Submitted by SGT Pigg
I am a grunt who fought with 3 I.D. in 03 and 05 in Iraq and was a Sniper in 05. I can tell you I used to spend up to four days at a time in OPs. The R.A.C.K. gear is great, until you have to go prone with it on. As a sniper in a Mech. unit, I liked the Air Crew Vest the best. It is all MOLLE and you can set it up as long as you ditch the harness. Plus, you still have the back area for more gear when not mounted. I bought mine on E-Bay for about 40 Bucks. I don't know how that can kill a pocket book at all.
ED -- SGT. Pigg, I assume you're refering to the CWU-33 Aircrew Survival Vest pictured above. I agree, the all MOLLE construction makes it a better choice for hanging stuff on than would the RACK, but I wonder how well it would fit over body armor. I have one of the older nylon mesh aircrew survival vests and to test the theory I tried to put it on over my interceptor (I used books in place of SAPI plates.) It wouldn't fit.
Also, as you pointed out, the only place I've ever found these for sale (on line that is) is on e-bay, where they seem to be running in the $15-30 range.
Has anyone ever tried out one of these in the dirt beetle role?