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Does anybody have a good recommendation on a plate carrier? I missed the $99.00 sale on the following:

Level IV Hard Armor Plate (Model #1155) NIJ .06 Certified

Would very much consider used item as well if you guys know of a good source, thanks!

@rto-jerry

Are you looking for a plate carrier or plates themselves?

6 Answers
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Guys, I see a ton of great knowledge here from the posts. All posts are an absolute education to consume, to be honest. You are  talking  to a guy from an era that cover and concealment was your only protection so kitting up with any plate/armor gear is totally foreign concept. Never trained with it and do not have any idea what relates to operating with armor kit. Fire and maneuver with such gear would be entire knew concept to master. Perhaps I do not need armor gear at all? Just leave that use to the young guns who have trained from day 1 with armor and know how the body reacts and responds to such extra weight. Have learned much from the July Ruck Challenge that 30 pounds in my ruck is too much weight to bare in order to remain as agile as I'd prefer to move across rugged terrain and in all types of soil conditions and atmosphere conditions. 24 pounds is my max limit to retain optimal mobility in a ruck plus carrying Alice gear and rifle.

If there was one valued nugget of wisdom an old guys could pass on to younger men it would be to "listen to your body". This is such a hard concept to young men to master when testosterone still flows freely with abundance and muscles recover so fast upon exertion. To be honest I'd give a body part to have the brain of a 5o year old at 30 years of age it would revolutionize all training concepts consumed over those past years.

If I was to venture into plate gear, so far as application of use and need I'd best estimate it would be handy kit to have in an urban setting should things go side ways fast. I do travel for work to a large urbanized area weekly for work and the thought of armor in that scenario seemed a prudent measure.

Your guys feedback is of immense help. Reading your wise comments I do believe to have found the answer and it is in the old book of 1 Samuel Chapter 17 verse 38 - 40

38 So Saul clothed David with his [c]armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 

You men know the rest of the story on Davids success!!

Sorry for delayed response, have been traveling for work.

**Note of importance and word of caution.  I live in very rural location and this week encountered elements that you'd never expect to encounter (in a million years) in this location of the world. Please remain utmost vigilant.

Godspeed!!

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Jerry
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@matt In need of both carrier and plates.

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What’s your budget all in?   What’s the use?   That’s the big item I had to figure when I did mine.   Im working on something saving for it and I’m probably going to just get a STT.1 package from SKD tactical.    It’s $500 for a carrier and level 4 plates.   One stop shopping has appeal for me.

Hate to keep promoting it but Primary and Secondary has done a few pretty good podcast on armor.  I found those to be an excellent primer.

@bdover

Thanks brother will check out the podcast regarding body armor.

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I'll tell ya, there are so many good options for plate carriers at all price points! As mentioned above you need to have a budget in mind to get the best you can afford and you also need to know what your main use is going to be. I know that may sound like a silly question but the use will determine the style of carrier you get. Vehicle mounted ops, foot patrols, static defense, concealed, etc? Are you going with 10x12 plates or 11x14 plates? Do you want options for side plates?

Personally I wanted a low profile design that allowed for more freedim of movement and some concealability. I run it with a triple mage shingle up front and thats it. But I wanted some versatility to pull that mag shingle off and add a micro chest rig to the front for a different mission profile.

http://www.excellentelitespanker.com/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=72&Id=210&FId=t3:72:3

Here's mine laid out...

I run in it, train in it, have taken courses with it and it has held up great.

I have BAM level III plates in mine with upgraded spall blockers on them. Total weight with plates and 4 mags and radio is 23 lbs.

So in short, thats the best answer I've got from my own experience.

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Jayclimber

"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
--Samuel Adams

@jayclimber

Really like that set up, thanks for sharing. I have long torso so assuming the 11x14 but the smaller sized set up is very appealing in order to trim weight and increase mobility. It'd be nice to have outlet where a guy could try on plate gear as opposed to internet trial and error. Definitely taking the long slow research approach to such a purchase as I have zero experience down this path with body armor.

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I'm a huge proponent of First Spear products; I've had a total of three (two bought from their site, one from SKD Tactical).  My current PC is a FS Strandhogg in Ranger Green, and I love it.  It'll run you about $450, but I think its worth it.  It's comfortable, quiet (no velcro) and easy to don/doff.  Professionally, I've used both the RBAV and IOTV; the RBAV was my preferred of the two, since its smaller, rides better, and isn't as heavy.  The IOTV is a monstrosity that I wouldn't wish on anyone.  I'd still take the Strandhogg over both of those.

Internet reputations may be one thing, but cold hard data is another.

If there's a demand for it, I'll happily do a break down between the STT and the Strandhogg in the Equipment section.

@diceman624

Totally up for reading that comparison

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I'll preface this by saying I've got no experience wearing plates, so I can't really offer specific advice here. But, that said, I've always been drawn to a more minimalist style.

The top carriers on my list are the BFG Plateminus, Ferro Concepts Slickster, First Spear STT.1, and the SKD PIG plate carrier.

For plates themselves, I was going to look at the Shotstop Duritium stuff sold by Max over at MVT. There might better out there, though. The big thing is just to avoid steel plates for reasons of weight and safety.

"Man is still the first weapon of war" - Field Marshal Montgomery

For those looking at the STT.1, I've bought it, but I traded it up for the Strandhogg for two reasons (three if you count I bought the wrong size).  First, the shoulder padding and  shoulder andjustments on the Standhogg are superior, and if you're wearing 8-10lbs of plates, plus whatever else you strap to it, it will matter. If I remember correctly, my RBAV came out to about 30-ish pounds loaded with front, back and side plates, plus a thriple shingle of magazines, compass and a few admin pouches.  Since I run my Stranghogg slick now, it weighs around half that with all four plates.  Second, the mesh padding under the plate pocket itself is much more comfortable and has better breathability over the STT.  That's not to say the STT isn't functional as it is; I happen to think its a great started PC.  I merely think the Standhogg is a superior product for the money, and if I could do things all over again, I'd have bought a Stranghogg first.

Also, for those looking at plates, I use Highcom 3S9m plates, which I think come out to about 5.5 lbs a plate for a multi-curve 10x12 Shooters cut (I can't find weights listed on the Highcom website anymore).

@matt

I will concur with Diceman, I have the STT.1 and caught it on sale...and all those savings when to pads because the STT.1 works but is not comfortable after you put in 8.5 lbs of plates. That's running it slick, with no mags. You will need the pontoon pads for front and back, plus shoulder pads. Build quality is great, comfort is not so great beyond a few hours.

That's good to know, thanks.

I feel like this might turn into a deeper article about what to look for in a plate carrier.

Thank you for coming by The Everyday Marksman. This site and its community are a labor of love. I hope you stick around for a while, and maybe even join us.

-Matt

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