As the name suggests, a concealable plate carrier is designed to be concealed easily. Now, when it comes to concealable body armor the most common option is a concealable soft armor vest. However, they only stop pistol rounds. Body armor plates are much harder to conceal, especially under a single shirt, because they clearly form an outline and be visible. Still, if you are wearing a jacket or multiple layers, a concealable plate carrier can help you wear both hard and soft body armor plates under your clothes inconspicuously.
Concealable plate carriers are different from tactical plate carriers. They are designed to be worn inside your clothes, so they don’t have any load-bearing system on them to carry tactical gear. They don’t have big padded shoulder straps or cummerbund, and neither do they have side plate pouches. Usually have a moisture-wicking internal lining to prevent sweating.
There are four main types of plate carriers available in the market, all with their distinct advantages and drawbacks.
Heavy plate carrier vests are extremely durable and are designed to carry a lot of weight. They are suitable for carrying heavy armor plates, and a wide range of tactical gear. Moreover, these plate carriers also have side plate pockets, which can be used to insert ballistic side plates or soft plates. Heavy plate carriers also have heavily padded shoulder straps, and padded internal liners to make the entire system more comfortable. These plate carriers also have key features like quick-release tabs, and an emergency drag handle. Heavy plate carriers are used by Military personnel and can easily carry loads of 35 to 40 pounds.
Next up, we have Medium plate carriers. These are the best plate carriers for a lot of users as they can carry a significant amount of gear, along with armor plates, and still stay quite comfortable. They also have padded shoulder straps, and because of the lower weight, are probably the most comfortable option. However, they usually don’t have side plate pouches or the capability to carry side plates. These plate carriers can easily carry 20-30 pounds.
Minimalist plate carriers don’t have any shoulder pads and have fewer attachment points for tactical gear as well. They are very lightweight, and are ideal for short and quick missions, but might not be as comfortable as a tactical plate carrier for use over more extended periods.
Lastly, we have concealable or slick plate carriers. They are similar in design to minimalist plate carriers but don’t have any attachment options. These carriers are designed to be worn discreetly under clothing.
Yes, it is absolutely worth it to buy a concealable plate carrier vest. They offer a wide range of uses. For instance, they have a minimalistic design that is ideal for concealment, however, can also be worn overtly. You can also wear a tactical vest, or chest rig over a concealable plate carrier vest to carry additional tactical gear.
The only drawback would be that; concealable plate carriers aren’t as comfortable as tactical plate carrier vests and other types, still, they can be used for many applications, and allow you to wear body armor plates in public without attracting unwanted attention.
For the most part, a concealable plate carrier should fit like any other plate carrier. It should cover all of your vital organs, and be centered on your chest. It shouldn’t be too tight to restrict breathing and neither should it be too loose that it shifts around on your body, which would be uncomfortable and affect the concealability of your plate carrier as well. Ideally, the plate carrier should just start to feel tight when you breathe in and expand your chest.
Generally, concealable plate carriers are designed to fit soft armor panels, which offer the most concealability. Therefore, they are usually made from thin but durable fabric, that minimizes printing, and allows for better concealment than a complete concealable ballistic vest. Most concealable plate carriers are run with level IIIA soft ballistic panels.
Still, you can add hard body armor plates to a concealable plate carrier as well, but they probably aren’t going to be as easy to conceal as a soft armor plate that conforms to the curves of your body. If you are running hard armor plates in a concealable plate carrier, it is better to wear a loose jacket, or coat on top, which can help with concealment.
If you are looking for the best plate carrier for concealment, then you need to check out the React plate carrier system by Acelink body armor. This plate carrier has a minimalist design, which can be optimized for concealability and overt use as well.
The plate carrier is made from durable 500D Nylon Cordura fabric and can fit any SAPI cut plates. It is also relatively comfortable, without effective protection or concealability. The shoulder straps are slightly padded, and it has a multisize cumberbund, which allows people of different sizes to wear the react plate carrier very comfortably.
As far as attachment capability is concerned, the react plate carrier has a small section of Laser Cut or MOLLE load-bearing system on the front, and it comes with a Velcro triple AR magazine pouch, which is built into the Elastic Cumberbund.
Overall, the React Plate carrier from Ace Link Armor is the best plate carrier on the market right now.
No, concealable plate carrier vests are made without any load-bearing system, to give them a low profile and allow them to be more concealable. Therefore, you can’t really mount any pouches or other tactical gear on a concealable plate carrier vest.
However, some concealable plate carriers do have built-in elastic pouches, which don’t affect their low profile and can be used to carry magazines and other accessories.
Most concealed plate carriers don’t have any load-bearing systems and cant work with any pouch. However, there are some carriers that have a very minimalistic MOLLE attachment system, that doesn’t compromise the carrier’s concealability and allows it to be used as an overt plate carrier.
Some pouches that attach to the carrier with a hook and loop system (Velcro) can be used with most concealable plate carriers. They can be mounted on the velcro patch on the front, and the elastic side strap of the concealable plate carrier can be enclosed over it.
Is it possible? Yes, but it is the most practical option? Well, No. you can technically wear a plate carrier vest over a bulletproof vest, but it would result in a very bulky armor system, which offers any practical protection benefits either.
For instance, even if you wear two layers of soft body armor, one in the vest and one in your tactical plate carrier, you still won’t be able to defeat rifle rounds. Similarly, wearing hard armor plates over a bulletproof vest won’t offer significantly higher ballistic protection.
Therefore, wearing a plate carrier over a ballistic vest is not practical.
Yes, In fact, it can be a really good way to use your concealable plate carrier in a tactical role. Most concealable plate carriers don’t have any system for mounting tactical gear, therefore, adding a lightweight gest rig to your setup, offers some much-needed load-bearing capability.