View Full Version : Vest or H-harness ?

Scott Evans
December 13, 1998, 05:03 PM
I am privileged in that during my work I have opportunity to talk with LEO's and military folks from all over the country on a regular basis. One thing I have noticed … Several Police Tactical squads are switching from "Tactical LBV" back to H-harness and cartridge belt. Also, many of the enlisted Marines who have been around long enough to have sampled both express a desire for the Corps to switch back to the H-harness. Personally, for most applications, I prefer the H-harness. Which is a better system all-round ?

[This message has been edited by Scott Evans (edited 12-13-98).]

December 13, 1998, 06:38 PM
I liked the vest until I had to wear it for a month in Puerto Rico during Ocean Venture 93. That sucker just trapped the heat in then. Don't get me wrong, it works great for cooler temperatures, but in the tropical heat and the jungles of Panama, it sucked.

Also, for airborne ops where you had to put your parachute on over your gear, I had to unload all of the magazines from my vest and put them into my butt pack for it to work right. The H harness was a lot easier to reconfigure.

Factor in the cost of the vest and the complexity, and you'll find that while it has some really great features, for all around use I prefer the H-Harness. Just make sure you get one with the drag handle sewn into the shoulders....


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Scott Evans
December 14, 1998, 11:50 AM
The "Drag handle is absolutely a plus for either Vest or H-harness. Heat is one factor I have herd from many on this topic as well as the following:

Placement of the gear; it's not bad until you have to hit the deck. Magazines, hand-grenades or what not get shoved into the chest or ribs … this is reported as not being pleasant.

Versatility limited with the vest as compared to the H-harness.

Max load is less with a vest.

I have more than a little experience with the H-harness system but have only had opportunity to try on a few of the tactical vest. So I am relying on those of you who have first hand experience with the vest for the accurate scoop. One thing I did like (but again never have had opportunity to test) is that some of the LBV synch up nice and tight and possibly do a better job then the H-harness in keeping the gear from bouncing.

December 14, 1998, 09:32 PM
Can anyone give a recommendation on who makes a good H-harness?

December 16, 1998, 09:18 PM

Arktis in England makes a very good harness system. It is much better than ALCE. It doesn't have metal keepers to dig into you, the belt won't ride up to your chest if the buttpack load gets excessive, and it will distribute heavier loads much better. It is patterned after the British PLCE harness and it works well in hot or cold weather. The belt order is designed to carry some of the weight of the pack. After using this system only 30 minutes, I wouldn't go back to US LCE if I had a choice.

December 16, 1998, 11:21 PM

Where can I find out about the Arktis system?

December 21, 1998, 10:20 AM
Sorry about the delay. Here are two suppliers of aftermarket British LBE. You'll probably have to ask the operator for assistance for dialing out of the country since I've forgotten how.

Arktis Ltd.
Dept. CM 3 Brooksidze Industrial Units
Venny Bridge, Exeter, Ex4 8JN

Fax: (01392) 461993
Phone: (01392 465315

Tudor House
Locksbrook Rd.
Bath, BA1, 2EN

Fax: (01225) 460650
Phone: (01225) 481327

December 21, 1998, 10:41 AM
Just did a search and found that Arktis has a US company. Go to wwwarktisusa.com for info.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited 12-21-98).]

December 22, 1998, 10:31 AM
I wasn't aware that they had distributers here. I bought my gear a couple of years ago. I just looked on their site. They have much more in their catalog. I didn't see the PLCE yoke (harness) and belt system I was describing on their site.