Review: Boris3098 custom webbing

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Caecilius, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    As always in the British army, there is a huge debate about whether you should buy non-issue kit or stick with the stuff from the QMs. Whilst this debate is pretty much settled for PPE (issue only) and warm kit (non-issue unless you’re suicidal) it becomes very heated when talking about high-cost bits of kit like webbing. If you do choose to buy custom webbing, there are a number of suppliers who seem popular: Dragon Supplies, Dixie’s corner and Jay-Jays all provide tailored webbing sets at around the £200 mark. One supplier that you won’t often hear about is Boris3098 (of ARRSE fame). He has no website and works by word of mouth alone, but I noticed a number of VERY positive comments about his work on ARRSE and decided to get my webbing from him.

    Boris provides custom MOLLE webbing sets with two main forms: the ‘battle belt’ and the ops vest. The battle belt is not a unique concept, and they can be obtained from a number of suppliers. Basically, it functions like a standard webbing belt except that you MOLLE the pouches directly onto it and it effectively functions as a hippo pad as well. Just attach a yoke and you’re away. The other option he provides is a MOLLE vest that fits over Osprey. The advantage of this is that you can easily get it on or off when mounting or dismounting vehicles. Whilst I like the idea of this and I’m in a role that will involve both mounted and dismounted work, I decided that my RSM would probably have a hernia if he saw me cutting about in an SF-style vest so I decided to go for the battle belt.
    Before I go on to talk about Boris’s kit, it is worth noting that the black bag will now contain a battle belt and under-armour yoke. If you’re happy with issue kit then I’m sure this will function, but I still believe that the stuff provided by Boris is a significant improvement on the issue gear.

    The first step when ordering from Boris is to work out whether you want it in Multicam or the new Vista ATP and then decide which pouches you want. He has pretty much every pouch under the sun, and will custom make anything else that you want. All the pouches are double skinned, have solid clips and will have PALS loops wherever you decide you want them. I ended up ordering a couple of utility pouches, a couple of zipped pouches, a water bottle pouch, a bowman convertible pouch, ammo pouches, a multi tool pouch, a grenade pouch and a rather Gucci PRR pouch. Boris has photos off all his pouches available by email so you know exactly what you’re getting when you discuss your requirements. It is also worth noting that literally all his kit is made to order, so any tiny adjustments you want can be incorporated when he makes the kit.

    The comments on ARRSE that lead me to use Boris were very complementary, so I was concerned that the kit wouldn’t quite match up to my expectations when it arrived. However, I wasn’t at all disappointed by what I received. All of the pouches are of excellent quality: well designed, constructed from good materials, solid stitching and with double layer construction. Comparing them to PLCE or the stuff that comes with Osprey is embarrassing; the issue kit looks poor-quality and rather cheap (which, to be fair, it probably is). I also think that Boris’s kit is significantly better than some of the stuff I’ve seen from the major suppliers. It seems better thought out and with better materials used in the manufacture. All in, my kit came to slightly over £200 all-in. This is actually slightly less than you would pay for lower-quality gear from some other manufacturers.

    The last thing worth mentioning is that the customer-service was incredible throughout. Boris was always on the end of an email and willing to respond to my crazy ideas and sudden changes of mind. I must admit that one of the packages arrived slightly late due to a postal error; hardly Boris’s fault, but the grenade pouch wound up being free! (He didn’t know I was writing the review before it was delivered, so that’s a true representation of his customer service).

    Overall, Boris provides a superb service. His kit and customer-service are top of the range but his prices aren’t. I cannot recommend him highly enough. If you are looking for custom MOLLE webbing or pouches then you can't do better than go to Boris.

    6 mushroom heads out of 5 (maths was never my forte).

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  2. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

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