"Turtle" or "heavy" entry vests

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#1
Preferred entry vests on the market?

Think soft armor with plates.

Preferably available from a distributor with armor as a package.
 

Dr. No

Regular Member
#3
A lot of teams (including ours) are going to plate carriers with added protection (delts, neck, crotch). A lot lighter and cooler.. especially in TX.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#5
Is there a better option than the CIRAS or RAV yet? All the LE-intended tactical armor carriage I've seen blows.

Edit - I bet FirstSpear could source you a good option with armor.


- Jake
Was scrolling through FS's website. I might have to give them a call for a T&E when I get some more narrowed down.
 
#7
TYR's new catalog is on SSD. I perused it at work. I have no experience with an entry vest. But TYR has a bunch of scaleable options.
 

Grayman

Established
#9
I was looking at the FS Ragnar as an option... I was told they can do custom cut for whatever soft armor you choose to run. Will be much lighter than a full cordura model like you've got now Matt.

The Tyr EPIC system looks extremely interesting but I'm not sure about the bulk. Just from the looks of it I'm guessing you'd have a very Michelin Man look about you with it on. The scale-ability is like nothing I've ever seen in one package and could be a very worthwhile upgrade for LE special mission units.
 
#10
OK I've been posting a LOT for a guy on his first day, but these threads really strike a cord! I used to have a VelTeye "Hugger" for a little while and if you ask me it's one of the three best armor systems that fit into this catogory. It can be built to hold what ever size/shape soft armor you have (BALCS, SPEARS, Interceptor) and has a mating chest rig that holds 5 mags. It is rather spendy though! If money isn't an object, I'd jock up to the Crye Cage Armor system. If you look closely at pics from Mark Owens "No Easy Day" you can see this armor system in a picture. This rig is over 0ne grand before plates though! If money is a bit of an object I suggest the Mayflower low profile armor systems. They sell on their site for $800 with velocity's soft armor. The reason why I like these armor systems is that they are really slick and streamlined even as "Turtle shell" armor kits.
 

Attachments

#12
Is anything under the Pointblank/Paraclete etc umbrella worth considering? I'm running a Strandhogg with MASS system marked to be rotated out. I enjoy the setup but admit that I could use some more soft armor coverage considering the threats we most often encounter but not to the point of being a turtle on his back. Pointblank is the vendor my boss prefer.
 
#13
My team is getting new armor carriers and plate carriers this week. We'll be running two setups for different missions. In my large'ish agency we are a Paraclete/point blank dept. Good or bad that's what my leadership keeps going with so I will make damn sure I make the best of it. We are going to be issued the Paraclete Armis and the APC (I believe). From the looks of the kit they "look" ok. Certainly better than our current entry vest, but with no time inside the carrier I can only speculate. I will report back periodically as I get more time with the system.
 

DocGKR

Dr.Ballistics
Moderator
#14
As I've posted previously, in the past 25 years I have used a variety of armor systems including the old military armor like the PASGT & IBA, integrated systems like the RAV and CIRAS, as well as a variety of plate carriers combined with various soft CBA. What is best is highly dependent on what threats you face, the type of operations planned, the environmental conditions and climate in your area of operations, your transportation method, and how long you need to wear the gear each day.

For LE uniformed patrol, where you are already wearing soft armor, just throw on a simple plate carrier preferably without a cummerbund, as this is the quickest way to up armor in an active shooter or other potentially violent situation where you may need protection from rifle threats.

Since the vast majority of LE officers already possess concealable soft armor they are wearing for patrol duties, when assigned to specialized tactical units like SWAT, one option is to simply throw on a plate carrier, perhaps one with a cummerbund and side plates. This is a simple, relatively cost effective solution that does not require getting a second set of soft armor for a tactical armor carrier (like the RAV, CIRAS, etc...). Many folks also find it more comfortable, versatile, and lower-profile.

As I have noted in a couple of other threads, I was issued and used a MAR-CIRAS for about 5 years; I found it more comfortable than our previous old school RAV's--particularly since the MAR-CIRAS had no cummerbund to sag or zipper to rip. Keep in mind that for LE use, the Land-CIRAS takes longer to get on than the MAR-CIRAS...

These days I much prefer a lower profile set-up, as typified by the Mayflower low profile carrier coupled with a rack type chest rig thrown over it. Compared to integrated armor carriers like the CIRAS or RAV, as well as plate carrier, a low profile armor carrier and chest rig has numerous benefits for me:

-- Greater range of motion
-- More comfortable riding in vehicles along with easier entrance and egress
-- Allows rapid change of load-out by quickly switching chest rigs, ex. assaulter, sniping, patrol, dedicated shotgun, etc...
-- Chest rig can be dropped and armor worn discreetly under a jacket or other clothing



Currently, I am really digging the AMI low profile carrier: http://www.armoredmobility.com..._profile_carrier.php. It takes my soft armor and eSAPI large plates, along with 6x8 side plates.

Both Mayflower and AMI make MOLLE versions of their low-profile carriers for folks that want to add pouches directly to the carriers.

The AMI low-profile carrier is the most comfortable and versatile armor set-up I have ever used; there is NO way I ever want to go back to using my previous CIRAS/RAV or plate carriers--it even comes in Multicam...

 

Fatboy

Established
#15
We currently run Paraclete RMV's with the full samurai accessory set for the heavy vests. It has a surprising amount of mobility in it, it's modular, and is a BALCS cut soft armor. Hell, it even has built in side plate pockets. Great adjustability for ride height and it's relatively stream lined if you aren't carrying the kitchen sink.

I would recommend for anyone looking at this vest to go up a size so that you have cold weather expandability while maintaining ballistic coverage.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#16
My team is getting new armor carriers and plate carriers this week. We'll be running two setups for different missions. In my large'ish agency we are a Paraclete/point blank dept. Good or bad that's what my leadership keeps going with so I will make damn sure I make the best of it. We are going to be issued the Paraclete Armis and the APC (I believe). From the looks of the kit they "look" ok. Certainly better than our current entry vest, but with no time inside the carrier I can only speculate. I will report back periodically as I get more time with the system.
At my last agency we were getting ready to buy new vests for the team and had settled on these from Paraclete.

http://www.pointblankenterprises.com/paraclete/alpha-one.html

The soft armor was all the 3A Alpha Elite package with a ICW 3A/4 special threat plate but I can't remember the model. It was very lightweight and slim package but was going to be about 2K-2.5K per complete set (vest, crotch, shoulders, 3-4 pouches).
 
#17
Looking for opinions on Protech. I have my own opinion but would like to hear others. I just got off the phone with TYR Tactical. The rep and I seem to be on the same page with a lot of stuff and I hope to be testing some of their equipment.
 

TXLEO

Member
Network Support I
#18
Our team just got a bunch of the Protech Shift 360 scale-able vests. We got shipped the older non-tubes version by mistake and they are making it right in a good way. Running the standard version while waiting on the tubes to come in. I have one barricaded person call out in it. I can give a little better feed back after a week of training next week.
 
#19
At my last agency we were getting ready to buy new vests for the team and had settled on these from Paraclete.

http://www.pointblankenterprises.com/paraclete/alpha-one.html

The soft armor was all the 3A Alpha Elite package with a ICW 3A/4 special threat plate but I can't remember the model. It was very lightweight and slim package but was going to be about 2K-2.5K per complete set (vest, crotch, shoulders, 3-4 pouches).
Guys on my team not running the FS Strandhogg wear the Alpha Elite. It's way better than Pointblank's previous offerings like the RAM/Dragonfire. If handgun threats are your major concern it offers a fair amount of soft armor without being overly intrusive in your mobility.
 
#20
Ok so we got out new kit issued. Paraclete Armis, and the SOHPC. While its nice to have been issued a PC along with our armor carrier I am not a real big fan of one primary thing with both setups. First off paraclete uses these large cobra buckles that they call their Halo 3 buckles, and on the SOHPC they are hard mounted onto the cumberbund and cannot be removed. While they are nice for ease of donning and doffing, the buckle takes up real-estate. It basically makes anything you want to mount on the CB get pushed back under your arm.
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Other than that, i like it just fine. I've got some vertical swift clip adapters from down range gear en route to I'll keep this thing slick and buckle my CR in when needed. (Were also issued HSGI's AO chest rig.

Now on the Armis. It is way more comfortable than our older paraclete carriers. However I can't believe the CB doesn't have integral side plate pockets. This thing also has those Halo 3 buckles but these can be removed and/or swapped out for other attachment systems (if you buy them, and we didn't). Again these get right in the way of where I pretty much have to run my radio, which is support side right up against the cb flap. Anywhere else gets in the way of reloads and I don't like running it on my back.

So since these Halos are movable (but we didn't get the replacement pieces) I came up with my own solution. It's just 3 lengths of adhesive hook/loop stuck together and ran under the retaining flaps for the female buckle side and under the cb flap.
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As you can see from the obviously Google Drive pic, the female potion of the buckle can be moved either in or out one width of a pals row. I threw a couple zip ties in (last pic) for a little added security. This allows me to keep the buckle on my strong side so that it's still easy on easy off without wearing out the velcro on the CB flap, but still run my radio where I want it.

Also the cb flap is removable as well. As we got it, it came with the kangaroo style flap with a 3 mag divider velcro'd in. It can be removed for direct mounting of pouches, but the velcro inside the kangaroo pouch doesn't run the entire depth so there's a little billowing that can occur ( I'll try to get pics if anyone wants to see what I mean).

Besides that, the tweave material they use on the inside is nice. It's soft and seems to breathe well. The shoulder pads are large but comfortable as well. You can remove them if they are too big for your liking. Pals real estate is more limited then our old carrier but that can be a good thing as it forces guys to re-evaluate what they carry and forces them to only carry necessities. (I had to lose my camelback to make room for my gas mask).

That's just an initial opinion. With my few mods I think it'll be just fine. Let me know if there's any questions.