This’s actually the second time I’ve reviewed this rig in particular, the first round was more a first impressions, this is what it has to offer kinda post. This time will be a more in depth look of what I think of the rig almost a year into owning it, plus a recap of its features and the differentiations from the more common rigs on the market.
For a bit of background, the C2Rmor Lite was first publicly seen en mass with the Metropolitan Police’s CTSFO units at Wembley during a match between England and France back in November 2015. Since then we’ve seen them in the press releases and every major terror incident in London to date. I do know that UKSF Elements have started to use the C2Rmor Lite in conjunction with JPCs and AVSs, but other than that they are a rarity amongst the international SF Community.
The rig itself has actually been updated recently to a certain extent with Hypalon, laser cut MOLLE to replace the traditional Cordura bar tacking. There’s also new shoulder pads, a new cummerbund and drag handle system, and from what I can see new placement on the velcro. CTSFO occasionally use the Lite in conjunction with the C2R Groin Protector which appears to be used in planned raids or CAT duties (Counter Ambush Team), whereas it’s much rarer with regards to response. The Groin Panel has been seen with utility pouches and shotgun loop panels on these, plus Plasticuffs but not much more, it is based around protection opposed to the common ‘Dangler’ utility.
With reference to similar rigs on the market, I’d say it’s very close to the Crye JPC, albeit a touch larger. It does share some of the features the JPC 2.0 has such as the application for a Zip on Panel on the rear, plenty of adjustment and really everything you’d expect a newer Plate Carrier to have, but I do think it pips it to the post.
As it’s currently the only generation available to civilians I’m running the first Gen courtesy of AM Tactical, so I’m sure you can appreciate I can’t comment on the latest model. I’m really happy with how it’s serving me currently especially considering I’ve decided to run real plates in mine for the Mock Counter Terror Exercises, I guess for the correct shape of the rig, plus the realism side of it. Currently I have some replica plate backers in there sent to me by Andy from S23 which are pretty essential in making the rig comfortable. The 3D Mesh doesn’t really provide sufficient padding when using standalone plates so having some form of barrier will work in your favour, and provide extra breathing room.
3D mesh covers most areas on the bits of the platebags that face your body which gives for comfort and heat removal, and is also present on the shoulder straps. The shoulder pads are fine, but you do notice when a significant weight is placed on the rig and this end up aching after prolonged use. I noted from the Flashbang Magazine article with the CTSFO feature that some of the Officers had began to run black shoulder pads, possibly from their old Warrior rigs. That’s a modification I’m going to consider at some stage for mine, although I’ll probably go with Blue Force Gear shoulder pads once I find a pair in the UK. The original straps feature the ability to accommodate hydro tubes and Comms cables should you so desire, which is just about standard on most modern plate carriers.
On the rear platebag there is room for a bladder or MOE tools, depending on the situation you’ll be using it in, this space also fits the drag handle which is unlike a design I’ve seen on Rigs before. On the surface it looks like a normal ~10cm long strip of webbing, but if given a good pull it will extend out a significant way, thus allowing other members of your team to get hold of you in the event of an emergency. This was however a requirement of the Metropolitan Police and isn’t featured on the Multicam variant and from what I can tell the latest Met specific model has scrapped the extendable piece in favour of the traditional style.
There is some admin space on the front platebag, but do note that this space is significantly reduced once the vest is used in conjunction with plates. It’s very suitable for your notepad and pen, personally I just run a cloth to defog glasses but don’t expect to be able to fit much else in there. There’s a load of velcro ‘real estate’ front and back for a variety of patches, probably the most on any rig I’ve seen before let alone used, so tons of room for ID patches and flags etc. The wearer also has the option to remove the front kangaroo pouch completely, something that I’m sure can come in handy for Plain Clothed Operations when ballistic protection is required.
The cummerbund is relatively thin, coming with a pair of pockets for side armour if you run it. I refrain from having anything on here other than an inverted Fast-Mag, radio pouch and dump pouch which sit pretty close anyway. I’ve seen on reference photos dual fast mags, external radio pouches, IFAKs etc, but I’m keeping any bulk to the rear of the rig where it won’t interfere in corridors with other Assaulters and door frames (they always get me).
As for the future, there isn’t much that I want to do to it in all honesty. I’m holding out on C2R for a Rapid Access Medical Pouch (RAMP) to accompany the Blackhawk! Dual 40mm on the rear, at some stage a Peltor PTT when I sort out a full radio setup, but the majority of pouches are set on my belt anyway so the my Lite is as slick as it can be.
Overall I’m really happy with the rig. For a high end brand it’s pretty affordable and obtainable, and is a direct competitor to the likes of the Crye JPC and Mayflower APC. It’s available in both Multicam and Wolf Grey, and you can find it at AM Tactical for around £250 currently (as of 03/18).