Valken Plate Carrier Review

FEATURES:

  • Lightweight design
  • Laser cut MOLLE attachment points
  • Integrated triple M4 magazine Kangaroo pouch
  • Integrated Admin pouch with pistol magazine loops
  • Upper front loop ID panel
  • Dual adjustable side straps
  • Quick adjust hook and loop front straps
  • 3 rear panel side strap mounting points
  • Shoulder loops for hydration tube and audio cables
  • Fits most 10x12 plates/foam
  • Available in Black, Olive or Tan

 


The first word that comes to mind when seeing this tactical vest is ' Lightweight  '. The gear designers at Valken integrated mag pouches, used foam plates, went against the main stream cummerbund, and used laser cut molle panels all in the name of weight reduction for the average airsofter. As an avid cqb arena frequenter, I was ready to put this plate carrier to the test. The ability to move fast and around tight corners can often be impaired by bulky plate carriers in a cqb setting. Most players in this type of environment have switched over to battle belts and H harnesses because of this. But Valken released an alternative with their laser cut plate carrier.

This tactical vest comes in three colors as of 2017: Olive, Black, and Tan. I went with the black one for all my CQB escapades, and have the Olive green one for outdoor adventures. My first impressions of this product was how adjustable it was. Instead of a cummerbund to adjust the waist, it featured three buckles on the side and Velcro shoulder straps. These buckles could tighten to even the smallest airsofter's waist size and are very user friendly, unlike bungee systems that always untie. I see plenty of small kids running around indoor areas with plate carriers that dwarf them in size despite being on the tiniest adjustments! I would highly recommend this plate carrier for anyone under the age of fourteen. Most players who have used this vest have noticed the extra strap after the buckles have been adjusted, but these can be easily tucked away in little loops close to the back of the buckle. This adjustment system allowed for easy mobility when turning unlike common cummerbunds that are stiff enough to reduced turning motions especially when kneeling. These buckles add to this plate carriers weight reduction properties and can clip on to things like book bags for easy transport.

This product fits most 10x12 plates. I had no problem fitting in plastic Emerson plates in them or the new Hydration ice plates that Qore recently came out with. The laser cut panels transfer temperature allowing ice plates to accomplish their cooling job much easier. Valken included foam plates with this product which adds to the weight reduction factor, as well as improves the fit. Hard plates will force players to always have their back straight, although this is great for your posture, it'll be painful until you get use to it. Foam plates on the other hand, conform to your shape, especially if you one of those curvy airsofters.

Another Pro to this vest is the included pouches. It features three pistol pouches on the upper chest, as well as three bungee kangaroo M4 pouches on the front panel. unfortunately, these are not P90 Mag friendly, but are compatible with most p90 mag pouch panels if you want to replace your m4 pouches. If your not familiar with the bungee system, then they can be a little difficult to fit your mags into, but they are very secure. I ran around an indoor field in Rhode island and all around the buildings of the GTI Center in South Carolina and my mags stayed put. These included magazine features helps you get more for your dollar.

 

(<--Picture provided by valken.com)

I tested this product at two different indoor areas, at a local outdoor field, and once at a national milsim event that took place at the GTI Centers in South Carolina. It stayed in one piece every time I fielded it, unlike two of my other JPC type plate carriers, and  it kept all my mags in their assigned seat. Its light weight design is perfect for walking long distances, and for mobility. It's adjustable to every body type, especially smaller or curvy types. It's cheaper then it's competitors currently out on the market, but does not compromise quality. It's small enough to pack in a suit case, or a gun case. I've added this plate carrier to my normal load out and constantly use it for my airsoft experiences. It gets the job done. So pick one up at your nearest Valken Dealer.