William Garrison returns yet again, this time with what he describes as a ‘long-term’ review of a staple of scenario game products, the game vest.
Bill has been using his for seven years now (!) and offers up some observations on a piece of gear that has stood the test of time.
Long Term Review for Flurry Industries Emissary Vest
Several years ago, back when everyone used harness systems and vests were hard to find, I found Flurry Industries and bought one of the original vests. I wanted a vest due to the fact that my team and I were starting to play in 24 hour scenarios and we needed something that could carry more gear while we were on the field. Over the next couple years I spoke with the owner of Flurry Industries, and exchanged feedback on the vest, and what improvements my teammates and I would like to see. We were very excited to see that the Emissary design had included everything we had asked for. It has been over seven years since I first purchased the Emissary, and this is my long term review on it.
About the Emissary
The cool thing about the Emissary Vest is that it is modular. The vest comes with two 2+1 pod holders and an adjustable tank pouch. The attachments mount using industrial strength Velcro and can be mounted pretty much any way the wearer wants. Extra pod holders can be purchased to increase how much paint you can carry on it. The vest also includes a radio pouch that can be mounted on either shoulder and a built in hydration system pouch so that you can carry a Camel Back or other hydration system. The two front pouches are large and roomy, and the chest pouch can be used to safely store your car keys or wallet. The front of the chest pouch can be used to store a player ID and field map in a Velcro enclosed flap. The weight is evenly distributed around the body and the pods and tank don’t flop around loosely on your back. The Emissary sells for $74.95 on Flurry’s website.
Using the Emissary
Seven years of 24 hour scenario games, local scenarios, and hundreds of walk on games can take a toll on any soft gear. Basic wear and tear, not to mention sharp sticks, rocks, thorns, rough use, abuse, and a owner who likes to trip over his or her own two feet can really test a piece of equipment to its limits. I am proud to say that through all of this, the Emissary vest has stood up to all of it. My team mates have reported the same, and all of us have our own unique way of breaking something in new and interesting ways. I have had no tears, holes, or loose stitching. I have had to make zero repairs to the vest and at one time I had even made a stock class panel to go on the back that worked well. The Velcro on the vest and the pod holders still holds like it was new. The elastic on the front side straps has gotten a little loose over the years, but everything still holds tight.
Comparing the Old to the New
I recently called up Flurry Industries and ordered two new Emissary vests for my wife and myself. We purchased the black ones with call signs and my old team name on the back. Upon receipt of these new vests, I did a side by side comparison to my seven year old Emissary that I have been wearing all these years. The basic design is the same as my original. The stitching is still top notch, and the material is nice and thick. The new Emissary still has the option of removing the inner foam liner. The two front pockets on the new vest are deeper than the original, by what appears to be nearly half an inch. The chest pocket still has the clear windows for scenario game IDs and maps. One of my favorite new additions is an elastic belly band that helps snug the vest up for slim people and keep the pods tight on the body. The elastic band can be removed for larger people and the vest has plenty of room for adjustment.
The Emissary vest can hold it’s on against any of the other brands out there. Most of them are fixed systems, meaning you can’t add or remove parts of them. Some of them use the MOLLE system, but it you’ve every used it, it works great, but take a while to add or remove parts. The generic tactical vests out there usually place the pods in the front, which is placing more hard areas in the line of fire and increasing the odds of elimination. With the Emissary, the pods are on the back of the vest. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and the Emissary has several cheap knock offs out there. Don’t be swayed. The material and the construction are no where near the quality of the real thing. Don’t get ripped off!
The instructions state that you are not supposed to machine wash the Emissary. While I have done this on occasion, I recommend following the instructions for care. IF YOU DO MACHINE WAS IT, DO IT ON THE GENTLE CYCLE AND DO NOT MACHINE DRY IT. Basic maintenance for me after a day of play involves breaking it down, laying it on the sidewalk or porch, and spraying it down with the garden hose. I then lay it out to dry in the sun or hang it in the shower to drip dry.
About the Company
Flurry Industries makes several products including another vest called the Dreadnought which removes the two front chest pockets and adds four more pod holders to allow the player to double his or her ammo capacity. They are working on more products that should be out this summer. Their website is www.flurryindustries.com
Through a lot of use and a fair share of abuse, the Emissary vest has held up extremely well. I still recommend them over all of the other vests on the market currently. Obviously if I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t have bought two new ones. As for why I replaced my old one, there is no reason other than I just wanted a new one along with my wife. The old vest will be used as a spare and a loaner. Like everything else in paintball, there are several companies making cheap knock offs of the Emissary vests. Don’t waste your money on these low quality vests. I have examined them as well as seen what they look like after they have been used for a little while. The ones I have seen appear to be coming apart at the seams. Do your homework, spend a few extra dollars, and get something that is going to last. Anyone who likes playing in the woods or playing scenario games should definitely take a look at the Emissary vest.
Flurry Industries Emissary Information
New Ultraback Tactical Paintball Vest – Code named: Emissary
The new Ultraback Emissary Vest has features that will help you become a self contained one man army on the paintball field. The Ultraback Emissary Vest has all of the same core design features of the original Ultraback Vest: Comfort, Utility, Versitility and Kickass Style, but now they are even better than before.
Hydration Unit Sleeve – Zippered sleeve to place a hydration bladder. Sleeve can be partitioned off to fit up to 70oz bladders. (Bladder not included.)
Removable Contouring Foam – The foam can now be easily removed and replaced back when needed.
Flip Down ID & Card Holder – Chest pocket now has an extra panel which flips down to easily display ID and view maps & info.
Movable Radio Pouch – A separate pouch made for FRS type radios. Can be placed on the front or back of the shoulder straps.
Redesigned Shoulder Straps – Shoulder straps now have nylon loops and D-rings for attaching and routing gear.
Longer Side Straps – Side straps are now longer to fit larger players more comfortably.
Front Belt Keepers – Now they are there if you need them.
Larger Tank Holder Attachment – Tank holder is now wider and taller than before. Can easily fit stubby style tanks & tanks with neoprene covers.
Extended Attachment Area – Easier to reach your tubes and more surface area for tube and tank setups.
Optional Custom Callsign and Team Names – Add a custom callsign and/or team name strips to your Ultraback Vest.
— Original design made specifically for paintball and not modified from some other application. The contouring design wraps around your body for a snug fit which promotes increased mobility, distributes the weight and helps keep a low profile.
— Modular design lets you configure your setup how you want. Whether you want to wear the packs horizontal or vertical it’s very easy to switch the setup. You can also add or take away the tank holder attachment if you want to run a remote setup!
–Interchangeable and Rearrangeable tube holders.
–Removable Tank Holder for Remote Setup.
–Clip to Carry Your Mask When Not Playing.
–Side Zipper on Chest Pouch for Radio Headset Wires.
–Pockets and Pouches For: Keys, Tools, Money, Etc.
–Padded Design Helps Eliminate the Sting of Getting Hit.
The Ultraback Emissary Vest comes with:
–(2) Tube holder attachments w/ ripcords which can hold (3) 140 round tubes each. (One tube fits in the flip out elastic sleeve.)
–(1) Tank holder pouch to run a remote setup.
–(1) Moveable Radio Pouch
The Ultraback Emissary Vest has the features that serious rec, big game, and scenario players demand. Do what other elite paintballers have done, and Get Yourself A Flurry!
*One Size Fits Most. Tubes are Not Included.
**When ordering name tags make sure your spelling is correct.**
About the Author
William Garrison is married to the lovely woman modelling the Flurry Vest in this article and has been playing paintball – mostly woodsball, since 1988. Bill is a Law Enforcement officer in the Charlotte, North Carolina region,