CQB Loadout (outfit)
Almost everything I wore for my first CQB experience was Matt’s. A lot of it didn’t fit quite right, but it did the job.
For the bottoms, I actually had on 2 pairs of leggings, skinny-jeans and camo pants. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t expecting to have those camo pants. Either way though, I wanted to try to be as padded as possible and for the most part, it worked. My mobility wasn’t limited and the skinny-jeans I had on were super stretchy so it didn’t feel like my legs were being squeezed to death. Like I said, I wasn’t counting on wearing the camo pants, but Matt let me wear them (and keep them!), and they were a nice extra barrier between me and the BB’s.
Heat wise, it wasn’t terrible. I didn’t feel like I was going to over heat, or that I was way too hot. I was pretty comfortable.
For my body, I had on a padded bra with a sports-bra over it. I also wore a black Under Armor, long-sleeve shirt, with another light, long-sleeve shirt on. I know it may sound like I was going overboard, but I had no idea what I would be able to wear from Matt. Not to mention I wanted as much padding between me and the BB’s as possible.
So then on top of all that, I was able to fit into one of Matt’s vests. It’s just a black vest, with all the pouches pre-attached and set up. This vest was really nice. It was light-weight and mesh, so, super breathable. It is more of a NOOB-vest because it comes all set up, but it worked perfectly for me.
For my hands, I just borrowed some super-over-sized, padded black gloves. I would highly recommend wearing a pair of gloves that fit you. It wasn’t terrible, but when it came to having to switch out my mags, it was kinda a nightmare. Again, even though I was all layered up, I didn’t get too hot or feel like I was burning up.
My head gear was the only thing that gave me a hard time most of the night.
Starting out, I was wearing a balaclava under everything. This ended up getting super hot and uncomfortable. I felt like I couldn’t breathe at times because of where it would sit on my face. I had to pull the holes for the eyes, all the way under my mouth. It wasn’t Under Armor material, it was a heavy cotton that wouldn’t let air in or out.
Once I got that situated and I didn’t feel like I was going to suffocate, we put the helmet on. It did not fit me at all. As you can see in the picture, the helmet left my forehead completely uncovered. A helmet that fits right, should sit right on top of your goggles, but I had the balaclava on, so I did at least have something covering my forehead.
Then we put the face mask on. It was a metal-mesh face mask and it did not fit right either. We had to crank the strap around the back of my head and bring it all the way to the front. Because of this, it was sitting right on the bridge of my nose almost the whole night.
Then the goggles sat right on top of the mask across my nose, adding even more pressure. This was really the only uncomfortable thing of the night.
Next I had a shemagh that I just wrapped around my neck. Yeah, this ended up getting way too hot and my goggles were fogging up like crazy. I kept trying to make adjustments and after a couple games, I just took the balaclava off. It was just not for me.
I tried wrapping the shemagh around under the mask, just to make sure the back of my neck was protected, but even that was causing me some heat problems. So in the end, what I ended up doing, was wrapping the shemagh over my head, and just criss-crossing under my neck, none of it was on my face. I then put the mask on next and strapped it on top of my head. With the shemagh there, it had enough to strap around to fit and that alleviated the pressure off of my nose. Then I put my helmet on over all that and then the goggle straps go up over the back of the helmet.
Finally, by the last game I managed to get the gear to fit comfortably. Also, it was way cooler (temperature-wise) than any of the other things I had tried.
The last part of my loadout was my gun. It was an H&K MP5 AEG. It is a smaller gun but has a little bit of weight to it. I wasn’t able to hook the gun to a sling, so I had to just carry it around. That wasn’t bad at all. Like I said, it is a little heavy, but my arms never got tired. It’s super easy to carry around and I didn’t have a problem moving with it. I also carried two extra mags in my vest. The midcap mags for this gun carry around 100 BB’s so I actually never had to change my mags out during a game, except for one time, but that’s because I forgot to refill between games.
I would highly recommened you figure out how to get the gear to fit you best before you start playing. We were running late, so we just had to figure out what would work and go. Having your gear be uncomfortable during the game, makes it really hard to enjoy it. For most of the games, I was trying to forget the pain of my mask and goggles on my nose and the fact I couldn’t see due to fogging goggles. Once I got everything situated, by the last game, my goggles weren’t fogging up nearly as bad and I was comfortable. I was able to finally enjoy the game.
So make sure when you get your gear, or borrow it, either try it on to make sure it’s the right size, or figure out the best way to get it to fit you comfortably so you can enjoy the game.