I really like the ability to survive being shot in the chest or back. I like it more than chocolate chip cookies , and boy do I like chocolate chip cookies! Not just any chocolate chip cookies though – they have to be crunchy but not crumbly, soft chips instead of hard… A good chocolate chip cookie is not easy to find. Finding decent armor at a decent price is easy (Self plug: NIJ Rated 0101.06 IV Plates set Check our online store!) but finding a good plate carrier at a reasonable price is hard. Most inexpensive carriers are Airsoft quality and would not hold up to the abuse of regular classes or SHTF running around and belly flopping in the woods. My old plate carrier was stolen awhile back and I finally got around to getting a new plate set to use. So then my carrier search began. My wife still has not raised my allowance yet so I had to keep my costs low. A lot of the carriers that met my standards were simply out of my price range right now (boy, I still miss my PIG Plate Carrier!) so I was resigned to buying a cheaper carrier for now with plans on replacing it with a quality one down the road. I kept coming across the Banshee plate carrier online — A minimalist carrier with a decent MOLLE grid size, comfortable, durable and – hot damn – affordable.
So, I got my grubby little hands on one.
My first impression was that it is solidly made. All the seams are straight, strong, double and triple stitched as needed! The tough 1000 Cordura material is perfect for this carrier. the Banshee plate carrier came in Multicam which blended in with our other Multicam gear properly, being a licensed pattern they tend to work well together. It has heavy duty bar tacking to stand up to abuse Ryan or I could cause. Raise your hand if you’ve ripped PALS webbing right off your gear? I have! Sometimes yanking on equipment or just snagging it on stuff, it has come apart on me.
The drag handle is attached with two massive box stitches and is tough enough that my buddy Jake dragged me across my front lawn just fine with the carrier loaded up. Shockingly to my surprise, because I did not think it could. He grabbed the handle while I was just standing there, pulled me to the ground and with me struggling, yelling and kicking it didn’t tear off remember I am not a little guy.
The Banshee Plate Carrier has two options for side attachment: QD clips or a normal cummerbund. The standard cummerbund is split, with shock
cord holding the pieces together at the rear of the carrier. You get more adjustment out of it, nice added feature. I run the normal cummerbund to carry an IFAK on it, and plans to add side plates once my wife allows it. It actually has PALS webbing on both sides of the cummerbund, which is useful for adding other gear you want to keep closer.
The Banshee Plate Carrier also has ample room at the top for Hook and Loop attachment AKA Velcro. Those hook and loop panels are actually PALS webbing, so you can attach patch swag or gear as you choose. The front has a double pocket held close by very strong Velcro – an inner one for your standard 10×12 plate, while outer flap that covers the front of the cumerbund locking it in place. The rear plate pocket is the same system. The only issue I have with the plate pockets is that they load from the bottom. While this is pretty much standard these days to allow for fast removal of plates , it might get fouled up with dirt and crap and not hold as well. Putting the opening on top would add more strength to the over all carrier along with allows them to streamline the pocket to match Shooter Cut plates (the kinds with the corners cut off). Still, like I said, I do not think the pouches will come open unless you intentionally open them.
The shoulder straps on the Banshee Plate Carrier… OK, here is the thing – they are great in that they cover the QD buckles so you can not see them, but they make it a bit of a pain to disconnect or reconnect the buckles in times of need. They have good padding, but none at the very top, which is bare webbing. So that you kind of need to buy secondary pads to use. They also have PALS webbing, 3 in a row, with the middle one being elastic to hold drinking tubes etc, but only a single row so it is not as useful as I thought it would be unless you attach a single point sling to it. Even still, I can not really ding it much, except for the lack of padding.
The best, and most annoying feature though! The Velcro Kangaroo pouch, this is a wonderful idea to have an easily accessible front pocket that you can store admin stuff in, or a holster, mag pouches or cookies, but it is all velcro inside. So you need to find inserts that work with that. My issue was that I got all happy to use a triple mag shingle inside mine, but then found out Tactical Shellbacks’ triple shingle would not fit, only their 2 mag one would. It took a LOT of looking around but I finally found an insert that would fit: the one from by Highground Gear. It is a REALLY tight fit at first, being that the kangaroo pouch on the Banshee is VERY narrow but it works better as it breaks in. If they made it slightly wider, we would have more options. The only other issue with it though is that it is hard to lift the cummerbund flap when magazines are in the Kangaroo pouch — while not impossible, it is annoying to do. Purchasing the Shellback Tactical Quick Detach cummerbund would resolve this, but the extra expenditure probably won’t be needed for most people.
I went with the triple shingle in the pouch because the Banshee is a very minimalist carrier – there isn’t a lot of extra room for gear. This is exactly what I wanted. It covers just the area of the Plates and that is it; nothing more, nothing less. This does allows me to easily wear my battle belt with my carrier (I like to split up my load), but f you want a lot of real estate to carry 8 mags, an IFAK, 2 TQs, a pouch with your pogey bait, a radio, a hydration carrier, 30 morale patches, a knife, a pistol holster and a dozen chemlights then the Banshee plate carrier is not for you. However, if you like running with the basics then there is enough space for what you need. My current plate load out is:
- Triple AR mag shingle in the pouch
- IFAK on cummerbund
- CAT TQ on cummerbund next to IFAK
- Shears behind IFAK
- 2 RAMP AR mag holders on other side of cummerbund
- 3L Hydration carrier on rear
- Name tapes front and rear (can’t see rear due to hydration carrier, but will eventually add velcro to hydration carrier)
- Grimloc on front to hang my shooting gloves or random minor items if needed.
With all that, I still have enough space left over that I could add more rifle shingles (I won’t) or even a pistol holster W/ triple pistol mag shingle (I won’t) since my triple rifle is inside that kangaroo pouch, which leaves the front wide open. Most likely I will be adding an admin pouch (This one looks promising) and maybe a small knife though.
The Banshee plate carrier is a good buy. Compact and affordable, even with doubts about it’s ability to function in a rough environment, yet after having it for awhile now I really love it. It is absolutely a winner. This carrier is not only LAPD approved but also NOTA tested and recommended. Yeah, it’s good. I have no problems recommending this carrier to anyone, and have decided that I won’t be bothering to look for another carrier for personal use any time soon.
Fit and Finish:
Equipment Real Estate: