Edit 2016: Whoops, totally forgot to hit the “Publish” button on this one. Almost a year later, and I finally found it/remembered to publish it.
Though I haven’t been playing, I still find myself buying stuff for the future event that I will play (go figure).
I’ve been re-evaluating the set up on my MRC APC and purchased a couple new bits of kit for it recently – the most notable of which is an Assault Back Panel Type 1, also from Mayflower Research & Consulting.
Will I use most of its features (as they were designed for)? Probably not. But does it look awesome? It sure does.
The top pouch features double zipper closure with loop Velcro sewn inside it. While this is designed for SOF with NVG in mind, I’m thinking that I can use it in conjunction with hook-and-loop “organizer” pouches or panels. This one is a bit of a proof of concept – a Grey Ghost Gear Slim Organizer with the middle bungee loop modified to fit a larger item. While this make-believe mock-up that I’ve done for the sake of taking photos is probably not going to be something I will ever use at the fields around here (no CQB that involves rooms, low light, hinged doors, nor allows smoke grenades), it is definitely a nice way to have a rear-mounted GP pouch that stays organized.
I cannot reach this pouch easily on my own, and thus future items that get stuffed into here will most likely be things that I will never to have to reach without the help of a buddy. More than likely, I will be purchasing a variety of smaller hook-and-loop organizer pouches to keep smaller items from bouncing around, in lieu of NVG and protective pouch.
Though while it is not accomplished with the most graceful of motions, I can in fact access the lower pouch, as it is secured by a single buckle & primarily attached by hook-and-loop. This is designed as a real-deal blowout pouch – though being that I don’t need the same sort of medical supplies for the make-believe world of airsoft (and I just usually carry a much smaller boo-boo kit on my belt or stuffed into my pant cargo pockets), I’ve decided to use this to carry airsoft supplies since I can access it on my own. I’ve managed to stuff a 2000rd bag of BBs, speedloader, spare LiPo batteries, spare light/laser batteries, and a number of PTW specific parts in there. While I’ve read lamentations about the layout of the blowout pouch for emergency medical applications, it seems to do the trick just fine for my usage – enough so that I figure I could cram enough BBs and LiPos in here to keep a PTW going for a solid day of gameplay.
I do have to say, this pouch is surprisingly big. I even managed to cram the plastic case that Element ships their repro LA5 in there. I might actually find myself buying a dedicated Pelican case for my LiPos at this rate – never before have I actually planned to have this large of a GP pouch in a place that I could access, in which I could carry a number of larger items inside. Edit 2016: This was a great idea – Pelican cases have entirely eased my paranoia of crushing or puncturing my LiPo packs when throwing everything into a duffel bag in the middle of the night before a game.
Note that I do plan to stuff a hydration reservoir in here (pending on a replacement for my missing Source WXP 2L) – while the current place-holder for the sake of photos is a Source Widepack 3L with tube cover. Note that I cannot feasibly use the 3L bladders that I currently own as they are too tall for the sleeve inside the back panel – that being said, I might eventually try one of the slimmer, baffled 3L bladders for use on/in plate carriers and see if that works.
That being said, the incompatibility with more standard 3L reservoirs is no big surprise to me, since Mayflower’s pocket is clearly stated to be designed for up to a 2L bladder.
Edit 2016: The sleeve fits both the Source 2L & a Camelbak Milspec Antidote 3L Short I picked up later.
This sleeve itself is rather unimpressive – no insulation, no zipper closure (while I am entirely used to zippers, the Velcro may or may not work in the end), no dedicated hydro tube routing port(s), simple Velcro hanger inside the sleeve to hold a bladder upright – however, the placement may very well be spot on, as the way it has been stitched will most likely tuck that bladder much closer to the rear plate bag than most. So this being said – until I stuff a full bladder in there, it will be hard to say. Edit 2016: Bladder does in fact stay nice and flat to plate bag, especially when using the previously mentioned Camelbak Milspec Antidote 3L Short (baffled) reservoir.
Edit 2016: I had taken a fairly extensive photo comparison between the MRC Assault Back Panel Type 1 in both Mod1 and Mod2 – there were a number of more minute updates to the design, but the biggest changes that I noticed were the Helium whisper backing (not all that much lighter, but in theory is probably much stronger), lengthening of the hydration pouch/sleeve to accommodate more bladders (possibly up to 3L even) & shortening of the little overhanging flaps of Cordura over the zippers (these no longer get caught up in the zipper mechanism like the Mod1 ones tend to do)… but then the phone I took these photos on died and I haven’t been able to retrieve these photos since.