Having ran a variety of chest rigs, plate carriers, and vests over the years I am always trying to find that perfect setup. Not long ago I stumbled upon Velocity Systems Mayflower APC (Assault Plate Carrier) and it was love first time I threw it on. The mayflower APC is hands down one of the best vests on the market in terms of value, quality, durability, maneuverability, and options. It is one the lightest PC’s I’ve ever used and also allows me full mobility without any restriction of movement. The Mayflower APC can be had in a variety of camo patterns to include: Black, Ranger Green, Desert Digital Marpat, Multicam, Coyote, as well as the kryptek patterns. If you can’t find an APC in a color you want then you are just too picky. The MSRP on APC’s are $255 but most of the time you can find them from several vendors like SKD tactical, and U.S. Elite Gear for around $220. Let me tell you that even at MSRP you are getting a deal. For the price of the APC and the level of quality you can’t go wrong. The APC is incredibly rugged and very lightweight. Once you put one on, you are sure to fall in love.
As I’ve said before I have tried many different load carrying systems and combinations for the past 9 years and have come to find for me the best thing is a plate carrier/chest rig combo. I like using a combo for several reasons. Firstly, if I ever am going on a long range movement, I am able to drop my plate carrier and just throw on my chest rig so I am lighter and can cover more ground quicker. Should I need to be armored up for a good range session or maybe military guys going into a direct action (DA) mission you are able to add the extra protection.
Basically this combination gives you options where as if you’re a guy, like I used to be, who runs his gear directly of his plate carrier/ballistic vest, then you are stuck with that setup. For my chest rig I elected to try the Haley Strategic D3 chest rig. I had heard good things about it and it is setup to be a minimalist rig which is exactly what I wanted. The D3 chest rig can be had for $175 and is available in black, coyote, multicam, and the four Kryptek patterns. I elected go with a multicam rig as I wanted it to match my Mayflower APC also in multicam. The cool thing about this APC/D3 combo is the fact that you don’t have to wear your chest rig over your plate carrier but rather you can drop the straps on your chest rig and clip it directly onto your APC! This is great for the fact that you don’t have straps that can catch on something or ride up on your neck and choke you. The chest rig integrates to the plate carrier via velocity systems swift clips. These clips attach directly to your plate carrier and make integration with a variety of chest rigs seamless and quick.
Now that I have my chest rig integrated to my plate carrier it’s time to take a look at the Haley D3 chest rig. Keep in mind that this rig is designed as a minimalist rig. The D3 chest rig comes with 4 rifle magazine pouches that can hold either 5.56 M4 mags, 5.45×39 AK mags, or 7.62×39 AK mags. The magazines are retained via bungee tabs which allow for good retention as well as the fact they’re easy to move out of the way for quick access to your ammo. Keep an eye on these bungee retention tabs because they do have a tendency to come undone. Moving on from the rifle pouches you’ll notice that there are two general purpose pouches flanking the rig on each side. These are perfect for storing your miscellaneous mission essential gear like GPS’s, batteries, weapons lube, first aid items… etc. etc… I will say that I would of liked to have seen the GP pouches a little bit bigger but overall they will fit most everything I need. The GP pouches are also spec’d to fit a G-Code incog holster which is great for people like me that like to keep things off my waist if possible. Next up is the stuff-it pouch. The stuff it pouch was designed to expand or contract to fit things like grenades, SSE kits or a variety of other things. I have found that the stuff it pouch will fit a Surefire 60 magazine very nicely as well as two 30 round M4 mags. If you don’t want to use the stuff it pouch then you can cinch it tight and get it out of the way. Lastly the front of the rig has two multi mission pouches. These look like pistol pouches and also feature the same bungee tabs located on the rifle pouches. These MMPS pouches can be used to store either double stacked or single stacked pistol magazines or will mold to fit things like multi-tools or flashlights. Something of interest to note is the fact that the pouches have a magnetic strip at the bottom so if you’re running, say a 1911 magazine, the strip will magnetize to the metal and give you rock solid retention. The back of the chest rig has a Velcro strip which mates nicely to the mayflower assault plate carrier and will give you enough retention of your system if you need to suit up quickly and don’t have time to clip in right away.
Overall guys I am very happy with this setup and have ran this system hard for about 6 months now. The mayflower APC is perfect in my opinion and the D3 chest rig is an awesome minimalist rig that is perfect for my range needs. It is indeed low profile and will not disrupt your shooting position when you are in the prone.
The only hits I have against the D3 rig are that the bungee retention tabs can come loose from time to time if you pull too hard. The GP pouches, in my opinion, could have been made a little bigger but not a huge deal. The rifle pouches are awesome as are the pistol pouches. The D3 rig overall is an excellent rig that is an outstanding rig for me and my need whether it be for range use, a shooting course, zombies or whatever. Look forward to a video review on this setup as well as follow up videos.
– Sean Johnson
Don’t forget to like us on our Facebook Page.