Tactical Plate Carrier Setup
Tactical Plate Carriers are really important when you are under situations where bullets fly through the air and it becomes handy since your life depends on how durable and reliable your body armor is. Consider what you are going to carry in your plate carrier. You can have your plates, soft armor and other tactical gear in there. You want a plate carrier that will not be too heavy and uncomfortable to you. Plate carriers come in many sizes and shapes so there’s something for everyone. That is why I am going to show you how to wear one of the plate carriers properly!
Table of contents
Sizing a Lightweight Plate Carrier
Wearing your carrier correctly is important as it will help to protect vital organs. This means that even if you are only training at the range, be mindful of how the weight and load feel on your shoulders, torso, and back as well- there may come a time you will need to wear your tactical plate carrier in a real-world emergency situation.
There are literally multiple plate carriers in different brands, styles, and sizes of plate carriers, try on different plate carriers until you find one with fit and sizing, and is comfortable enough for your purpose. Not necessarily military plate carrier is the style you need to follow – there are many soldier plate carrier system solutions suited for law enforcement or similar professions: most of them include emergency drag handle and other features that only the best plate carrier would have.
If there is some space between your actual body and the plate carrier, this is what we call “cooling space”. All this means is that a portion of your chest and back is able to be cooled with some much-needed airflow on those hot and sunny days when you have to be wearing it.
Having clothing or other gear in between you and your plate carrier vests will prevent unwanted movement of your plate carrier vest, but keep in mind that some plate carriers or plate carrier vests are designed for comfort and mobility, not only protection, as the wearer will still need to be able to move, shoot, hike, run, and function on the field with the added weight of a pack, some gear, weapon(s), and finally, the tactical plate carrier body armor.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to body armor or tactical plate carriers or plate carrier vests sizing; the smaller the vest size (e.g. XS, S, M etc.) the tighter the fitment will be around the torso while larger sizes allow more movement and airflow (but may also limit protection).
Most people who use a plate carrier will also carry at least one to three magazine pouches (mags) on their tactical plate carrier vest as well as some sort of hydration bladders and/or radio/PTT(push-to-talk) devices. However, if you are going to carry mags on your chest rig, it’s best to get a size larger plate carrier as you want the magazine pouches to be easy and quick to access in case of an emergency.
Plates Placement Heights
The placement of your body armor plates should be one that you can feel comfortable in. For some wearers, they will be higher up on the chest in order to provide the heart, lungs, and chest more ballistic coverage, while others will prefer them to provide more abdomen coverage and protection and have the front body armor plate down a little lower.
The general rule is to put your plates in a way that offer the best coverage but also allow you access and movement in case of intense tactical situations or combat situation. Most tactical plate carriers offer shoulder and waist adjustment in order to make sure tactical plate carriers are worn properly. Placing your body armor plates in the correct position is critical for safety!
Tactical Plate Carriers User’s Comfort
If you are wearing your plate carrier for prolonged periods of time, it might become uncomfortable after a few hours. A lot of these tactical plate carriers come with padding on the shoulders, but if not then consider getting shoulder pads (more about this under “Padding Shoulder Straps”). You might also want to get a chest strap so that the plate carrier is held tighter against your body. The last thing you would want is for it to lose its form and slide down on the vest or slip off of your shoulders.
When you are carrying all of your important tools, equipment, ammo, body armor plates (even the lightweight one) and IFAK on your plate carrier, it can add up to a lot of weight. You need a carrier that provides durability for users. It has to be adjustable to hook your MOLLE accessories properly.
It will be a very inefficient use of your body if the body armor weight is not distributed well or kept centered with a low center of gravity, so you need to bear that in mind as well when looking for plate carriers or plate carrier vests. That is very important for law enforcement officers who use only the best plate carriers or bulletproof vests for long hours.
Plate Carrier Vests Compartments and Pockets
Most tactical carriers have various compartments where you can keep your ballistic panels and other gear used for ballistic protection in; for instance, some of them feature a hydration mesh area inside a built-in pocket. for carrying water bottles while others come with MOLLE webbing or attachment straps where you can put additional pouches on your vest. You will also want to check if there are ventilation holes inside the vest so that air flows freely through the body armor and prevents heat build-up which could lead to discomfort or infections later on. Some vests even have hidden pockets for concealing a handgun!
Appearance and protection
You might want to get yourself a vest that looks cool and stylish too. If you are into tactical gear as well, then it is probably best to stick with more neutral colors like black or tan. However, if you do decide to go for something brighter in color like red or blue, it may just work out great while giving your loadout an edgy look. Nowadays, there are quite a few brands and many of them offer different styles of custom-looking vests as well (just make sure they fit you properly and are of the highest quality).
In general, most plate carriers designed with law enforcement and military personnel in mind will feature ballistic plates made of some form of Kevlar material.
The reason behind this is because ballistics materials are supposed to be able to offer you protection from firearms and some knives as well when you’re entering dangerous places and facing potential threats. However, just bear in mind that not all of them will actually stop a knife so for users who carry blades or tactical tools like tomahawks or axes, better opt for something else.
Along with the properties of the carrier itself, there are also additional plates available on the market that can add more functions and features to it.
The plate carriers usually come with padding on the inside so they should be pretty comfortable right? Well if you feel like it is not enough or you have large amounts of gear being carried along with your ballistic vest then get yourself some shoulder pads or straps. They will add more padding and relieve the stress off your shoulders so that it won’t hurt or feel too uncomfortable.
There are various buckles on the market ranging from simple ones to a more tactical-looking type with Velcro attachments and quick connectors! When you want to open up your carrier, just fasten it together then one click, and the vest is ready for use again! This can be useful if you find yourself in a hurry most of the time…
Chest Protector Plates If you think that only plates at a certain height will save you then there are plate inserts available on the market that go down until mid-torso. These are commonly known as “breastplates” and they are great for those who want more protection.
Pairing Tactical belt with your carrier.
Upgrade your setup by adding a tactical belt. Designed to be worn around the waist as functionally being used for securing common, uniform, or utility pants; carrying different types of gear, you can also expand your belt loadouts by inserting any kind of pouch or holster in the waistband MOLLE webbing or Laser cuts of the tactical belt. Some of the tactical belts incorporate quick-release buckles as well. For more information on different kinds of belts and their features, you can visit our website.
Wearing a tactical belt around the waist secures various pouches in place. In addition to this military-style pouch and magazine carriers, like small utility pouch or universal holster, it also fits various other pouches depending on the design of the tactical belt.
Pairing a tactical belt with your equipment is easy, instead of using the existing belt attachments on your carrier you attach the tactical belt to the carrier’s MOLLE webbing or lase cuts near the waist area and use the adjustable side buckles to tighten it in place. This way you will be able to securely carry additional gear around the waist.
Stay Safe, Stay Protected when your job can’t wait and need to be done!