In airsoft (and primarily the military world) there’s several options and loadouts you can put together to cater for your needs and play style. These can range massively in prices depending on your budget, there are several brands like Viper, 5.11 Tactical, Tasmanian Tiger and Oper8 which each have their own range of fantastic pouches and load bearing equipment.
So let’s start with the most common set up…the plate carrier. Plate carriers come in all shapes and sizes and with many different features. The primary function of the plate carrier is to carry plates to prevent bullets from penetrating your centre mass, but this is airsoft, so, first of all, is to look good and carry what you need. Most plate carriers have 6-8 columns of molle capable of holding (typically) 3-4 spaces for M4 style magazines, 3 spaces for 7.62 magazine pouches and loads of space for MP5 and other 9mm or SMG magazine pouches. Although this may not seem a lot of space, there is often molle and hook & loop space on the top half of the plate carrier for admin panels and other smaller pouches. The important part is to not put too much weight on the top half and make sure your carrier is weighted on the back as well. This space can be utilised with a hydration pouch or drop/dump pouch where you can put your empty magazines. With a well-balanced plate carrier, you can operate easily without too much pressure being put on your back. Below there are several examples of styles of plate carriers and different brands to help choose the right one for you.
Plate Carrier LC
TacTec plate carrier
The next set up you can go for is similar to the plate carrier, but is much lighter weight and holds less gear and that is the chest rig. There are many lighter weight chest rig setups available, some with molle and some already made up with magazine pouches. Chest rigs primarily have space only on the front lower half and the rest is a harness to fit comfortably around your body. Chest rigs are nice and lightweight to run with magazines, dump pouch and utility pouch if needed. As they have all the gear situated on the front it’s very easy to get to in a tight situation. There are a few types and brands of chest rigs listed underneath with all different features.
Special ops chest rig
TacTec chest rig
MKII chest rig
Third on our list is often said to be used for ‘high speed, low drag’ and is a molle belt rig system. These are often accompanied by a yoke or harness too keep it stable, however, the lower profile belt rigs can be run without it. Belt rigs have nearly a full 360-degree space of molle with 2-3 molle loops high. They can fit most magazine pouches, but best to be used with smaller pouches like for pistol magazines or 90-degree magazine pouches. If you carry a small number of magazines and gear then belt rigs are perfect. Have a pistol on one side with magazines and magazines for your rifle on the other side, they are truly dynamic and can ultimately personalised to your style of play. Although most belt rigs are similar there are several differences between brands as shown in the examples below.
VTAC Brokos belt
Warrior belt rig
Drop leg platforms are next and many players have had a love/hate feeling about these. After running them myself they do have a lot of benefits over a traditional setup. You can run a molle platform with mag pouches on one side and either a holster, drop pouch platform or nothing! The less weight the better. Drop leg platforms are better to use in CQB when using a pistol or SMG as a primary to maximise the space you have available, using an MP9, Hi Capa or MP5 won’t take up nearly as much space with magazines as an M4 or G36. Additional to the drop leg platform you can use a normal belt for lightweight gear. Drop leg platforms are very much the same, but the important part is to take the time to adjust it properly and adjust it high up your leg for the best performance out of it.
Last but not least is the Ghillie Suit. These can be tricky to configure with other gear whilst remaining agile and manoeuvrable. Luckily, magazines for most snipers are small and if you have a sidearm it can be slimmed down and out of the way for when you need it. A common and popular way of setting up your loadout is on a belt or drop leg rig to primarily slim down your gear. You can fit a pistol on your belt or on a dropleg platform and spare mags on a similar system. Having this gear means you can freely crawl, run and hide without getting it caught on branches and bushes etc.
These are our selection of the top 5 loadouts for airsoft, some people won’t use any of these and some will combine them all! Sorry that the Adidas tracksuit, mandem rental is not included on the list. We know you all love it. If you have any more loadouts that we missed then leave a comment.
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