For airsoft players, the one piece of kit that is always a must have in their gear list is a good tactical vest, preferably, a plate carrier. There are a number of plate carriers available for airsofters and as with any other airsoft products that players can buy, the sky is the limit when it comes to these kits. I have seen a lot of players wearing authentic real deal plate carriers that would cost hundreds of pounds to purchase. Although these vests look the part there are cheaper alternatives that could look as good.
OneTigris is a company based in Shenzhen, China that specialise in manufacturing tactical gears or kits for airsoft. Hana Xu from OneTigris have arranged to send me one of their latest Plate Carriers, the Griffin Air Fast Plate Carrier (AFPC), for me to try.
The Griffin AFPC appears like the standard plate carriers that are out in the market today. The Griffin though is designed for both comfort and usability in the airsoft skirmish field. The item I got uses the multicam pattern and is made of 500D Cordura material. It has removable shoulder pads for added comfort and Velcro loops for holding comms antennas or hydration hoses in place. The shoulder straps are adjustable and can be detached from the front via a buckle. The plastic buckles used appear durable and can handle the weight of the vest. It also features a detachable front panel held in place with a Velcro pad and buckles. The MOLLE webbing is well stitched and strong enough to handle any abuse put into it by installing and uninstalling pouches and other MOLLE attachments.
The waist is adjusted via a cummerbund which attaches to the front and back with Velcro straps. There are hidden pockets on each site of the cummerbund and has MOLLE webbings. The vest has a waist size of 36 to 48 inches so there is lotss of room for all those with dad bods out there.
On the inside, the Griffin features 4 detachable pads that run down on each side of the vest on both the front and back panels. These pads allow air movement between the vest and the user’s body for added breathability.
The Griffin comes with foam plate inserts that are sturdy and keeps the vest in shape. I have inserted the training plates from Travail on my Griffin and the medium size SAPI plates fit in perfectly (please read my Travail Training Plates Review).
The Griffin plate carrier is very comfortable to use even with the added weight of the training plates. The pads underneath do allow air to flow under the vest and they also give the vest a nice snug fit to the body. The cummerbunds allow you to adjust the waist fit perfectly although l had to overlap the Velcro pads on the front to give me a tighter fit that I needed as I do have a slightly smaller waist and normally plays with light weight clothing like a t shirt during the summer months.
The shoulder pads give me huge comfort and support as I normally suffer from shoulder ache by the end of the day. With the shoulder pads, the weight felt like it is more spread evenly on both shoulders rather than on just one spot.
There are Velcro patches on the front and back area for all those tactical patches you want to put on during the game day. The hidden pockets on the cummerbunds are very useful especially if you want to take your keys and mobile phone with your all the time.
The front panel allowed me to attach my mag holders without any issues. But the versatility of this vest doesn’t end there. The front panel is designed so that players can use their existing panels. So simply remove the original one and attach your old panel which is already configured to your own design.
Another important thing that I think is worth mentioning is that the finish of the vest is pretty good as I did not feel any sharp edges sticking out and scratching my skin as I was using the vest. One thing I find very annoying and I’m sure most players also do is when you have sharp edges sticking out and rubbing on you as you move along. My solution to this is to run the flames of a lit lighter on the edges of the kit to try and burn out any sharp material sticking out obviously without setting the whole thing on fire. But with the Griffin, I was quite happy with the finish of the vest.
The Griffin AFPC is a tactical MOLLE plate carrier for airsoft and that’s it. It looks, feels and works like a plate carrier. So what makes it special? Nothing really. But what the Griffin plate carrier has is a very well thought of design with the airsoft player in mind. Features like the inner pads that cools the player down on a warm day by creating an air flow underneath the vest and the cummerbund pockets for the small bits you want to take with you like a mobile phone, or your car keys or even a chocolate bar are all nice touches that will be appreciated.
I know players will say that these features can be found in other similar design plate carriers but you also need to bear in mind the price of this vest. I have seen kits in the field costing hundreds of pounds but sadly not all players have big budgets to get those kits. So it is always good when companies like OneTigris come along and offer good quality and affordable airsoft kits.
Cheap and affordable are very different. Cheap is what I would consider the ones that are poorly made hence they have a low price. Affordable are those that are designed and made of good quality and good standards with very competitive pricing. I would say that the Griffin AFPC is one of those affordable airsoft kits out in the market today.
Not so good bits:
May be a bit loose if you are slim
Velcro pads on cummerbund could have been made a bit bigger to accommodate overlapping
Big thanks to OneTigris for arranging this item to be sent to me.
Credit: Master Chief, Popular Airsoft