They are also sh1t as the material at the base of the mag pouches wears through after a couple of months. If you are looking at personalising your kit before you go, i'd start with that. Bugger to replace when i was in theatre.
Going off my experience. If you are going to be wearing osprey then just get some extra pouches and stick with that and save your money. If needs must, and you will need an assault vest then it lasted me 4 months and by that point it was beyond repair. Saying that though, the supply chain should be good enough now to get you a replacement without a wait. Save your money unless you really want to spunk it up the wall.
I understand that the pouches are a certain type to go on Osprey, and blokes were having to buy their own as the mags wouldn't fit - has that been rectified by the system or should one get a set of pouches?
Yes and no. Mags do fit but 3 only in each pouch. At bastion the indigenous-peoples AKA chogi's are selling their own version of Osprey pouch's which are slightly roomier but cost something daft like $20 each.
If you're a yank pay face value, else haggle them down to $10
On the current Telic what alot of lads are doing is getting rid of all the pouches on osprey. And buying the leg holsters where they fit 6 mags and strap it to their leg, any other bits of extra kit they have usually goes into a daysack!
I've just used the 2 ammo pouches on the osprey and thats all I've needed.
With the issue Osprey pouches I found a few issues. Firstly, Osprey is quite thick. Add to that ammo pouches on the front and the leverage /weigh gave me a bit of back trouble. If you put them on your side the Velcro holding the body armour closed comes undone. One other point; putting the pouches on your front makes it impossible to adopt a decent prone position - a position I found I quite comforting at times.
I tried thigh ammo pouches but they rubbed and were a nightmare when running.
I tried an assault vest, but over the already bulky Osprey I felt like Mr Creosote.
I eventually settled on belt order with the yoke worn under the Osprey. Due to the thickness of the Osprey at the back I found I could still sit in a vehicle relatively OK. The Osprey sat on the belt order, transferring weight to my hips and spreading the load nicely. Also, I could lie down prone; as I said, a useful thing.
Go belt order - it's what god intended Infantry to do.
The issue Desert Vest is balls the material is thin and wears out and you can get stuff out of the pouches without opening them cause the lids don't fit great,
I what i did was stick to the orginal green DPM vest but cut the ammo pouches off the front and got the safety equipment fitters to sew on a PLCE pouch.
so now all my kit won't fall out and is safe, the material is thicker and better and you can get to your ammo better and close it with one hand.
but of course its still a bitch to get over opsey and is green but after a week or so rolling around in the sand that does tend to go.
if you want to see a picture let me know and i'll pop one up.
Be aware troops that there is a new Desert Assault vest just hitting the streets. It will fit over Osprey. It has no pouches permanently fitted but come with 17 pouches of various sizes that mean that you can set your rig up for the expected mission. The criticisms of the last vest, thin material, magazines falling out etc have all bean addressed.
For interest the changes to the old vest were made as a direct result of user feedback which proved to be wrong. Thats the problem with listening to certain types of units who use kit in certain ways.
I have played with the new vest and I think its the best I have seen for a long while. Industry is ramping up production and after the first batch are issued (any day now else they are held back for the next rip) they should be readily available.
One more thing... the Osprey vest is just finishing its redesign to make it more weapon friendly. Also the new vest pouches can be used on the Osprey vest which has a bigger area of Molly webbing tape.