A couple years of years ago, Shellback Tactical had the idea of marketing a made in the USA plate carrier for the budget conscious consumer. Shellback eventually developed the Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier. When I saw it, I bought one immediately. My Banshee is set up as an active shooter rig. Mine carries two extra rifle and pistol magazines, two CAT tourniquets, and an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit).
The Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier is made from 1000 Denier nylon, has heavy bar tacking at stress points to prevent seam separation, a low profile design, is very light weight, a drag handle, and several other features. The Banshee is also on the approved gear list by the LAPD and available for individual officer purchase. It also has a lifetime warranty and comes in Black, Ranger Green, Multi-Cam, Coyote Tan, and A-TACS.
The shoulder straps are adjustable and once you have them where you want them, they won’t loosen up at all. It can be difficult to adjust the straps by your self so, I recommend enlisting help from someone. Not all plate carriers have padded shoulder straps but, the Banshee does. A larger frame person that needs to significantly loosen the shoulder straps for proper fit will find that the padding separates and is not useful. For this, Shellback offers a set of supplemental shoulder pads for the Banshee. You’ll also notice on the shoulder straps that there is webbing to secure communications cords or hoses for your hydration bladder. The accessory shoulder pads also have an elastic channel built in for the same reason.
The one thing most people want on the plate carrier is MOLLE or PALS webbing and the Banshee has a good bit of it. There are six rows of MOLLE on the front and back and three rows on the cummerbund. The front and back panels also have hook/loop fields for attaching the morale patches or insignia of your choosing.
The Banshee, like most plate carriers comes with an adjustable, one size fits most cummerbund. The cummerbund on the Banshee has laces in the back that are hidden by the back panel. You can choose not to use the cummerbund and instead, use the secondary nylon strap system with quick release buckles which is included with all Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier’s. The secondary nylon strap system sheds a bit of the weight and makes the carrier a bit more streamlined.
The backings of both the front and rear panels are padded but, it’s minimal. I wear my Banshee over my issued soft armor and that provides additional padding. I’ve worn the Banshee a few times without soft armor underneath and it was tolerable but, not the most comfortable I’ve worn.
The plate pockets will accept up to 10”x12” level 3 or 4 plates. The plate pockets will not accept extra large plates. Additional plate pockets can be attached to the cummerbund for side plate protection.
Shellback offers several upgrades for the Banshee. As mentioned earlier, there are supplemental shoulder pads, a Quick Deployment Cummerbund, hard armor plates, and soft armor panels. You can also purchase the Banshee with the Quick Deployment Cummerbund instead of the standard one. If you need rifle plates, the Banshee Defender System is available through the armor manufacturer, Katylist.
For my current use and assignment, the Banshee is pretty much exactly what I need. I don’t need anything fancy or overly expensive. I’m not going to be wearing it every day. I needed something that provided me more ballistic protection, the ability to carry more ammunition, and a first aid kit. I’m not going to lie, I’ve worn nicer plate carriers but, they were much more expensive and in one case, nearly triple the $200 MSRP of the Banshee. Check out the Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier from Shellback Tactical, it might be right for you.