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Vest or Pod-Pack?


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#1 AviatorMan

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

Along with all my other gear, I'm thinking its time to update my pod-pack, since my old one is basically 3 velcro pouches which hang on a belt that 1: barely fits me anymore (I'm not what you would call "in shape") and 2: has a bad habit of flopping around everywhere when I run. So I'm looking for something new, but I'm torn between a NXe style pod-pack, which seems to be the industry standard for higher level players, and a vest which seems like it would be more comfortable for me as an out of shape player and also has some features I think I might want, like the ability to carry a camel back. What are your thoughts about these options, and what good vests and/or packs are there out there that I could have a look at?

#2 kingJurzy

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

Do you play woodsball more or speedball?


If you play woodsball, make sure it is a decent vest so the pods do not shake around. If you play speedball, I say podpack because you can just get refreshments in between games.

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#3 AviatorMan

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

Do you play woodsball more or speedball?


If you play woodsball, make sure it is a decent vest so the pods do not shake around. If you play speedball, I say podpack because you can just get refreshments in between games.


Recball.. Never played in the woods, as most of the fields around here are decent and have structures rather than trees. I also don't really like speedball all that much, though I'll play it if its what we're playing.

Edited by AviatorMan, 26 December 2012 - 04:15 PM.


#4 TinyBear

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

I tried a vest and pod packs. For me I Hated the vest. Used it once switched back to my empire 3+4 pod pack never looked back. Woods scenario or speed ball I like my pod pack. Only time vest used now is for pistol play.

I prefer pod pack cause generally cooler (temprature wise), don't restrict movement, are lighter and feel far more secure too me.

Oh and i far from in shape as well. If needed they make pod pack extenders.

Edited by TinyBear, 26 December 2012 - 04:18 PM.

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#5 AviatorMan

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

I tried a vest and pod packs. For me I Hated the vest. Used it once switched back to my empire 3+4 pod pack never looked back. Woods scenario or speed ball I like my pod pack. Only time vest used now is for pistol play.

I prefer pod pack cause generally cooler (temprature wise), don't restrict movement, are lighter and feel far more secure too me.


So having the shoulder support didn't distribute the weight better? This is my concern with the belt style packs that they would put weight on my pants / belt and start to push them down because I don't have much in the way of hips to rest them on. I am working on the belly, but that's something that's going to be a future concern rather than something I can count on right now...

#6 TinyBear

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

Naw the vest just felt sloppy and I found it annoying. The pod pack I find helps as its thick offers a bit of back support and when tightened actually helps hold my pants up. If ya want some hydration on field. Ya can always through a water bottle in on of the pod holsters.
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#7 scmillman

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

I don't consider myself an expert on much of anything in paintball, but this is something I know about lol.

If you don't play speedball seriously, or plan on it, get a vest, they're just better in every way. You can run a camelback, you can hold more pods in velcro tabs instead of the rubber loops, which helps with pod retention, you can run map pouches, carry food on you, keep your tools on manuals on you. Even just on a recball day, its nice to be able to not have any gear in staging other than your paint, because you just keep it all on you. Having weight on shoulders helps so much with not being tired at the end of the day. You can run a sling for your gun, you can even run two guns if you want to (one normal, one first strike or something), you can run remote if you want. NONE of those things is really doable with a standard pack.

All that being said, if you go with a vest, go with a real world MOLLE system. Honestly the only part of your vest that you should buy from a paintball company is pod pouches, other than that, go with stuff from companies like condor that make cheaper-end gear for operators in the real world, and it will function a lot better than most paintball vests for a few reasons. First and foremost, the intended clients for those companies are people that are trusting their lives to the gear, as opposed to Dye and BT making gear that they think looks really cool so more people will buy it. Second, those vests will have more MOLLE space on them, giving you more flexibility. And last, they're generally better thought out. I got a vest 6 months ago that has a hydration sleeve, internal pocket, sling mounts, full adjustability, and 6 M4 mag pouches - all integrated into the vest, before having to add any pouches - for cheaper than any paintball-specific vest. Add 6 pod pouches, and I can carry half a case on to the field, plus water and a snack, and feel less weight and get less tired than a pack of 4 pods only. As a bonus, it looks really cool too.

If you decide to go that route (which you should, its cheaper and does the job better), I recommend starting at opsgear.com and just looking around the whole site to get an idea of how the stuff works. Great site run by great people, they also make free tactical tip videos online that are really fun to watch, and offer supplemental training to the US military.

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#8 AviatorMan

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

I don't consider myself an expert on much of anything in paintball, but this is something I know about lol.

If you don't play speedball seriously, or plan on it, get a vest, they're just better in every way. You can run a camelback, you can hold more pods in velcro tabs instead of the rubber loops, which helps with pod retention, you can run map pouches, carry food on you, keep your tools on manuals on you. Even just on a recball day, its nice to be able to not have any gear in staging other than your paint, because you just keep it all on you. Having weight on shoulders helps so much with not being tired at the end of the day. You can run a sling for your gun, you can even run two guns if you want to (one normal, one first strike or something), you can run remote if you want. NONE of those things is really doable with a standard pack.

All that being said, if you go with a vest, go with a real world MOLLE system. Honestly the only part of your vest that you should buy from a paintball company is pod pouches, other than that, go with stuff from companies like condor that make cheaper-end gear for operators in the real world, and it will function a lot better than most paintball vests for a few reasons. First and foremost, the intended clients for those companies are people that are trusting their lives to the gear, as opposed to Dye and BT making gear that they think looks really cool so more people will buy it. Second, those vests will have more MOLLE space on them, giving you more flexibility. And last, they're generally better thought out. I got a vest 6 months ago that has a hydration sleeve, internal pocket, sling mounts, full adjustability, and 6 M4 mag pouches - all integrated into the vest, before having to add any pouches - for cheaper than any paintball-specific vest. Add 6 pod pouches, and I can carry half a case on to the field, plus water and a snack, and feel less weight and get less tired than a pack of 4 pods only. As a bonus, it looks really cool too.

If you decide to go that route (which you should, its cheaper and does the job better), I recommend starting at opsgear.com and just looking around the whole site to get an idea of how the stuff works. Great site run by great people, they also make free tactical tip videos online that are really fun to watch, and offer supplemental training to the US military.


From what I can tell, all of the vests on that site are more expensive than anything on ansgear. Maybe army surplus?

#9 scmillman

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:11 PM

Don't actually buy from opsgear, that company really wants to cater to the high-end real world crowd. I just say to look around there to get a feel for how molle systems work and what you can do. Do some googling and look around, you should be able to find stuff around 50-80 that will be pretty functional, just add pouches. The link below is what I use now, if you look you can find some similarly priced stuff, and it only gets nicer from there. The Dye Vest, which is the only one by a paintball company that looked like it would do it for me, at the time was almost twice as much, I think it has come down a little now though.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item35c139840c

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#10 NBTIppy

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

If you aren't going for an authentic military feel, go pod pack, much lighter and the less layers you can have on your torso in the summer the less hot you're going to get.

#11 Phoenix01

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

I started out with a vest because I thought it would be much better than a pod pack...much like your reasoning and that of others suggesting the vest. I too thought the vest would be able to distribute the weight evenly and it would be versatile; carry all of my pods, hold my tank since I wanted to use a remote(at the time I was using CO2 and a Tippmann), hold a water bladder (camelbak) for in game drinks, extra pouches for carrying anything else I wanted. At home I put everything together and stood there thinking it was going to work perfectly for the schenario game I was going to the next day.

The next day I found out exactly how wrong I was...

Walking around was fine, but it was bulky and heavy as hell on my shoulders. When I started running around, it got worse. Every step, the vest would bounce on me and yes I did have it adjusted properly. I was completely disappointed at this point but what made matters worse was that it was only practical for when I was standing up. Kneeling or crouching down was difficult as the pods on the front would restrict my movement in that I couldn't make myself a small target behind brush or trees. Furthermore, it trapped all of my body heat leaving me feeling even more worn out at the end of the day.

A short while later I picked up an Evil pod pack (4+3+2 style) and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable it was compared to the vest. I don't know how everyone else puts their pod pack on, but I wear mine around my abdomin/top of hip bones/lower back and it never makes me feel like my pants are going to fall off. It never slides around on me and like mentioned before, actually provides some back support which is nice. It works great for all kinds of play and since it hangs off of the back of you, very rarely will it restrict your travel of movement or playing style. I've slowly managed to convince all of the guys I play woodsball with to go to a pod pack from a vest and they were die hards for wearing a vest.

What I would suggest to you is if you can actually go into a store and ask if you can try on a couple of their pod packs before making a decision. If they have a vest, then great, you can ask to try that on as well. If not, try and hit up someone local to you and see if they will let you try one or the other on for a game or two to get the feel of it.

My recommendation for a pod pack is as long as you go with the style where there are four straps in the front, two on each side...like you mentioned the NXe Elevation style. As far as number of pods you can carry, I really like having the four main pod holders plus the additional for the unlikely time I'll need it. You might go with one that has three main pod holders but I doubt you would want less than that or more than four main ones. Dye and Empire make great high end pod packs, but NXE's Elevation series pod pack is really nice. Anytime pod pack suggestions come up on here, Mike usually suggests the Proto Fighter Harness and I would have to agree that it is just as good as any other one available.

Good luck with your search and decision.

#12 AviatorMan

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:39 AM

I'll have to give the pod packs a try as well as the vests. I guess it will ultimately come down to which is more comfortable and also exactly how much extra stuff I want to carry with me. One of the big things for me about a vest is that I can add pockets for things like extra squeegees, but at the same time I usually play in BDU pants, so I already have two cargo pockets. I'm also not disqualifying the option of just buying both eventually since a nice NXe pack is only $55 and a vest is not much more.

#13 asthmaticrhino

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:55 AM

I find vests annoying unless you have mags, it's very awkward to slide or lay down with pods on your stomache. On top of that, I find it faster and easier to reload with packs. Yes vests can be more versatile, but they are bulky. Not worth it imo

Edited by asthmaticrhino, 28 December 2012 - 12:55 AM.

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#14 AviatorMan

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

I find vests annoying unless you have mags, it's very awkward to slide or lay down with pods on your stomache. On top of that, I find it faster and easier to reload with packs. Yes vests can be more versatile, but they are bulky. Not worth it imo


I would probably keep all of the pods on the back and keep front accessories to a minimum. At most things like gear pouches or map pockets. I have seen people using them in configurations with as much as 8 pods on the back using the upper shoulders. They being said, I use all of about 250 balls per game (maybe 350 in extreme circumstances), so even a 3+2+2 would be overkill for what I normally need to carry out onto the field. This is why I can't discount the vest's versatility so easily: if I only really need to carry 3-4 pods, but also want a place to store my squeegees and barrel cover and maybe a drink, it seems like a great option. Also the fact that I have somewhat of a belly has me concerned that I won't be able to strap a belt style pod-pack in it's intended position. I will have to try at least one of each on though before I make any decisions.

Edited by AviatorMan, 28 December 2012 - 05:05 PM.





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