Plat-Off: Peacekeeper vs. VM

Every tactical gear company have their own “flagship” product. This may not necessarily be their most popular product, but the one they are known for across the industry. For example HSGI and their ‘Taco’ pouches, C2R with the ‘TacPad’ and in my opinion Platatac’s chest rigs. The running theme throughout Plat’s line is the focus on capacity and comfort which are important traits for gear designed to be used by troops for long periods of time in conventional warfare, setting them apart from the likes of Spiritus Systems and Haley Strategic who focus more on speed and staying lightweight, for shorter direct-action missions. I’ve owned a Platatac ‘Peacekeeper’ (PK) for over a year now, and have always been interested in comparing it to it’s brother, the VM (Vehicle Mounted), which has been very kindly provided by Platatac for some T&E.

The layout of the VM feels similar to that of the PK, as they share the same type of utility/radio pouches on either side of the vest, with magazines and other storage across the front. The differences occur in the details. Firstly, the VM features a frontal closure zip to make it easier to don/doff the rig while using Platatac’s Y-harness. This is a welcome addition as the PK can be awkward to put on without help or at speed. The VM also features 4 magazine pouches instead of the PK’s 3, but at the loss of the PK’s MOLLE fields. This is made up for on the VM by the inclusion of a small utility on the front of each magazine pouch, ideal for carrying essentials for vehicle mounted operations. Also missing from the VM is the ‘hotdog’ pouch found underneath the PK’s magazine pouches. This has been done so that when the user sits while wearing the VM, it doesn’t ride up to the user’s chin, and stays unobtrusive while driving.

So what do I like, and what don’t I like about the VM?

For starters, the X-harness issued with the VM can fuck off. As with the PK this was the first thing to go, replaced with my Y-harness, on which I only needed to adjust the height of the front buckles to make up for the shorter height of the VM compared to the PK. The other downside for me is that the VM lacks modularity. The lack of any real MOLLE field means that you are limited to carrying items in pouches that aren’t optimal for doing so.

These points aside, the VM has a lot of excellent features. Firstly, the magazine pouches are exactly what I wish were present on the PK. They’re deep, take a wide variety of magazines and feature different levels of security in their closure. I found it very simple to covert one of these pouches to take a Prc-152, by removing the side release buckles and replacing them with a tri-glide from the X-Harness, and a short length of shock cord. These pouches also accept smoke grenades and while it is not a perfect fit in terms of depth, they are held securely and are easy enough to remove. I would also like to mention the closure zip again, as this is one of the strongest features of the VM, and really does make a huge difference in putting on and removing the rig at speed.

In conclusion, I am extremely happy with the VM in the short time I’ve had it. Whilst it is certainly not built for speed, it is incredibly comfortable and packed with features. I’m excited to try it out over a longer period of time at the next Stirling event I attend. In comparison to the PK, I would say it is less suited to carrying gear like grenades and distraction devices making it less suitable for airsoft. In a real world conventional warfare scenario I would far rather have the VM for it’s capacity to carry more ammunition and it’s well thought out design in relation to vehicle operations.

If you are interested in getting your hands on a VM for yourself, they are available through the Platatac website in Multicam and Coyote Brown. If you have any questions please head over to my Instagram account @thegeardocrow. Thanks for reading!

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