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Sunday, September 25, 2022

What To Look For When Choosing A Plate Carrier

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I am sure you have heard this question before.  This question has always piqued my curiosity; what do you use it for? Would it be used for work, play, home protection, or because you’d like to be prepared in case of an emergency?  Yes, I would use it for all of those reasons. Why is it worth every penny? It is a weapon you are holding in your hands, and you could use it to protect your life or the life of someone else.


Carrying a few magazines in a plate carrier is more than just practical. From multiple ballistic threats, including those that soft armor cannot stop, it is the only thing that can save your life.  It is important to not leave it to chance or purchase something cheap that looks cool but is not used by professionals.

How should I choose a size?

You should first purchase the correct armor plates for your carrier.  A 10″ x 12″ plate is the most commonly purchased size.  The size Medium can be found online.  The larger you are, the larger plate you will need.  Select your carrier based on your plate size rather than your body size.


My recommended brands all have cummerbunds that are fully adjustable and come in different sizes.  T-shirts can be sized based on the circumference of the torso.  I strongly recommend that you bump up against one size if you plan to add soft armor to the sides and wear a bulletproof vest.  In my opinion, it is best to use a large cummerbund set and a medium plate carrier.

Related Article: What you need to know about bulletproof body armor plates

How should I choose my armor plates?

It’s an excellent question, and we’ve been debating it since man first hammered metal, hung it around his neck, and then asked “why?”.  Projectile threats alone are what you will most likely encounter.  In the past, the military has developed threat requirements for armor designed to stop 30.06 rounds from piercing it.


No American soldier has ever been shot with this round in combat.  As a result, our government wasted millions of dollars on over-engineered armor that doesn’t even serve our troops. They are currently trying to reduce the overall weight of the armor issued by changing the scope to be able to defeat actual threats.

Depending on what threat you are trying to thwart, it’s entirely up to you. It is up to you whether you should buy level 4 stand-alone armor plates (which are cheaper and don’t require soft armor behind them) to reduce your financial costs in exchange for a heavier and less effective armor plate or whether to purchase level 3 armor plates which are lighter and provide fewer protections while costing a lot more?  As an active-duty soldier, I carried nearly 40 pounds of lightweight gear with me, so one component may be lighter, but overall, you are not going to be as light as you might think.


All the gear, clothing, medical equipment, batteries, ammunition (depending on the caliber and the number of rounds you carry), and the weapon add up to be heavy and bulky.  The system could weigh less than 25lbs if all the components (minus your weapon) were combined. The system would be ideal for you.

How should I set up my career?

It is recommended that you have a minimum of 6 magazines (5 on the gear, 1 in the gun), each with 28 rounds (5.56), for 168 shots.  There should be a pouch for a GPS/radio system, a water system (usually between 70-100 ounces), a medical kit (as long as it is within reason), and an admin pouch for a multi-tool, pen, and waterproof paper. Wearing your pistol and pistol magazine pouch on your pants belt is appropriate.  In addition to wearing your medical kit on your pants belt, I would also recommend wearing hand grenade pouches on your belt, depending on your mission type (military).


There is no reason to add more weight or pouches just because you have free space!  Rather than “What-it”, don’t load yourself up with 10 pounds of extra gear when you don’t need it. As an officer, I have used nearly every product they have to offer, years of seeing bad products fail in the field and not perform as promised, company experience, raw material quality, and reputations from within the military and law enforcement units.  The most important factor I consider is a long-lasting gear with a reputation for never failing when needed most.

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