As you already know, our Russian gear lover and expert is ThePesH. This time the packcage from VSO. came straightly to our hands. At first, we have to say that „Falanga” is not just a tactical vest – it’s a whole tactical equipement set which includes:
– Falanga vest,
– tactical belt,
– pistol holster,
– complete hydration pack,
– dump pouch,
– huge variety of pouches.
So, by buying this vest we’re getting modular equipement, which we can customize depending on mission or gear needs, though it’s created mainly for AK (including grenade launcher) or RPK operators (if we’re not going to use drum type magazines).
BUILD AND IMPLEMENTATION
The VSO Falanga is not Russian-made, yet the looks and feeling are just the same kind as while wearing the Eastern ones. It was designed for Spetnaz operators from Kazachstan, but we had an opurtinity to look at it as an Airsoft player, and… it’s kinda unusual to see 25 mm molle system tapes on Russian-looking gear ;). As we said before, Falanga includes vest, belt, holster, hydration pack and full variety of pouches, which is worth 239,00€ – seems to be a bit expensive, but if we chalk up the cost of that amount of gear, we can see why it’s worth it.
The heart of equipement system – tactical vest – is made of four panels – two front-side panels are connected permanently with neck panel, while the back/lumbar one has been linked with adjustement straps. The front has two-way zipper and velctro panel which protects zipper from dirt. Also, the neck panel has the evacuation grip made of a single durable strap. The gear attaching system on the vest are a bit different from the Western ones – the molle straps are one by one, without space in-between as in American-made vests. Beside that, it’s still fully molle gear compatible – everything fits as is should, the straps are thin and mellow – making gear attaching not really easier. The buckles and clasps are made of solid-looking metal with rubbers which help to keep organized loosen parts of straps. Also, D-rings on deltoid areas are metal-made as well.
The inside part of vest has been lined with (unfortunelly) thin mesh spacer. For deltoid and neck areas there are sewn in some foam pads for carrying thick-loaded equipement more comfortable. Sides of the vest, to be honest, are just a huge pockets with Velctro type flaps, perfect for papers/maps carrying.
As you can see, the belt is just… normal. Polymer clasp buckler, mounted to the vest with molle system, without unnessescary peculiarities. It’s used for leg panels, buttpack and dump pouch attaching.
There are two leg panels – both attached to belt with two straps and to leg with other two elastic straps with buckles. Molle straps are just alike those on the vest. We can move the whole platform vertically and horizontally.
Certainly the leg panels are dedicated for pistol holster, but we can also attach it whatever we want, even on the vest – it’s a modular vest and the operator decides whenever it should be. We can close the holster with small belt with press studs. It’s dedicaded for Glock, yet it’s still an universal holster but we must metion that if other pistols fits in it it doesn’t mean it’ll work with it. For example, Sig 226 fits in it, but it causes to magazine release be pushed and the mag can be dropped out while we move. The same story goes with Mudpil holster from Miwo Military and Glock. That’s why we don’t really like the universal pistol holsters.
The buttpack is mounted 50-50 on back of the vest and the tactical belt. We can honestly say that it’s just a freaking bottomless pit with extension which doubles that capacity. There’s a holder on the hatch so we can use it as the casual travel bag as well. The hatch has pocket inside and closes with dwo buckles. Sides and front of the buttpack has attached molle straps, while back has 4 D-rings (in each corner).
The camelbak system is right over the buttpack – with Source 2l hydration pack. Mounted with four straps (for attaching it on vest back / vest back+belt) and four D-rings in each corner waiting just for your whim.
Well, we’re slowly moving to the end. Time for pouches:
– 4×2 AK mag sized pouches
– 2x tall universal mag pouches (capable to hold 2 AK mags
– 2×5 VOG grenades pouches
– 1x gas mask(or just a taller cargo) pouch
– 4x small grenade pouches
– 3x pistol mag pouches (which are not really good for GBB mags – the feeder jaws are exposed inbetween tape and xOxford)
– 1x mutlitool/folding knife pouch
– 1x radio pouch (with press studs and shockcord)
– 2x battery/first aid kit pouch
The vest it made of olive Oxford 900d material (polyerster with poliuretan layer), the straps – of similiar, thinner material and clasps and buckles and other small components – of not-known-sources metal and polymer. The color of straps and vest are nearly the same. The implementation leaves no doubt about products quality. The only difficult thing is gear attaching – molle straps are too close and they may overlap each other making attaching really hard.
USAGE AND PERSONAL OPINION
VSO Falanga is not really a light vest. The whole vest system is damn heavy like some Plate Carriers with kevlar plates and pouches attached. If you’re going to run around wearing Falanga you should think about condition training. Seriously. The vest is not really giving any air cyrculation under itself, not to metion what’s happening while having the ballistic plates attached. If you want to do fit and get some strengh, it’ll be nearly perfect.
Of course, it doesn’t mean this vest is useless – the capabity of the vest is just immense, and if you attach even 20l backpack you can pack up to have 48h innawoods fun.
The vest adjustement with straps and bands is pretty easy but even Hell had to tighten it nearly to maximum while he’s a tough guy. Also the Velctros are freaking strong, but it’s nothing compared to zipper while wearing up vest with packed up pouches – you’ll may even need a little help, not to metion what will happen while you’re wearing sweater and jacket. Yet, the evacuation grip looks like it’s made from paper, compared to rest of the product. It may be durable, but we don’t really believe it.
The molle straps are freaking worst thing ever – it adds additional weight and makes really difficult to attach anything to the vest. We can attach pouches as we wish, but the overlaping flabby straps makes you throw the vest away and curl up on the ground and cry manly tears. Well, at least we have new form of punishement – the Falanga’s full dissamebly and reassembly. It’s better than shooting offender‘s butt with BBs.
The belt to the clamp attachement is not really a good thing – it blocks the place made for pouches and there’s nothing we can do without any modifications.
Camelback cover is just what it looks like. We were surprised that it has no molle straps. Don’t even think about getting it out without unwearing whole vest and swearing quietly. The hydration pack is Israeli SOURCE 2l bag.
The leg panels has limited vecrtical adjustements and a person below 180 cm height may have an issue with having it too low and the horizontal straps are likely to loosen.If you’re bad-lucky enough you may even loose clamp.
Pistol holster is designed for Glock, yet Sig P226 was alright too… until, while sitting and doing other stuff around the magazine dropped out. Also, the safeguard straps are trustworthy, but a bit too much effort and time are needed to draw the pistol.
Mag pouches are really capable – you can carry 8-12 AK 74/47/RPK mags or 4-6 quad-stack mags. STANAG mags are too short and they fall down into bottom of the pouches. Also, you can put in it whole MP7.
Pistol mag pouches has one big issue – the feeder jaws are exposed between pouch side and bottom rubber and can be dirten or broken easily. Also the strap is opening easier because of the poppers, but it can cause dropping the magazine while in action.
Opening grenade pouches takes a little too much time ‘cause of their build – hatch is covering whole top and sides of the pouch. Also, Rocker has come up with a little modification which allows to use them as pouches for 2x short M4 magazines each.
5 VOG pouches allows to hold 5 VOG or any other 40 mm airsoft grenades. Or 5 chocolate bars 😀
Buttpack is a bottomless pit which we can expand even more with molle straps on the sides and front. Carrying a big jacket and much food is not a problem, it has a welt on top of inside of it and the straps on hatch are long enough to close fully packed buttpack. The only thing we can complain is that it’s narrowing from bottom to top, what makes no sense, ‘cause it only makes harder to put in/out stuff.
We can’t really complain at any other pouches – they’re made pretty good and nice besides the dump pouch – it looks like shitty AllChinaMade stuff and is too small as for AK-for made vest. ‘Ya know, AK mags are pretty big, not to metion RPK mags.
It’s pretty lot of this stuff, isn’t it? Heavy, many, rich and a little bit blocky. If we assembly everything as we like the vest can be really comfortable, but we’ll impressed if someone’ll want to wear low-profile ballistic vest under Falanga. Even wearing only packed up VSO vest looked like this…
We can’t hide the fact the VSO Falanga is made for russian-style grear lovers. Not everyone is going to like it – because of ergonomics or pouches made for the AK type magazines or no place to hide SAPI plates or the price of whole product. The price is not that big – if we sum up every pouch and compare to other battle-ready vest sets it’s not a really big difference. VSO designed this set for army, not airsoft players, but both can have fun with it as well. If we care about fit, of course – it’s not as light as JPC or PC vests. 😉
Long story short, Falanga is a vest with beltkit, but if you’re going to wear a vest with ballistic plates under it, you’re going to grump and complain how hard your life is. It’s a bit blocky, but capable and solid.