Disclaimer: This item was provided free of charge by Full 9 Patches for testing and evaluation purposes. There has been no exchange of money, and the terms of any item being provided are that if I like a product, I review it, if I don’t like a product, it gets sent back. With this is mind I always remain as unbiased as possible, my thoughts are my own, and the sole purpose of this blog is to provide helpful information to someone who might actually need it to find the right solution for their problem.
the background behind camo plates
This is one of those weird products that is SUPER niche, and as such has a very specific background. The mind behind the camo plate is Chris; author/creator of thefull9.net, serving crab and all round Ian McCollum equivalent when it comes to tactical clothing and equipment. On top of being the most boring man on the internet, he’s also a solid bloke who has some good ideas rolling around in his head.
One of these good ideas is the camo plate, which he teamed up with printing company Vajra Concepts to create.
As any follower of Chris’s will know, he has potentially the largest and most complete public collection of Crye Precision uniforms out there, and is quickly ticking his way through the list of old and wacky patterns by way of custom G3’s manufactured by Roman Kurmaz where there is no legit alternative.
As part of this odd quest for a camouflage empire Chris ran into the issue of wanting pattern matched velcro on his shirts, but struggled to find a tailor skilled enough to be trusted with his collection who also had the capacity to make what is actually quite a complicated modification multiple times over. These two combined also add up to one central factor: cost.
To get around this Chris came up with the idea of simply covering the single colour velcro, and thus the camo plate was born.
Materials, construction and design
The F9P camo plate is a very simple item, and so there isn’t a great deal to say on its design. Simply put, it is a 4″ x 4″ square with hook velcro on one side, and printed loop velcro on the other. These two pieces of velcro are then sewn together in a typical single stitch crossed box shape.
The materials are where the camo plate gets interesting. Whilst the hook side is a single colour, the printed loop features the nutty pattern of your choosing. In my example; Tigerstripe, the pattern is clearly discernable and matches with my OVTS shirt well. As a result of the printing process the velcro does lose some of its durability, but this has been stated publicly multiple times by the manufacturer and so has to be expected. This is also true of ALL printed velcro, including Multicam, AOR1 etc etc.
It is worth noting for the reader that my personal example is a very early prototype, and as such the colours of the pattern are slightly off. This has already been rectified by the manufacturer and the finished version will be up to the standards of the somewhat autistic Chris.
Where the plate does fall somewhat is in the quality of its construction, being single stitched, and quite unneat in that, it doesn’t feel like a polished product in hand. With that being said, this has also been called out by Chris himself multiple times, as a deliberate cost saving measure. Since time of writing the stitching issue has been sorted. Still single stitch but no longer looking like a blind 7 year old did it.
Camo plate in practice
This is where we get to the meat of the review. I am far far away from giving a shit what colour my velcro is, but I do see one promising real world application for the F9P camo plate.
As a former sufferer of wearing issued MTP uniforms I have become accustomed to having some form of cover or protection over the exposed portion of tourniquet when prepped in a sleeve pocket. Whilst I’m begrudged to say anything good about anything Army does, having the issued blanking panel over a TQ serves several purposes.
First, it allows you to maintain your patches without trying to stick them over the TQ. Whilst this isn’t of huge importance, having some old throbber in your chain of command lose their mind because your TRF is 3cm too low is a massive pain in the arse, and blanking panels can avoid that.
Covering the TQ also means that it provides less of a black aiming marker on your arm, in the same way the old black NVG mounts used to on Mk6/7 helmets. Whilst it is highly unlikely that a passing enemy will notice your TQ before they notice the hulking great mass of VIRTUS sweating away next to them, it still has to be said that it is effective in doing so.
Finally, and probably the most importantly, it protects your TQ. Generally speaking when on ops you just leave TQ’s in all of your shirts, and they go through the same rigors you do. Over time they will take damage, and will slowly wear out. This is a problem as a TQ snapping could be the difference between life and death. Covering the exposed portion with a blanking plate lowers this risk by providing a sacrifical layer above it.
This is where I see the value in the F9P camo plate. While us brits are squared away with our own blanking panels, those wearing other patterns can pick up an equivalent for themselves. Whether it’s for foreign militaries, or those weird airsofters that carry 30 tourniquets, these camo plates are a great way of making sure that having a TQ prepped won’t damage it over time.
But doesn’t it slow you down?
No. Having a blanking panel installed still gives you around 1-2 inches of TQ to hook whatever digits you have left though, and yank that cunt out. While yes strictly speaking it does require more force to do so, if you’re applying a TQ for the right reason you’ll be so hyped on aldrenaline that you could probably pull the pocket off wholesale to get to the TQ.
Do I think the Full 9 Patches camo plate is a good idea? Yes. It definitely serves a purpose, I just don’t know if that purpose is for everyone.
If like Chris you lose sleep over what colour your velcro is then this is by far and away the simplest and cheapest solution for you. At around £5 a plate you’re not going to struggle to afford it, and if like Chris you’ve papered the walls of your house with weird Crye then then each unit being cheap is going to matter.
For those using these rarer patterns in real world environments then it’s a tiny investment for a product that might legitimately prove important in the chain of keeping yourself alive, and if you don’t find it useful for that, you can at least send your CSM to an early grave by wearing Rhodie velcro on your MTP smock and causing him to have a massive stroke on the spot.
Thanks for reading my review of the Full 9 Patches camo plate, it’s a cool product and I’m really glad that Chris decided to send a pair over. At the time of writing these are not yet available for sale, but the best way to stay updated is to drop @full9patches a follow and wait out.
If you have any questions or comebacks feel free to fire them over to my Instagram account @thegeardocrow. Cheers cunts.