PDA

View Full Version : BDS reviews?



Short Bus
09-14-07, 07:33
Anyone have any feedback about BDS Tactical's gear? I'm in the market for a new rig and am looking at several of their pieces, the Simple Stacker Chest Rig in particular (http://www.bdstacticalgear.com/pd_bds_tactical_simple.cfm).

Spurholder
09-14-07, 14:45
While I won't throw stones at BDS Tactical (you can do a search and see some comments here), I will tell you that SOE Gear (the original company) owned by John Willis is back in business.

I own several SOE items and the quality of materials and worksmanship is first-class. I saw gear from other manufacturers fail left and right in Iraq, but my SOE products were all bulletproof.

Website: http://www.originalsoegear.com/

Dave L.
09-14-07, 15:44
Yeah BDS is one of those topics that needs not be brought up here. I have at least $1K worth of SOE nylon and it's first rate gear.
Be patient with John he is a busy man and his website is still in the works but he is a nylon wizard and can do just about anything.

Short Bus
09-14-07, 18:35
Thanks for the link to SOE, gents. His gear appears to be of high quality but, also extremely expensive ($500 for just the harness).

I ran a search of the forums here for threads regarding BDS Tactical but, came up blank. Anyone have a link to specific threads?

lockNload
09-15-07, 01:29
I just joined the site today but I don't know why people are reticent to speak negatively about BDS. I will say that I really got the run around by them earlier this summer when I tried to order a nalgene pouch and a sling. I was repeatedly told that they would ship it the next day and finally cancelled my order after about 6 weeks. BDS has awful customer relations. I've heard that the quality of their work isn't the greatest. I wont order from them and encourage others to not buy their stuff either. I've heard nothing but good about John Willis and would recommend him. I have one of his riggers belts. Just my .02

KevinB
09-15-07, 03:25
WRT to SOE/ John Willis. I like his gear - but **** me his time frames and responce to emails is terrible.

I had a project with him for over a year, I bought a NIB Paraclete RAV and had it sent to him to do some work - and got tired of the wait - and fortunately the RAV I had got him was able to a fellow LF'er, as I had transitioned to a CIRAS in the meantime. I just could not be bothered to wait, when I am downrange 2/3 of my time these days - so I get impatient for kit.


I wont get into the BDS/SOE fight -- but I dont think either of them in clean in it.

Short Bus
09-15-07, 09:21
lockNload, thanks for passing along your experience with BDS. Sounds like you went through what I've come to call the "customer service shuffle". The really fun ones are when a company tells you it's in stock and then backorders it, often multiple times, once your credit card has been charged.

Kevin, like you I'm not one to wait around forever and a day for something. I look for suitability, quality, price, and availability (in that order) in gear. The best-made piece of gear is no good to me if I can't get it when I need it or if it's priced out of the market.

From what I've been able to gather, opinions are lukewarm regarding both companies' customer relations/delivery times. OSOE consistently gathers big compliments for quality but, takes forever to get and is very expensive. Comments about the quality of BDS's gear is mostly positive, with a vocal minority claiming mediocre quality (it's unclear what it's being compared to... SOE, maybe?).

The vast majority of negative comments regarding BDS seem to come from the SOE/BDS fight. I found some threads on other sites pertaining to the SOE/BDS dust-up. Sounds like an ugly mess where people are pretty well entrenched in their opinions.

I suppose I'll have to go this one alone and see how things shake out.

Dave L.
09-15-07, 11:11
WRT to SOE/ John Willis. I like his gear - but **** me his time frames and responce to emails is terrible.

I had a project with him for over a year, I bought a NIB Paraclete RAV and had it sent to him to do some work - and got tired of the wait - and fortunately the RAV I had got him was able to a fellow LF'er, as I had transitioned to a CIRAS in the meantime. I just could not be bothered to wait, when I am downrange 2/3 of my time these days - so I get impatient for kit.


I wont get into the BDS/SOE fight -- but I dont think either of them in clean in it.

Late night when you wrote this

lockNload
09-15-07, 12:56
I actually received an email from John Willis within about 2 days. He's upfront about it taking quite some time for him to get your gear made because he does it all himself and has lots of orders to fill. Companies like BDS give you the impression that something is in stock and you will receive it shortly. If you want to go with a larger company that produces quality gear and generally has its products in stock with distributors then I would suggest Eagle, Esstac, Tactical Tailor, and Emdom. If you want custom gear made then prepare to wait for a while but go with John Willis or EGL, aka eggrolly on many of these sites.

2-BPM
09-15-07, 13:41
I never had a problem with SOE and I still Buy BDS gear. when i was out in pendleton a few years ago, their oceanside shop was always bare. but if you stopped in and explained what you wanted, and when your deployment was, they always took care of you. i think stopping in and saying "hey guys, whats new?" will get you your gear faster than calling from halfway across the country three times a week. and yeah, i'm not cool with all the shady shit that was going on. i'm just happy the gears getting turned out!

KevinB
09-15-07, 16:53
Actually part of it was lifted from one of my replies to a thread at Lightfighter...
But yeah - I was a bit tired - I was on a 1500 (Mountain) telecon for an hour - after an early and late mission that day - and my cognitive skills where a little dulled to proof read.
I'll offer a bit clearer comment.

One of our distinguished posters also came up with the criminal past as a reason he won't do business with John. I'm not sure I agree with that since by all account John is now living well and doing the best he can for his boy.

I think SOE gear quality rocks -- I've had a number of things from the pre y2k period and shortly after.
I know John is trying to get back on his feet and get his business going. However I do feel that he needs to concentrate on users first -- if he agrees to do something for someone who is deployed - do it. When I saw a lot of other stuff on the net, going to people for their collections, or to run around playing at the range - it really burned my ass.
I ended up getting an Eagle CIRAS to solve the issues I had with the RAV. Once I was comfortable - I sold my work RAV. This left a RAV (NIB) with John, and myself and two team mates where trying to get some customs work done on a belt system as well at that time and it was still like pulling teeth. Eventually we decided screw it - and scratched that stuff and I was trying to figure out how to get the RAV back.
When on of the LF crew was wounded in action in Iraq - the guys where getting him some get well stuff together - and some gear was from John, so I dontated the RAV - and John shipped it with the other gear to him.
Good to go.
I will still order from him -- but it will be stuff he has in stock.

Now as for BDS -- this is John's ex and Co. trying to steal all John previosu work and reputations and a stellar gear guy.
That horseshit IMHO. I would not buy from BDS if they where the last gear company on earth - I'd build my own (and I can't really sew - so I'd have to kidnap a rigger)

they
09-29-07, 22:17
"kidnap a rigger" :D

M4Guru
09-30-07, 22:27
I had one BDS pouch. It was well made, but had the most god-awful PITA attachment system in earth. It was nearly impossible to put it on a vest. I gave it away.