As you may or may not be aware, I am currently invloved with the design of a new battlevest, that I will hope to be able to bring to the market place sometime over the next six months.

I have been asking serving and ex military for feedback on the vests that are available now, and the following points have been raised:-

The vest MUST take the A2 magazine.
The vest must be IRR to above MOD Spec.
It should have the ability to take S10 pouch.

I was also informed by a friend on PSBC that it should have the ability of taking the issue frog / scabbard, and that if possible it should be able to have a place that empty magazines could be placed for storage after and during the firefight.

What I would like if possible, is any other "things" that you would like to see on a battlevest, I won't be able to include them all, but good feedback, will help me to bring a vest onto the market place that I hope will fit into as many different roles as possible?

A pouch to store a maglite torch and pocket knife.
Thanks minime33 we already have that covered, will be very simular to the pouches used on the arktis 1601 Jungle battlevest for maglight and knife pouch.

Another question, if the ammo pouches could be changed from the sr25 (black / green clip) to the issue PLCE ammo pouches clips, would this help you to be able to open close the pouches using one hand?
utility pouches that are actually the same size as plce. I.E actually take mess tins or 58 bottle and cup without spending ten minutes trying to get the damm thing in or having to slash the pouch.

must have velcro fold over on all pouches al a plce is a must.
internal dump pouches as plce and most vests, are good for tams,compasses, gps, and empty mags during section attacks.

sounds good so far any ideas on price and when its due out???
ok erm draw strings on pouches as well as velcro and clips is always good
keeping the sholder area clearish of pouches gun in ur sholder isnt hitting pouches
Just make sure that there arent any large buckles or plastic strap bits in the small of the wearer's back, or for that matter anywhere a NI daysack or bergen is going to turn skin into a bloody pulp. I agree with the points about the utility pouches, bayonet frog and S10 haversack, although with a ressie pouch actually attached to the vest, it will leave no room for anything else.
One thing Id definately like to see - small pouches next to the L and R ammo pouches for grenades (similar to the old ALICE style US ammo pouch). Its not uncommon to patrol with 12 magazines fully bombed up at times, and as a result grenades tend to end up in rather hard to reach places or hung 'nam style from various loops; VERY dangerous and darn inconvenient.
A big gripe I have with the issue vest is that the pouches bounce around like a s.o.b. if you ever run anywhere and have nothing in the dump zipper pouches at the front.
Nice big reinforced grab strap to drag the wearer should they have an unfortunate wound and require casevac
Oh, and a nice conveniently placed loop or D ring to karabiner one's helmet to the vest so that its snug next to the left thigh will also do nicely.
It takes 12-14 weeks from point of design to having the vest(s) in the shops, we won’t be supplying direct, as we believe that it better to support local trade shops in units locations, as such we will be selling direct to Surplus / Outdoors and PRI Type shops, from where you can then purchase.

All vest will be produced in above MOD Spec IRR material, in both British DPM and Desert DPM.

Questions / Points so far:-

PLCE Utility Size pouches – No problems, the aim is for a Utility Pouch to be able to take the issue S2000 Mug and Water bottle.
Velcro “fold over” is happening.
Internal Dump pouches, again this is happening, but with extra D Rings to attach items to.
From feedback from PSBC, we were asked to produce a separate pouch to take empty magazines, this is being looked into, and will be available on some of the vests we produce.
Draw Strings – no problems, with Snow locks as well.
Grenade pouches, this is happening as well!
Grab Strap – Again this is happening.
RRP – Has yet to be set, but will be very close, if not less then other vests on the market at this time!

When the vests, have been produced, we will be advertising in both Soldier and Combat and Survival, and we will also be looking for people to trail the vests on operations, so if anyone is interested then let me know!

Again if anyone would like to help further with design, or would like to become a unit rep for us, then please let me know!

Sizes! I'm a wee f*cker and the PLCE one I've got at the mo is pulled so tight that the back left and right utility pouches actually come round my back a bit, making sitting a bit of a hastle. Ive tried it on with CBA and its still to big then. I understand it has to be a certain size in order to fit all the pouches, so maybe just make sum with less "netting" gubins in the back. Mines all bunched up where its been pulled tight and looks a bit w@nk. Also, on the left shoulder, possible a non-stick / extra grippy area for the rifle but (ala the old style Flak vest or a shooting jacket.) Would make it a lot easyer to pull the rifle into your shoulder, especialy when wearing ECBA.

I like that idea about sizes, do others out there feel that a good adjustable vest would be a good idea? Another thing, Hydration pouch Yes or No? Do you use them, or would you rather that this area was left blank?


How about ammo pouches at the front, that you can replace with pouches for Minimi boxes?

Or if you go with just big pouches for Minimi ammo then you could have an internal divider you can slip in to take SA80 mags without them all going everywhere when just one is taken out.
Just to add to my point. My vest is adjustable, but it only just fits after its been tightened up. I think sizing is key, maiking for more comfortable vests.

Hydration pouch sounds ok. Never realy used a cammel back (its notmally in the top of my bergan/ NI Pack)...but if you don't want to use it then leave it empty.

I don't know if it's been said but the pistol holder is good for those issued with them...but if they'r like me and dont get one then a small internal pocket in there would be good (i.e have 2 dump pouches that are the same as the PLCE ones)

Sufficient pouches will need to be set aside for any new BOWMAN bit's and pieces issued in the future, especially spare batteries - it will need to be future proof (as far as possible).
One of the ideas we have been looking at, is a multi role vest, with a removable panel, that can be swapped for different pouches, depending on the role that you are deployed in. This is already used by the Police Firearms Teams, and we would convert this to a Forces role. This will allow, you the end user to carry different equipment / ammo, depending on your role?

It would also allow you to only have to purchase 1 x vest, and a set of pouches, as your role changes, you just change the pouches, rather then the whole vest, again if you damage the pouches, either we (in warranty) or you (out of warranty) could just remove the damaged pouches and then swap them for new ones?

This we belive would then keep the cost down, and give you the best vest for price available.

How do end users feel about this?
Tango34_UK said:
One of the ideas we have been looking at, is a multi role vest, with a removable panel, that can be swapped for different pouches,
Good idea in theory, BUT you have to be sure that the removable pouches dont remove themselves when it is least wanted. You really have to look closely at how the pouches are to be attached.
Another point that could be looked at is the need for the soldier to be able to carry the bergen/daysack/jet pack/radio while still having access to the pouches and that the shoulder straps are able to rest naturally on the shoulders without slipping off. Maybe a handy attatchment point for the helmet to clip on to when not worn. For commanders, maybe a TAM's / BATCO wallet pouch as access to the chest pockets on the smock might be restricted. A Modular design for which the user can add/remove pouches as and when the task dictates. Folliage attatchement points perhaps?
Grenade pouches - x2 somewhere convienient. At present grenades must be placed in one of the larger pouches on the webbing, often containing orders book etc.

Very small pockets on chest straps for small ear defence and to hold the combi tool from your cleaning kit.

2 Smaller pockets for torch/choc/compass

A pouch that can be realistically used for a radio OR as a normal pouch if not required.

As for these pouches which unfold to become a big 'net' for placing in empty mags - forget it. They waste too much space on the webbing, and empty pouches can be placed in the ready made "battle pouch" of down the front of your smock.

Dont bother with draw strings on the pouches. It's just damn inconvienient. Anything requiring serious waterproofing will be bagged anyway. The pouch is going to get wet whether or not it has a draw string.

Please someone acknowledge that helmets need to be hung from the rear left or right of webbing. They also need to be easily and quickly removed and attached.

Slightly gay but,
How about a smaller pouch for battlefield Nokia?
We all have carried them and having it near to hand might be a good idea.
Might be an idea to have suitable attachments across the back for combinations of 1 ,2, 3 rocket pouches.
One for radio and two others or even a medics side pouch and two others.
Tango 34 hi ,If you need a couple of ideas about making a new vest ,
more pouches etc, you can take a look at the one take a look I made for a friend of mine
and is now a one of my standard vests.
Battle Jerkin '05
Some good ideas here! I am going to get my vest modified soon with things like D rings in the dump pockets, bayonet frog attachment straps, ressie clips and velcro on the ammo pouches!

2 key things on the design that I think should be considered: firstly, make the ammo pouches sturdier with larger overlap on the lid. I find sometimes that with only one or two mags in that they sometimes fall out because the material is too flimsy and you need to keep some slack in the clip so you can do it up quicker.
The second thing is the clips on all of the pockets, not just the ammo ones, need to be changed. I personally think the PLCE clips are very good and I don't know why they are not used on vests. The current ones seem to be purposefully designed to be awkward.

Last thing, small pouch for a silva compass - easy access, keeps it from getting scratched to bits by other kit.

My 2ps worth......
Above all that, decent material, we all know that the inital webtex kit was like, I needs to be robust enough to take a good kicking on ops yet still be easy to wear and not like a flak jacket!!

You have probably thought about the material lots, well I hope you have, from my experience as soon as word gets around that its cr*p material it does not matter how many new fangled gadgets or pouches you have.

Could the dump pouch be detachable, oposite side to ressie pouch, it could just attach with a small and a lock at the end instead of velcro or anything to keep it secure?
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