When I started airsoft 3 years ago, I picked up a load of ex British army kit including Osprey and pouches, I soon found at 42 years and out of shape that the weight was so heavy I was struggling through a day of Airsoft. I realized I needed to lighten my load before I did myself an injury but looking around at the airsoft shops the kit wasn't very impressive compared to what I had, it all seemed very flimsy in comparison and didn't seem to secure well to the molle. By chance, I came across Warrior Assault Systems while looking for a left-handed holster to hold a Hi Capa style pistol and they are now my first choice for the kit. In this review, I will cover some of the kit I now use from WAS to give you an idea if they are worth looking at when purchasing for yourself.
I did not see many mentions at the time of Warrior on the forums, it was usually blueforce, LBX, Team Wendy etc which I would put WAS on a par with but at a lower cost, either that or companies like Viper, Condor or Emerson etc which while ok didn't really hit the spot with me.
The prices included are based on the current prices at UK Tactical where I buy from and Chase Tactical in the USA, there are stockists in most European countries also.
Who Are WAS
They are a manufacturer of Tactical Gear based in Hereford, England. Set up in 2011 by ex-military to supply gear designed and tested by the end users. website:http://www.warriorassaultsystems.com/
Weight: 7.1 Ounces per Square Yard
Tensile Strength: Warp 453 lbs / Fill 348 lbs
Tears Strength: Warp 14.1 + lbs / Fill 14.1 + lbs
Abrasion: Wear Cycles 1955
Water Repellent: 100%
US Milspec nylon threads imported from the USA
IR signature reduction treatment on Clips, Fabrics, plastics, threads, multicam and coyote webbing
All of the kit seems to be well made and hard wearing, they use 1000d Cordura in certain areas of their kit but generally, it is 500d Cordura to reduce weight while still being very hard wearing. Things seem to be well thought through for ease of access and to hold kit securely. The footprint pouches take on molle webbing seems to be kept to a minimum, for example, the 40mm double pouch takes up two rows which are the smallest I have come across. The pouches all seem to sit well together and the majority have a rigid backing that sits against the belt or PC making them feel more secure and not flap around when running/diving/falling.
The molle straps on the pouches is very flexible with a large 2-3" tab of more rigid material to allow easy threading through molle, at first I was a little concerned with how flexible these are until I realised the idea is to tuck the tab back up behind the pouch which then locks everything down and stops the pouches from working loose.
WAS Battle Belt around £60/$93 for Patrol belt
Warrior produces three belts currently, I use the enhanced patrol belt and my wife uses the frag belt, both are similarly constructed using closed cell padding for comfort and a mesh lining for air movement.
The patrol belt has d rings for a harness attachment although I currently run with around 5-6 kg (2-3LB) on the belt and the weight is spread nicely and hasn't needed a harness. The frag belt my wife uses doesn't have the d rings, what it does have is padding that can be positioned to suit you and an extended lumbar section. Neither belt feels uncomfortable after long periods of time and does not move around on their own.
The molle panels are positioned so they start at your sides leaving your front totally clear.
The patrol belt has 18 rows of 3 deep molle and the frag belt has 20 rows 3 deep. The top row on both belts is actually two lengths of material stitched over each other to add strength where the weight of kit lies.
Note For Female Players my wife has gone for the frag belt due to the enlarged lumbar support and adjustable padding, she now carries a little lighter load than mine all day comfortably supported without a harness
DCS Plate carrier - £135/$250
The plate carrier was a little more than I wanted to pay out for airsoft but was much lighter at 0.9KG (2LB) in weight than most I had seen and felt much more high end than the few I had seen at lower prices.
The DCS itself has been tested and recommended in the USA by the NTOA and has been used by certain parts of the British Army in current operations. The same closed cell padding and mesh as the belt can be found on the front and back panels making it comfortable to wear through the day. Front and rear panels come with a soft foam liner and are made to hold a 10x12 plate which is not really needed and quite nicely fits my 3L source hydration carrier. The side panels have pockets for smaller 6x8 plates. The side panels are semi ridged and hold their shape well, they Velcro to the PC at the front and rear which are both covered by either a molle flap or a mag carrying panel, mine has 3 M4 mag pouches and 3 pistol mag pouches attached but others are available.
The shoulder straps have both Velcro adjustment and quick release buckles all wrapped in a padded multicam Velcro panel. On the inside of the left panel sits a full-size radio pouch attached by Velcro and both edges on the front panel include a small attached wrap of Velcro for securing pipes and cables. A nice touch high up is a vertical molle row on both sides which gives me somewhere to hold my PTT switch.
Note For Female Players my wife has tried this on and it can be fit very well to her shape with the usual issues to the front. As the foam lining can be removed though it can be adjusted via the shoulder straps and held tight around the waist to be much more comfortable than other PC's she has tried at airsoft stores.
Universal Holster left handed and right handed versions £40/$50
This is what started my love affair with WAS, being left handed I could not find a decent retention holster. I picked up a black hawk for my first sig and had to Dremel the thing to get a fit, changing to a hi capa I was stuck.
Unlike most universal holsters this one is very tough and is made of a hard material like Kydex that joins to the front via a large wrap around Velcro fastening, this allows for large adjustment of the holster size, I have it sized for an Armorer works hi capa now but have also fitted glock18, m1911, p226 and TM hi capa.
The retention part of the holster locks over the trigger guard so this can't be used with an attachment on a bottom rail, I have not tried but I'm pretty sure you could fit this with a doctor optics style sight.
The retention release is by the black lever behind the holster which has a large contact area for your thumb and is released by pushing down, this seemed a little odd at first after using other retention systems but after a little use, I now release the retention just by grabbing the pistol grip. The retention system is also adjustable as the holster comes with some extra bits to adjust the spacing for the trigger guard
40mm Grenade Pouches double or triple pouch £20/$36
Available as a double pouch or a triple pouch, the double takes up two rows of molle which are the smallest fitment I have come across and the triple takes up 4 rows. Both have a very firm backing platform with the bottom of the pouches being elastic and the lids adjustable in height via long Velcro backing. These pouches will fit anything with an OD of 40mm and I can confirm they fit TRMR grenades, Moscart's and Enola Gaye 40 range with the lids being able to lock down to the lower press stud without stretching the elastic base.
Quick Mag Pouches M4 Mag and pistol Mag £22/$30 (not carried by Chase)
These seem similar to the HSGI Taco pouches but are around half the price in the UK. Hard Kydex material wraps around the mag and bungee cords tension everything to give a good friction grip, they can be adjusted for your mag size and I have tried these with G&G M4, Ares Pmag, GHK G5 gas mags and WE 888c gas mags which have all been held securely. Note the tabs on the side of the mag pouches can be a pain with the G5 gas mags release valve if you don't pay attention inserting the mags, I have had a couple of times I have let all the gas out by accident but this is me not paying attention and the weird gas release valve position on the mags.
My setup has a pistol mag version riding on top but I have also run two of the rifle mag pouches strapped together carrying G5 mags and had no issues. The pistol mag pouches can take a double stack like a hi capa without any problems and can tighten down on a slimmer mag like 1911, I have also run an extended Glock mag for one game without any issue other than me checking it every few seconds. I use one pistol pouch to carry a small flashlight now and have used a mag pouch for a dynatex BFG in the past again nothing popped out until I wanted it.
Sabre Drop Leg drop leg panel with 2 m4 and 3 pistol mag pouches £65/$100 (not carried in the USA)
I originally bought this for a stripped down loadout, the panel attaches to a duty belt and sits high on the thigh with two fast mag pouches and three fast pistol mag pouches and costs a little more than buying just the pouches it is similar to the HSGI costa style panel. I now have it combined with my battle belt to carry grenades. The backing is closed cell foam with mesh like the belt/PC, the strap fits comfortably around the upper thigh and has a lot of adjustment for larger legs. The drop straps do allow for it to be worn111 lower. The panel has 5 rows of molle 3 deep.