My conviction for Mayflower Research & Consulting´s gear started around 2011 with their UW Gen IV chestrig. The UW Gen IV offers everything a light load bearing chestrig needs to provide: Four magazin pockets, plenty of small to medium GP pouches, an admin pocket and two pistol magazine pouches. This all comes in a flat and lightweight package. If I had to chose just one chestrig I would always go for the UW series.
The concept behind the UW series of chestrigs proved to be so popular that some units wanted its exact same pocket set up, minus the large GP pouches for their platecarriers. So the task for Mayflowers crew was to place not less than eleven (!) pockets on the small footprint of a platecarriers flap, while retaining a relatively low profile.
The aforementioned eleven pockets consist of four „shingle“ style open top mag pouches, which are secured with bungee pulltabs. The pockets are reinforced and divided with a beefy webbing for stiffnes, they hold all kinds of „STANAG“ style mags and of course CAA and MAGPUL AR15 magazines. The pulltabs are made with some kind of nonslip material for grippiness.
Next are two so called small GP pockets on the outside of the placard,one on the left and one on the right, they fit a small tactical flashlight, a Leatherman multitool (Wave size) or a Victorinox pocketknive, the pockets are closed with a velcro flap. To make it clear, the pouches might fit your pistol mags, but they arent dedicated magazine pockets.
The two pistol magazine pockets are instead placed on the center of the placard, to make them ambidextrous and also acessable during e.g. vehicle mounted operations. Mayflower also decided for velcro pockets here, but used the tested and proven reverse flap, so the flaps wont get in the way when you open them. Open top, the pouches offer poor retention, perhaps MRC could add some elastic here or offer kydex inserts.
Left and right from the center are two medium GP pouches, they are simply box shaped and closed with velcro flap. I preffer those kind of GP pouches compared to their zippered counterparts, because they perfectly collapse when empty and dont tend to malfunction. Those pockets each fit two ASP TriFolds, a garmin e-trex, a flashbang, a frag, a can of dip, a folded CAT TQ, a 6“ emergeny bandage, dip cans and similiar sized items. Those two simple build pouches make the UW Gen IV placard so damn versatile.
Last but not least the placards body opens into a velcro admin pouch, running just behind the rig. You can fit an A5 paper notebook, chemlights, pencils or even a small tablet into it.
To route comms, or fix chemlights and sharpies you find some flat elastic straps left and right from the medium GP pouches, there are also two elastic straps running on the bottom. I found them also useful for not only mounting a S-Biner for my gloves but also to fix a TQ by routing shock cord right through the elastic.
If you havent been living under a rock for the last decade you will be familiar with the placard concept. What you perhaps didnt know is, that Mayflower and Velocity Systems were the first manufacturers that actually sold the clip on placards. They even patented the use of their SwiftClips, but as you can imagine, it is hard to write a bulletproof concept on the idea of fastening something to a platecarrier, so many manufacturers have adaptet this idea by slightly modifying MRCs SwiftClip system. For those who actually havent seen a MRC placard: Two male buckles on the placard mate with two female buckles on the front of a platecarrier, essentially replacing the front flap.
To make everything more stable, the back of the placard is lined with hook velcro. This concepts enables you to quickly change combat loads without fiddling in MOLLE for hours. It also helps you when you basically need a slick carrier to move freely inside vehicles but you quickly have to don a full combat load when disembarking. The UW Gen IV placard has a special feature which is not obvious to everyone. You can use it with all of Mayflowers chestrig harnesses as a standalone micro rig, there are also webbing loops to clip in the shoulder straps and the hip belt. I have not tried this yet but the webbing channels also make great sharpie or eyepro holders.
Lets talk about materials and quality. Everything is made from milspec 500DEN cordura, milspec webbing and so on. Mayflower R&C is a government contractor and only uses US MilSpec materials, this said it would be boring to list all used materials, but you can imagine everything used by MRC is quality stuff.
As you might know, we use our stuff, not only showcasing gear in our basement gives us the opportunity to also write something about the actual performance of the kit. I used the UW Gen IV placard during CQB training with simunition, in CQC drills and also during vehicle trainings. The thing I liked the most is that this setup is down to earth compared to the many „I only need three mags“ set ups you see on the range and on exercises. U will need more than three mags, you will need bangs, lights, TQs, electronics and you will need dip. Ok not everyone will need dip. But the setup offered me just pouches to store essentials while not tempting me to overload. I also liked the four mag approach. Somehow Mayflower managed to keep the footprint really small, even when working in vehicles with my seatbelt on I was able to move freely. The UW Gen 4 placard is also a great way to move stuff away from your beltline.
So now, that I managed to write about 1000 words about a (excellently) sewn together piece of nylon I think you can build yourself an opinion about the UW Gen IV placard. Personally I made this piece of kit my go to setup for most tasks. Thanks for reading and your time.
You can get the placard directly from Velocity Systems online store.
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