Dye Tactical Harness review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Loki, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Loki

    Loki New Member

    Recently I purchased Dye Tactical Harness and had opportunity to use it in high intensity games of paintball, namely during IWL games in Battlebridge.
    Additionally I played with this vest a bit at home trying various confugurations and testing it off game but trying to think about various in game possibilities and recreating these in my personal playground in wild west of Ireland.

    My choice of this particular vest was mainly inspired by my style of play, as well as previous experiences with BT vest, in many circumstances, including IWL, various walk on games and CTD2 scenario.

    I like moving fast on paintball field, I also like to sneak on opforce therefore I need vest that is lightweight, fits tightly and does not restrict movement.

    I usually do not like to carry crapload of paint with me, nevertheless I prefer versatility of the vest therefore I appreciate the set up allowing me to carry from 4 to 10 big pods.

    While carrying 10 big pods I have app 1400 balls with me and that is enough even during big scenario games, shooting that much paint means you run out of air first.
    You can always take backpack with additional pods and spare HPA bottle and leave it at respawn point.
    Lets get back to the vest.

    Current vest set up is as follows:
    Tactical Harness with two 2+3 pod pouches installed - same set up that I had with my BT vest.

    The reason I changed my vest was that I needed vest in multicam to go along with the rest of my gear.

    I prefer to have HPA bottle attached to marker, but Dye sells bottlepouch that you can attach to the back of your Tac Harness.

    Dye offers a range of accessories attachable to their vests including pod holders, pod pouches (for spend pods) admin pouch, grenade pouch, hpa bottle pouch. So far Dye does not offer radio pouch, which is a bit odd.

    My vest is in Dyecam, looks great and actually blends easily into surrounding, I am a bit sceptical about claims that it reflects the surrounding colours, but the fact is that it is great camo and works well.

    Below a short strenght/weakneses analysis

    Strenghts /what I like about this vest/:

    Dyecam pattern works well in the field.

    I also like the range of adjustments, you can adjust this vest to fit comfortably anyone, shoulderstrap, chest strap even back to lumbar belt - all can be adjusted, Dye put a lot of thought into this area.

    The overall quality of the vest seems to be good, stitches are well done and the reinforcement are in place where needed, time will tell whether these work as supposed to, but I am quite optimistic.

    For some agg factor will be important - well it is Dye vest with Dye written all over it - you cannot miss it :)

    Truth to be told - this vest looks bloody good.

    Weaknesses /what I do not like about this vest/

    Lack of radio pouch - since my team uses radios and radios are very useful on big scenario games one shall expect the designated pouch will be available.

    Another major drawback is lack of designated sleeve for hydration system.
    It may not be as important during short games, but during scenarios and other long games hydration is crucial, and ability to rehydrate without taking your mask off is a major advantage.

    There is a bit of space in the back of the vest where you can force hydration system, but after filling it with liquid it feels awkward and the cap is poking you constantly in the back, which is becoming irritating after short while, I checked.

    Other solution is to put hydration system into HPA bottle pouch, but it means additional expenditure of buying bottle pouch and bottle pouch will be a drag when crawling through vegetation, bushes and low branches.

    Now coming to the biggest weakness of all - the fastening of pod holders to vest is totally inefficient!

    I actually lost the pod holders while running during the game, they fell off the vest - it shouldn't ever happen.

    There are two straps on each pod holder that shall withstand the weight of pods during a game and these are fastened with metal naps, which do not work if you move fast and/or a lot, these will also snap open when hooked by the branch or twigs of a bush. For me losing all my paint during a game is not an option.

    In Battlebridge I found a temporary solution - weaving the straps through molle loops of the vest and pod holders, still metal naps snapped every game, it was the friction between fabric that helped the pods to remain in place + I did not move so fast and so much during final games.

    Back at home I tried to find some solution and tried different configurations and I still cannot find satisfactory remedy. I tried to install pod holders under flaps in the back to allow for extra protection while moving, but it did not work either. Dye just did not think this through, bad design.

    For me the next step would be to have a go at metal naps with a hammer, but as you can imagine is it a bit extreme solution and I expected better engineering considering the price of the vest and accessories.

    Just to sum up the elaboration - seems to me Dye put too much attention to the looks of the vest and too little to functionality.

    Below pics of the problematic areas of the vest


    Hydration pocket - bit too small to accomodate 1 litre platypus hydration bag, also when cap on the bag is installed it pokes you in the back - a lot.


    There is protective flap on the vest that can keep the pod holder in place, seems to work when you take 2 pod, but snaps open while running and crawling. Below picture on the model

    The flap does not work in 2+3 configuration, much too short.


    Picture on the model


    Picture of vest with one pod holders with flap cover and other without


    If you have any questions regarding this vest give me a shout I will try to answer it.

    Big thanks to IwaskontraCezar for modelling:)

    Please note - I am not affiliated with any paintball equipment producer or distributor - I am just user of various gear.
    What I wrote in this review is personal opinion based on experience with the equipment.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  2. cassells

    cassells Member

    Alot of weak points than good ones!! How much did you pay may I ask??
  3. Loki

    Loki New Member

    Too much:(
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  4. DaveJ

    DaveJ Karny 4 Life

    Yeah doesn't sound great....I think the general consensus among a lot of woodsballers on here is that the RAP4 vests are the best. I have to admit though I really don't see the point of a vest. Just seems like added bulk, why not just use a regular 4+3 pack? Each to their own I guess.
  5. Loki

    Loki New Member

    Rap 4 vests are great but for me a bit too bulky. I have and use 4+3 pack (Dye :)), but prefer harness in woods (whatever that means in Ireland) due to additional support of the shoulderstraps. As you say Dave, each to their own, it's just we play slightly different game in different environment, vests are better for woodsball, specially for long scenario games.
  6. niallist

    niallist New Member

    Yeah, the battle packs don't really work for long games (4-6 hour games) as, for many people, they keep riding down (especially on the larger gentleman (anyone over the age of 14)).

    Also we get space for extra pouches for pyro (legal in the UK), walkie talkies, maps, microfibre cloths etc. etc.

    I'm surprised at the review as it looks very similar to the BT harness that I used for quite a while. But on closer inspection the back set up looks really weird. Have a look at the BT Static vest for an alternative.

    Thanks for the review loki, might save some people some money.
  7. Is there any dyecam battlepack along or only pod pouches for the vest?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  8. Mysticmak

    Mysticmak New Member

    Good article, informative and open.
  9. paulie

    paulie Active Member

    Very good article kr, i have the bt merc vest and all i have on it now it 2 pod holders on the back, used a rhino pack at iwl and thought it was great, although for walk ons and other games i will refer to my bt vest...
  10. Loki

    Loki New Member

    As I said I used BT Static Vest before.
    It looks similar to Dye Tac Harness, the major difference is that in BT vest 2+3 pod holder is fastened to vest with 4 straps instead of Dye's 2.
    That seem to make a difference as I did not have any problem with pod holders falling off BT vest.
    Another difference is that BT pod holder straps have additional gripping power of velcro - another thing missing in Dye.
    I did however had slight problem with BT bottle pouch - metal naps were snapping open, it was also mounted on two straps only, but velcro in the back of the straps kept bottle pouch attached to the vest.
    Seems two straps are not enough to keep any weight attached to the molle.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  11. CraigofScotland

    CraigofScotland New Member

    have you tried the standard pod holders rather than the elastic ones (that you normally find on a pack) ? would save some of your hastle I beleive.

    Vest is like wearing a tshirt very compfy. yes to wear it in a game though as I can bring myself to it yet.
  12. Loki

    Loki New Member

    No I did not, do not have the budget for research, anyway the elastic ones are mounted on stiff backplate, so I personally doubt whether there will be much difference.
    Anyway if you pay this kind of money for accessories designed for the vest you expect them to work, at least I do.

    True, it is comfy to wear.

    When you had chance to try it in different configurations let us know what works best.
  13. CraigofScotland

    CraigofScotland New Member

    I will. We're waiting on a delivery of tac vest pouches n bits coming in, will be put through its paces once it arrives.
  14. hammer

    hammer Super Moderator

    Really good review loki

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