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Plate Carriers 2023 – The Ultimate Guide

Plate carriers are a crucial piece of equipment for anyone in the military, law enforcement, or other tactical professions. They offer vital protection to the wearer, and can mean the difference between life and death in dangerous situations. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which Body armour is right for you? ‘

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about plate carriers, including the top brands and models, the different types of plates available, and key features to consider when making your selection.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision and choose the perfect Body armour for your needs. So let’s get started!

What is a plate carrier?


A Body armour is a piece of tactical gear designed to protect the user’s torso from ballistic threats. It is essentially a vest that can hold bullet-resistant plates in the front and back to provide maximum protection. Plate carriers are commonly used by military personnel, law enforcement officers, and other tactical professionals in high-risk situations.

The design of the plate carrier allows for customization with additional pouches and attachments to carry equipment and ammunition. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top Body armour available on the market, including models from Matbock, Snigel, and Ferro Concepts.

Points to consider before choosing your plate carrier

tactical plate carrier

When choosing a plate carrier, there are several important factors to consider. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  1. Protection level: The primary function of a Body armour is to protect the wearer from bullets and other ballistic threats. Make sure you choose a carrier that provides the level of protection you need based on your specific circumstances and intended use.
  2. Comfort and fit: A plate carrier that is too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable and impact your range of motion. Look for a carrier that fits snugly but allows for movement and flexibility.
  3. Durability: A Body armour that falls apart after a few months of use is of no use to you. Look for carriers made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of use.
  4. Weight: Depending on your intended use, the weight of a plate carrier can be a significant factor. Look for a carrier that strikes a balance between protection and weight.
  5. Customizability: Different Body armour offer different levels of customizability, so consider how important this feature is to you. Some carriers allow for the addition of pouches and other accessories, while others do not.

By taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be better equipped to choose a plate carrier that meets your needs and provides the protection you need.

Light-weight benefits of a Plate carrier

When choosing a plate carrier, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, including the level of protection you need, the type of plates you’ll be using, and the fit and comfort of the carrier itself. However, one often overlooked consideration is the weight of the carrier.

A heavy Body armour can put a significant strain on your body, especially if you’re wearing it for extended periods of time. Not only can it cause fatigue and discomfort, but it can also lead to dehydration. The heavier your carrier is, the more water you’ll need to consume to stay properly hydrated.

For this reason, it’s important to keep things as lightweight as possible when choosing a plate carrier. Look for carriers made from lightweight materials such as nylon or Cordura, and opt for minimalist designs that focus on functionality rather than bulk. Remember, the goal is to stay protected without sacrificing mobility or comfort.

Ballistic & kinetic protection

in modern warfare scenarios like the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the majority of casualties are caused by artillery and mortar fire rather than small arms fire. This highlights the importance of Body armour that not only protect against kinetic damage from bullets but also against shrapnel and ballistic damage from explosions.

When choosing a plate carrier, it’s crucial to consider the level of protection it provides against these types of threats. Remember, a Body armour that is too heavy may limit your mobility and increase the risk of heat exhaustion, so it’s important to find a balance between protection and weight.

Our pick of the best plate carriers

Plate carriers are essential gear for anyone who wants to stay protected in high-risk situations. These carriers are designed to hold armor plates that can protect the wearer from ballistic and shrapnel damage. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at three popular Body armours on the market: Matbock’s The LIFT and The Ramp, Snigel’s Designated Marksman Plate Carrier and Squad Leader body armour, and Ferro Concepts’ Slickster and FCPC V5.

BrandModelMaterialWeightPlate CompatibilityFeatures
MatbockThe LIFTLightweight ballistic nylon1.2 lbsUp to 10″x12″PALS webbing, quick-release system, adjustable straps
SnigelDesignated Marksman Plate Carrier500D Cordura Nylon1.6 lbsUp to 10″x12″PALS webbing, adjustable shoulder and waist straps, removable shoulder pads
Ferro ConceptsSlickster500D Cordura Nylon0.8 lbsUp to 10″x12″Laser-cut PALS webbing, low profile design, adjustable cummerbund
MatbockThe RampLightweight ballistic nylon1.4 lbsUp to 10″x12″PALS webbing, quick-release system, adjustable straps
SnigelSquad Leader Plate Carrier500D Cordura Nylon2.1 lbsUp to 10″x12″PALS webbing, adjustable shoulder and waist straps, removable shoulder pads, MOLLE attachment points
Ferro ConceptsFCPC V5500D Cordura Nylon2.2 lbsUp to 10″x12″Laser-cut PALS webbing, low profile design, adjustable cummerbund, removable shoulder pads

Matbock – The LIFT and The Ramp

Matbock is a popular brand in the tactical gear market, known for their innovative designs and high-quality materials. The LIFT and The Ramp are two of their most popular plate carriers.

The LIFT is made from lightweight ballistic nylon, which helps to keep the weight of the carrier down to just 1.2 pounds. It is compatible with plates up to 10″x12″ and features PALS webbing for attaching accessories. It also has a quick-release system and adjustable straps for a secure and comfortable fit.

The Ramp, on the other hand, is made from the same lightweight ballistic nylon as The LIFT, but it weighs 1.4 pounds. It also has PALS webbing, a quick-release system, and adjustable straps, but it has a slightly different design that some may find more comfortable.

Snigel – Designated Marksman Plate Carrier and Squad Leader Plate Carrier

Snigel is a Swedish company that specializes in tactical gear for military and law enforcement professionals. They offer a range ofBody armours, but the Designated Marksman Plate Carrier and Squad Leader Plate Carrier are two of their most popular models.

The Designated Marksman is made from 500D Cordura Nylon, making it durable and strong. It weighs 1.6 pounds and is compatible with plates up to 10″x12″. It has PALS webbing, adjustable shoulder and waist straps, and removable shoulder pads for added comfort.

The Squad Leader is a bit heavier, weighing in at 2.1 pounds. It is also made from 500D Cordura Nylon and is compatible with plates up to 10″x12″. It has PALS webbing, adjustable shoulder and waist straps, removable shoulder pads, and MOLLE attachment points for additional accessories.

Ferro Concepts – Slickster and FCPC V5

Ferro Concepts is a Canadian company that specializes in tactical gear for military and law enforcement professionals. They offer a range of plate carriers, but the Slickster and FCPC V5 are two of their most popular models.

The Slickster is made from 500D Cordura Nylon and weighs just 0.8 pounds. It is compatible with plates up to 10″x12″ and features laser-cut PALS webbing for a low profile design. It also has an adjustable cummerbund for a secure and comfortable fit.

The FCPC V5 is a bit heavier, weighing in at 2.2 pounds. It is also made from 500D Cordura Nylon and is compatible with plates up to 10″x12″. It has laser-cut PALS webbing, a low profile design, an adjustable cummerbund, and removable shoulder pads for added comfort.

When choosing a plate carrier, it’s important to consider the material, weight, plate compatibility, and features. Each of these plate carriers offers its own unique benefits, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs. Whether you’re a military or law enforcement professional or just someone who wants to stay protected in high-risk situations, a plate carrier can be an essential piece of gear.

Key differences between Body armour and Plate carriers

When it comes to personal protective equipment, two of the most common terms used are “ballistic body armor” and “plate carriers.” While they may seem similar, there are key differences between these two types of protective gear.

Ballistic body armor is designed to protect against kinetic energy and penetration from bullets, knives, and other sharp objects. It is typically made of specialized materials such as Kevlar, Dyneema, or Twaron, and is designed to absorb and disperse the force of incoming projectiles. Ballistic body armor comes in a variety of levels, with each level providing different degrees of protection.

tactical plate carrier

On the other hand, plate carriers are designed to hold armor plates that protect against high-velocity projectiles, such as those from rifles or machine guns. Unlike ballistic body armor, plate carriers do not provide protection on their own and require the use of armor plates. These plates are made of materials such as ceramic, steel, or polyethylene and are designed to stop bullets by absorbing and dispersing the kinetic energy of the projectile.

While ballistic body armor is often used by law enforcement officers and military personnel for personal protection, plate carriers are typically used by military personnel and tactical professionals in combat situations. Plate carriers are often preferred over ballistic body armor due to their ability to protect against high-velocity projectiles and their durability.

It is important to note that both ballistic body armor and plate carriers have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ballistic body armor is typically lighter and more flexible than plate carriers, making it easier to move around in and wear for extended periods of time. Plate carriers, on the other hand, provide a higher level of protection against high-velocity projectiles but are heavier and can restrict movement.

Ultimately, the choice between ballistic body armor and plate carriers depends on the specific needs of the wearer. Those who require maximum protection against high-velocity projectiles in combat situations may opt for a plate carrier, while those who need protection against firearms and other sharp objects may choose ballistic body armor.

Not ready to spend the big bucks on a Plate carrier?

You’re not a millionaire playboy like Bruce Wayne? No worries, there are plenty of options out there for those of us who can’t drop big bucks on fancy gear. When it comes to plate carriers, you don’t have to settle for cheap and flimsy. There are plenty of affordable options that still offer great protection and functionality.

For starters, the 5.11 plate carrier is a great budget-friendly option that won’t break the bank. It’s made from durable materials and has a streamlined design that won’t weigh you down. Plus, with its adjustable straps and cummerbund, you can customize the fit to your body.

If you’re looking for something a little more specialized, the Crye Jumpable Plate Carrier is a solid choice. It’s designed for airborne operations and has a low profile that won’t interfere with your chute. It’s a bit pricier than some other options, but still more affordable than some of the high-end plate carriers out there.

Another option is a MOLLE plate carrier, which allows you to add or remove pouches and accessories as needed. The TT Plate Carrier is a great choice for those who want the flexibility of MOLLE without breaking the bank.

And if you’re looking for a plate carrier that doubles as a backpack, the Plate Carrier Backpack from Condor is worth checking out. It has a detachable backpack that can hold up to 50 liters, so you can carry all your gear in one convenient package.

For those who want a bit more luxury, the Husar Noble Plate Carrier is a great choice. It’s made from high-end materials and has a sleek design that will make you feel like a true operator. And with its level 3 protection rating, you can rest easy knowing you’re well-protected.

And let’s not forget about training plates. They’re a great way to get used to the weight of a plate carrier without risking injury from actual plates. You can find affordable options online or even make your own with materials from your local hardware store.

Last but not least, for those who need a plate carrier that can withstand the elements of maritime operations, the Maritime Plate Carrier from TYR Tactical is a top choice. It’s made from waterproof materials and has a low profile design that won’t interfere with your movements.

So don’t be discouraged if you don’t have Bruce Wayne’s budget. There are plenty of great plate carrier options out there for those of us who are a bit more frugal.

The summary for the lazy plate carrier user

In conclusion, choosing the right plate carrier is crucial for anyone who needs to protect themselves in high-risk situations. Each of the brands and models we’ve discussed, Matbock’s The LIFT and The Ramp, Snigel’s Designated Marksman Plate Carrier and Squad Leader Plate Carrier, and Ferro Concepts’ Slickster and FCPC V5, offer their own unique set of features and benefits.

It’s important to consider factors such as weight, plate compatibility, and the level of protection provided, as well as any additional features like PALS webbing, adjustable straps, or removable pads. Whether you’re in law enforcement, military, or just need reliable protection in a dangerous situation, there’s a plate carrier out there that’s right for you. Head over to the shop and start exploring your options today!

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