If you are looking for the best plate carriers for the money, then you are in luck. There are multiple choices for you to consider. However, for those unknown to the term, a plate carrier is a practical piece of garment that allows the user to hide any piece of bulletproof or knife proof plates.
If you have the need to wear body armor, this piece of garment will be a good investment since they make the wearer more comfortable. However, best plate carriers must have a good fit. This is not only essential for comfort but also for protection. If the carrier becomes loose in some places then the user will have some key exposed area that will sacrifice his/her life and security.
Your engagement with this piece of the article shows that you are in the need of a good, well-made plate carrier. However, to buy the perfect one, a lot of research has to be thrown into the mix. In this article, we have covered all that is required for you to know before buying the best plate carriers along with a list of products that you can look into.
If your research is complete, then you can jump right into those sections. However, for those who are still in the lookout, we suggest you go through the consideration points, buying guide, and FAQ to make an informed choice.
So let’s begin!
Reviews of the Best Plate Carriers For The Money
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Top 10 Best Plate Carriers For The Money Reviews
An excellent quality vest made out of 1000D Nylon. The structure of the fabric is wonderful and is resistant to wear and tear. The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable up to 6 inches. The carrier has enough number of patches for protection.
- Multifunction application
- Made from breathable material
- Patch panels placed at back and front
- Offers quick release option
- Premium quality
- Holds hydration tube securely
- Firm belt offers support
- Nylon mesh gives ventilation and is lightweight
- Though it’s one size, it’s not a fit-in-all
- The holster does not work properly
- Plastic zipper and single stitch makes the vest looks cheaply-made
A well-made feature-loaded vest that is comfortable to wear. The vest fits tall well-built users with ease providing just the right amount of coverage. The carrier serves its primary purpose of covering the vital organs like lungs and heart in the chest region.
Additionally, the replica plates are quite effective and do an excellent job of distributing the impact of the BBs evenly.
- Made out of 500D Cordura Nylon
- Multiple molle webbings for attachments
- Fits most people
- Loop panel placed for patches
- Offers integrated mag pouches
- Ideal fit
- Premium quality
- Leaves the abdomen region exposed for heavily built people
- Shorter strap on the left side compared to the right
You Might Like: Best Drag Bags For Hunting and Shooting – Top Reviews
The Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set has 7 in-built mag pockets in addition to 3 internal mesh pockets. The vest comes with a webbing of modular attachment. The chest platform and waist region can be adjusted and removed when required.
The shoulder straps are padded to provide the required amount of comfort. Finally, the product comes with an integrated hydration carrier, but the bladder is not included.
- 7 Mag pockets
- Ideal for Large to X-Large fit
- Integrated hydration carrier
- Adjustable chest and waist platforms
- Though heavy, the weight distribution is good
- Wearing it is comfortable
- Ideal stitching and sturdy webbing
- Comfortable padding
- Velcro s too loud
- The piece in the center of the chest has very bad mounting
- Not very durable
Talking about comfort and practicality, the Chase Tactical Modular Enhanced MEAC is the vest to opt to. It is manufactured to keep it breathable, soft, and has a meshy interior for the ultimate comfort.
Each of the shoulder straps of the vest is crafted with elastic webbing and has ample space for mounting and routing ration, antennas, and other communication devices. The vest also offers an interchangeable cummerbund system.
It’s possible to remain active and comfortable wearing the vest with the triple magazine front panel and velcro loop for the placards.
- The ideal tactical solution
- Gearing up with ease made easy with modular enhancement
- Double pouch panel included
- Different size and colors
- Premium quality
- Comfortable to wear
- Wellmade front and rear pockets
- Sides have extra carriers
- Small in size for well-built individuals
The Scorpion Tactics Tactical MOLLE Vest is well designed and can be worn in all weather conditions and can be used for multiple outdoor activities like hunting, combat training, and paintball.
The vest uses MOLLE Standards which is also used by NATO forces especially by the Canadian, British and American soldiers.
- Uses modular lightweight load-carrying equipment used by the military
- Material is practical and breathable
- Designed to perfection with sponge interior
- Removable anti-slip shoulder pads
- Has been tested in real field
- Provides sling support
- Fits perfectly
- Many customization options
- Does not include a hydration bladder
- Plates included are very heavy
- The posterior and anterior plates are smaller
This is the vest you should put on if you are about to part take in some hardcore activity. Be it paintball, hunting, or military training, with the MASII Outdoor Tactical Vest Multi-Purpose Field Tactical Vest, you have the protection you need to brave every situation.
The 1000D Fabric can protect you against any wear and tear and provides excellent resistance. Even the fabric is easy to care for. The waist and length circumference can be adjusted as per need. All in all, the vest fits any body shape and provides ideal penetration.
The overall protection coupled with the safety pockets offers the required amount of protection and balances the weight.
- Excellent tear-resistant fabric
- Adjustable vest
- Multiple pockets and a standard MOLLE system
- 360-degree protection
- Three-dimensional mesh cloth included
- Ideal fit
- Easy to install
- Stitching and material is solid and long-lasting
- Waist strap lacks pull handles
- Non-removable M4 mag
- Not made for a well-built person
Made from premium quality 1000D polyester, this vest is extremely light and sturdy. Most brands do not go beyond 600D polyester, thus such plate carriers are almost cheap and without any air circulation.
The vest comes with a MOLLE design, which is both high grade and provides great strength. Heavyweight MOLLE loops are integrated to enhance its modular attachment. This design makes it easy to bend and pick up items, which is a little bit difficult while wearing such vests. The large MOLLE design allows the users to carry all required gears.
Adjustable anti-slip padded shoulder pads come with hoops and loops. The padded mesh interior lining secures the padded shoulders and thereby provides ultimate comfort and support.
- Emergency drag handle. Padded shoulders straps with hooks and loops
- Heavyweight modular structure, along with adjustable shoulder straps
- Comes with a front map pocket, closure for hoops, and loops. Side release buckle and internal waist girdle
- Premium quality padded mesh interior
- 2 years warranty
- Ideal for well-built people
- Velcro and nylon stitching are super strong
- Can be adjusted easily
- Easy to carry
- Velcro is not very strong. Gives away within an hour
- Not for mid-sized or small people
- Rig appears to be flimsy and crooked
The Barbarians MOLLE Tactical Vest, Outdoor Combat Training Vest is crafted with a premium quality MOLLE design that makes it easy to carry tools, pouch, and other types of equipment in the carrier. The vest is both durable and breathable, powered by high-density 600D Oxford fabric that comes with a sponge lining.
Additionally, the shoulder straps of the product are removable and backed by anti-slip pads. They can be adjusted fully in length and the girth can be customized as per requirement. The front pockets of the vest are sturdy and well made to keep maps, tools, hook, and other small things required. The stitching has been kept super strong along with strong velcro to make access easy.
This is one of the premium quality vests that is not only flexible but also lightweight and the perfect wear for a paintball game, airsoft or any other outdoor activity.
- Premium quality MOLLE design
- Breathable and durable fabric. Well constructed and high-density product
- Adjustable and comfortable padded shoulder straps
- Convenient and personal design
- Ideal tactical vest for outdoor activities
- Just the perfect size
- Very well constructed vest
- Premium stitching quality
- Holds 10×12 plates easily
- Premium quality velcro and buckles
- Not tan in color as described
- Lacks straps to hold the plates
- The disconnect shoulder clips are placed backward which make it difficult to reach them
This vest is versatile and can be used on multiple platforms. The system allows one to adjust the height whenever required. The 1000D nylon fabric is excellent, lightweight, and highly water-resistant.
The size range of the vest is also quite vast ranging from S-XXL for adults. The maximum chest size is up to 53 inches which can be further adjusted around the shoulder and abdomen area with pull straps and UTI buckle clips.
The cross-back shoulder straps are padded with webbing and D rings. All in all, the vest can be adjusted to meet the needs of the user. Speaking of the comfort level, the vest is highly comfortable with its 3D mesh space that allows the passage of cool air. The upper section of the vest can be folded to reach the uniform pockets.
4 removable pouches and pockets have been installed in the vest that allows one to keep all the necessary items. Overall, the vest is ideal for any sort of outdoor activity and allows one to be comfortable while wearing it.
- Comes with magazine pouches
- Can be folded to a compact size when not in use
- All-weather storage
- The height can be adjusted with removable velcro straps
- Ideal size for adults
- Breathable and comfortable
- Field worthy kit
- Removable pouches are very effective
- Ideal to be worn professionally
- Smooth made-to adjust straps
- Clips and are not cheap and low quality
- Very tight vest
- The mag pouches do not have velcro
- The entire mag pouch comes off the rig when it’s accessed
- The top seems flimsy if plates are being carried
This is yet another military-grade 1000D Nylon vest which comes with hardy stitching and strong tensile strength. There are multiple MOLLE attachment points for adding pouches. These can include maps, talkies, flashlight medicines loops, hooks, and other small items.
The chest size of this vest is quite adjustable ranging up to 50 inches and can be further adjusted for better fit around the waist and shoulder. Additionally, the ArcEnCiel Tactical Molle Vest offers a light-weight load carrying system along with a powerful suspension belt.
- Suited for all sort of outdoor activities
- Lightweight load carrying system along with powerful suspension belt
- Adjustable chest size
- Multiple attachment pockets
- Military-grade vest
- Premium quality vest
- Pouches can fit 2 m4/m16 mags
- Quite light and comfortable
- Provides good movability and adjustability
- Does not fit 10×12 plate in the front
- Not ideal for well-built people
- MOLLE steps lack strong stitching.
Types of Vests
Before you can begin to understand the details related to the best plate carriers, it’s important to have a quick idea about the different types of vests available in the market. Here are a few popular ones:
The primary intent of wearing these is to save oneself from genuine bullets. The plates present inside the vest provide essential protection to the organs in the chest region. There are some vests that come with carriers in the back that allow the user to slip in some plates at the back and the sides. However, these sorts of carriers are not available for general public use.
These are ideal for attaching ammunition like magazine pockets and other forms of rigging to the vest. These sorts of vests are quite lightweight and do not have any sort of zones to have hard plates inserted. To cut the chase short, these vests are not of superior quality.
Soft Bulletproof Vests:
These are quite lighter in comparison to plate transporters. However, these have some significant drawbacks. The major being their range. While these vests can stop rounds from a shotgun or 9mm pellets they are not effective against higher gauge guns.
Things To Consider Before Buying Plate Carriers For The Money
Here are all the essential things that you must consider if you wish to buy a plate carrier for your protection.
The Number of Pockets:
Before buying a plate carrier, look at the number of pockets it has since these will determine how many plates can be put in the vest. Generally, most plate carriers have at least 10 pockets to store magazines and ammunition. Additionally, there is always another tactical plate pocket. However, there are other vests available in the market with pockets that can be made to sit anywhere on the body. These can store more ration and ammunition.
The weight of the vest is very important. If the vest is too heavy, it can affect the speed at which one person moves. Surprisingly, all activities that require one to wear plate carriers involve running. These can be chasing goons, hunting, paintball, or such other activities. If the carrier is too heavy, it slows down the response rate and can be potentially detrimental for the safety of the person concerned. Consider a combat situation, the inability to respond quickly can cost a soldier his life!
Thus, if one is not trained in carrying heavy carriers, they should start off with lightweight ballistics initially. A lightweight carrier provides more flexibility and allows one to move in speed which has a lot of advantages.
If one is wearing a tactical vest and moving around, it’s natural to sweat. This is even more of a concern during summer days, or if one lives in tropical places. Heat buildup is common in any vest, and it’s important to look for features in a vest that allows one to manage it. These can be ventilation systems, hydration carriers, or bladders that help in dealing with the rising heat.
Providing protection to the user is one of the primary jobs of a plate carrier. Its ability to do this job to perfection is something that must be looked into while one is shopping for such a vest. The level of protection one requires from these sorts of vests depends on the type of threat they are up against. If the treat is from handgun rounds, then a soft armor will be ideal. But if the rounds are to be fired from a rifle, plate carriers are essential.
A plate carrier is not a fierce fashion choice, thus the wearer cannot go about showing it. The carrier has to be shielded skillfully. This goes without saying for the soldiers. If the opponent group gets to see that soldiers are wearing carriers, they might shoot in areas of the body that are not protected. Thus discretion is a large part and must be considered while wearing a plate carrier. In that light, it’s important to buy gear that can be conceited easily.
Mostly, plate carriers are made from steel, polyethylene, and ceramic. Each type of material has different features that makes it ideal to be used in plate carriers crafted for diverse situations.
Thus before choosing the material, the activity you will use the plate carrier must be considered. If it is to be used in a potential life treating situation, then thorough research about the material must be looked into.
Soft Armour and Plates- What is the difference?
If you are new to the body armor world you may be wondering, “why not just get a bulletproof vest and get it over with?” Well, a lot of things may get over if one fails to understand the difference between soft armors and plates.
Soft armors fail to provide the required level of protection that can be achieved by using an actual plate. Soft body armors can only provide protection against some handgun fires, not from 5.56 x 45 or 7.62 x 39 round. For this purpose, a body plate will be required.
It must be borne in mind that plate carriers and plates are difficult to hide in soft armour. Plates and carriers are quite cumbersome. To deal with the fact that you are wearing bulletproof gear, one has to wear loose clothing.
It must be noted that all plate carriers vary in the number of plates that it can carry and the amount of coverage they can provide. Some carriers only have facilities to put plates in the front while others allow users to put plates in the side and back panels. It’s important to understand that the number of panels determines the amount of weight one can carry. Wearing such a heavy gear for a few hours is one thing, but to wear it day in and out on a regular basis is indeed very uncomfortable.
Men vs Women:
Women and men plate carriers are different, and yes it’s possible to find those tailormade for women. However, before wearing full packed armors, try out something soft and lightly padded to get in the hang of wearing such full-blast heavy body armor.
Plate Carrier and Layering Clothing:
It’s an established fact that if one is wearing a plate carrier for long hours, heat and moisture are natural occurrences. Thankfully there are loose t-shirts available that can help one deal with such sticky situations. Proper layering can provide a lot of comforts if the carriers are to be worn throughout the day.
Material and Stitches:
It goes without saying that a plate carrier should be made out of a tough material supported by reinforced stitching. Since you will be carrying a lot of weight and magazines, the quality of the stitching should not be compromised.
FAQS – Plate Carriers For The Money
What is the best plate carrier?
The vAv YAKEDA Tactical Vest Military Chest Rig Airsoft Swat Vest is the best. It is lightweight around 1000 nylon capacity. It can be adjusted around the abdomen and the shoulders. The size range is also quite vast, between S-XXL in adult size.
What is a plate carrier used for?
Plate carriers work as a great protection base against rifle threats. These are typically used by military personnel. These types of vests cover the vital areas that are left uncovered by soft armors. These are made out of ordinary fabrics in combination with armor plates. These vests are lined with aramid material, have pockets in the front, and back to place the armors. These vests are also used in a lot of outdoor sports like paintball.
Will a plate carrier stop a bullet?
Plate carriers are categorized under a particular protection level when they have ballistic plates integrated into them. The ballistic plates installed in the vest determine whether or not the vest is bulletproof. The idea behind carrying a plate carrier is simple, it gives the user a chance to decide on the type of protection they will want.
What size plate carrier should I get?
Before buying the carrier, one should invest in the right size of armour plates. 10” x 12” is the most popular size sold. While shopping online this will be a medium-sized plate. However, if the size chart does not fit, one has to opt for a larger sized plate. If one wants to add soft armor to the sides while wearing an internal magazine, then bumping up a size is advisable.
Tips For Wearing Plate Carriers
If you are planning on buying a plate carrier, surely you are getting ready for combat. Be it training or paintball, you have to up your game if you wish to win it. You don’t want to get shot while you are trying to reach out for extra mags. Your rig can only be useful once you prepare it to that end. Here are some tips that will come in handy:
No matter how much you require them, you cannot bring all types of gears with you. Always keep in mind to carry the necessary ones since the vest can only carry a few items. As a rule of thumb, make it “standard” so that your eyes are at the downrange on the critical zones when you are reaching out for the things required.
Keep Things in The Center:
It’s important to put more weight on your weaker side. For example, a right-handed person should carry items on the left side. This will enable him/her to move about freely on the right. However, it’s different while wearing a plate. All the weight has to be balanced in the center.
Clean Out Shoulders:
Clean the shoulder area as much as possible. Make sure you do not have misc, pouches, emergency lights, or any such things. One may have to lift hands and block shots from the weaker side. Thus it’s necessary to prevent clutter so that quick access can be granted.
Though all the crucial points required for buying the best plate carrier has been listed here, fine-tuning the research may be required for those looking for something specific.
However, do not go about buying your gear first and then buying a vest to fit those. Ideally, it should be the other way round. This approach helps to keep the entire process organized and also helps in keeping the weight down. Plate carriers are essential for those training or partaking in combat, or for those who have even the slightest possibility of being shot. So, if you are in any such profession, ensure that you have a tactical vest to keep you safe.