Tactical Tailor Mini MAV, Flyye Chest Rig, and LBX Plate Carrier Review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Tactical Tailor Mini MAV Details
Flyye Chest Rig Details
LBX Plate Carrier Details
When most people are asked to list airsoft retailers who stock high quality tactical gear, Airsplat generally isn't near the top of the list. They haven't really had a history of stocking the best quality gear over the years, however, that is all changing. They've recently started stocking gear from manufacturers like Flyye, LBX, and Tactical Tailor, some of the higher end gear available for the airsoft market. Today, we'll be looking at some of the more budget oriented models from these manufacturers, each priced less than $70. These are three very different rigs with very different layouts, however, we'll take a look at them and do a bit of a comparison about what your $50 or so will buy you from these high end manufacturers.
I ordered these rigs from Airsplat who has these rigs as well as many, many others from these same manufacturers. It seems like they're stocking pretty much their entire product lines at prices either matching or lower than other retailers. The Flyye rig is available HERE, priced at $50-$55, the Tactical Tailor rig is HERE, priced at $46, and lastly, the LBX plate carrier is HERE, priced at $68. They were ordered at two different times, as they LBX and TT rigs hadn't come in stock yet when I ordered the Flyye rig, but they were both shipped out quickly upon getting in stock, arriving a few days later.
Today, we're looking at setups from Flyye, LBX, and Tactical Tailor. Flyye is an overseas company specializing in reproduction gear, made with high end materials, but at an affordable price. LBX is London Bridge Trading's airsoft division, with US cut materials, assembled by a third party company in Peru, strangely enough. Finally, Tactical Tailor is made here in the good ol' US of A, in Tacoma, Washington to be precise. The Flyye rig is a fixed, non-modular setup based on an old Eagle Industries design, while the Tactical Tailor mini-MAV is an extremely compact MOLLE equipped chest rig. It's designed to be concealable and able to be configured for pretty much any weapon platform. Lastly, the LBX is a plate carrier designed to hold 10x12 swimmers cut plates and has three fixed magazine pouches as well as a complete MOLLE back panel. As I said before, these are three very different configurations for different purposes, however, you should be able to get an idea of the quality and design pros and cons in this review.
To put it mildly, I was very impressed with the apparent quality on all three of these setups as soon as I pulled them out of the box. They look and feel extremely well made, and the material used on all three are absolutely comparable to my Eagle Industries rig. None of them came with any really distinct packaging, but then again, they're not exactly going to get damaged during shipping...
Tactical Tailor Mini MAV Details:
The TT Mini MAV is the simplest of these rigs, however, it's also the only one that's really modular and able to be configured with different pouches. It consists entirely of a small 1000D Cordura MOLLE front panel and the straps required to wear it. It really is that simple of a rig. It's available in black, Multicam, OD, and Coyote.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
The MOLLE panel has three rows of MOLLE webbing with the top row having 6 columns, and the lower two rows having 8 columns. It's not a ton of MOLLE space but it's certainly enough to attach 3-4 magazine pouches, depending on the configuration and caliber.
Very simple design
The back of the panel is featureless, no map pouches or anything like that. Like I said, it's a very basic setup.
Back of the MOLLE panel
Made in Tacoma, Washington
The straps can be arranged in an X type pattern or parallel to each other, however, the most comfortable setup is in the X type pattern. The straps aren't terribly wide and are unpadded, but since you won't exactly be throwing a ton of weight on this thing, it's not a huge concern. The point of this rig is to be small and concealable, and it does that very well.
Straps and adjusters
Lots of high quality stitching
High strength buckles
The build quality of the MAV is, to put it mildly, perfect. Seriously, the materials are top notch, the stitching is all reinforced and well done, and the polymer hardware seems to be very strong. Honestly, I doubt you'd be able to break this rig even if you were trying to.
High quality stitch work
More clean stitching
Now, the negative point of this rig is that the $46 purchase price just gets you the MAV itself, no pouches included. You will need to purchase your own pouches before use, which will add to the price. For my use, I'm running a triple-triple AK mag pouch which will let me fit up to 9 AK or AR magazine pouches.
Carrying 6 AK mags in a compact package
MAV in use
It was low profile, until I added some fat mag pouches to it
Flyye Chest Rig Details:
The Flyye rig is a replica of the Eagle Industries Universal Tactical Chest Rig, or UTC. It is constructed out of 1000D Cordura nylon and is available in Khaki, AOR1, or Ranger Green.
Flyye chest rig
It has two double AR mag pouches, two pouches that can hold two more AR mags each or a full sized pistol, and two deep pouches that will hold a magazine, water bottle, or whatever else you can shove in there. At the front of the AR mag pouches, there are four small pouches that will hold some pistol magazines, small flashlights, or other tools. It also has an internal map pouch and a smaller mesh pouch for holding intel, flags, killrags, or other flat objects.
Back of panel
Front AR mag pouches
Pistol magazine or small tool pouches
Large velcro closed map pouch
Smaller mesh map pouch
The shoulder straps are padded, very similar to backpack straps, however, they are quite stiff at first. After some time and use, they should soften up, but in the mean time, they're certainly not uncomfortable, they're just a little stiff.
As mentioned before, the rig is made of 1000D Cordura with very clean stitching and polymer buckles/adjusters. It's fully adjustable for users of most sizes and can be ran either high or low on your chest or belly, depending on if you run a belt rig as well. For me, I tend to run it kind of low as I don't generally run anything on my belt.
Mark of quality
More info on the buckles
Clean, accurate stitching
More clean stitching
This rig is a fantastic option for most rifle platforms due to the forgiving nature of the elastic magazine pouches. You can fit pretty much anything in these pouches including magazines, radios, even pistols or grenades. While the rig may not be modular or customizable, it's able to fit just about everything you'll need in a package that's not too bulky. Right now, the biggest con is that there aren't too many colors or patterns available for this rig.
Chest rig in use
LBX Plate Carrier Details:
The LBX Assault Plate Carrier is, as its name suggests, a carrier for armor plates, specifically 10x12 swimmer's cut units. Now, it has no plates, real or fake included, but it's a solid enough design to be worn without plates installed. It comes in Project Honor camo which is a digital design by LBX, named for the Project Honor charity set up by EA. It meshes well with many tan/brown based patterns, and I'll be wearing mine over Multicam, which seems to blend pretty well.
LBX plate carrier
This plate carrier is available as "slick", without any pouches, or as the "assault" plate carrier, which has three magazine pouches. The pouches are velcro retained and have elastic straps keeping the magazine secure. It seems like they can only fit one AR type mag per pouch, even though it looks like it can fit two. It's just a bit too tight to get two mags in per pouch.
Front of the plate carrier
Just a bit too snug for double mag use
Above the magazine pouches, you'll find a big velcro panel for mounting pouches, flags, and nametapes. It's kind of weird, there's a fabric panel with velcro at the bottom that can cover part of the velcro panel, but not enough to fully cover it. I don't know if its purpose is to cosmetically cover the velcro or what, nothing I can find tells me what it actually does...
Fabric thing lifted up. What this does, I'll never know.
With it down, a nametape can still be installed
Next to the pouches as well as the velcro panel, there are single nylon loops. Again, they are too small to really do much with aside from holding pens, zip ties, or glow sticks, so I'm not sure why they are included, but hey, there they are.
The back of the plate carrier has plenty of MOLLE real estate for attaching pouches, hydration carriers, or whatever else you feel like tucking back there. The MOLLE all appears to be made to spec and I didn't have any problems mounting things to it.
MOLLE back panel
Close up of the MOLLE panel
There are internal compartments for holding armor plates which can be accessed by undoing the velcro at the bottom of the panels. I don't have any armor plates to fit inside, but they appear to be the proper size for 10x12 swimmer's cut plates. You can quickly dump the plates by pulling down on the tabs at the front and back which will undo the velcro keeping your plates in place.
The plate carrier is fully adjustable, both at the velcro shoulder pads and with the elastic pads that wrap around your torso. To put it on, you lift up the front panel and place the velcro wherever it needs to be for your comfort. The shoulder straps are similar, using the polymer adjusters, locked in place with velcro.
Inner adjustment system
Rig all spread out
Quality wise, the LBX seems to be well made and the materials used appear to be strong enough for rough use. The stitching is all top notch, the MOLLE is to spec, and the velcro is strong. There is a tag showing Binter Defense as the Peruvian company that did the stitching on the plate carrier.
Binter Defense tag
Close up of the stitching
I like the overall layout and build quality of the LBX plate carrier, however, I'd like it if the front pouches were MOLLE mounted so I could swap them out. They are hard stitched to the front panel, so you're pretty much stuck with them. The little loops that are all over the place, in addition to the thing on the velcro panel are just strange, but I can see them having some use for small objects. One thing to note is that this is a fairly small plate carrier, so if you're bigger, it'll look kind of wonky on you.
Looks a bit small on my chunky frame
Quite low profile with no plates installed
Overall, I'm happy with what I've seen from these companies so far. The materials used by all three companies are top notch and they are all very well built. Each rig has its own pros and cons, and are clearly designed for different loadouts and setups. If you want a simple, albeit non-modifiable chest rig for pretty much any weapon platform, the Flyye is a fantastic option. If you want to rock plates as well as a few magazines, the LBX plate carrier is the only real option out of these three. Lastly, if you want a lightweight, compact modular setup, the Tactical Tailor will fit your needs perfectly. Like I said, each setup has its own use, but for me, I'll probably be running the MAV for my AK use, and the Flyye and LBX gear for my STANAG equipped guns, depending on the camo that I run.
Many thanks again to Airsplat, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!