View Full Version : Is BDS Tactical Gear good to go?

15 August 2011, 18:47
I'm considering getting this rig here. (I'll end up paying about $250)

It seems there's some "gear politics" issue that has a lot of people not wanting it. Something about the guy who owned the company went to prison, his ex took it over, and so on. Then he started back up and everyone wants to buy from him.
Well... The guy that got out of prison everyone likes doesn't really offer what I want exactly, and he charges more anyway it seems.

Most of the information I seem to find online focuses on this story and not on the quality of the actual gear itself.
Maybe I'm ignorant or something... but I'm really just not interested in the politics of the chest rig... I just want a chest rig that works how I want and is reasonably priced.

So... as far as quality and functionality of the gear goes... does BDS Tactical Gear offer good kit?


15 August 2011, 21:06
Chest rig politics?

15 August 2011, 21:39
Yeah.... it confused me, too. I'd rather just avoid the whole ordeal.

Sounds like some divorce argument spilled over into the chest rig manufacturing industry.... with ex-husband and ex-wife running competing companies. I don't really understand, and don't care to.

16 August 2011, 17:45
John makes gear that will outlast/perform BDS gear in any and all ways, I own gear from John (OSOE) and it is outstanding, yes it costs more but you wont find better gear, if you don't see what you want try contacting him and see if he will build what you want (no harm in asking).

As to the politics between John (OSOE) and his ex-wife (BDS), don't know what happened and don't care (none of my business).

16 August 2011, 19:20
Actually, I'm going to circumvent the situation entirely. I think Eagle Industries actually offers what I want. The only question is- Is Eagle Industries even really in business anymore. I understand that they changed ownership... seems a lot of their stuff is out of stock in places.

If they're still making these... this is my new idea for my rig...

Eagle Low Vis Armor Carrier (LVAC)
Eagle M4 Chest Rig, LE 6 Mag
BulletProofME lvl3 Steel Rifle Plates

Any info on that y'all've got?

16 August 2011, 19:32
I own OSOE gear and know John, he makes very solid and reliable gear, needless to say some of his gear went with me into harms way. I can only ask you to leave the TV soap drama and heresay elsewhere.

16 August 2011, 20:28

The whole reason I started this thread is because I wanted to avoid the human aspects and focus on the gear. My only purpose in mentioning it was to indicate that I am aware there is that aspect and I don't want to hear more about the situation since it doesn't interest me in the least.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood. As for me, I don't care about either one of them from any aspect now... Looks like Eagle offers something better, and at a lower price point than either one of them.



17 August 2011, 03:13
All my exposure to BDS stuff has been that it's the default bottom brand at the PX/Exchanges. It's decent stuff, and as much as we talk about bombproof gear being absolutely amazing (OSOE is a prime example), if it's going to see most of its use in a closet, it doesn't really matter, and BDS will be more than adequate.
That said, I have airsoft knockoffs of Eagle stuff that are better made.

On your final kit: #1, what soft armor are you planning on using with at Lvl3 plate?
#2 How many rifle magazines do you want to carry
#3 How much other stuff do you want to carry.

If it's just 4 magazines, a BOK, small items, and plates, then a smaller plate carrier (DBT FAPC, Eagle MPC, etc.) will work fine.
If you want a standalone chest rig, more customization might be still preferable, though the three-mag modular Eagle chest rig is pretty awesome.
The base Eagle Chest Rig system is very solid, through stuff like the EGL H Harness or DRG elastic waistband makes it even better. I have two and really like them (an EGL Custom one, and SKD), but they're large chest rigs that hold a lot of stuff, and anymore I find that it's too much to carry for anything but carbine class use.

17 August 2011, 09:41
If Eagle knockoff airsoft gear is better made than BDS, I'll definitely go that route if I can't get real Eagle. BDS is too expeensive to not get good quality. I'll probably end up just hoping Eagle hasn't discontinued what I want.

I'll be realistic... this will spend most of its time in a closet, and every few weeks will get a little sunlight to go shooting at my uncle's ranch. I'm not a high speed low drag operator. That said, I like to have good stuff that holds up, even if that means I need to wait and save a little longer. I don't need the latest and greatest... I just want something that works.

I don't know very much about soft armor other than it is expensive, and I've heard it expires after about 5 years or so. (Correct me if I'm wrong, I very well may be.) The steel plates (rather than ceramic) give me some protection in vital areas and on top of that they're inexpensive, don't expire, and seem to hold up almost unscathed to quite a few hits. And, they're slimmer. Of course, the big trade off is weight, but I don't plan on needing to haul them very far.

I'd like to carry six on the vest, and one in the rifle. Four doesn't seem like quite as much as I'd like, and eight takes up too much frontal space for my tastes.

I personally don't like the "war belt" configuration. I definitely see the advantages, but I never really could get it to work for me the way I want. As a result, on the vest I'd like a Medical Pouch and a Canteen Pouch. If I can fit a small General Purpose Pouch on it, I might also do that. I plan on using a backpack to carry other equipment.


17 August 2011, 20:16
I'm gonna try and be as objective as possible here and leave out the BS. Until reading this thread I was completely unaware that the two (OSOE and BDS) were even related.

I own gear from both OSOE and BDS. I also have some Eagle gear, not to mention 5.11, etc, etc. In my experience BDS is nicer than Eagle. To be honest I don't even remember how they compared price-wise. I have had zero complaints from any of my gear, except for Eagle...and that was stitching that wasn't up to par.

I'm not gonna go into whether or not OSOE is better than BDS, but I will say that you usually get what you pay for. With that being said I would trust the BDS gear I have as much as I do the gear from OSOE.

Now that I know there are some politics between OSOE and BDS I may stick to OSOE, for several reasons, one being that John has done me favors, and in my mind is stand-up guy.

Take that for what it's worth.

18 August 2011, 05:53
Even though my old job description had 'Operator' in the title, even in Afghanistan gear didn't have to be bulletproof, and the comparison of BDS to some gear isn't fair, it's still well made stuff, I didn't mean to imply it wasn't, there just is some chairsofting gear that actually is better than the Eagle lemons. A lot of the grunts I worked with had and used BDS (in addition to many others), and most gear related failure was due to negligence rather than flaws with equipment.
For carrying 6+1 mags, there are a few setups that will work very well, I know of an OSOE micro rig that will work, the HSGI 2x Tacos will stack to fill that, or running a 3x1 shingle over an Eagle LE 3 mag vest will fit that bill. For strictly budget, the Eagle LE one, with a IFAK pouch on one side and a GP pouch on the other (can hold canteen and some extras) with the shingle would be likely the most cost effective if you're using used pouches to complete it. Otherwise, any 12 PALS space across vest will accomodate everything you need and then some, this is a pretty standard format. OSOE, Mayflower, LBT all make stock rigs that already will meet your needs, but they're in the cry once category of gear.

Another often forgotten consideration, especially with armor, is weight. Issued armor systems tend to become ponderous piles of crap (see our MTV armor system), and trying to get a completely cheap armor system that isn't tailored to the exact threat you're trying to mitigate is going to be very heavy. Steel plates are great for the money, but be aware that running a pair of those, some affordable twaron IIIA soft armor, with six magazines and a pack, you'll be looking at the same weight as our combat loads that include multiple radios.
This is not to say that it's any less effective, but when it comes to putting in time training, and my own time, the fatigue factor of toting around that much bulk makes me not want to use all of it. Hauling it a long way is only part of it, just standing around can actually be tiring, and no matter how great a buy the equipment is, if you're not using it at the time it's not helping you improve your skillset, when another purchase might do more for that... though the same argument can be made for buying the most affordable rig that meets your needs so you have more funds available to actually use it. I have learned to respect the guy who goes out with gear I consider somewhat junky, but is actually out shooting over most of the guys who own top end equipment that brightens a closet because they can't afford to train with it.

Now that M4C is back up, read some of Doc Roberts' posts in the Terminal Ballistic section regarding armor selection, then start with further reading from there. It's got a lot of information tailored for LE, but plenty of other information pertaining to civvy use.