As you might have noticed, we’ve made a few changes to the site. We removed everything that wasn’t contributing to the genre. For your privacy and safety, we’ve installed an SSL certificate. Tightened up some more security around the site and started using better tools to write our articles. All that and a lot more I won’t all list here, but we’ve been busy.
Another thing we really wanted to do is review more zombie apocalypse gear. Not the type of reviews where we talk about a piece of gear we see on TV, but gear we can actually hold. So I set off to find people, myself included, who own awesome gear and would agree for me to review it for Zombie Guide Magazine. Turns out the local airsoft field is just the place for it!
The setup for these reviews will be as follows: Find someone who has awesome gear and review how it will hold up in a zombie apocalypse.
First up in our original gear review series we have Mark Koster and his gear: The Husar Noble Plate Carrier, Meindl Boots, the Leatherman MUT, 5.11 Rapid Assault Shirt, 5.11 Tactile Pro Pant, 5.11 Double Duty TDU Belt, Mechanix Gloves and a Shirt..
The Husar Noble Plate Carrier
Let’s start with the centerpiece of this loadout, The Husar Noble Plate Carrier. With a price tag of almost $300 the expectations are high, but is it useful in a zombie apocalypse? In general, body armor is designed to stop shrapnel or bullets, prevent stab wounds and other things humans do to each other. So how will it help at all in a zombie apocalypse? As The Walking Dead demonstrates, zombies will not be your worst enemy. Your fellow survivors will still try to fight you at some point, so yes plate carriers are useful. They’ll offer protection from the attacks of fellow survivors.
This one in particular will make itself useful because you can get rid of it really fast:
Imagine a zombie gets a hold of your plate carrier and there’s no way of shaking him in time. As a last ditch you could free yourself easily. This feature is of course also of vital importance if you’re shot and need to remove your gear immediately. The carrier itself fits very well and is comfortable enough to wear all day. We ran into an airsofter using a fake plate carrier that looked a lot like this one, but his would irritate after just 10 minutes.. With dummy plates. Having a plate carrier that is comfortable is important, otherwise you’ll take it off and not have it on you when SHTF.
Other features include a pouch for your hydration pack, MOLLE everywhere, loops for hydration tubes, mag pouches for either AK or M4/AR15/M16 etc. Though most plate carriers have these features, what really stands out for me is that quick rescue system. Not sure if that’s what it’s called, but in a zombie apocalypse I’d want that on my rig. Combine that with the amazing comfort and we got ourselves a winner! You can run from zombies and just pull a cord if you’re too tired or too slow. (getting it back together requires tiny child zombie hands with hulk strength)
Pants and belt
No loadout is complete without pants and a belt to keep ‘em up. Mark picked 5.11 Tactile Pro Pants and a Double Duty TDU Belt. The pants feel sturdy and light and offer protection against most annoying plants we found outside. They dry fast and seem like they would last a long time. Large belt loops provide space for carry belts suited for EDC (every day carry). This means you could wear these daily and have part of your kit on at all times. On the sides there are ample pockets to store small items. I’m not sure if it will stop a bite, but we didn’t bother to try and eat our own clothing. As for the belt, it feels strong and doesn’t start hanging after a while. The problem with cheaper/softer belts is often that they’ll start hanging and pulling down with the gear that’s on them. This causes the belt to become a right pain to wear, so don’t cheap out on your belt.
Shoes, let’s talk shoes. Mark got himself a pair of Meindl Desert Fox boots, the civilian version of these is called Safari. The importance of good boots during a zombie apocalypse? Wouldn’t want to kick your machete out of a zombie’s skull with a sneaker. Or kick in a door, walk with heavy gear on, crush a skull. With these you can! Or just do anything really.. I forgot the wind can go through shoes! I always wear boots or proper shoes, so trying on sneakers and going outside was interesting. Couldn’t stand in water, wind would go through them, holding a door hurt my toes.. Your feet are going to be your main form of transportation during the apocalypse and if they break, you’re in a world of hurt. So take care of them, get good boots. Can’t go wrong with Meindls as far as quality footwear goes.
The right tool for the job..
Another item Mark put on his gear is the Leatherman MUT. Again as far as brands go, Leatherman makes top of the line multitools. I’ve used them for years and also carry one daily. The build quality on this one is what you’d expect, very strong and won’t break when you use them. So how useful is this particular one for a zombie apocalypse?
Let’s have a look at it’s features as advertised on Amazon:
- FEATURING 16 TOOLS: Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, 154CM replaceable wire cutters, 154CM replaceable hard-wire cutters, stranded-wire cutters, electrical crimper, 420HC combo knife, saw, replaceable cutting hook, hammer, bolt override tool, replaceable bronze carbon scraper, #8-32 cleaning rod/brush adapter, replaceable firearm disassembly punch, carabiner/bottle opener, large bit driver.
Those wire-cutters are going to be useful no doubt. Getting into stores or other buildings you want to loot, or use for shelter. Chances are they’re surrounded with a fence and you’ll have to either break the lock or cut the fence. The rest of the tool really seems firearm specific. This is great, because you’ll most likely run into various firearms. Having a one-fits-all tool that can open them up is very useful. I wonder if you can use the hammer part to smash a skull, we might have to test that later.
- ONE-HANDED OPERABLE: Every feature on the MUT can be opened and operated with one hand. This enables you to keep the other hand free for situations that require multi-tasking or a free hand.
This is essential. The other hand will be busy: Fighting off a zombie, holding a light, pulling something, holding it while sawing… You name it. If you can’t use a tool one handed, you can’t fight with it in close combat situations.
- HANDLE BIT STORAGE: Conveniently store Leatherman tool bits in the handle of the MUT for easy access in the middle of a job, or for safe keeping when not in use.
Or the teeth of zombies you killed as a souvenir. No just use them for bits so you can fix things.
- REPLACEABLE POCKET CLIP: The MUT includes a removable clip which allows you to wear it attached to a pocket or belt loop without the use of a sheath. By removing the clip, you can easily carry the tool in a sheath if preferred.
Buy one of those before the apocalypse starts.
- LEATHERMAN 25 YEAR GUARANTEE: We take extraordinary measures so your Leatherman product is free from manufacturer’s defects and will give you many years of dependable service. If the tool does have a defect, we will gladly repair or replace it, at our discretion. This warranty does not cover sheaths, accessories, imprinting, color finishes, cleaning or sharpening. This warranty covers products purchased through an authorized dealer and proof of purchase from an authorized dealer may be required.
Well this is nice before SHTF. I’m sure they’ll be closed once everyone starts turning into zombies.
A shirt, you need a shirt
Mark wore a 5.11 Rapid Assault Shirt. I’m not sure if it really makes you assault things faster, but the name is catchy. And it’s also a great shirt! It stays dry because of a clever mix of fabrics. There are mesh covers so you won’t sweat that bad, it’s stitches won’t irritate you and it even has cushioning to make a plate carrier more comfortable to wear. Good clothing is something that’s often overlooked, but you won’t know what you missed all that time until you try one. Doesn’t have to be this one specifically, but a good shirt/vest will make your day a lot better. Especially if that day is spent running, climbing and killing.
Gloves up next! Really I wouldn’t want to go fight zombies without gloves. There will be infected material everywhere. Anything you touch might be infected with some sort of horrible disease. The apocalypse will not be the place for bare hands. So how will these Mechanix gloves hold up? The gloves come protected with rubber on top to prevent cutting (or biting). The palms are fortified and even have throat punching abilities. All in all a good combo for an apocalypse. They’re comfortable too, just not too good at fiddling with small items, but that’s a small price to pay for safety.
That concludes my review of Mark’s gear. I think it will hold up great in a zombie apocalypse. Especially the plate carrier with that quick release system is very useful. Good to see someone taking care of the rest as well: Good boots, quality clothing and gloves. The Leatherman MUT is a particularly useful pick because it allows him to maintain most firearms he finds while scavenging. All of this together might not be cheap, but it sure does work well.
So you might be wondering why he’s sporting that helmet and a Heckler and Koch 416.. And we haven’t mentioned them at all? They’re airsoft so we won’t pretend they’re real just for the review. However.. If that were an actual firearm it would make a great one for the apocalypse.
I’d like to thank Mark Koster for letting me review his gear for the zombie apocalypse. We have a lot more of these coming, not just load-out reviews but also reviews of separate items so keep an eye out for those too. We hope you enjoyed seeing original image material from us for a change! 😉