Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! And welcome to the last of my loadout posts for a little while, today we'll be looking at my M81 X Flannel loadout that I wore for the Depot in Glasgow for their charity event that was held in 2019.

Let's chat about what I'm wearing on the old noggin'. So to give my head a little protection, I'm wearing the 5.11 2017 Range Cap, to protect my ears I'm wearing the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff. I use these for both airsoft and also firearms on the range because of their noise-cancelling feature. When you flick the switch and turn on the electronic ear protection, it uses the built-in directional microphones to amplify ambient (background) sounds to 82dB - well within safe hearing limits. This allows you to hear important commands on the range and crucial environment sounds when hunting or playing airsoft. For additional shooting hearing protection, it also actively listens and automatically stops amplification when loud impulsive sounds like firearm discharges exceed 82dB.

The Air Flow Control technology means they utilise a slim earcup design that ensures your stock has clearance while shooting (no bumping your earpro on the stock like with some cheaper options). It has a padded headband which is comfortable and it does adjust. It also has an external audio jack that lets you connect the shooting earmuff to music device or scanner or another audio source which is perfect for airsoft. The battery delivers approximately 350 hours of usage, and the automatic shut-off feature engages after 4 hours to help save battery life.

My Facemask is the licensed T'Farge Comfort Mask from OneTigris. It is a half-face mask that has padded sides and a TPU polymer bridge to protect the nose. The TPU material that covers the bridge of the nose has been tested to 800FPS impact resistance (tested between -10 degrees C and 42 degrees C), it also allows for breathability thanks to the cutouts and it has a rubber seal on the inside of the mask to keep players goggles clear. The fabric used is nylon (for the black and green versions) and 500D Cordura (for the MultiCam version) and this is for durability as it offers great dirt, water and abrasion resistance. On the inside of the fabric is the padded mesh breathability lining for player comfort. It has adjustable double head straps for comfort and to prevent the mask from slipping. It’s also a super light-weight piece of kit, weighing in at only 100g and it folds up small so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

The padded sides are super comfortable, but one thing I have noticed with the ladies cut is as it cuts away from the jawline quite sharply it doesn’t completely protect the very bottom of your cheeks - but this isn’t an area that for me gets hit a lot so it’s not too much of an issue as the covers a lot of the face. The mask is built for player comfort. and the only aspect I found uncomfortable about the mask was the fact the double strap has two buckles that can rub on your ears when wearing ear protection, this wouldn’t be an issue if you don’t wear ear protection but I always wear it so it can be a little uncomfortable during prolonged wear.

For my tac vest I'm wearing the ‘Small Modular Plate Carrier’ from LBX, or the 0300S as it is more commonly known in the airsoft community. The 0300S is the compact model of LBX’s popular Modular Plate Carrier. As the name suggests the carrier has 360 modular webbing, on the front panel, back panel, and the cummerbund so players can customise their carrier on all sides to their needs/preferences. The top rows of webbing on the front panel also have hook Velcro so you can show off your favourite patches. 

Although it doesn’t come with plates as stock, the carrier can take 8x10 plates if players want to add a little bit of weight or help keep the shape when it isn’t in use. It features a heavy-duty drag handle which is probably more applicable in real-world application than airsoft but it's there if you need to quickly drag your mates out of a firefight. It also has hydration/comms guides on the front and rear panels to keep hydration system and communication systems organised and of course to prevent any loose cables being snagged during use – after all, no one likes catching their lines on door handles!

The 0300S is fully adjustable - the cummerbund is adjustable between 32" and 46", and as my waist is 29” it fits snuggly but still gives me enough room to wear the carrier over a softshell or hoodie as I would in the winter. As the cummerbund also has Velcro closure it can be securely fastened. The carrier also features adjustable shoulder straps which means the operator can adjust where it sits on the torso. Both shoulder straps have padded strap coverings which makes them comfortable to wear for long periods of time even when the carrier is loaded up. So we know it’s adjustable, but how does it fit? This is the main selling point for me! I’ve found very few plate carriers that can comfortably fit my small frame and contour my waist and chest but the 0300S does the job. As I’ve said, the cummerbund fits my waist pretty snug but still leaves me enough room to be worn over a light jacket or hoodie. The overall size looks/feels right on my torso and without plates, it fits the contours of my body.

I've accessorised my 0300S with the Triple HSGI Taco Modular Panel in Ranger Green from the LBX – the RG compliments the MAS Grey really well, it has 3 x M4 mag pouches and 3 x pistol mag pouches. I've also used the HSP SACK pouch to expand the carrying capacity.

The flannel shirt I'm wearing is from the budget high street retailer Primark. There are a lot of outdoor/tactical clothing companies that make flannel shirts but they tend to be quite expensive. This men's green/black shirt was just £10! Bargain! This shirt also came in an XS size which was pretty spot on!

For the trousers, I'm wearing the Viper Tactical Gen 2 Elite Trousers in US Woodland, which make huge improvements on the originals and boast a bunch of new features, including improved removable ABS knee pads! These new Elite trousers are a dupe of a very popular style of trousers/pants but are super affordable.

Besides the style, the first thing that strikes me about these new combat pants is that they are packed with pockets for storage! Featuring: two roomy cargo pockets with inner felt lined utility compartments, two hand-warmer pockets, two rear pockets, and two front thigh pockets. The pockets are placed in convenient locations and easy to reach in-game. The most useful for my own style of gaming is definitely the cargo pockets - they’re really roomy and secure well so I don’t lose any of my bits and bobs on the field.

One feature that was absent from the previous version, and definitely adds to the aesthetics is the V-Stretch material panels that are located around the knees and seat for better movement. The material is an accent colour which gives the trousers a high-end look but they aren’t there to just look good, they make the trousers so much more usable. As the originals didn’t have any stretch fabric, they relied on the little stretch the trouser fabric had, which meant they didn’t have a huge amount of movement. This stretch fabric makes these so comfortable to wear even when I’m crouching and getting into some really uncomfortable positions to get the shot.

The Gen 2 Elite Trousers feature removable ABS knee pads but the design is a major improvement on the originals. Instead of being hard plastic, they are now a flexible almost rubber feel plastic that moulds to your knees much better. They also look better. Like the originals though, they still have knee pad height adjusters in front thigh pockets which means I don’t get ‘thighcaps’!

In regards to the fit of them, as I wear a UK 8/10 (depending on the brand) I opted for a 30” waist. My waist sits at dead on 29” so opting for the 30” gives me. an extra inch for movement. They feature a padded waistline panel for added comfort, so when you’re leaning and there is pressure on the waistline it doesn’t dig in like some other brands and they have velcro retention for knee and cuffs.

As with my MultiCam set-up, the base of my OD set-up is the FRV Tailoring Cobra Shooters belt in OD. A low profile, lightweight and affordable alternative to belts such as the Ronin. It has an inner belt made of one layer of webbing with Velcro hook on the outside which you feed through your trouser belt loops as you would any normal belt, then you place your outer belt with all your pouches, holsters etc attached over the inner belt and fasten it with the cobra buckle. The belt is 50mm/2" wide and has 18 columns of molle. The molle loops run along the top and bottom of the outer belt and they're compatible with any molle pouches and holsters. The outer belt has a double layer of webbing to give it that rigidity and a cobra buckle that is rated up to 4000 lbs. What I love about this belt is it sits quite high up on my hips so it doesn’t bruise me or get uncomfortable even when there’s a fair bit of weight being carried, and I can have all my pouches/holsters etc set up on the belt without needing to take them off when the belt is removed. You can save 10% on the FRV Tailoring website by using the code 'Femmefatale' at the checkout!

For my pistol holster I'm using a standard Glock holster (I hadn't had a custom one made for the Agency Arms Glock at this point) and for my pistol mags I'm using two of the GK Tactical SG 2.0 Pistol Pouches from Redwolf. These affordable polymer pouches fit all pistol series magazines. There are flared surfaces on all sides of the pouch opening which allows smooth, blind insertion of the mag into the pouch. The front torsion plate is engineered to direct pressure down through the pouch forcing its inner friction surface to make positive contact along the length of the magazine. With minimal adjustment to the cord, the holding power of the pouch can be multiplied through the designed leverage in the system.

Next up in my OD set-up we have a new bit of kit – the Viper Covert Dump Pouch in OD! A small addition but one that makes a big difference during a skirmish in terms of stashing used mags in a flash. This tiny pouch folds out into a full-size dump pouch – so it has a good carrying capacity whilst being compact in its folded form and looks tidy. It’s really easy to deploy even whilst wearing my belt and what I really like about it is that it folds away easily too! It has a drawstring to keep everything in the pouch secure and a drainage hole at the bottom of the fold-out pouch to prevent rainwater pooling on wet game days.

I have 2 of the Kydex Holster NLD 40mm Carrier – in my custom pink/grey colourway. It is a Kydex carrying system designed specifically for the TRMR that has a malice clip attachment for use with molle plate carriers and belts. There’s not really much to talk about in terms of features as they are a super simple bit of kit – just moulded thermoplastic with a malice clip but their simplicity means less to go wrong. Once it is attached to your kit, the operation does take a little getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it does offer quick deployment and of course good retention. As it has a moulded lip to secure the TRMR I found the best way to deploy it quickly is to push the TRMR base up through the cut out and it will slide out. On the way back in, the best method I found was to have the TRMR at a 45-degree angle against the back of the TRMR and push down.

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