I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on this cool rig for some time now – or at least since the TMC version came out. Usually, I’m not one to want the latest and greatest stuff, but the LBT 6094 Slick Plate Carrier is something relatively new on the market as compared to the rest of my gear – Slicks started appearing in photos of US SOF (most notably Navy SEALs and Army SF) around 2010.
So here we go – a photo review of the TMC 6094A Slick Medium Plate Carrier Assault Panel (Multicam), as purchased from EBairsoft.com. Note to self, I buy enough shit from that place – I should ask for a sponsorship in the form of new products being sent to Overhoppers for free… for the scientific purpose of writing reviews, of course.
I have to say that I am very satisfied with my purchase. My reasons are in more writing and photographs after the break.
Putting the Slick on is quite simple – put head through hole in between shoulder straps, affix cummerbund under the front flap… and that’s it. Do note that the shoulder straps are incredibly adjustable to customize the height of the front and rear of the plate carrier, though the elastic cummerbund itself is not adjustable. For those with wider guts like me, you will just have to run the cummerbund to the very limits and may end up with the hook-and-loop/velcro on the cummerbund not entirely on the front loop-portion of the Slick. The elastic cummerbund has proven to be very comfortable thus far.
As per the design of the LBT 6094 (and the Slick carriers the same feature), armor plates can be quickly ditched without removing the entire plate carrier. First, locate this tab:
… and pull downward. Pull hard and the hook-and-loop will disengage. Note that this design means that the height of the plate is actually adjustable – however the plate is only suspended at the bottom by this velcro flap holding it wherever you stick it. And yes – that is a dummy SAPI plate in medium. Yes, TMC’s slick fits SAPI plates. Yes, the medium plate has a ton of room within the plate pocket. Yes, dummy SAPI plates in large do fit.
LBT’s Slick Plate Carrier incorporates built-in storage pouches – though sticking with the Slick design, these pouches are small and flat. The top one is closed via a strip of Cordura with velcro. Inside there are elastic keepers for pens, chem lights, and other small objects. Here’s the chest/admin pouch:
The lower pocket has a full flap with velcro closure. There is female/loop velcro lining the entire pouch – this means that asides from storing patches and other velcro-affixed items, you can actually fold the flap in on itself and store much larger items… like my KSC Sig P226R. (I take no credit for this idea, I’ve seen “DXN” do it on the field before.)
On the back of the Slick, there really isn’t much to see. Note the MOLLE rows at the top of the back, as well as the single row at the bottom of the back. The cut and shoulder strap attachment points are similar to non-Slick LBT 6094 variants, though there is a distinct lack of a drag handle, complete coverage of MOLLE webbing and slot for the rear of the cummerbund to pass through. I’ve placed the Eagle Hydration Carrier next to the Slick to give you an idea of how long the back is, as well as a rough guesstimate of the MOLLE-attached pouches or hydration carriers or backpacks may work well with the Slick. I intend to run my Slick with my Flyye HAWG Pack as my third line; henceforth, the back of my personal Slick will remain, well, “slick.”
I can’t for the life of me figure out what these bits of elastic are for. I swear, I think they aren’t supposed to be sewn shut on the 3 and 9 o’clock sides… that way, I would be able to loop chest rig kidney straps through them and not have that strap ride into a different spot when I’m moving (that being said, I don’t think that I’ll have this problem with a properly adjusted chest rig anyway).
What made the TMC clone even more desirable for me was the included LBT-2586J Assault Panel clone in matching colour. Though the panel wasn’t designed for use with the slick, I’ve been attracted to the Mayflower SWIFT clip style of chest rig attachment to plate carriers after seeing a friend and team mate (I was on a different team than I am now at that time) run it a while ago as part of his SEAL impression. That being said, I didn’t have a clue of what the Quick-Release Assault Panel was until I saw it on Danneskoljd Holding’s blog (click this link for the specific article I read). BAM. Mind blown. Do want. Do want now.
The whole concept of having a chest rig quickly and easily detached from my body without loosing my plates/plate carrier seems like a great idea… if you’re wearing real armor. Since I play Airsoft, this almost doesn’t seem to make sense – however, I do find that most chest rigs tend to get caught on stuff if I try to ditch them in the middle of a mil-sim (during which I cannot remove my eye pro). This feature will allow me to easily remove my chest rig (and all that weight) if I’m performing administrative tasks on the field.
Here’s a close up of one of the female buckles already attached to the Slick Plate Carrier. Note that the T-shaped adaptor (included) that I chose to install (there are two lengths of adaptors) actually results in the buckle remaining horizontal, rather than vertical. This does make me want to find some solution to this, as the twisted adaptor does look a little funny. However, fixing this will likely require a tailor to swap the male buckle on the Assault Panel, or rotate the webbing on the Slick 90 degrees… meh, these are good enough for now. I can still ditch my Assault Panel in a matter of seconds if I want to.
Here you can see the stitching of the rear of the Assault Panel – nice and neat (and not crooked or unevenly spaced). As with the stitching all over this TMC package, it is actually pretty good compared to older TMC and most China-made gear. The cut of the Assault panel actually reminds me of the shape you find on HSGI chest rigs and drop leg rigs.
The Assault Panel features a velcro-lined kangaroo pocket – this is surprisingly wide and deep enough to stuff a ton of mags in there if you so desired (LBT actually includes both a 4-M4 magazine insert and a 3-MK17 magazine insert).
All in all, I am very satisfied with my purchase – I got the functionality and look I was hoping for, and was pleasantly surprised with the much nicer quality on this TMC replica gear than what I have previously experienced from older TMC products. The “medium” fit was to my liking too. This one gets my stamp of approval.