5 of the Best Plate Carriers On 2017

In the field of tactical applications, vests are very crucial. Its main function is to protect the person's vital organs from potentially lethal damages. In the modern era, these tactical vests have combined plate carriers. And in this article, we will discuss more of the latter.

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The best plate carriers can serve as your lifeline. There's no denying about that. However, there are a lot of reasons why you might need one. As we mentioned, it can serve as your protective armor. On the other hand, the plate carrier will also allow you to carry various supplies and tactical amenities.

There are a lot of options that you can have on a plate. In fact, you can find different versions of the latter. But in this article, we will only feature the best. In this way, you will have an idea to the essential qualities that a tactical plate should have. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Plate Carrier​

How will you know if an individual plate carrier can satisfy you? What is the right use of this gear? Will I benefit from it on a regular basis or not? These are some of the common questions raised by gun enthusiasts whenever the topic of plate carriers is being raised. Despite the apparentness of this gear, many are still oblivious to it.

For someone who is looking for a plate carrier (like you), there is a need for you to invest in the one that has the greatest quality. If you use it on operations that will put your life on the line, then you should be confident that it could protect you. Otherwise, unfortunate incidents could strike any moment.

Fortunately, several indicators could optimize your hunt for a plate carrier. Just take time on choosing so that you'll get a unit that is utterly comfortable and protective.

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Size of the Plate Carrier

Needless to say, all of us have different body types. This is the reason why there are various clothing sizes. The same is true with plate carriers. This appropriate gear does not come with a one-size-fits-all scheme.

In the market today, the standard size of the plate carriers are 10 inches x 12 inches. If you go to online stores and retailers, this particular dimension will be in the medium category. If you think that this one is too small for you, then you should go to other larger options.

Also, you have to remember that the carrier will fit your plate size. At this point, we will recommend that you should go for a plate carrier that has adjustable cummerbunds. In this way, you can size the carrier depending on the circumference of your torso.

However, if you are planning to add soft armors and internal pouches, we recommend that you choose a plate carrier that ensures proper fit. Ideally, this translates to a standard plate carrier (medium) that comes with big cummerbund.

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Soft Armor

There are different types of plate carriers. The first one is the soft armor. The latter is the staple of most law enforcement agencies in the United States. Specifically, this gear has already saved thousands of police lives from danger. Today, a soft armor is a part of their regular uniforms.

The National Institute of Justice is the one that gauges the quality of a particular soft armor. And based on their assessment, this gear has six different categories. Notably, NIJ ranks soft armors based on the type of rounds they can prevent from piercing. Here are they:

  • I: 22LR
  • IIA: 9mm - .40 S&W
  • II: 9mm - .357 Magnum
  • IIIA: .357 SIG - .44 Magnum
  • III: 7.62mm rifles
  • IV: .30-06 (armor piercing rounds)

A soft armor can protect you by decreasing the acceleration of the round and forces into a mushroom. In this way, the latter can prevent the bullet from piercing your body. However, you should consider that this mechanism causes blunt-force trauma. After all, the inertia of a round is no joke. Those who have experienced this told that it was like being struck by a metal bat.

Poly and Ceramic Plates

For more heavy duty applications, these types of plate carriers are certainly the best. Those who are always facing the dangers of rifle rounds should get this unit. Originally, armor plates are a supplement to the traditional soft armor. But in the long run, it became a standalone defense gear.

Unlike soft armors, there are only two categories for a ceramic and poly plates. First is the Level III. The latter can protect you against standard rifle shots. The second one is the Level IV, which can stop rifle rounds that have armor piercing capabilities.

Ceramic

Manufacturers have specific ways of constructing armor plates. Most of the time, they are using proprietary and patented materials for their coverings. Usually, the interior of these plates are the ones that resist the bullets. Moreover, some supplemental materials contain the round in the plate.

Ceramic is the original type of plate carrier. It can stifle the impact and acceleration of the round. Meanwhile, it uses Kevlar as its backing material. However, ceramic plates tend to be fragile and ineffective if facing multiple rounds.

Polyethylene

On the flip side, the new polyethylene plate is taking the market by storm. It is more efficient than a ceramic plate because of its unique stopping mechanism. Instead of "brute-stopping" the round, it disperses its energy so that it can reduce the impact.

As the round is spinning, it generates friction, which eventually melts a part of the plate. The melting is rapid, which allows it to seal the bullet. As a result, it is effective against simultaneous shots.

Best Plate Carrier: Features, Performance, and More

1. Yakeda Tactical Vest

The Yakeda Tactical Vest is the most rugged and durable plate carrier that you can see on the market today. It has a good reputation in the community, thanks to its excellent construction and performance. The entire body is fully adjustable (from girth to length). Therefore, it can cater different body sizes.

The construction of this tactical vest prioritized comfort and durability. Specifically, it is made from the combination of high-density nylon and PVC-lined nylon. As a result, this plate carrier exhibits great tensile strength and maximum resistance to wear and tear!

Since it doesn't have too much weight, wearing this plate carrier seems unnoticeable. Moreover, this vest has a ventilation system that reduces the production of heat and moisture. The MOLLE system of this gear is impressive as well. It comes with a complementary suspension belt for maximum rigidity.

Best Overall Plate Carrier​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Perfect for tactical and field operations
  • Comes with a ventilation system
  • It can cater different body sizes
  • You can carry various gears on this plate carrier
  • There are some sharp corners on this vest
  • It is seemingly stiff

2. Condor Outdoor MOPC Gear Vest LBE Tactical Molle

Most military personnel would agree that the Condor Outdoor MOPC is one of the best-retailed plate carriers today. It has an unusual construction that effectively fends off multiple rounds. It has shoulder pads that have anti-slip properties. In this way, you can guarantee that the plate carrier will stay in place.

This particular chest rig is very lightweight and comfortable. It is also durable and brims top-quality construction. If you are not putting anything on this rig, it has only a weight of around one pound. In the market today, most plate carriers have double or triple the weight of this. Therefore, it is a good choice for mobility and fast-paced applications.

Moreover, the Condor Outdoor MOPC has sturdy webbings so that you can attach your modular attachment to it. Meanwhile, it has a front pocket in where you can put your pistol or mount. It comes with a hook-and-loop closure, too. Also, the side-release buckles give enough freedom for your upper body's mobility.

Best Lightweight Plate Carrier​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Comfortable, thanks to its mesh interiors
  • There is a front pouch for your pistol and map
  • Comes with durable webbings
  • Extremely protective
  • Some sizing problems
  • It is somehow loose for other users

3. Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set

It is not surprising anymore that this plate carrier has a "Modular" in its name. After all, it has heavy-duty webbing that will allow you to mount various attachments to your liking. We can guarantee that you will never run out of space on this rig. Even if you are facing a huge number of enemies, you will never run out of bullets with this one. Well, that may sound exaggerated. However, we are sure that this one can house lots of ammunitions for you!

Specifically, the MOLLE of this one is impressive. It got two interior pockets, six M4 pouches, and two shoulder straps that have a lot of webbings. Of course, this is not just about quantity. This plate carrier can secure your attachments, even in high impact applications.

The Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set can accommodate different body builds and sizes. It also features a hydration carrier on this one, which is pretty essential if you are planning to stay long in the field.

Best Modular Plate Carrier​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Excellent MOLLE
  • Rugged but comfortable design
  • Can accommodate various body sizes
  • Comes with a hydration carrier
  • It has an adjustable chest and waist platform
  • The back part is not adjustable
  • It doesn't have a belt snap (you cannot fasten a pistol belt on it)

4. Condor Sentry Vest

One of the most important plate carriers that you can get today is the Condor Sentry Vest. This particular gear is perfect for those shooters that require the protection of full body armor. Specifically, it is the ideal choice for tactical and heavy duty applications.

This plate carrier is a cross fit vest. We found it very useful in the field because of its optimal features. Specifically, it comes with a quick drag handle for emergency situations. Moreover, wearing it is very comfortable, thanks to its padded shoulder pads. You can remove the latter, too! There are also heavyweight webbings on this gear for your modular attachments.

When it comes to ergonomics, this one is beyond satisfying. It is easy to wear and remove, thanks to its integrated buckles. Moreover, it has a MOLLE space as well so that you can mount more pouches. It is not as modular as other plate carriers. But as we mentioned, it allows you to haul more equipment on it. Therefore, there's nothing to worry about.

Best Protective Plate Carrier​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Easy to wear and detach
  • You can put additional pouches and equipment to it
  • Practical plate carrier
  • Have quick release buckles
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Its straps doesn't stretch too much
  • Tends to bounce if you are running

5. 5.11 LBE Vest

The brand 5.11 is a reputable name in the tactical and military world. All of their products are certainly durable, efficient, and can make the cut! Therefore, it is not a surprise anymore that their 5.11 LBE vest is present in this list. Nobody can just undervalue the type of construction that it has. Specifically, it has a great design that allows you to take advantage of its MOLLE attachments.

Meanwhile, the functional zippers and multiple stitches on this plate carrier is a testament that it won't be flimsy. Despite being rugged, we can guarantee that this gear is still comfortable. It allows its user to have great mobility in the field. And while you are on the move, this vest just stay in place.

Best Plate Carrier for Mobility​

Pros:
Cons:
  • Exceptional construction
  • Comfortable and allows mobility
  • Comes with heavy-duty webbings
  • It permits the passage of air in your body
  • It has hidden pockets
  • Zipper tends to hang up on the top
  • The Velcro on its back produces noticeable noises

Final Verdict

These are the best plate carriers that you can get on the market today. Each of them has the quality to make your regular shooting applications safe and fruitful. Of course, we recommend that you should get one, especially if you usually engages in life-threatening operations.

We already featured each of the capabilities of these plate carriers. You can either opt between the Yakeda Tactical Vest and Condor Outdoor MOPC as your first choices. We have tested them on the field, and they didn't disappoint us. From their construction down to their MOLLE systems, they are almost peerless.

Did we miss any plate carriers worth mentioning? Tell us in the comment section below!

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