The concept of a rigid “plate frame” style ballistic suspension system was pioneered by S&S Precision almost a decade ago. Benefits of a rigid plate frame are easy to put into a few sentences. The frame system itself absorbs no water. You can save weight using a skeletonized construction, without suffering from the sagging pouches normally associated with this approach.
Those attributes did certainly catch the attention of many amphibious and maritime units, which often have to carry relatively heavy loads on a small platform, which should be completely hydrophobic.
Now many manufacturers did try to copy or improve this approach, but only a few did last on the market. The Kirys 2.0 frame by HUSAR ltd is one of those products. We tested HUSAR Ltds flagship design for several months, including multi-day exercises, CQB training and regular days on the range.
LAYOUT & CONSTRUCTION
Now lets talk about the main feature of the system, its plate frame. The outer side of each plate pocket is made out of skeletonized kydex. Be aware that each frame is custom made to a certain plate size. To “insert” the plate, the front and back panels feature an array of eight velcro attachment fingers each, which wrap around the plate by velcro and a custom cut loop velcro backer. This allows you to create a snug fit for the plate. Of course your plate is exposed to the elements now, so make sure you have a properly sealed plate, or you have to use HUSAR Ltds plate sleeves, which sadly will eliminate the weight advantages of the plate frame a bit.
The front frame features PALS spaced Kydex “ribs” and comes with an array of Velcro and and female QASM buckles, allowing you to either mount MOLLE pouches or to attach industry standard velcro placards. On the front you also will find ROC buckles, which are hard sewn to the system.
The back looks pretty similar, with the shoulder straps sewn in and featuring vertical slits in the kydex frame for attaching the velcro cummerbund.
The cummerbund itself attaches via Velcro to the back and uses ROC buckles on the front. It is a two row PALS cummerbund, made out of two layers of HUSARs well known rubberized laminate and a layer of what appears to be HDPE, sandwiched between it. This makes the cummerbund really rigid, while maintaining a small footprint, which is brilliant. Of course the cummerbund is also hydrophobic, someone at HUSAR Ltd actually was consequent with this idea. Now the cummerbund doesnt comes without issues, in our opinion all sizes could be cut a bit smaller. Two inches smaller would ensure a perfect fit. We will talk about our opinion on the decision to use ROC buckles later, but generally they are a perfect match for maritime operations.
The shoulder straps arent rigid, but adjustable, they also connect with ROC buckles but could also profit from being sized a tad smaller.
If you need a bit more padding or cable routing options, HUSAR Ltd has you covered with some pretty well made shoulder pads that come with the Kyris frame. They are based on a velcro sandwich contruction, and work with weight dispersion instead of blunt padding. They also feature two sewn in velcro OneWrap straps for cable/hydration routing.
Husar also provides you two cummerbund “wing” style pouches in the size of an AR/AK magazine or a small radio.
Of course the front velcro option recommends itself to interface with HUSARs Kirys front flaps, we reviewed their excellent double front flaps a few months ago, but you can use any other industry standard placard.
I use the double front panel with three magazines, a pistol magazine insert for my multitool, one more AR/AK magazine insert for an optional magazine and the velcro fap insert for batteries, pencils, a small notebook. On the cummerbunds right backside is my VS17 panel and on the left side two additional magazine pouches.
The Husar Kirys 2.0 is a well-made and lightweight platecarrier. The Kirys 2.0 performs best with medium sized or minimalist loadouts. It lends itself for close quarters and maritime use, but tends to lack noise discipline in rural environments, where it also can catch on stuff while crawling. It is a comfortable system , but it also isnt without flaws. Especially the use of velcro for plate suspension somehow contradicts the maritime inention. Now saltwater and sand are a bit more forgiving to velcro when it stays closed. But anyways, those enviromental factors kill velcro over time. I also dont like the ROC buckles compared to Taktic buckles or First Spear Tubes, as they are not as easy to close. But Tubes are pretty hard to come by and Taktic buckles weren’t available when the Kirys 2.0 was designed. All those negative factors could be quickly eliminated in a 2.5 update by Husar.
We have to accept that the Kirys 2.0 isnt a general purpose load bearing system, as it simply lacks real estate and padding. Padding and real estate would eliminate the main advantages (low drag/ hydrophobic properties) and so I dont judge this as an “issue” it is simply a thing the Kirys wasnt designed to be.
Now another big pro of the Kyris frame is its fair price point. 200€/ 240USD for the frames, cummerbund and shoulder straps are a really good deal. So besides from those who actually perform specialized operations like maritime or isolated assault operations, the plate frame is a great option for responsible civilians, competitive shooters and other people who are looking for an affordable platecarrier that is also lightweight and well made in Europe.