A member here recently privately inquired about how well the Shellback Tactical Banshee Plate Carrier worked for me during Battle Road USA’s 2013 Zombie Destruction Run. Zombie Destruction Run consisted of a 3 1/2 mile course through central Texas terrain. Course was completed while wearing the Banshee Plate Carrier and I was very happy the product itself.
First off the reason I went with the Banshee plate carrier was because it was one of very few plate carriers highly recommended to me being a tall slender build guy. I’m 5’11” with a 31″ waist and about a 39″ chest. With the Banshee there is still some room to reduce the size to an even smaller build person. If I had to guess it would sit well covering the intended vital hit points on person much shorter person but would not reduce down to fitting a much smaller person especially around the belly. On me I have the side snap straps underneath the cummerbund at nearly the very smallest setting. The cummerbund itself can be easily overlapped and that’s how I have mine.
The cummerbund is removable but for a person of my size or slightly larger or smaller I would keep it as it snugs up to your body better this way than the snaps that are underneath the cummerbund will allow. I have 3 pistol/rifle mag taco pouches in front, a Glock 19 holster on the left side of the cummerbund and a bleeder blowout pouch on the right side. that flushes up to where the sides of of the cummerbund come to the edge of the front of the plate carrier when overlapped to my adjusted size. The bleeder blowout is perfect for holding 2 additional PMAGs and that how I ran the course.
The Glock 19 holster although it stayed secured all throughout the course even though it was always unsnapped when the plate carrier is adjusted properly to my size it placed the holster pretty high on my side and is awkward draw. To better improve for something like this I might end up going with a battle belt or just a normal concealed carry holster and replace this slot with another mag pouch or rifle/pistol taco pouch.
Specifically for the Zombie destruction run I needed either a dump pouch or something to hold spare loaded and emptied mags as well as loose ammo for reloading mags. I purchased a cheap (blackhawk brand) 6×8 zipper pouch from my local Academy that I first attempted to add to the plate carrier. It mounted okay but with my thin build it put the pouch too far back on my side to really utilize it the way I needed it so I ran with it on my belt. This was the worst part of the run having this 6×8 pouch bouncing and slapping around throughout the course until I lost everything inside doing the semi- low crawl just before station #3.
For this plate carrier I have 2 AR500 curved steel plates. These plates are really heavy, and I first initially planned on running with the plates. Thankfully I wore the plate carrier with plates for about 2 hours before the run and after seeing everybody else running light I decided to do the same as I was already feeling uncomfortable with the plates and was only standing around. One thing I heard was that plate carriers without the plates don’t keep the proper shape and bunch up in an undesirable way. I ran without the plates, with all the gear in the front and nothing, not even a camelbak to help equalize the weight and I experienced no such problem. Maybe this is due to having the Banshee snugged up to my body so well or maybe its that others typically use theirs loosely to allow improved cooling body temperature. I will say that it didn’t take very long before I was wishing I had removed the hoodie I was running with but I honestly didn’t have any troubles out the plate carrier staying where it was supposed to be.
Now like I said I’m a tall slender build guy that used the Banshee but seeing how far out all the straps adjust you’d have to be a pretty massive person for the Banshee to be too small. I’m a firm believer in giving fair and honest reviews and if your considering a plate carrier especially for the price I think you can’t go wrong with the Banshee.
I hope that others will find this review helpful.