Originally Posted by LettuceHead
Got to try it all on at World Cup. Here's my take on it...
- Everything is extremely well made.
- The camo pattern (and its ad copy) is obviously MultiCam-ish. The camo pattern had the name 'Dye' subtlely throughout the pattern. Other parts of the pattern look like how one would spraypaint a sniper rifle. In the end, given the pace of most paintball play the majority of players base their choice of camo more on looks than actual effectiveness. I do like the fact that none of it had "DYE" plastered all over it in ginormous letters and rubber badges.
- The vest and accessories are spendy but almost everything has some features that I haven't seen elsewhere. The Tactical Vest has two built-in zippered pockets so you have some secure areas for personals or scenario documents without need to attach a pouch. The ID pocket on the front of it is mesh, so if you get shot there you now have a paint covered ID card as well. Bad idea.
Yes, you can buy cheaper vests elsewhere... Dye isn't worried as that's not the market they are after. They're not a budget company or going for volume. The Tactical Harness is my personal fave. It adjusts a little differently than other brands and better made. (For the record, NXe was the first to market that basic configuration for paintball with their Light Tactical Vest. Ryan, who was on the BT design team and a personal friend, came into our showroom and bought one. Six months later the BT Static came out, then when Valken started up they copied BT sku for sku to take away Kee's thunder.)
The Insulated Pod and Grenade Pouches are an interesting idea but don't know how well they'll sell. The concept is sound but a) the majority of players won't be playing in extreme enough climate conditions to warrant them, b) they are rather bulky, and c) the pull tab fasteners on them (remind me of British P58 web gear) will make it awkward to manipulate when mounted on the back or trying to put a pod back in when set up for releasing pods downward.
The quick-release buckles on the Tactical Modular Pouches are unnecessary, as there is velcro for the flap as well. They hinder quick opening when reaching for a pod mounted upside down on the back. No biggie, the way they are stitched on they will remove easily if players don't want them.
The Assault Pack style pod pouches shown at World Cup were not in the catalog because they don't know if they will be released yet. They already had the basic design and it wasn't a stretch to adapt them to MOLLE. It went against the aesthetic that they didn't want to simply camo up their traditional line, but I think they will do well. There is a segment of the woodsball market that buys that.
The Dump Pouch is a pretty clever design. Folds up small and deploys quickly.
The Tank Holder should hold a fat 88 or 90ci tank (didn't get to try, I'll know for sure soon.). Not quite deep enough for a 110.
- The fit of the pants was awesome. They have accordian-like stretch sections incorporated into the main material so you don't have tournament-looking color blocking or extra seams to tear. These stretch sections do work, there's less tugging when different parts of the legs are in contact with the ground. The knees are lightly padded with a small rubber skid plate instead of massive precurved padding like traditional paintball pants. The pockets are angled and easy to access.
The pants are poly/ cotton blend square-stitch ripstop like other BDUs, etc. Most people will complain that they can get a pair of Propper-brand ripstop MultiCam pants for $70. Then again, the same people complain that Full Clip MultiCam poly/cotton twill Combat pants cost $179. Full Clip, like Dye, isn't worried because that's not the market they're targeting.
- The jerseys have some nice touches. Again, the stretchy accordian sections tug less under the harness. The Tactical Pullover will fit over your harness in the back... kind of a cool idea for a sleek look. I'd rather clean paint off the back of my jersey than scrub it out of the crannies of my harness. Otherwise, nothing groundbreaking here except for the ability to colormatch the pants and harness.
- The DyeCam i4s will sell well even outside of scenario/ woodsball. True, they don't fit everyone because of their small size but when I was talking to the designers when they came out they admitted that they didn't design them for everyone. They were targeting the market who wanted the smallest, lightest goggle that was still legal to wear on the tournament field. I'm sure in a year or two we'll see new designs utilizing the i4 lens.
Long story short, its Dye. They will be expensive and not appeal to everyone's budget. They also are not planning to sell boatloads either. They were pretty humble discussing the line at World Cup. Its a new market for them and they are taking baby steps into it this first year. They said that they figure it to be a two year process to fully hit their stride in the market. Everyone keeps comparing their Tactical line to BT and Valken but no one ever mentions Full Clip, whose concept and marketing strategy Dye is more similarly modeled.
Personally, I'm buying the pants, the Tactical Harness and the appropriate pouches for my style of play. The pants are expensive, yes, but I really liked them, make good money and buy what I feel like buying.
(PS... I'm not trying to be a Dye fanboy, but we do mid six figures of Dye sales a year so I know a little bit about their marketing habits and ideas...)