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What is quality?

 

What is quality? According to the American Society of Quality, quality is –

1. the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs;
2. a product or service free of deficiencies in“fitness for use;” or in a “conformance to requirements.”

You see the problem lies in a consuming public not knowing what really constitutes well made gear.

If you have condor gear in any color outside of multicam or ATACS AU and it was purchased between 2012-2013 then chances are it was made with us made MC and Atacs raw fabric out of Duro and Schott Performance.

That said, the geometry and methods used to construct their products are substandard at best with frequent deviations from specifications (most noticeably in PALS channel formation)

Sometimes the stitch length is as big as 4 stitches per inch on major surfaces up to 6 SPI, when your break strength is about 11lbs per stitch it does count when you start applying a warload.

Take a ruler alongside your stitches and see for yourself. .. measure the pals Webbing too, 1.5″ on center, 1″ gap in between

Rarely do you see any reinforcement to critical load bearing or contact surfaces (where material exposed to plate surfaces, or where Webbing is interfaced with platebag)… any sewn down Webbing should be finished in such a manner that there are no exposed ends to fray out and render that Webbing useless

It is stitched up just to be functionally able to act in its intended form, to hold a plate in a static form… but due to movement and the way things move in a dynamic sense, stress loads previously not present upon the sewn structures will suddenly undergo loading that will exceed stitch capacity and then pop goes the article.

Dimensionally speaking ALL pouches should fit exactly in between one or more pals channels and NOT extend beyond into another channel on either side

So is all this worth it to you? If you rationalize a 50.00 condor plate carrier as good enough, then I would submit that you need to reassess what is critical instead of getting something just because someone else is getting one too

That said, this is what I set out to compare yesterday… I bought a Condor Gunner release able PC, and a Mayflower / Velocity Scarab Light PC to compare both ends of the cost/build spectrum in terms of what 100.00 retail gets you and what 315.00 will get you.

 

First off, the Condor Gunner release able PC

04“New with tag”

015 Stitch per inch throughout

02Rear face of PC

03Top half of rear face with “drag handle”
More on that later

05That drag handle, a single thickness of 17337 webbing and it’s already pulling away from body face… not reinforced nor does it extend throughout the body of the pc to distribute it’s loading

60Stitching to “taper” the handle.. not quite symmetric

06Unreinforced joint interface… at least bartack or run multiple stitches through to keep in place

07Loose thread from and unreinforced joint

08Poorly prepped piece of loop with non-symmetrical stitching

09Pals spacing… deviations

10Front cbund flap with “kangaroo pouch” outboard channels are larger than spec

11Stitching on QR pull tab

12Stitch alignment and lack of symmetry against pc body edge

13That close to edge increases likelihood of seam failure

14Unfinished raw edges of nylon, and velcro… along with loose stitching

15Deviations of PALS “gap” spacing. . Should be 1″

16Gap spacing… should be 1″

17

18Cbund flap / kangaroo pouch… unfinished… leads to unintended bulk and a failure point

19Another view of joint of kangaroo pouch… this will tearout since it isn’t reinforced

20Another view of joint, raw edges could simply be dealt with by rolling in the finished edging and then stitching down

21Already pulling apart… not even had a player loaded

22Front platebag flap… note unevenness of stitching

23Platebag joint

24Plate bag closure loop… it’s sewn onto the space mesh externally to mate with the hoop on flap. Problem lies in the material piling when exposed to hook snagging. Also note the stitching to the left… that’s for the two inch wide strap that hold the plate in

25Detail of stitching through the spacer mesh for the loop inside the platebag. This means your plates are suspended by the spacer mesh only and is not reinforced

26Detail of flap retainer strap… misaligned stitching

27Hook side of front cbund flap/kangaroo pouch… all that loose threading was there at purchase time

28Loops idea of front cbund attachment… notice lack of stitch “squaring” symmetry and non alignment of stitch boxes – off center

30Single lines of stitching hold Velcro loop in place excess overhang can snag and tear out, and the closer the stitch line is to the edge… higher chance of tearout

31Overhang .. should not be this much

32Loose thread and misaligned stitching

33The single point release derived from CIRAS SPR, uses a 1 in Webbing tab in lieu of a ripcord and dacron loop assembly. Once stacked, this assembly adds a full 1.5″ of depth to your setup

34Unfinished edge on reverse side of SPR cover flap

35Obverse of SPR cover flap

36Stitching on cummerbund extension. .. note high tension cased malformed stitching “loops around Straight taut thread” appearance

37Shoulder pads assembly

38Shoulder strap with QRV release tunnel… showing exposed melted end rather than a folded over end to prevent friction fraying

Now the Velocity Systems Scarab Light PC (medium SAPI) but fitted with VS ULV 4mm plates40Scarab with front cbund flap removed. Non releaseable system no drag handle

41Full width bartack on PALS

42Representative stitch line found through this rig

438 stitch per inch

44Stitching parallel to edging with reinforced layer joints

45Laser cut finished edging on shoulder straps

46Loop finishing… almost boring regular straights and alignments

47Loop Webbing detail

48Dimensional regularity

49Reinforced points, but nowhere is the mesh lining stitched through

50Rear face showing stitching alignment

51Layering reinforcement where a second layer comes to an end over another

52Bartack closeup

53Bartacked pullflap

54Channel alignment

55Let’s stitch AND Bartack a cummerbund extension!

Darin Talbot
Contributor at Primary & Secondary
Eglabsinfo@gmail.com

http://extremegearlabs.com/

https://www.facebook.com/extremegearlabs

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