Plate carriers have really evolved in the last two decades and now look quite different than the vests holding hard plates that were used before. Not only are the best solutions today completely modular but are generally both lighter and more durable than anything that came before.
But, to know how to pick between these new carriers, you will need to familiarize yourself with some of the terms that directly related to the weight, utility, and protective capabilities allowed by the plate carrier.
Generally, there are three questions that you need to ask before buying a plate carrier. And, for the best options, the answer will always be yes.
- Does the plate carrier allow for easy attachment of auxiliary armor?
- Are there ways to attach pouches and holsters?
- Does the slot allow for standard hard plate sizes to fit easily?
Then, once you received a positive answer to all of these, you can start nitpicking and seeing how the carrier fits, if there is good ventilation or some additional capabilities and options that you might find enticing.
In the end, your goal is to optimize between protection levels and adaptability in the field and the final weight of your entire body armor layout, which will be concentrated around your plate carrier.
What Is Out There?
It seems that once the shift from complete armor vests to compartmentalized protective modules was finally complete, the options just started popping up. The carriers became lighter and with more features than ever.
Some models like the FRPC™ Fast Response Plate Carrier from https://uarmprotection.com/ have built further upon the current US Army options. This PC has all of the features as the US Armed Forces MOLLE 2 vests, but it is easier to get on and off, and even has dedicated points for surgical sheers if the situation comes to that.
With these options, even if you opt to wear just your plate carrier with the hard plate or even soft ballistic panel inside, you can be decked out for most conflict situations, even against rifles. And, if there is a danger from explosives or debris, you can quickly attach your modules and step right into the action.
Always go Modular
While there are some single-piece armor sets that are being sold, they will be hard press to surpass even the basic modular options. Namely, you can’t know exactly the type of situation where you will be deployed, and you can’t have a different set of plate carriers for every option.
Going modular means having a cheap, accessible, and adaptable option where you can always give yourself the greatest tactical advantage.
By using different modules for your stomach, groin, neck, shoulders, arms, and thighs, you will stay protected from explosive shrapnel and blasts.
And for the utility, you can take exactly the pouches and holsters for the ammo you need, and never leave something empty or ill-adjusted just because it was there.
The plate carrier of your choice should be the centerpiece around which the rest of your armor revolves.