Thursday, 12 May 2016

Gear Review: Invader Gear Armor Carrier and Predator Combat Pants

I'm taking a slight step away from the teching side of things for a while on this post and taking a look at some tactical gear instead.

I received a light plate carrier (simply dubbed Armor Carrier) and a pair of Predator Combat Pants for review from, a shop operating out of Austria. Both items are manufactured by Invader Gear, a brand I was not too familiar with from before. Invader Gear is what I'd call mid level equipment. Not the low-down cheapest possible (and poorest quality) stuff you can find, but not the real world use super expensive gear either. In my mind they occupy a place where a balance between high quality and affordability is reached, which to me sounds just optimal for airsoft use.
As the company states on their own page, "All of our products were designed and manufactured to be reasonably priced while providing decent quality. We are focused on sturdy durability, proven materials and a wide range of colors & camouflage patterns." Their items are produced in Pakistan, so you can definitely expect a higher standard of quality than you can from ACM products. They also use YKK fasteners all around, so you can count on them a lot more than unbranded plastic fasteners.

How do these two items fare, then? Let's look at the Armor Carrier first and the Predator Combat Pants second.

Armor Carrier

The Armor Carrier is a simplistic, lightweight plate carrier with front and back plate compartments, adjustable shoulder straps and strap fasteners on the sides. The article  pictured is coloured Ranger Green. At the time of writing, the carrier is also available in ATP camo (a close cousin of MTP/MC) and Coyote.
The front features a hefty amount of velcro for name tags etc. and both the front and back have a PALS matrix of 5x8. The very ends of the webbing overlap the edge of the plate, so threading a pouch there might prove problematic in some cases, but width of the stitching is correct. (I've had cheapo PCs that have too narrow webbing on the edges, which is really sad). The only thing lacking is an evacuation handle on the backside. While it's not exactly an actively used function of a vest in airsoft games, it would be a nice visual addition nevertheless.

Height adjustment is done via simple velcro straps hooked around a plastic triglide buckle. I don't consider myself a huge person, but I had to pull out the strap quite a bit to make the vest sit at the correct height. This plate carrier might end up running out of adjustment for a larger operator. The straps and the points where they attach on the front and back are padded underneath, which makes wearing the vest very comfortable.

Width is adjusted via a simple strap hooked to a hefty plastic YKK buckle. The strap also has an elastic band around it for tucking away the excess end. Here, there is a lot of adjustability compared to the height adjustments, so you can definitely fit the carrier over several layers of clothes and other equipment if need be. 

A quick peek on the inside reveals a simple inside layer with brand markings and plate compartment flaps that are fastened both with snap fasteners and velcro. The undersides of the flaps have two grommets for water drainage.

The vest comes with thick foam inserts both in the front and the back, cut in the shape of actual plates. The material, while thick, is pretty supple and elastic and also quite light. The fact that the compartments are not empty from the factory, and the carrier has the correct look from the beginning, is a very nice touch. However, in order to achieve a more authentic feel, I'd suggest either purchasing or making stiffer and heavier inserts. The vest, as shipped, weighs in at a very light 625g.

The quality of the stitching and the materials is simply unquestionable. Places of expected high wear are carefully double stitched, all the lines are dead-on straight and there are no loose ends of thread visible anywhere. I am thoroughly convinced with the quality of this product and do not hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for a lightweight plate carrier. has one for you right here, retailing at the time of writing for 57.90 EUR.

Predator Combat Pants

I can say right off the bat that this is no ordinary pair of trousers. Care has been taken to make them fit the individual user and to make wearing them as comfortable as possible, but I can't help mentioning that if you've ever seen Crye Precision combat pants, you'll know exactly where these pants borrow (quite heavily) from. The article pictured has a camo pattern named Everglade (close to ATACS FG), but the pants are available in 14 different colours and patterns, including but not limited to black, coyote, OD, Marpat, Vegetato and Woodland and they come in sizes from S through XL (and the actual size fits the size chart exactly).
The pants have integrated knee pads, elastic sections around the knees and lower back, padded waist, 8 velcro-closure pockets and two open side pockets. The pants, like the plate carrier, utilize YKK zippers and fasteners to make sure things stay where they should. The fabric is thick and stiff(ish) in exactly the way you'd expect from such a high wear item, and is a mix of 65% cotton and 35% polyester.

The pants have a covered zipper fly and a velcro closing flap aligned with the waist to allow for some size adjustment.

The backside has a strip of elastic fabric to ensure the waist stays put when you're crouching, kneeling, bending over or crawling. Belt loops are large enough to fit a wide belt with a large buckle through with ease (pictured belt is 5cm wide).

The knee pads are a stiff, rubbery plastic, which should stand up to abuse. They are inserted from the front and secured in place by velcro sections around the cutout. Padding around the knee pad extends al the way to the edges of the insert compartment. Lowering to one knee or crawling will be as comfortable as possible. The elastic fabric around the knee pad also ensures the pants don't pull when you're manoeuvring in them.

A handy strap that runs from the inside of the side pockets to the knee pad allows you to adjust the height of the knee pads in relation to the waist, which is a brilliant way of making sure different users can make the pants fit their anatomy.
There are velcro adjustment straps behind both knees, which allow you to tighten the pants legs around your calves both to lessen the amount of loose fabric flapping around as well as to stop the pants from riding up.
Similar velcro straps exist around the ankles so you can tighten the legs around your boots or more easily stuff the pants inside them. Also note the small ankle pockets in the pictures above.

With the velcros done up the pants really hug your legs and make movement easy and effortless.

As with the plate carrier, the workmanship on the pants is superb. Sturdy, straight stitching all around with double stitches in high stress areas. The ability to fit and adjust the garment to the individual user make these the most comfortable tactical trousers I've ever worn. Like the plate carrier, these come highly recommended. You can get yours on here. Prices at the time of writing vary from 76.90 to 84.90 EUR depending on the colour/pattern.


I am thoroughly impressed by Invader Gear! From what I've seen on these two products, they really make good on their promise of making reasonably priced items, but the quality in my opinion is far beyond "decent", which is how they themselves describe it. The quality of materials and workmanship really put these a cut above the rest. I will certainly be looking at Invader Gear when I'm planning my next tactical gear purchases!

Drop me a line below if there's something more you'd like to know!


  1. Be careful with the pants, I have a set of Invader gear in Flecktarn and whilst you're right that they are very comfortable and fit well, they fade very quickly.

    Mine have white edges after only 5 washes.

    1. Thanks for the info! A bit sad to hear that the print quality isn't up to the level of the rest of the product, really. At least the fading won't be as noticeable on this colour, but others might definitely disappoint.

  2. I have a pair of Multicam Tropic pants and can confirm that the pattern, after 3 washes, is fading.