Platatac SMAC Releasable

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Platatac SMAC Releasable

Post  Gear Whores Anonymous on Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:32 pm

Platatac makes everything from uniforms to pouches and when I saw that they were releasing the SMAC it immediately got my attention. I've yet to be disappointed with anything they have so I had high hopes that it would be a fantastic rig. Initial impressions I was thoroughly impressed with their design, especially on the releasable version.

Notable features:
-Releasable
-Accepts soft and hard armor inserts
-Integrated hydration pouch
-Integrated (optional) magazine shingles
-No metal hardware (avoids corrosion)
-Integrated cable routing
-Lightweight 500D Cordura

Product link:
http://www.platatac.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=smac

The SMAC Releasable. The releasable system is pretty genius, more on this later


Quality is top notch. I'm a huge fan of gear companies that spend the extra coin on the matching webbing. Really makes a difference


The front of the carrier there is a internal compartment that will accommodate a triple magazine "kangaroo" shingle. I'm a huge fan of the integrated low profile magazine pouches on any vest






Pretty standard cummerbund access system. Front flap lifts up. There is so much Velcro here that it's sometimes a pain to open




Once on the front flap is secured (not that it needs more) by a tab



Cummerbund is open for a wide variety of inserts. Can also be used to stow mags


Tons of comm ports through the vest. Makes cable management easy!


The shoulder straps are very low profile. They do offer shoulder pads as an optional accessory but I think it should be standard with every SMAC purchase. Also notice the cable / hydration port


Low profile and heavily reinforced drag handle


The back of the vest features an integrated hydration pocket. This is a cool feature but if you so choose not to store a bladder there is significant slack. Also if you add any pouches their might be some excess slack. I think this pocket needs to be made smaller and tighter if not eliminated



Inside of the rig, notice all the breathable mesh


Interior ring for more optional accessories. This I believe is for their buckle cummerbund


I like Platatacs giant tags, if you're proud of your gear why not stamp it with a big logo, I would. MADE IN AUSTRALIA


Behind this panel is what makes this vest work and I warn you is not pretty...


Don't say I didn't warn you. Yes it seems like a total fuster cluck but somehow it works. I think the bulk comes from all the cord locks


Here's a cleaner look


And now on to the releasable system. I have and seen a wide variety of plate carriers and vests and haven't quite seem something like this. No fancy hardware or steel cables here


Basically how it works is that you loop the release cables through the shoulder straps. Once pulled the shoulder straps release. The same happens in the back (where the fuster cluck of wires is). This system actually works quite well and it also threads back through much quicker than traditional steel cabling (mainly because it's external and not internal)



Here is shot by shot how it removes








The releasable system is completely removable as well. So if you'd like to lighten and simplify the rig, you can. One thing I will add to the release system is that the front where the cable is stowed away. I think the cable needs to be lengthened just a bit. Putting the vest on and off and moving around they would slip out. However it would still take a good strong pull to release. At no point was I worried that the cabling would remove itself because of the angle and well physics.

The SMAC is a very viable and competitive option to more popular US made plate carriers. I definitely think big US companies need to keep an eye on Platatac as they've been releasing some very innovative concepts.

Pros:
-Full matching webbing
-Releasable
-Easy to release and re-thread
-Removable release system
-Integrated pocket for magazine shingles
-Comm cable management
-Integrated hydration
-Tons of breathable mesh
-Very well crafted, Made in Australia

Cons:
-Release cable sometimes slips it's stash pocket
-Fuster cluck of cord in the back, definitely can be cleaned up a bit
-Although the integrated hydration is good it also is quite large of a pocket which makes rear pouches droop
-Shoulder pads need to be included in the price, they are an absolute must for any vest

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