Date of last review
100% of reviewers
Pissin' people off one post at a time
Registered: July 2005
Location: West Point, New York
Review Date: 9/7/09
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: £392.31
| Rating: 10
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Very Comfortable, Extremely Customizable, Easy to fit to any body type, Many color and size options, Looks great, Tons of Real Estate, Quick Ditch Cable, Real deal feel :P , Very Strong Build, no PALS strips ripping off here, Velcro doesn’t wear off, Grea
Expensive as hell…, Makes you look fat, Has a “hoity toity” thing attached to it, Velcro on pillow is annoying, Can get pretty heavy with everything installed, Needs some sort of plate or plate substitute to keep the vest feeling and fitting right, Did I
Eagle Industries CIRAS
You know it and you either love it or you hate it, but one must give some credit where credit is due. The Eagle Industries Combat Integrated Releasable Arnor System or CIRAS is by and large one of the most famous plate carriers on the market. Often a spark in discussions for debate on who uses what version in what color, and that so-and-so vest is better, but I think it’s fair to say that among geardos the CIRAS holds a distinct place in the pantheon of plate carriers… and with good reason!
While the spark for many conversations, words on the vest itself are sparse. Possibly because of the high price, roughly $650.00 USD, the relatively few places the carry the authentic Eagle Industries product, and not mention the seemingly over abundance of much more fairly priced replica’s which among airsofters are perfectly adequate, but what of the genuine article? Expensive yes, I hope to show that while the price tag is worth a very well endowed AEG, the Eagle Industries CIRAS something anyone looking for a taste of the CIRAS wearing world should consider.
Real Steel History
Info From Eagle Industries’ Website:
“The Eagle Industries Combat Integrated Releasable Armor System (CIRASTM) is now the armor carrier of choice for USSOCOM (BALCS-R). The CIRASTM vest incorporates a single release cable (Patent Pending) that makes the assembly process easier than it's predecessors. There are two versions of the Eagle CIRASTM vest, the Maritime (CMS-MAR-CIRASTM) and the Land version (CMS-MC-CIRASTM).
• Heavy-duty, abrasion and water resistant 1000 denier Dupont® Cordura® nylon exterior construction.
• 1” Mil. Spec. webbing cross straps for mounting MOLLE pouches.
• Detachable shoulder pads.
• Internal and external cummerbunds for tight, secure fit.
• Fully adjustable for height and girth.
• Two styles offered, with each style available in 3 sizes.
**Armor not provided**
• Made in the USA
• Lifetime Guarantee”
“CIRAS (Combat Integrated Releasable Armor System) is a modular protective vest designed for US Special Operations Forces by Eagle Industries. The vest features PALS webbing, making it MOLLE compatible, and there are two versions of it: "Land" and "Maritime". The vest consists of front and rear panels where BALCS cut soft armor panels and hard armor plates may be inserted. On the lower part of the front of the vest one can find two releasable buckles for attaching groin protection. As noted it’s covered by PALS webbing on the front, back and the sides which allow the attachments of various pouches. The vest body is constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon and its interior is lined with a heavy duty mesh.
The difference between the “Land” and “Maritime” versions is how it’s secured on the body, the Maritime version comes with internal cummerbund which overlaps across the stomach with Velcro. The two outer flaps attaches to the front “wing" of the vest (also with Velcro). The Land version’s external cummerbund wraps all around and is secured in the front of the body with the single outer flap coming down in the front similar to the side flaps of the Maritime version.”
The CIRAS was developed by the prominent gear company Eagle Industries in response to requests by Special Operations troops and other groups for a more effective, usable armored plate carrier. Models that existed at the time tended to be cumbersome to wear and awkward to don and remove in any degree of hurry. As such the CIRAS or Combat Integrated Releasable Arnor System was designed with various features, notably it’s release feature, double full sized plate carrying capability and soft armor carrying capability, including side panel armor, one of the earliest vests to provide a near 360 degree range of coverage.
Tracing its linage down the line of famous carriers such as the RACK and still popular RAV, the CIRAS is part of the chain of the ever improving body armors and at this point still the vest of preference for many infantry units including those in the Special Operations community including U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. Navy SEALs, and elements of the 10th Mountain Infantry Division to name a few.
Additionally it has started showing up in a few video games; Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter II are two that I’ve caught sight of it in. Why choose this vest? Let’s find out.
First a little background information on me and the CIRAS. I bought a Phantom CIRAS many moons ago (which this review will be in some ways a review of that version as well, by comparison at least) and have used it as my primary go-to vest since acquiring it and has long been the pride of my collection. However, a few years ago I found that despite Phantom having done an absolutely great job as far as quality goes, the vest was starting to wear a bit, and thus I sought a replacement. At first I considered the new, at the time, IBA II in ACU but wanted something a bit nonstandard and the RAV, which I had owned a Paraclete in the past, reared its head again, but then I was presented with the idea of the REAL CIRAS, which I went with. It sounds strange though but shortly after buying it I “raked” it and left it in my closet, choosing to use my Phantom until it was a complete wreck and then switch over. In the past year however I have switched over to using the Eagle and I’m very glad to have done so.
Enough history and jabber though, on to the review, which, I should take a moment to note, is of the Land Type CIRAS in OD Green, which is true of both the Eagle and the Phantom, the only difference between the two being that the Eagle is Medium sized and the Phantom small.
Still having the box, I’ll start from there. The CIRAS comes shipped in a simple cardboard box with Eagle’s logo printed on it. Inside you find the vest, totally broken down and a few pieces of Eagle printed materials including an assembly manual.
Personally I like this method of shipping as it forces the user to become acquainted with the assembly/disassembly and all the parts of the CIRAS. When I got my Phantom it came completely assembled with all the pouches and, as luck would have it, presized in a way that just happened to fit me, thus it took quite awhile for me to ever end up taking it apart and tinkering with it. Coming in pieces makes this seem like less of a scary and daunting task and also allows the user to be sure that the vest fits the best it can.
Assembly takes all of 30 minutes to do the first time and I’ve found that I can do it now in under about 5 minutes as I’ve found ways to make some steps easier. More on that later though.
It’s kinda hard to grade appearance on this vest as it is the original, so there really isn’t anything to compare it up to. That said, I think this vest looks great. The CIRAS has a unique look all of its own. With the padded shoulders, integrated cummerbund, pull tab pillow, and just its overall shape. All give the CIRAS a look that makes some users just fall in love.
I’ll break it down into its basic parts that make this vest look cool.
Let’s start with front and back plate carriers themselves. Much larger than the plate sections on almost any other vest, baring a RAV and the IBA (baring how you grade “front” and “back”), the CIRAS allows, on the basis you get the appropriate size, a full chest coverage that I find to be a great feature.
A word on sizes, I’m 5’10” 185 lb’s with a very broad shouldered build, and I have both the Medium and Small CIRAS and I find the medium size to be the better fitting of the two. A word of advice is that unless you have the body of a 12 year old boy… that’s not obese, go for the medium at the smallest. The small is REALLY small. For the record what the size refers to is the center piece of the front and rear carrier. On the small it’s six pals strips across, the medium is 8 across and so and so forth. Sizing I find no difference between the two, both fit me quite comfortably and ironically at the same size calibration holes. However the front and back plate carrier actually cover my entire chest on the medium CIRAS whereas the small only covers my dead center, but my shoulders and sizes of my chest are exposed. While this is a minor thing to an airsofter, as armor coverage doesn’t mean much, it is something to consider as I think the correct sized CIRAS looks better.
Moving on, another looker on the CIRAS is the design of the shoulders. This is something that really is only shared by the RAV in conceptual design of having nice padded shoulders. The pads are actually removable and can be used to snake a rear mounted camel back through the CIRAS to the front of the user so that tubes don’t get coiled or fall lose and such. Additionally, having padding on the shoulders makes what marginal shoulder pain that could have come from a heavy load almost nonexistent. I’ve done 14 mile ruck marches with the CIRAS on under a full combat load and I can say that this is one of the few systems that seems to keep your shoulders from falling apart, something I can’t say about the LBE, IBA, and the RAV which all, despite the RAV having padded shoulders, start to wear on you after about 5 or 6 miles.
An additional item that gives the CIRAS a unique looks is the famous cummerbund. While I’ll touch on the internal cummerbund in the following section, the external cummerbund gives this vest a very unique look. Many plate carriers are either front and back carriers attached with ties or clips as in the IBA or have no side coverings at all, such as seen in Commando Harnesses made by Blackhawk and others. The cummerbund gives the vest a nice wrap around look as well as adding a vast amount of additional MOLLE strips. Also, to me, the full wrap around cummerbund gives the vest a full armor look. Also owning an authentic Crye Armor Chassis, I can say that this is a look that definitely is imposing, as compared to my commando rig, the CIRAS just looks all that more imposing.
Side view of the external cummerbund
Inside view of the cummerbund
The Eagle Industries Service tag has one thing that I found interesting. Where the NSN number is, there are only X’s. An interesting issue point. It lists how to clean the vest properly and a few other odds and ends.
A final positive point on looks, is somewhat a novelty thing, the armor, when bought in OD Green, has a look with full pouch covering, in my opinion, a slight Halo Spartan look. I’ll give you a second to roll your eyes. Done? Good . Could just be my eyes but see it. Moving on…
What little negative things I can say about looks is one: when all the pouches are one, regardless of what you see, the vest does give the user a serious overweight look, as the vest, no matter how you set it, always rides high, about at the navel level, so it puts all the magazine pouches around your stomach, just perfect for a beer belly look. Second, I’d say that on the land version you get a slight bulge dead center from where the four cummerbund tabs come together. There’s ways to alleviate this but it still looks a little weird and some engineering could have found a way around this I’m sure.
Third and final I personally dislike the fact that the front plate carrier has MOLLE strips on the edges that end up under the external cummerbund. It doesn’t really affect anything but whenever I see them I can’t help but think, “Did Eagle really think you could fit a pouch in there somehow?” The answer is a definite no, not if the vest is being worn properly, and to be honest I just as well have left these little “wings” off as they get in the way if you try to don the vest over your head.
Space between wings
Additionally when the shoulder pads are added on it causes a slight “roll” on the material at the edge of the vest.
Now for a comparison shot between this and the Phantom (now known as Pantac). They look for the most part the same (duh) but there are some subtle and yet integral differences that show the quality of the Eagle over the Phantom. One, the “trim” on the parts of the vest on the Eagle are green but of a darker shade that blends well with the vest and doesn’t stand out all that much. On the Phantom it’s a much lighter shade green and almost gives it a reflective tape look when viewed at night. Additionally the palls strips are also lighter, not as light as the trim, but lighter than the color of the vest, whereas the pals strips on the Eagle are the same color as the vest itself.
Color difference of the Pantac
The final difference of note, and this was bound to come up, is the stitching. The bane of a geardo, stitching on a vest can make or break it in the long run and while the Phantoms are nice, well done double stitching, they do stick out a bit and fray over time. The stitching on the Eagle is doubled, as it should be, but is more subdued into the vest and shouldn’t wear through rubbing over time, or at least not as quickly as on the Phantom. For example the Velcro on the drag handle on the back of the Phantom is coming off due to use, the stitching on the Eagle looks that much hardier though.
Look Grade: 9.5/10
The only thing that keeps me from giving it a perfect score is the fat thing :D . Not that big of a deal but it is something I always get comments on, from both those that know gear and those that don’t. In comparison I’ll say that the Phantom is about an 8, as it is definitely better looking than most of the CIRAS replica’s out there, but it is definitely not comparable to the Eagle.
Of all the vests I own and have worn over the years… and that’s a lot … I still feel that nothing beats a CIRAS. To get it out of the way, the best description I can give is that, when PROPERLY worn and sized, the vest feels like a hug across your torso. This is because of the elastic internal cummerbund which takes most of the weight off the shoulders, which when you’re running, jumping, climbing and such, can start to wear on you after awhile, and spreads it to your chest, giving a much better distribution of weight on your body and hence a much better ride.
It sounds cheesy but in preparation of this review I stripped my CIRAS of its pouches and wore it nonstop for about 24 hours. That included sleeping, eating, and exercising, which gave me the all important “sweat test” and I think I got a fair reading on a full “use” of this vest.
Sizing is the most important thing when one talks about the CIRAS and feel. This is because the vest can easily feel “airy” and like it’s about to fall off if even the adjustment is one rung off. Similarly the user can feel something is very wrong if the rungs are not mounted evenly. When properly sized though, as I said, it feels like a hug against the body. The internal cummerbund, which is vital to wear, despite often times being not installed or simply stuck in the back of the vest, as seen in even Eagle’s own pictures, kinda pushes the vest up on the chest and keeps it right in place on the body. This is important for comfort when moving around a lot as it keeps the vest from bouncing on the body, something my RAV and IBA and all LBE-like equipment does to me, even when tightened as much against me as possible.
The internal cummerbund
Not worn correctly…
Another nice feel item is that the CIRAS has a comfortable mesh inside that allows the vest to breath well. Now no vest, including the CIRAS, won’t make you sweat. The IBA is horrible, it doesn’t breath at all, the RAV is pretty good, the Armor Chassis is good as well, but I find myself much more comfortable wearing the CIRAS in the heat. Additionally, for those that it applies to, when worn under a combat shirt or like top, I found myself not feeling nearly as hot across the chest. In comparison to the Eagle, the Phantom also has this feature and seems to breath just as well with one added bonus, since the mesh used in the Phantom feels a bit cheaper, it’s also a bit softer and feels more physically comfortable.
About the only negative feel thing I can think of is that the edges on the sides of the arm holes and under the neck are very rough, so sleeveless wear is not advisable. With even a short sleeve ACU shirt (as in the tan undershirt), this “problem” ceases.
Comparison pics of the Eagle than the Pantac
On aesthetics, well this vest is a machine in its own right. There is the obvious quick ditch feature, which I will cover in depth in the next section, the ability to dawn in multiple ways, the cummerbund(s) as explained, and various other things.
Going bottom to top, on the land version there is the pull loop for quick ditch on the bottom left hand of the front section of the vest, located in a little pocket on the inside, with Velcro to keep the tab in place.
Moving up there is the tab that when lifted allows you attach the cummerbund tabs. A note on the cummerbund itself, the external one that is. There is some kind of plastic in it which while malleable, keeps the vest’s shape and keeps it set up right on the body. It’s strong enough that the vest will stand itself up when set on the ground.
Plastic’s rigid form can be seen here:
On the inside of the front and back carrier there is a Velcro’d section that holds the armor plates.
Sizing of the plates and soft armor goes as thus:
[indent]Small CIRAS goes with Small SPEAR BALCS soft armor. The Small CIRAS fits Small, Medium, and Large SAPI/BALCS plates. It does not fit X Large SAPI/BALCS plates.
Medium CIRAS goes with Medium SPEAR BALCS soft armor. The Medium CIRAS fits S, M, L, and XL SAPI/BALCS plates.
Large CIRAS goes with Large SPEAR BALCS soft armor. The Large CIRAS fits S, M, L, and XL SAPI/BALCS plates.
X Large CIRAS goes with X Large SPEAR BALCS soft armor. The X Large CIRAS fits S, M, L, and XL SAPI/BALCS plates.[/indent]
The wings previously mention function only to hold the soft armor pads, which can be worn simultaneously with the hard armor plates, which gives this vest 360 degree soft armor coverage, something most vests can’t claim, as well as front and back hard armor. The vest, with accessories, can also take side plates to give some full hard coverage as well shoulder pad and deltoid protectors, all of which are fitted with straps and Velcro that’s already sewn onto the vest. Now I have a medium set of ESAPI plates as well as a pair Level IIIa soft armor pads, and when all geared up with ammo and all your other stuff, this is quite a heft, weighing about 36 pounds, and that’s without water. Personally I use fake plastic plates for padding to keep the vest ridged and no soft armor during airsoft and I find this to be quite comfortable. If you don’t want to buy fake stuff don’t worry, the vest feels fine without them, you just should tighten the shoulder straps a bit to pull the upper chest portion of the vest closer to the body.
Moving on, or rather behind, you get to the door that accesses the straps that holds the whole smash together. Without describing how the entire mechanism works in extreme detail, the easiest way I can describe it is there are six straps; two for the shoulder straps of the vest, one for each internal and one for each external cummerbund. Each strap has about 10 eyelets in them which, when all are snaked through to the rear of the vest, come together where a Dacron loop slips through each eyelet to set the vest into it’s given size, then the cable which is attached to the pull tab is slipped through the Dacron loop to hold it in place and hence the vest. This is all accessed through the rear pocket.
Eyelets on straps
Another feature on this vest is the drag handle. Not something that out of the ordinary for a military style vest but the way it is implemented on this vest is nice, being Velcro’d in place to stop itself from getting hooked on items is a nice little feature.
Another item of interest is the so called “release pillow.” It can be placed on either side of your chest and is basically a small pillow that is Velcro’d in place that when pulled will also release the vest. I mention it for two reasons. One it is the second way to quickly break apart the vest and two when not stuffed inside the little “pillow” pouch it is by far the only annoying thing on the vest.
It might just be because of my tastes since I wear ACU’s and RAID custom BDU’s, but the pillow always gets stuck on the arm pockets. It’s a minor issue but it’s something that pretty consistently happens, no matter what side I mount the pillow on, and I could imagine could be a compromising issue if this where to happen while on was trying to be sneaky. Now the obvious answer would be to stuff the pillow inside the pocket right? Well unfortunately it makes quite a bulge and if you have a pouch mounted over it the buttons can actually come undone.
I’m sure there are other features that I’m not mentioning but these are the ones that stand out most to me and I think make it different from other plate carriers on the market.
Feel Grade: 10/10
Feel wise I give the CIRAS a perfect score. I have zero comfort issues and I’ve found that of all the vests I’ve worn over the years this is by far and large the most comfortable one I’ve ever worn. Even the armor chassis, which is touted as the Ferrari of the plate carriers, isn’t as comfortable as the CIRAS. About the only thing that the Armor Chassis has over the CIRAS is that the plates on the Chassis conform to the body a bit better and is easier to climb over objects in, but at the end of the day I’d choose the CIRAS over anything else, period.
As far as aesthetics goes I’ll say the 9.5 is there because I desperately want to give it a perfect score, but I feel that the pillow issue definitely takes away a little, just a little.
Now that I’ve gone through the looks, the feel, and the features of this vest, how’s it work and how’s it actually feel in its designed purpose, tactical movements? Let’s find out…
I love using this vest for anything and everything I can use it for, be it airsoft matches, costumes, shooting competitions, plinking, training events, obstacle courses (makes the infamous West Point IOCT fun believe it or not), and of course, my favorite thing of all, road marches and ruck marches.
From a pure airsoft point of view this vest is great. Having tons of MOLLE real estate is something the CIRAS is great for, as well as having long vertical portions of PALS strips that allows for long pouches such as those designed for P90 mags and such. Additionally the vest can be set to fit all shapes and sizes, which airsofters seem to include all shapes and sizes :P . Finally, and this is a hallmark of airsofters, there are so many versions of how you can have you CIRAS, even just the Eagle ones, in the various colors, sizes, and between the two styles, Maritime and Land.
Going to using the vest, let’s start with how to put it on. Personally I have two ways which I use to don the CIRAS, depending on what I’m wearing underneath and if there’s armor in it and what kind. With a lighter wear underneath I will just slip the vest on and off over my head, on being a bit easier as you can use your arms to push it down. Taking it off this way is a bit tougher and I find grabbing the drag handle over my head helps tug it off. The second way, when I’m wearing heavy clothing underneath such as on colder days and such, I just undo one side of the vest’s cummerbund and slip it on. The way I have my cummerbund set up is the left side internal, the left side external, right side internal, right side external, then the flap to close it up. This way I can just lift the tabs for both right side cummerbunds at once and get the vest on and off quickly. The only downside to this method is it makes the two halves of the vest look uneven since the two external cummerbunds have a layer between them, but with pouches installed on the vest this is not that noticeable.
Moving on, for shooting I’d say this is the perfect vest. As mentioned the mass amount of real estate allows for a shooter to place his mag pouches precisely where they need it. Additionally the shoulder pads act as a nice recoil brake when firing high powered rifles (I love using this vest with my Remington 700 .300 Win Mag). Also, and this I find useful in all aspects of using this vest, since it rides “high” or at least the lowest part of the vest is at about the navel level you are able to bend over, kneel, crouch, crawl, and do many movements with ease that I’ve found to be a bit more challenging in other vests such as the IBA and IOTV.
From an M4 shoot range day
Having done quite a few matches in true U.S. Military MOUT facilities, most recently a match at the Camp Blanding MOUT facility in Starke, Florida, I can say I enjoy using the CIRAS in this environment very much, more so than most other vests, baring tactical vests (I love the Blackhawk Omega line). My only complaint of using the CIRAS in urban environments is that because it is very wide you find yourself brushing up against walls, doors, and such. So I would suggest if you’re used to using another, sleeker vest, you might want to practice or make a mental note to augment your movement style when indoors or hugging walls so that you don’t inadvertently give your position away.
For woodland, the most common, or so it seems at least, airsofting environment, I find this to be the perfect vest. Being a vest that totally covers the body it protects you from scratches in dings from rubbing up against rough trees or rocks. Additional being very thick and very tough material you can lay down on a surface that may scratch through or ruin another vest.
I’m yet to mention the quick ditch feature in use as I’m yet, for the years of using the CIRAS, needed to use this feature. To be honest on my Phantom version I’ve disabled it by sticking a zip tie through the various grommets to prevent unwanted release. For airsofting I see little reason to use this as baring a very, very strange circumstance, it shouldn’t be needed. As far its grander use, it could potentially be useful but let me say that the vest doesn’t just fall apart with the cable being tugged, you do need to push the front panel away from the body so that the rest of the vest can come free.
Zip tie disabling release feature on the Phantom vest
The final note I will say on use of the vest is the accessories available. While I own none of them and plan to get none of them, for users wanting to create a unique look or for those who intend to use this vest for LE or Military duties, they might be something to consider as it can truly add 360 degree coverage, including neck, groin, and arm protection as well as shoulders.
They are added on by attaching to the above pictured Velcro sections.
Airsoft Use: 9/10
Shooting Use: 10/10
Urban Use: 9/10
Woodland Use: 10/10
I give it a nine for airsoft because while having tons of real estate and being very well made for airsoft purposes, the Eagle CIRAS is a lot of vest for airsofting purposes and might be a bit too much, in both money and size, for some users to want. For shooting use it’s perfect and I can see no reason why to not choose this for most forms of real firearm shooting. Urban wise this vest is a solid nine, losing only because it is a bit fattening and loses a slight tactical edge there over slimmer vests. Woodland is where this vest shines the most though, hence the ten, as it just works great in woodland settings, moreso then any other plate carrier I’ve used yet.
Easy to fit to any body type
Many color and size options
Tons of Real Estate
Quick Ditch Cable
Real deal feel :P
Very Strong Build, no PALS strips ripping off here
Velcro doesn’t wear off
Expensive as hell…
Makes you look fat
Has a “hoity toity” thing attached to it
Velcro on pillow is annoying
Can get pretty heavy with everything installed
Needs some sort of plate or plate substitute to keep the vest feeling and fitting right
Did I mention expensive?
Overall Grade: 10/10
Overall I give this vest a ten outa ten for many reasons. First because I want to, and I feel it deserves such a grade. Second because commonly this is the vest by which many others are graded, hence it should naturally be considered the best . Third and most important, this vest deserves the grade because it truly is the most comfortable, leaving nothing else to be desired; it is extremely customizable in every manner of speaking, and it serves its designed purpose perfectly.
A few pics of me in my Eagle CIRAS:
The Eagle Industries CIRAS might be a very pricy vest but for those looking for a top of the line ride for airsofting or anything else where it’s applicable that won’t fail them, won’t fall apart and will keep shining through look no further than the CIRAS.
*EDIT* October 28, 2009
I've finally completed my vest and have it set up exactly the way I want.
Pouch list includes (All in OD Green):
2x Eagle Double M-Type Magazine Pouches
1x Eagle Radio Pouch
1x Phantom ( pre change to Pantac ) Flashbang Pouch
1x Eagle GP Pouch
1x Eagle Medical Pouch
1x Monkey Patch Panel
Additionally I mount an OD SERPA M92FS Holster on the rear flap, reverse mount, blood type/one point sling holder, and various patches.
I'm VERY happy with how this vest came out. So far I haven't used it in a match but I've worn it for a few road marches and I find it extremely comfortable, much moreso than the replicas.
As a side note, as this is often a question potential buyers have, color comparisons of the OD of different patches to the vest, I found that the Phantom is a tad darker, the Monkey's are a bit lighter but almost dead on, and (although I didnt use it) blackhawk is noticeably lighter.
That aside I find this to have been a worthwhile purchase. It's very comfortable as said again and again, as well as being able to hold massive amounts of equipment but displace the weight over your whole chest, instead of just on you're shoulders. About my only complaint is that when shouldering a weapon one has to take care to ensure that the butstock (probably only an issue with weapons that have a thin bottom of the stock like an M4) doesn't catch on a PALS strip and not shoulder correctly.
A few pics of me in my CIRAS
Never argue with a gun, it may argue back...
United States Corps of Cadets, USMA
Cadet, United States Army
2012 "For More Than Ourselves"
| || || ||1||2||3||4|