I picked this one up a while ago from DS Tactical and forgot to do a write up on it. So without further ado, may I present to you my custom Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier, as I have been running it over the past summer:
- Grey Ghost Minimalist, Coyote
- Eagle Admin Pouch, Khaki
- Flyye Triple M4 Mag Pouch, CB
- Shoulder Pads from repro LBT6094, painted
- Z-Tactical Speaker Mic
- Eagle MBITR Radio Pouch, Khaki
- TMC Canteen Pouch, Khaki (Source 1L)
- Pantac Horizontal Utility Pouch, Multicam
Read on for my simple DIY modifications to the Minimalist, and my ideas on why I put pouches where I put them.
Addition of the China-made 6094 shoulder pads from my now-junked first plate carrier allows for greater load bearing capability – mind you, I’m not carrying a ton of stuff, but it definitely helps to have pads of some sort for a few hours of wearing this carrier at a time. The LBT-style pads also allow for organization of my handset/speaker mic cable & hydration tube – speaking of which, the handset is attached via an elastic loop slipped over the left shoulder strap. I would like to say that the Minimalist does not really have any ideal mounting points for these, nor any loops for routing these; though true to the design concept of being “minimalist,” this was one of the more frustrating aspects of the design. I almost wanted to sew on small elastic loops around the edges of the plate bag like as is featured on the full featured carrier that is now under the Tactical Tailor brand as the Fight Light carrier, but that would have just taken way too much time.
For reference, side straps have elastic sewn into them as per GGG – great for getting a comfortable fit while keeping the load close to my torso. Addition of elastic loops/keepers keeps extra webbing tucked away.
Seeing as how the plate bags ride extremely high, I did a minor modification to the GGG design to allow the plates to ride a little lower: removal of the shoulder straps, unraveling the straps, and repositioning the velcro strips before putting everything back together. No extra material was required as the shoulder strap was actually sewn with extra length already in it. For reference, I pretty much just looked up photos of the Tactical Tailor Fight Light PC and the positioning of the shoulder strap adjustment hook & loop. Pictured below is the way the shoulder straps looked prior to and during the planning phase of this customization:
Lowered everything by about two inches. Much better for my body shape (I’m not a skinny short guy running a lowpro set up as this appears to be built for) and I still have the range of adjustment to tighten up the plate bags to ride higher if I needed to. I didn’t have matching colour thread on hand, and had actually done this as is first, with the intention to just try its load-bearing capability with triple stitching… however, it turned out to hold fully-loaded weight just fine as is.
While looking into purchasing one of these, the price tag was probably one of the biggest points of interest to me – it is very cheap for a US-made carrier. From what I understand, the designer behind Grey Ghost Gear is working with Tactical Tailor for manufacturing and produces some awesome bits of kit. Ever since picking up my GGG padded 2 point sling from DS that looked like a test item, I’ve been keeping an eye on Grey Ghost products. Though I don’t particularly like the design of the pouches, the packs that they produce looked amazing – I still haven’t gotten around to choosing one for myself, but in the meanwhile this carrier will do.
I was looking for a lower profile PC that runs without a cummerbund and features side-release buckles; though my intention for it was not a super minimalist rig, the Minimalist so happened to fit the bill. I used to own a Pantac MBSS carrier, and found that running a PC with no cummerbund and side-release buckles was very advantageous for allowing fast and easy access to anything mounted on the rear panel – the Minimalist allows exactly that.
A plate carrier with 6 or more rows of MOLLE on the front pocket allows for mounting 3 mags there. Though not the latest or greatest in terms of pouch design, I ended up using a left-over Flyye 3×2, velcro lid pouch, as I valued versatility over being super fancy for the role I had in mind of this carrier. As much as I am a huge fan of the HSGI TACO and its adjustability, it can cause some hang ups with a few different types of mags – AK and SCAR-H on the way into the pouch. Using a more basic pouch, this rig can now carry a variety of 5.45, 5.56 and 7.62 sized magazines with ease. Elastic on the pouches allows for a minimal amount of retention for most mags, though fitment can be a little loose for a single Systema PTW magazine – the velcro lid helps a bunch for keeping my mags in place.
Admin pouch on the chest allows easy access to small items such as spare batteries and small tools that wouldn’t otherwise fit in the integrated map pocket. On that note, that pocket is too small and lowpro for anything other than a few sheets of paper. The lack of any flap or zipper closure means that any heavier items will most definitely flop out.
Mounting both radio & hydration on the upper back allows for less flop of the rear plate bag. Utility pouch on the rear is generally not used, though makes for a great spot to stash my Ares 900rd high cap (resembles a Surefire 60rd) – I will eventually switch it to a Coyote pouch to match a little better. However, the Multicam Pantac is the only spare I had on hand that has elastic loops sewn inside the pouch to hold smaller items in place to minimize flopping.