Which Plate Carrier?

#3
While on active duty, I never had a choice in armor selection. "This is IBA. Wear it." I never even wore an IOTV- those were fielded in-country on the tour I medically missed in 07-08.

My current civilian armor setup is a full-blown SPEAR-cut setup. It's a Paraclete RBAV '07 in Ranger Green, with Paraclete soft inserts and USGI ESAPIs. I arrived at this through a backward process of acquisition. I got a good deal on the soft armor, then an equally good deal on the plates (which would also have worked in a woodland camo IBA I also have), and then it was a matter of picking a carrier, also on a budget. I was fortunate enough to find precisely the deal I needed.

Color was a factor in carrier selection as well- it was determined by my primary "operating" environment, which is here in Tennessee. Even if as a DA civilian I deployed overseas, it would not be in a door-kicking operational mode and I really wouldn't have a need. Most of the newer lighter carriers (God, I wanted a Mayflower/Velocity at one point) were too expensive or unavailable in anything but coyote or Multicam. I never fell for Multicam, as "OEF-OCP" wasn't a thing until after I got out and all my tours were in the craptastic "universal". I made a deliberate move to divest myself of most all UCP while on terminal leave. All my other personal kit is a pastiche of OD/Ranger/sewer/swamp/smoke green.

Am I going to go for long walks in the stuff anymore? No. It is geared more toward the vehicular drive-out or guarding the house and grounds in event of horrible unseen contingencies. The cummerbund does get some of the weight off my damaged lower back, which makes it far more pleasant than IBA was. I might wear it for a class or two, when I have the time and money to start attending again. Of course I also plan on saving up for plate backers and a strictly plate carrier so I can tailor my options to what I am doing.

Also, my changes in personal life will probably require I get a set of small backers and a carrier for the small SAPIs I acquired as "girlfriend armor".
 
#4
I have tried several, sotech, eagle industries, mayflower. Mayflower is by far my favorite so far. It seems like most armor is designed for what someone who has never met a human thinks human being are shaped like. The mayflower has quality, scaleable options, comfort, what more could you want
 
N

nate89

Guest
#6
I have a grey ghost gear minimalist carrier. I think for the money it's a great option. It's easy to adjust, has been durable, and comfortable enough.
 

Grayman

Established
#7
I think it would be tough to beat this:

http://www.skdtac.com/FirstSpear-STT-Plate-Carrier-SKD-Exclusive-p/fsr.550.htm

This is basically the same as FS's amphibian or AAC carriers. The SKD offering appears to incorporate all of the advantages of the FS design at a fraction of the cost. It is manufactured by FS for SKD.

I have the Amphibian and truly couldn't be happier. I am very familiar with the JPC as well as the TAG banshee. In my opinion the FS blows them out of the water. The quality is top notch and the design is very well thought out. It can be run completely slick and is just as low-pro as the dedicated slick offerings on th market.

The "Tubes" attachment system is slick and fit my rapid donning requirements better than a velcro front flap. It is extremely secure and is very intuitive to operate.

I recommend some shoulder pads as there isn't any built into the design but this is the only addition you will have to make right out of the box. There isn't any padding inside of the carrier so if that's your bag look elsewhere or plan on adding SKD's pontoons.

Again I don't have the SKD carrier So I can't give a review of that specific model but if it's even 1/2 the carrier the Amphibian is its worth the squeeze. On my less than stellar cop pay the SKD is the route I'd take if I were doing it all over again.
 
#8
The Tactical Tailor Fight Light Plat Carrier (FLPC) is the most comfortable one I have ever worn/owned. It also fit my personal requirements when I was retiring my Eagle plate carrier (can't remember the model). I was looking for the following when researching:
-Generous padding separating the plates from my body (I am pretty much skin and bones and wanted a bit more fluff for comfort)
-Side attachment points (ie: no lifting a front flap to secure the body armor)
-No fastex on the front shoulders where my butt stock rests
-plate pockets protrude from the vest giving me a little ledge where the butt stock would be (not for that reason, just my preference)
-As slim cut as possible.
-Good shoulder padding options (again, I'm skinny)

The pros:
-It fit my needs
-Feels more like wearing athletic gear than wearing body armor
-internal pads provide good airflow
-Easy to don and doff

The Cons:
-The molle that covers the side fastex closures are pretty much useless unless you mount a small item that is not meant to be grabbed in a hurry.
-Drag handle is kind of flimsy

I have never used the side plate attachments so I can't say whether or not those are good to go or not.
 

patriot_man

Regular Member
#9
I always end up back to the JPC - in my opinion it is perfect. Does what I need it to do, hold armor and ammo, without excess weight. Don't even think I would spring for the JPC 2.0 although the rear zip panels are pretty cool.

Wanted to try a FS carrier but after some problems with their mag pouches and what I've heard from others about straps being sewn in the wrong position I decided to stay with the proven performer.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#10
Crye's JPC for personally purchased, and if I had the issued plates that would fit in it, for a issued one for certain roles.

For an active shooter over the patrol uniform rig, I have to agree with @Grayman on the use of the First Spear or SKD spec'd Tubes setup.
 

Erick Gelhaus

Moderator
Moderator
#12
I have & use two, they are role dependent. For L/E patrol work, I use a BFG carrier. With our tan shirts, the coyote is not too terribly different and create the significant difference that ID the armor for BadGuys and give them a better aiming point.
When working in support of SWAT element, where we wear OD, I've got an older Paraclete SOHPC. There its more about being able to move & install A/V equipment and have defensive equipment.
 
#13
Crye JPC.
- Shoulderstaps made of hypalon simply dissaper when shouldering rifle or shooting prone
- They also dont get in the way when presenting a handgun.
- The shoulderstaps are set wide so they dont rub on your neck like an LBT 6094
- Built in triple mag shingle and the cummerbund velcro flap is easy to open/close even with fully loaded mags
- Light weight at less than 1.5lbs for the medium PC and cummerbund - this is like 2lbs lighter than many carriers 2LBS!!
- Light but stiff cummerbund with several options for side armor carry
- Very breathable
- Just simple
- All this for $250 is an insane value
- I hope they keep the original JPC as I think the JPC 2.0 is losing the plot a bit with its complexity
 
#14
Was working a range on Fort Campbell yesterday and a lieutenant had an Ares Armor Derma carrier with the Cobra buckles on the side. Anyone ever try one of these?
 

AresGear_Jake

Stiffer Is Better
Moderator
Vendor
#15
Just as a soft goods manufacturer who buys Cobra buckles, it seems like that's a real quick way to add unnecessary cost to a product; those buckles retail for about $30 each, and wholesale is roughly half that.

Combine that with the visual of what happens to them if you sweat acid (and some of you do, don't lie), and I'd rather have fastex buckles on my armor than Cobras.

They sure look cool though, don't they?


- Jake
 

adam_s

Regular Member
Network Support I
#16
Was working a range on Fort Campbell yesterday and a lieutenant had an Ares Armor Derma carrier with the Cobra buckles on the side. Anyone ever try one of these?
Cobras look cool, but as Jake mentioned, they bring nothing to the table, other than helping you part with more of your money.

I'm still a fan of the OG JPC. Does everything I need it to, without having to spend coin on adding pouches, widgets, etc.

The FirstSpear STT (the SKD exclusive), looks to be a good rig at a sweet price, but I've not had a chance to fiddle with it. I know FS makes good gear though.

I'd also like to try out the BFG PlateMinus...I think that it would be particularly interesting if combo'ed with some of the ultra-thin plates out now to give you something fairly concealable, but able to jock up quickly as well. Put a BFG triple HW shingle on the front, and until you add mags to it, you've added negligible extra thickness.
 

Dr. No

Regular Member
#17
I think it would be tough to beat this:

http://www.skdtac.com/FirstSpear-STT-Plate-Carrier-SKD-Exclusive-p/fsr.550.htm

This is basically the same as FS's amphibian or AAC carriers. The SKD offering appears to incorporate all of the advantages of the FS design at a fraction of the cost. It is manufactured by FS for SKD.

I have the Amphibian and truly couldn't be happier. I am very familiar with the JPC as well as the TAG banshee. In my opinion the FS blows them out of the water. The quality is top notch and the design is very well thought out. It can be run completely slick and is just as low-pro as the dedicated slick offerings on th market.

The "Tubes" attachment system is slick and fit my rapid donning requirements better than a velcro front flap. It is extremely secure and is very intuitive to operate.

I recommend some shoulder pads as there isn't any built into the design but this is the only addition you will have to make right out of the box. There isn't any padding inside of the carrier so if that's your bag look elsewhere or plan on adding SKD's pontoons.

Again I don't have the SKD carrier So I can't give a review of that specific model but if it's even 1/2 the carrier the Amphibian is its worth the squeeze. On my less than stellar cop pay the SKD is the route I'd take if I were doing it all over again.
Are you by chance using this in a LE role? How did you attach agency patches to the front/back?

I run the SKD PIG right now but after 3 years of use and in my trunk it may be coming to the end of its life. I was looking hard at the SKD/FS collaboration rig, but I'm not crazy about attaching a patch panel just to put a big POLICE across the front.
 
#19
I see that Appalachian training (who contributes to this forum and many others) carries the Velocity systems Lightweight plate carrier for less than $170! You do have to kind of BOLO for a color variation that you want, IMO worth it for what you get. I favor the LWPC because it brings to the table ultimate simplicity while still providing amazing versatility and modularity. Instead of being covered in PALS, it features buckles so you can snap in chest rigs, or even place cards, that cater to mission profile. It features a swatch of Velcro on the chest that is, in of itself, a small admin pocket that's great for note taking gear and doesn't get in the way. Its cummerbund section has a flap that is covered in Velcro so you can secure it in that fashion or just quickly secure the cummerbund to the loop section. Its also has a Kangaroo pouch that mates to 3 magazine shingles and other specified inserts.
 

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aadrian82

Moderator
Moderator
#20
JPC 2.0... Upgraded from the standard JPC due to the fact I needed to swap out panels based on mission set. Zip-on panels are a way to go if your mission set can change quickly, IMHO. If not, or you are on a budget you cannot go wrong with a Gen 1 JPC.