Shellback Banshee Plate Carrier

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Shellback Banshee Plate Carrier

Post  Gear Whores Anonymous on Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:28 am

I've been wanting to get my hands on a Banshee carrier for quite some time. Why? It seems to pop up everywhere and for the mere fact is retails for around $150 (I even recall seeing them for a time for $130) and it's Made in the USA. That's a pretty ridiculous price point for a full plate carrier with cummerbund. My curiosity got the better of me so here goes.

Notable features:
-Removable cummerbund
-1000D Cordura
-Made in USA
-Available in Black, Coyote Brown, ATACS, Multicam, Ranger Green
-Interior MOLLE in the cummerbund for side SAPI bags (not included)
-Reinforced drag handle
-Bar tacks at stress points
-Low profile

Product link:
http://shellbacktactical.com/bansheerifleplatecarrier.aspx

Front of the Banshee


For the price you're getting a full vest. Cummerbund, full MOLLE, padded shoulders, full Velcro field, etc.


I like when companies add a full field of Velcro like this. I like having the Velcro real estate without having to add a pouch


The front has an additional compartment in which you can install a low profile "kangaroo" style pouch. The triple I had didn't fit so you may need to find a double. Seems like this part could have been a bit wider to allow for a bigger internal pouch


The quality of the vest is great, straight stitches, clean bar tacks, etc. I did notice though that the color of the webbing is a bit off. Looks like they used Khaki webbing on a Coyote Brown (USMC brown) base. Under different lighting environments the webbing can get very bright. Just personal preference


A lot of companies are dabbling into all kinds of different cummerbund systems. I'm still personally attached to the full cummerbund back from the Eagle EPC and CIRAS days. I like the MOLLE real estate and stability it provides


The Velcro on the front of this vest is SOLID, takes some good force to lift up the flap


At first glance I was wondering what the interior MOLLE was for. Normally side SAPIs would go on an exterior pouch. On the banshee you have the option of putting them on the inside


If you want to run the vest slick the side cummerbunds are removable. You get these straps included (also removable)



The shoulders are padded and the straps are pretty well secured. This also includes the release buckles. I also like the webbing located on the shoulders. Makes for routing cables and other accessory much easier



Rear of the vest is also covered in MOLLE webbing. It also features plenty more Velcro as well


The drag handle is rounded and very nicely reinforced. Note the shoulder areas and the elastic, this is essential if you're going to run a hydration bladder and route it to the front


Banshee inside out. Notice that there is no mesh or extra padding. Makes sense for the price point you have to build accordingly, essentials first. Installing a plate is quite easy and pretty straight forward, pull the tab and slide the plate in. No manual needed.
I will add though that the Banshee is a one size vest. This means there is no S, M, L, XL. For those who don't know, plate carriers come in S-XL which makes the vest built around the size of the plate and not the wearer. There is a misconception that it goes by body size. My Medium standalone plates fit fine but there was some extra space, trouble with universal vests is that there will always be some wiggle


Shellback Tactical by TAG


Make no mistake, the Banshee is a low priced vest but it's feature packed. I could easily see this carrier for $200+. Say what you want about it, it's popular for a reason (price point and a full USA plate carrier). It's definitely not as snazzy as the other plate carriers out there but it's definitely a workhorse. I'm extremely pleased with it and you'd be surprised where some of these are starting to pop up.

I was also told that this carrier is LAPD approved, which may not mean something to you but keep in mind that most departments go off of their benchmark for their own approved line of gear. LAPD has the budget to test and run some of the more fancy gear.

Pros:
-Full plate carrier with cummerbund
-Plethora of colors, Black, Coyote Brown, ATACS, Multicam, Ranger Green
-Removable cummerbund allows to run it with slick sides
-TONS of MOLLE and Velcro real estate
-Price, sub $180
-Made in the USA

Cons:
-Universal sizing isn't always so universal
-Webbing color


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