consider it. A good friend a while back bought one and he justified his expenditure as a ‘Plate Carrier for life’ which I totally agree with (also he real pew pews, so more than justifiable). The Crye CPC is highly sought after by the Milsim community and especially in the real world market, its quality craftsmanship and tried and tested features make it a ‘hard to ignore’ piece of tactical nylon. Being an Airsofter on a meager budget the real piece of kit is not for me but for my Marine Raider impression, I sorely needed one. After multiple video reviews, blog posts and user submitted info on the DEVTSIX forum I decided to take the plunge into FFI’s pocket and see for myself.

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I purchased the CPC from JK Army in China for the healthy price of $288, with shipping worked out at about £230. Unluckily for me, customs had its wicked way and the price went up on arrival. I won’t state how much, as it’s embarrassing, but be aware the same could happen to you… or anyone for that matter. In the package you get to the two plate bags (front and back, the chassis and the shoulder straps. JK or FFI also threw in a large green FFI rubber patch which I thought was a nice touch, probably to keep you happy with the extensive build your about to take on. Assembly is required and if you get stuck you can just YouTube a normal CPC setup video. Boasting 500D Cordura, UTX hardware and sized at a Medium only …lets see what the detail is like.

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As the FFI works in exactly the same way being in pieces I got to closely inspect the assorted parts piece by piece. All the areas you would expect to be under frequent stress are double stitched and neatly lined. The flex material around the outer edges of the plate bags is the same, double stitched and looking pretty secure. On the rear plate bags there is some Crye Back Panel type attachment zips, I haven’t tested yet whether they are Crye compatible but 9/10 reviewers said they are. Also a grab handle sits atop the rear bag with added velcro for those much-needed patches. The front kangaroo pouch has space for 3 STANAG/PMAG/M4 magazines with retention and can accommodate two SCAR H/M14 magazines. At the top, FFI has added the crye style built-in admin pouch with inner elastic retention

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The shoulder straps seem rigid yet flexible enough to take some weight and feel rather comfy when adorned. With two velcro loop attachments for accessories and easy to adjust straps they leave little room for improvement. Hard wearing metal strap brackets are included to give that authentic Crye look.

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The chassis part of the setup works in the same way as the Crye one does. Two wires which will split the rig apart for quick medical access go through the center and are evidently poking out the top. Featuring removable pads on the inner chassis for modular comfort, two uniquely styled cummerbund systems and integrated MBITR/Team Radio/Magazine pouches. At first it can be a little daunting to figure out how to connect it all together but YouTube is your friend, it won’t take long to find a decent video.

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You will need some kind of filler for the plate bags as they are too baggy when empty. I simply used some packing foam and few copies of Airsoft International that had the pages stuck together. Seemingly simple way to fix this issue, I doubt real plates would be a good idea. Sadly therein lies my only let down with this product. The CPC only comes in size Medium, which is the size of the plate bags themselves. Comparing them to a real CPC I borrowed from a friend I’d say they are just a tad bigger but it’s no major issue. You wont be able to find this replica in a size small or large, but a medium is a good size across the board for the majority of Airsofters. If you on the skinny variety, you may have to do some creative mods to get this bad-boy to fit snuggly, i.e. cardboard/foam in the outer cummerbund etc. I did notice one odd thing! the removable pads in the chassis sport the Crye ‘CP’ logo which I assumed Crye wouldn’t appreciate, but assuming they are heavy into the Mil contracts, the probably don’t care.

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So far I’ve only got to use the CPC for about 8 hours so I can’t tell you much more at his point. I can say it was very comfortable and didn’t hinder any ergonomic movement whatsoever. If it were readily available in the UK and little less expensive I’d recommend it to everyone. I’d suggest it’s more for the long-term/committed airsofter who has a taste for realism and a mediocre budget. Failing that FLYYE and Solidfox doe replicas …but you’d have to consult the internet on that one!

Available from: https://shop.jkarmy.com

Overall: A good 8.5/9 out of 10. Has the right bits in the right places, with the right colour and is comfy as hell. Enjoy your week readers.

~  Jomarre Tomlinson (STICKMAN)
~ Jomarre Tomlinson (STICKMAN)

 

 

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