What to attach to a Plate Carrier
I’m thinking of getting a plate carrier and some level III+ body armor, but want to plan out what gear I will attach to my plate carrier because that will heavily influense which one I get.
I want to have a small ham radio, at least two AR15 mags, and two glock mags attached.
What do you have attached to your plate carrier? What does your ideal setup look like?
I’d love to see pictures of your setup if you could snap a quick pic.
Josh CentersContributor - October 14, 2020
I recently received the Shellback Defender active shooter kit that I ordered from LA Police gear at the start of July. It’s a pretty simple carrier that came with a pair of Level IV ceramic plates. It doesn’t have a cummerbund, just straps on the side. It features a kangaroo pouch and came with a velcro insert with two dedicated mag pouches and a third pouch that’s supposed to contain an included tourniquet holder, which is really just a loose flap of material velcroed together. I’m not sure exactly what purpose it serves.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view:
All I really want on this carrier is a couple of mags, a tourniquet, maybe a complete level one IFAK, and a BaoFeng. I’m considering dumping the tourniquet holder, just putting my BaoFeng in there, and then attaching a tourniquet to the laser-cut MOLLE with a ranger band. I could slip a third mag in there, but I think I’d rather have a radio. For my purposes, if I need more than ~90 rounds, I’m probably either screwed or need to run for the hills.
The BaoFeng fits in there pretty well. The antenna looks like it’s going to poke me in the face, but it’s actually pretty far from it. The only downside I see to this setup is if I take a hit, my radio is wrecked, and I need to call for help. But there’s no guarantee it won’t get shot anyway.
I’m considering mic and headset options. The BaoFeng radios come with a decent little headset, part of which you can see in the first picture. But I’m considering just attaching a hand mic to a shoulder strap and keeping the radio with the PC. That way I can throw it on and have comms ready from the get-go without messing with wires or having anything attached to me.
I don’t want to stack too much on the front, and I don’t want to put anything on the shoulders (because it could get in the way of wielding a rifle), and I don’t want anything on my back. The only exception is possibly putting my hydration bladder on my back, because I wouldn’t have to reach around and fool with it, I could just run the tube through a shoulder strap.
I recommend running a light setup. The plates themselves are pretty heavy. Professional soldiers need to carry a lot of gear and train to do so. Neither is really true for us civvies.
John RameyStaff - October 18, 2020
Many plate carriers are designed/intended to run three rifle mags. Might be hard to run two rifle + 2 pistol, depending on the design.
Here’s a good video from a military pro:
Caliber Carpenter - October 24, 2020
+1 For Flannel Daddy links. He also has another video regarding a civilian PC setup when you don’t need to carry 5,000 things on your PC
Alex Johnson - May 29, 2021
Plate carriers must have a considerable amount of storage associated with them. This can ensure that the user is capable of moving around and using essentials without having to bother about carrying them while on the move. Certain requirements demand more storage to be available on the plate than others. However, this can have a direct impact on the ease of the user’s mobility while wearing the plate. Therefore, consider your essentials such as Maps, Binoculars, and Tools, and whether the best player carrier of choice is able to carry them all at once.
Caliber Carpenter - May 29, 2021
The amount that a plate carrier needs to be able to carry is entirely situationally dependent. Slick plate carriers are meant to fill an entirely different role than direct action PCs. It all depends on the mission of the end user and what mission dictates. The mission should drive the gear. If wanting to stay low profile in an urban setting, a slick plate carrier in a low viz color such as wolf grey or ranger green worn under a jacket is a much better choice than something like a Crye CPC. However if you’re trying to do some direct action Red Dawn commando work, a Crye CPC in multicam that can carry all of that mission essential gear is going to be a much better choice over a slick carrier. Some carriers are more scalable than others, and can play both sides as a low viz or direct action carrier, but not as well as a dedicated carrier would do in each role. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what kind of situation you’re most likely to find yourself in that would require armor. Just like there isn’t a truly perfect “do it all” rifle, the same applies for PCs. It’s all a matter of tradeoffs and what will fit your needs the best.
Again, mission drives gear.
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