Review: SpecOps Sabre Vest Great vest...if you're a fat-DUMPER or can sew...
Posted 08 June 2006 - 03:24 PM
Overall the vest appears to be very well designed and made. The vest uses a wide elastic belt on the inside like a pod belt which keeps the load nice and secure. -I mention this belt here because their description does not make it very clear and it's a great feature. This belt is independant of the front pockets or clip (thankfully). The big front pockets are sewn on. The hydration pouch has no hooks to hold the bag (I'll add them) and does not have any tube exit or sleve at the bottom (again, I'll add it, but it really should be there already if you're going to bother adding a hydration pouch at all). A clip or loop inside the pockets (for securing one's car keys...) would be nice too...again, I'll add it but it's silly it isn't there).
Now onto the real problem...duh...
This vest is big. No, scratch that, it's huge. The product description claims, "One Size Fits All (adult sizes)", however they obviously have a different idea of how big an adult human is. For reference I am 5'8" and weight 165 lbs. In other words I am a very average male who is slightly over weight but otherwise decent shape.
These pictures are with the vest straps as tight as they possibly can be made. Considering how this vest fits me at 165 lbs, I'd say the smallest size this vest will reasonably fit would be at least my height at 200 lbs. It's pretty clear this vest was really designed for a 6 foot male weighting 250+ lbs (and someone 300+ could wear it comfortably I'm very sure). It is not, in any way, "one size fits all" out of the box and can not be adjusted to be such without major modification.
The size issue aside, this is a very high quality vest and I think it can be made to fit me without a huge amount of modification (lucky for me I'm a theatre geek and can sew). What I plan to do is remove the front clip entirely as it adds a minimum of 5" just by itself (you can see this in the 3rd picture). In its place I'll add a zipper between the fronts. Test fitting it is still a little loose, but should be fine with the elastic belt. -And if I gain any weight in the future the sides are still adjustable (yes, they too are as tight as they can be made).
The shoulder straps are also far, far too long. The way they sewed them in the back makes it very difficult to shorten them without major rework. What I think I'm going to do is fold the straps over themselves and sew them flat. Ugly, but functional and I won't have to unstitch the vest to do it.
Conclusion: Great vest, but make sure either you're either a) A fat cow, b ) can sew, or c) have a friend or SO that can sew. And don't even bother if you're a girl or otherwise weight less then about 150 lbs...this vest just won't fit you well no matter what you do to it.
Posted 08 June 2006 - 04:37 PM
And are those ALICE style loops on the shoulder straps? Looks like you could add a radio pouch or even some grenades to it if you wanted to.
Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:08 PM
Where on the back? The entire lower back is consumed by the 6+2 pod holders. Above that is the tank pouch, sewn on. And above the tank pouch is a 4"x10" velcro "name plate". -They ship with a camo fabric patch to cover the black velcro if you're not using a name plate.
So the only real location is where the name plate is, but that's at the top (and thus nothing like a buttpack). There's a little bit of room to the sides of the tank and name plate, but not much.
You could cut off a couple pod holders I guess. I'm personally not sure I'll be using the center back two anyway, or if I do I'll probably have something that aren't paintballs filling those two tubes.
I'm not sure what an alice style loop is, but if it's basically a 3/4" nylon ribbon which you loop things onto, then yes that's what they are. :-) Seem to be basically the same as the nylon ribbon I see all over the front of real tactical vests, so I assume it's the same standard. -The radio pouch and ID holder both snap through them to hold on (It comes with both: I took them off for the pics above). They are the only removable/movable items on the vest. The radio pouch seems decently big: It snugly fits my Midland GXT500.
Those loops are also why I don't want to just cut the straps down from the front: I'd lose some of these attachment points.
This post has been edited by Zenin: 08 June 2006 - 05:10 PM
Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:16 PM
Does the Dagger vest have the 5" wide elastic belt on the inside? That belt is one of the reasons I went for the Sabre instead: I'd seen people mention it about the Sabre but not for the Dagger.
Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:39 PM
Sadly in America thats somewhat true.
Hmmm Maybe I won't get that vest.
Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:44 PM
The pics I put up don't show it, but I have it crossed in the back. I could try
crossing in the front, but that would seem awkward. I think folding over
the straps on themself in the back and sewing them down should probably
work out better for me. I'm waiting to find a good 8" zipper for the front
first before I mess with the straps.
Posted 09 June 2006 - 05:17 PM
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Posted 10 June 2006 - 01:12 PM
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Posted 11 June 2006 - 05:56 PM
Also, if you dont want to lose the loops, just cut the sewing off of them and resew them higher on the straps, and cut the excess off. I dont know if you want to do all that sewing, but for a proper fit you might not have a choice.....
Posted 15 June 2006 - 10:59 AM
Ha Ha .....Gremans.
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