2019, Lightweight Plate Carrier Set Up

#21
My unit, while full of derp has basically allowed us a lot of freedom in regards to gear setup up so I tend to forget some dudes have much more strict setup and ammo requirements. Thanks for reminding me of that.
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#22
@BooneGA
Exactly, being able to use my own kit is going to be very unit dependent. If I got the 82nd....probably not gonna happen.
My concern with bulk is primarily because of the vehicles and walking around. I want to try to have full range of motion and be able to sit in a vehicle comfortably.

Having the radio in the front left was my idea with the ferro concepts to manage the cables. The only other cord would be the hydration tube from camelback or qore.

I didn't think about the pack with using it in the vehicle, so having it directly mounted now seems definitely odd. A separate pack makes more sense.
A reason for the qore that I didn't mention was that I didn't want to a camelback and a pack on my bag swinging around. I also didn't want to fit the camelback into my bag, taking up space. But it makes sense as you described it because then in the vehicle there isn't any extra bulk in the back. What bag do you suggest/are using?


@runningwolf
Is this the bag? It looks great, very functional in a small form factor. Only thing I don't like is that I can't halve the main compartment like the Molle II ruck system. This would be to keep all the weight up high now that I'm thinking about it more.
 
#24
That’s it. Mine usually carries:
-ASIP
-NVG Pouch
-Eye pro pouch
-VS-17
-Two spare batteries for all electronics (excluding ASIP)
-SLIP2000 EWL
-Dust Brush
-Cleaning kit in OTIS round pouch
-NUUN tablets
-Clift bars or MRE snacks
-SAM Splint
-CAS strap

This is without getting into the beavertail. With beavertail I can expand a lot. MREs, Sleep System, wet weather gear, can of 7.62.

The sides are the perfect size for the Mayflower jungle canteen pouches which expands it a good bit.

I don’t see the point in having the pack have a divider, it’s a Assault pack not a ruck.
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#25
Not having a divider makes a lot of sense with that much stuff, but how are you organizing it?

Also, never heard of a SAM splint, so that was cool to duckduckgo
 
#26
I just drop the ASIP in main compartment with VS-17 next to it and SAM in hydration pouch, eye pro case beside the ASIP filling the gap and the ASIP is smaller then the pack with my NOD pouch sitting on top. Rest is in the bottom zipper pouch on the beaver tail. There’s comm/ hydration ports on the pack to route the hand mike and antenna.
 
#28
Using privately acquired equipment while your troops are stuck with standard issue gear sets a poor example. Radio and mag pouches are a small thing, but a leader should be using the same ballistic PPE as their troops.
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#29
@BooneGA @runningwolf
How do you feel about that? This was something I thought of, but I'm interested to hear your opinions.
If they are allowed to and want to, should an officer purchase better equipment that is critical, such as ballistic protection or carriers?

@Matt Landfair
Do you know anyone else who could contribute to this new conversation? I'm really interested in this now as....the entire thread, and a good amount of P&S, is subject to this question.
 
#30
I think buying your own plates for .mil use is stupid as they will issue you decent plates, backers are another story. Issue plates require a IIIA backer so if I’m putting in money for armor it’s for the backers. If you are using issue SAPIs you are getting the same rifle protection and coverage as all of the dudes in your unit. IOTV and Mayflower APC If both using medium SAPIs are the same amount of rifle protection, difference is one is well designed, lighter, and easier to move in, other is a POS.

My opinion as a bottom of the totem pole 11 bang bang, if I see my LT rocking quality kit that’s well worn tells me he’s at least thinking and willing to invest in good kit and the fading tells me he spends time in it. If I can look at how his kit is setup, wether it’s issue IOTV or a COTS plate carrier and it’s set up smart for his roll (IE good comms set up with easy access to support equipment rather then set up with nothing but a ton of ammo and looking like Rambo wannabe) tells me he knows his job and is probably dependable to some extent or another. I look hard at other dudes kits, especially their comms. Dudes rocking TEA PTT etc and routed good not just slapped on tells me the guy may know what he’s doing as good comms gear ain’t cheap and dudes not gonna fork out cash like that unless he knows his crap. (That’s just a initial impression, being around them will verify is first impression was right or wrong)

That being said, brand new LT at his first unit shows up with Gucci kit, gonna get notice and probably not the good kind. Having good kit is fine, but don’t start off with it. Get to your unit, use the issue for couple weeks/ month and worry more about learning your job. Then as you get a feel for things such as your units culture and tolerance for non issue kit start adding a piece of equipment here and there till you make the change gradually.
 
#31
Also, if you can get away with wearing something nice (COTS plate carrier over IOTV) and your dudes can’t, but you’re still wearing it, your a douche. If you can get away with it you had better be fighting to make sure your dudes get afforded that opportunity as well. A butter bar may not have much authority but if I see the new cat fighting with the higher ups for ME, regardless or what subject, you may get smacked in the balls by CO or what not, but you’ve go the platoons respect, and having your platoons respect is worth more then any LT, CPT, Colonel, General whatever’s respect will ever be.

Make your decision right now, do you want to climb the ranks or do you want to be a LEADER that your platoon will gladly follow to hell and back. Cause you may be asked to lead them there one day, and they’re gonna remember everything you’ve done up to that point. The SF cats have a saying, “selection is continuous” or along those lines. We got a similar concept in the infantry, we’re always watching our leadership and peers, who’s the guy to follow and who’s the shit bag. Don’t be the shit bag.
 

Wake27

Regular Member
#32
There’s a lot of stuff I want to respond to here, hopefully I can catch all of it but it’ll be in random order. I spent a tiny bit of enlisted time in the infantry before commissioning active duty as logistics. Most of my LT time was in a BSB, plus a year providing direct support to an IN BN as their distro PL. About half way through, I felt confident that my BN and BDE wouldn’t care if I wore personal gear as long as it looked similar so out of my four trips to JRTC, I wore an APC to one and a Scarab to another. I did a lot of additional field time in both and an incredibly happy with my current Scarab setup.

1. Buying your own plates is kind of a waste. Backers are necessary as the issued soft armor is cut for the IOTV or whatever junk carrier, but the plates are decent. I have my own and am not advising against it, I’d just put it at the bottom of the list. I’d strongly advise you not to go over .75” thick if/when you do buy some. I had some 1” side plates at one point and they were stupid thick. Plates are typically where a lot of issues come from too, because the leadership wants you in the right PPE. Army plates + suitable backers allow you to argue that you’re just as protected, if not better.

2. The ATAK (Android GPS) is not something you’re going to get as a conventional force. Maybe some really specific units have it, but as far as I’m aware, it’s only SOF. Which is a shame, because that thing is gangster and a tremendous asset. I couldn’t believe how solid it was when I had one.

3. I use the Velocity Gen IV rig which means I carry four mags on me. If I need more, my plan is to throw them in my back panel or on the inside of the cummerbund.

4. On the back panel, I use the Velocity zip on bag (I can’t remember its actual name right now). I love the Scarab for a lot of reasons - it’s just awesome. Part of that is the zippers on the back. My best job was the distro PL which meant that I ran convoys every single day we were in the box and it involved getting in and out of my HMMWV constantly. This was what drove me to replace the APC with a Scarab, so that I could have that bag with a camelback and whatever else I needed.

5. I also use a Spiritus dangler. Usually misc stuff like eye pro or nods go in there, but that’s partly because I typically have to dedicate another pouch to MILES gear. Either way - it’s a great storage option.

6. I personally don’t think wearing your own shit makes you a dbag leader, unless as stated, your subordinates aren’t even allowed to.

7. It’s a super common saying, but I don’t believe officers lead from the front. NCOs lead from the front, officers lead by example. Personal opinion.

8. I never had issues wearing personal gear, but it was all multicam. There was a PSG in another company that was questioned about his Scarab, but it was in ranger green and I’m pretty confident that was the only reason why. My BN CSM didn’t even know that my PC was COTS - he asked how I got it setup to where it interfaces so well with the chest rig and was shocked when I told him it wasn’t an issued carrier... but I’m also super attached to mine because having my own carrier saved my life at JRTC.

9. I use the same principle because I shoot in my carrier outside of work, but the chances that you’ll have an M4 and M9/M17 are pretty low.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Wake27

Regular Member
#33
Tapatalk is being weird so I can’t edit my first post...

10. I’m a huge believer in the PC+CR concept. I can tell you how many times we’ve had to switch between FLC/chest rig and armor during my field time, sometimes more than once in a single exercise. I STRONGLY recommend going with a swift clip system and investing in both the PC and chest rig, and always bring the straps to drop the armor while maintaining your chest rig.

11. I’ve never been concerned with drag handles, and don’t know anyone that is. Maybe that’s more of a combat thing, but I’m not convinced. If I did want to add one, it’d be the Spiritus version. I wouldn’t be upset if the Scarab included it, but I don’t think it’s a huge issue because you can fairly easily just grab the shoulder strap of the carrier, or more than likely, buddy carry.

12. Should mention that my Scarab is a custom version without the front pocket to minimize bulk. Can expand on that if desired.


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Wake27

Regular Member
#34
Probably obvious but a few of the most important things are that you’re good at your job and you don’t look like shit in whatever you have. If either one of those are off, you’ll draw criticism much faster, for good reason.


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chasnojm

Regular Member
#35
I'd honestly have two setups for what you are trying to do. Have your issued rig for work and a basic light rig for personal training/tactical fantasy time

Issued platecarrier with issued PPE with some nice to haves like:
the FS multimags or tacos (throwing black gear radios/smokes/arty sims etc in), (I use an old triple shingle from eagle with the button tops)
a blue force gear 152 pouch
small admin. (I like BFG's admin where it holds map pens, great when I was working in a FiST.
TQ pouches. (2)
Rear hydro carrier (something that lies flat for when you wear a patrol/main ruck or when in a vehicle) I like my velocity systems 24 hr pack. Large enough to throw water, a light warming layer and some stripped MREs, but not too big if I just need water.

Personal Carrier
Think JPC/Spiritus Low profile carrier
Mag pouches Rifle/Pistol
TQs
Highspeed lightweight plates
Your sick moto patches

Less is more. For example, you really don't need a back panel for personal rifle classes etc. I've wasted 8 plus years of cash on random gear when I could have been buying ammo and instructor time.

Most of the administrative extra gear will sit in a pack anyways. The occasional antenna relocation kit is nice.
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#36
While this was originally a personal use rig, I think the conversation is more interesting in the light of actually using downrange as 2nd LT in the Infantry per the scenario chosen by @runningwolf

Using the standard issue plates with a different backer to fit the new carrier makes sense. I wouldn't expect those plates to be trash or anything. Especially considering the plates Russia is churning out(Stops 7.62x51 AP multiple hit past 200 meters or so if I recall correctly from InRangeTV, the Battle Rifle Modcast and a few other sources).

@runningwolf
Yeah, showing up fresh on the block with "Gucci kit" will paint a target on any LTs back. Even if it was set up really smart. I think integrating it slowly makes a lot of sense. Like @Wake27 said, he spent time getting to know the unit before he made the call. One of the reasons for the multicam everything principle is to have it look smart and blend in. Just like the story Wake shared, I would not be surprised if some people don't notice like that CSM didn't. Don't give them a reason to say no. The other main reason is I love multicam, think it looks great. Maybe it's just from my hatred of the digis, but I do love it. If I was given the Mayflower APC, I probably wouldn't replace the carrier. I would just have better gear on it, like esstac mag carriers, Arbor Arms radio pouches, etc.

As far as fighting for your unit to use good kit, that's a no brainer to me. Having a pre approved list or empowering your SMEs at the company level makes sense maybe. But just barring outside kit to prevent Pvt. snuffy from having a $40 plate carrier that breaks on his 2nd FTX is dumb. That can be regulated within the platoon I would humbly think. Also, this kit is expensive and Pvt. Snuffy makes no money. The originally posted kit would eat ~ 1/6 - 1/7th of his/her annual salary...that poses a different issue.
Using smarter cummerbunds like the Arborarms system helps prolong the life of the systems and maybe they could be passed down for no or small cost. Just a thought.
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#37
@Wake27
1. Standard issue plates with a new backer for the carrier makes sense.

2. That blows. I've heard nothing, but great things about it. Even so, a Garmin wrist system isn't terrible either. I would be disappointed if a unit doesn't have anything for individual use and not just vehicle mounted GPS. But it wouldn't surprise me.

3. I looked at that rig. I'm probably going to go back and look at it again. I tend to sit on things like this for a month, then go through each item, the thought process and market to see if I come up with the same conclusion. This, I'll be sitting on for over a year at least.

4. The only thing about the zipper system that I don't like, and @BooneGA brought up(credit due), is that you can't self access it as fast as just a regular assault pack. Use a sternum strap on the assault pack and it'll probably be just as secured to your body. But being able to swap bags that are directly mounted like that is ingenious.

5. I couldn't find the dangler on the Spiritus site, could you drop a link?

7. I think, humbly, "Leading from the front" = "Lead by Example". Does the officer need to be kicking down a door? The point is that it should be abundantly clear to the platoon that the officer is capable and willing to do anything and everything they ask their subordinates to do. Joes know the PL has a different role and it's not kicking in the door.

8. This made me laugh honestly. Did the CSM have a mustache? He has a mustache or he's one of those "pockmarked from rough shaving in the field , but still clean shaven" kind of guys.

9. I'm assuming/deducing you mean keeping the right side/cummerbund clear for a handgun draw. idk if I would carry it.. Around the FOB as a FOB gat, probably. If I make GM by 25 as I plan to, then I'd feel pretty comfortable walking around with just the pistol on the FOB. Or keeping my rifle and pistol on m,e so I can let a Pvt. take the FOB gat to go take a leak or something.

10. One of the reasons to keep it as light as possible is to prevent the temptation to download to a Chest rig and lose the ballistic protection. Why were you downloading the plates? That doesn't make a lot of sense at face value to me. I'm curious now lol. Cause that makes other carrier systems make more sense I would think.

11. The reason for the drag handle is twofold: A personal story and just the general concept. I was doing an FTX lane with 280lb. Tungan as a SQL. Think Pacific Islander, the guy would literally wrestle sharks in his home country. He was the smallest in his family.... Anyways, we had a movement to contact as we were crossing a small dip. It was really just a long dried up river gulley that had smoothened out a bit. Tungan gets hit, but not killed according to the Lane officer. I went to grab his FLC and pull him. I promptly choked him as it yanked up and caught him the throat. I ended up fireman carrying/"jogging" back up this riverbank(about 10 meters in length and a steep grade) and towards the Casualty Collection Point as I fished out my 9 line cheat sheet to toss to the RTO next to me. That would have been faster, lower to the ground and easier with a drag handle. I dragged/carried 4 or 5 people myself on that one lane(we got lit up to make a point that's unrelated). A drag handle or two would have been nice that day.

The reason I was thinking the 5.11 drag handle was it was the only one I had seen and the handle very closely matches the Sprint, Drag, Carry shown below

The spiritus system probably works much better though. It has less bulk and it attaches directly to the belt. The video below talks about it and the nod to 90s hip hop in the beginning was dope and well appreciated. He goes into why a drag handle works very well.
I definitely think I would change the drag handle to this one. Credit to DARCI for coming up with the design of this system.

12. What was the process like for a custom system?
 

Frosty_Bear

Regular Member
#38
@chasnojm
That's definitely going to be the route I go if I couldn't use my own complete rig.
I like the way you tallied it all off. I would hope to be able to use my own or a Mayflower APC.

More classes and training is definitely the goal. I'm not trying to have a lot of guns or gear, but really know how to use it. As much as I would love to collect or clone or have a lot of fun guns like a CZ Scorpion tricked out with all the cool aftermarket accessories.
 

Wake27

Regular Member
#39
@Wake27
1. Standard issue plates with a new backer for the carrier makes sense.

Army plates SHOULD be good, but they can go a long time without being x-rayed for cracks so I should clarify that I'm not entirely against buying hard armor.

2. That blows. I've heard nothing, but great things about it. Even so, a Garmin wrist system isn't terrible either. I would be disappointed if a unit doesn't have anything for individual use and not just vehicle mounted GPS. But it wouldn't surprise me.

Definitely depends on the unit.

3. I looked at that rig. I'm probably going to go back and look at it again. I tend to sit on things like this for a month, then go through each item, the thought process and market to see if I come up with the same conclusion. This, I'll be sitting on for over a year at least.

If you end up considering it vs the pusher, let me know as I have some thoughts. Basically though, I went to the gen IV after using the pusher. Jack of all trades, master of none type thing.

4. The only thing about the zipper system that I don't like, and @BooneGA brought up(credit due), is that you can't self access it as fast as just a regular assault pack. Use a sternum strap on the assault pack and it'll probably be just as secured to your body. But being able to swap bags that are directly mounted like that is ingenious.

True, however I hate having a lot of shit on my shoulders. I love that my PC and CR integrate. But even then, add a sling and a camelback or pack and you have a bunch of shit. Also, I've benefited from having it on me whenever I had my armor on. If nothing else, than for my camelback. Maybe I just drink a lot of water, but there have been plenty of times before I switched to the dedicated zip on pack that I had left my camelback and/or assault pack in the truck, CP, TOC, etc because I thought I'd only be gone for a few minutes and that very quickly turned into an hour or several. If I know that I'll be in the truck for 20+ minutes, I'll have some one unzip it or drop kit for a sec and do it myself. Otherwise, I leave it on and almost entirely empty, aside from the bladder.

5. I couldn't find the dangler on the Spiritus site, could you drop a link?

SACK

7. I think, humbly, "Leading from the front" = "Lead by Example". Does the officer need to be kicking down a door? The point is that it should be abundantly clear to the platoon that the officer is capable and willing to do anything and everything they ask their subordinates to do. Joes know the PL has a different role and it's not kicking in the door.

Two different things IMO. Most officers know they're likely not kicking doors, but a lot of them (especially prior service NCOs and insecure officers) don't know how to empower NCOs/subordinate officers and let them lead. Its kind of a semantics thing, but I think the saying goes against the point because its very easy to visualize. The PL isn't taking point in a wedge or standing in front of the line, sabre drawn, and announcing a charge. They also don't typically stand in front of a formation, like PT. So when does an o lead from the front? I don't think they typically should, so the saying shouldn't be as such. The NCOs should lead from the front, the o making bigger picture adjustments as needed. But, he is still a leader and must always be leading by example, that just doesn't mean in the front of a formation. All nit-picky and personal preference, I've just grown tired of ranking officers not letting me do my job and I know there are plenty of solid NCOs that feel the same way.

8. This made me laugh honestly. Did the CSM have a mustache? He has a mustache or he's one of those "pockmarked from rough shaving in the field , but still clean shaven" kind of guys.

No mustache. Nice guy with a very long record of service, but on the older end and somewhat aloof.

9. I'm assuming/deducing you mean keeping the right side/cummerbund clear for a handgun draw. idk if I would carry it.. Around the FOB as a FOB gat, probably. If I make GM by 25 as I plan to, then I'd feel pretty comfortable walking around with just the pistol on the FOB. Or keeping my rifle and pistol on m,e so I can let a Pvt. take the FOB gat to go take a leak or something.

Yeah you mentioned that as one of your principles. Again, I agree, but the number of people who are issued both is typically pretty small and even smaller an a PL. That being said, I fully intend on keeping one loaded, on me, and potentially concealed as much as possible if I get deployed with my next unit (hopefully...). Insider threats are getting more and more of our guys.

10. One of the reasons to keep it as light as possible is to prevent the temptation to download to a Chest rig and lose the ballistic protection. Why were you downloading the plates? That doesn't make a lot of sense at face value to me. I'm curious now lol. Cause that makes other carrier systems make more sense I would think.

Depends on guidance for the FTX. Our scouts would drop armor quite often for recce work. But I've also done entire FTXs in just FLC/CR for various reasons, like heat cat concerns in Hawaii. Also had plenty of times where it was based off of threat at JRTC, or just having to wear MILES. I've had several rotations where we had to wear MILES and FLC/CR during ROSI but didn't have to upgrade to armor until in the box. The temptation to downgrade won't usually matter, I can almost guarantee you that isn't a call an LT will be able to make. Realistically that level of assumption of risk would be up to the BN or BDE CDR, maybe even higher.

11. The reason for the drag handle is twofold: A personal story and just the general concept. I was doing an FTX lane with 280lb. Tungan as a SQL. Think Pacific Islander, the guy would literally wrestle sharks in his home country. He was the smallest in his family.... Anyways, we had a movement to contact as we were crossing a small dip. It was really just a long dried up river gulley that had smoothened out a bit. Tungan gets hit, but not killed according to the Lane officer. I went to grab his FLC and pull him. I promptly choked him as it yanked up and caught him the throat. I ended up fireman carrying/"jogging" back up this riverbank(about 10 meters in length and a steep grade) and towards the Casualty Collection Point as I fished out my 9 line cheat sheet to toss to the RTO next to me. That would have been faster, lower to the ground and easier with a drag handle. I dragged/carried 4 or 5 people myself on that one lane(we got lit up to make a point that's unrelated). A drag handle or two would have been nice that day.

I don't think its a bad idea, I've just never wanted to dedicate space, weight, and money to it. There was one time that I had been killed and my guys had to drag me. The OC made a comment that it would have been easier if my PC had a handle, but again, it works well enough (IMO) to grab the shoulder strap. Part of that is because the PC will fit tighter than a FLC and should hopefully minimize that chocking effect.

The reason I was thinking the 5.11 drag handle was it was the only one I had seen and the handle very closely matches the Sprint, Drag, Carry shown below

The spiritus system probably works much better though. It has less bulk and it attaches directly to the belt. The video below talks about it and the nod to 90s hip hop in the beginning was dope and well appreciated. He goes into why a drag handle works very well.
I definitely think I would change the drag handle to this one. Credit to DARCI for coming up with the design of this system.

12. What was the process like for a custom system?

It was a group buy, but I can't remember what forum it was on if not this one. They'll do it on an individual basis, it just may cost a bit more. Basically they removed the front pocket and replaced it with a large velcro field so that it integrates slightly better with a chest rig.
Responses in bold.