Have you ever had this dilemma? You are getting ready to purchase a Molle vest, but you are not sure how much crap you can hang on it. Happens to me all the time. Well, my friends at the best gear store on the web ( www.opsgear.com) have solved that problem. They have an online tool that will let you choose a vest and then add virtual pouches to see what config works best. Here is what the Vestbuilder website says:
From OPSGEAR®, The Source Trusted by the Elite™, comes the Modular Vest Builder. This unique-in-the-world web application allows you to configure your vest layout, colors and accessories, quickly and easily. Choose from the highest quality MOLLE compatible packs and pouches on a variety of PALS webbing configured vests and harnesses. Remove the mystery by seeing your vest before you buy. Adding your configuration to your WWW.OPSGEAR.COM secure shopping cart is as easy as a click of a button.
How cool is that? I was concerned at first that the vest I has chosen might not be there, but their selection is quite large, including vests from:
It includes tactical vests, chest rigs and plate carriers. If the vest you choose has mounting areas on the back (my Ranger Rack does not) it displays the back as well.
Once you choose your vest in the correct color (yes, it has pics of every color your vest is offered in, for you fashion nuts who can't mix OD Green and ACU!) it takes you to a page with a scrolling selection of pouches on the right. The pouches are sortable by category (Ammo, Ordnance, Heavy or Light Utility) and by color (again, you can see how tacky a Multicam pouch looks on a black vest).
Clicking on a pic of a pouch will move it over to the large pic of your vest. You can then use the mouse to position it. This allows you to pull in multiple pouches and "try them out". For instance, not sure if you can fit a double mag pouch and an EMT pouch? Well, you can try both together to see if it fits. In addition, the pouches are layered in the order you click them. If you click a triple mag shingle, then a double grenade pouch, you can stack the grenade pouch on top of the mag pouch on your vest (as long as the lower pouch has Molle straps on it as well).
If you decide you don't want a pouch in the picture, simply drag it to the bottom of the page and leave it there. You can ignore it or access it later.
One word of caution, although Opsgear got the dimensions for the patches correct, this tool is no guarantee that the PALS webbing on your vest will match up exactly with the Molle straps on your pouch. Some tweaking or rearranging might be in order.
Vestbuilder is a great "Try Before You Buy" tool, and again, Opsgear is a great place to order gear from.
Vestbuilder can be accessed from the Opsgear website, or directly at http://www.vestbuilder.com/# .
The tool is Adobe Flash, so make sure it will run on your computer, then start building that vest!