Equipment for your plate carrier
Plate Carriers are much more than just a vessel to carry your body armor plates. Though that is their main purpose, Plate carriers are also used to carry a wide range of tactical gear. Most plate carriers have some sort of load-bearing system like Molle or Laser Cut webbing on it. These mounting systems can be used to mount various pouches for Magazines, communication gear, knives, first aid kits, and a lot more.
So, in today’s post, we are going to talk about using plate carriers for mounting equipment. We will talk about how you should wear your plate carrier for maximum protection and mobility, and what type of pouches you can mount on it. Keep reading to check it out.
Protecting those vital organs.
The first and foremost purpose of a plate carrier with body armor plates is to provide ballistic protection, therefore, it is essential that it covers your vital organs, without restriction of your movement. Ideally, the ballistic plates should cover most of your chest area, and protect vital organs like the lungs and the heart. Your armor plate should also cover your Stomach and upper abdomen, along with the major blood vessels in the chest area.
To get coverage on all of these organs, your armor plate should cover your upper chest, from below your collarbone, to the end of your rib cage. Horizontally, it should cover most of your ribcage, without the restriction of your movement. The back plate should be balanced with the front plate, as it protects all of these vital organs, along with a major section of your spine from the back.
Movement around with a tactical plate carrier.
In any tactical situation, Mobility is as important as ballistic protection. Therefore it is essential that your plate carrier vest does not restrict your movement. Your body armor setup should be comfortable, and it should allow you to easily shoulder a rifle, hold an isosceles stance with a pistol, access your duty gear, run around, and do all the other movements that your job or training requires.
The best way to make sure that you can comfortably move around with your plate carrier is to do a couple of burpees and squats while wearing it. These exercises involve a full range of motion and help you understand whether a particular bulletproof vest or plate carrier fits your body without restricting your movement.
Molle or Laser-Cut? What works best for you
When it comes to load-bearing systems on your tactical plate carrier, there are multiple options, however, Molle webbing is the most common option that you are most likely to find on a military plate carrier. Modern plate carrier vests either have traditional Molle webbing, or the more modern Laser-Cut Molle webbing. Both load-bearing systems support molle-compatible pouches and accessories, but they have their distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Laser-Cut Webbing cuts Material out of the plate carrier to create loops for Molle accessories, whereas traditional Molle stitches on more Nylon straps to get the same effect. Therefore, plate carriers with Laser-Cut webbing are lighter, however, those with Traditional Molle webbing are definitely more durable. Laser-Cut webbing also gives you more mounting points, as the holes can be cut closer to each other. This also allows your accessories to hold tighter to the vest.
So, it all comes down to your intended use. If you aren’t going to mount a lot of pouches and accessories on your plate carrier, Laser-Cut Molle should work perfectly. In fact, many companies like Acelink Armor make plate carriers with very durable Laser-Cut webbing. Still, traditional Molle will always be more durable, and better at holding heavier weights. It is trusted by Military personnel all over the world, and it will not fail you either.
Minimalist over Fully Tactical, what to choose?
In terms of their size, bulk, and load-bearing capabilities, you have 3 different styles of tactical plate carriers available on the market. There are Slick, Minimalist, and Standard fully tactical plate carriers.
Slick plate carriers are the lightest. They don’t have any load-bearing capabilities and have minimal padding on the shoulder straps, and behind the plates. However, these plate carriers are designed to be concealable, therefore, they need to have a low profile.
Minimalist plate carriers have minimal load-bearing capabilities. They are only meant to carry essential tactical gear, and they are very lightweight. These plate carriers allow for maximum mobility, however, they aren’t the most comfortable option. Minimalist plate carriers also have very simple cumber bunds, which usually don’t have any side armor pockets.
Standard fully tactical plate carriers are a good sweet spot. They are quite comfortable and can carry a decent amount of gear. These plate carriers can easily carry around 30-35 lbs of gear on the front and back, and they have padded shoulder straps, and plate pockets for additional comfort. Fully tactical plate carriers usually have side plate pockets as well.
You can also find some heavy plate carriers, like the IOTV vests used by the US military. These carriers can support a lot of weight, are padded for comfort, have an emergency drag handle, and sometimes have Kevlar armor fibers as well.
So, when it comes to choosing the perfect plate carrier for you, you should consider the application it is intended for. If you are using a plate carrier for personal protection in a home defense scenario, and don’t have to wear it for a long time, a minimalist plate carrier will get the job done, on the other hand, if you have to carry a lot of gear and wear the carrier for a long time, fully tactical plate carrier vests are a better option.
Types of pouches for plate carrier vest
Different missions and emergency situations call for different high-speed gear setups on your plate carrier. To carry this gear in a way that is easily accessible, you need to have the right kind of pouches,
There are many types of pouches that you can mount on your plate carrier, however, here are some of the most popular.
One of the most important things that you need to carry on your plate carrier is extra magazines, so, magazine pouches are specifically designed for this purpose. These pouches are usually mounted on the front of the plate carrier and have retention loops to keep the mags in place as you move around. You can get magazine pouches for both rifle and pistol mags.
Kangaroo pouches are also mounted on the front of a plate carrier, and they can be used to carry magazines, or other kinds of gear as well.
Med Kit Pouches:
Med Kit pouches are specifically designed to carry medical kits. These pouches may have a red cross patch on them, and they come in various sizes as well.
As the name suggests, these pouches are used to carry different kinds of grenades. They are more commonly used by military and special police officers.
These pouches are mounted to the back of the plate carrier, and they are used to carry gear that you don’t need to access in a hurry. Soldiers also carry gear that their team members may need in their backpacks. These backpack pouches usually have hydration bladders as well. Military personnel uses them for long-range patrols and other long operations.
All-purpose Molle Pouches:
These all-purpose pouches are available in all shapes and sizes, and they can be used to carry various kinds of miscellaneous gear that the mission requires.
A chest rig has multiple pockets to carry magazines, grenades, and all kinds of gear. a chest rig can be used with a minimalistic plate carrier to carry additional gear.
MAP Pack for plate carriers.
Acelink Armor makes a wide range of pouches for plate carriers, and their MAP pack is one of their best offerings. The Multi-Accessory Performance Pack allows you to carry a wide range of tactical gear on the back of your plate carrier, and keep the front clear for more essential items. The MAP pack is very easy to access, as it can be flipped to the front. It can either be worn by itself with the included shoulder straps or can be mounted onto any MOLLE-compatible plate carrier.
MAP PACK MOLLE BACKPACK
The Ace Link Multi-Accessory Performance Pack reintroduces backpack versatility like nothing before.
The MAP Pack can either be worn by itself with the included shoulder straps, or can be mounted onto any MOLLE compatible plate carrier.
MAP Pack affords the wearer to carry extra equipment or medical gear without taking up space on the front of the plate carrier- allowing the weight to be carried like a backpack while wearing the plate carrier.