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Are you looking for the best plate carriers out there? In this article, we will be discussing the best plate carriers around in 2023, as well as some bonuses worth mentioning.
Plate carriers are important for the military, LEOs, and prepared civilians who want more personal protection. Modern plate carriers have improved over time to be more comfortable, durable, and functional. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you.
To make things easier on you, we’ve done the research and made you a list of the top 5 best plate carriers in 2023. These were chosen for you based on their quality, features, and real-world use. Whether you need one for work or personal defense, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s check out the best plate carriers and find the right one for you.
Different Types of Plate Carriers
When it comes to the best plate carriers, there are many different types out there to suit your needs and preferences. Most of the best plate carriers on the market share similar features that have become the standard today but each one has its ups and downs. Let’s explore the different types of plate carriers in 2023:
- Modular Plate Carriers: These plate carriers are designed with versatility in mind. Many of the different components are interchangeable to create various different setups for different needs.
- Minimalist Plate Carriers: For those who prioritize mobility and a lightweight design, minimalist plate carriers are the way to go. These plate carriers have a streamlined and simplified design, often with fewer pouches and accessories.
- Slick Plate Carriers: Slick plate carriers are similar to minimalist plate carriers but without any MOLLE webbing. They have a a smooth and low-profile appearance like regular everyday clothing. Which makes them ideal for those who need to use their plate carrier in public without drawing attention.
- Full-Size Plate Carriers: If you need to carry a full combat loadout then full-size plate carriers are the way to go. These plate carriers have a full range of pouches, cummerbunds, and surface area to mount accessories. They typically have a lot of padding to accommodate the additional weight the wearer may be carrying.
The type of plate carrier you use should be able to meet the specific needs of your intended use. Whether you prioritize adaptability, mobility, low-profile appearance, or ample storage space, there is a plate carrier below that will suit your needs. Now let’s get into it.
One of the best plate carriers out there is the Crye Precision JPC 2.0. This lightweight plate carrier combines excellent functionality and durability in a minimalist design. It has become a favorite among military personnel, law enforcement officers, and recreational shooters.
The JPC 2.0 is known for its innovative features and high-quality materials. Its design allows for ease of movement and maneuverability, making it ideal for where agility is crucial. This thing is barely over a pound.
In terms of storage capacity, it offers a decent amount of space. It features a kangaroo pouch on the front for the storage of small essentials or additional magazines. Additionally, integrated admin pouches and radio/hydration attachment points provide further organizational options.
Overall, the JPC 2.0 is a top-notch lightweight plate carrier that is highly functional and durable. Whether you’re operating in high-risk situations or just recreational shooting, the Crye Precision JPC 2.0 will not disappoint.
- Minimalist design allows for optimal mobility and freedom of movement.
- MOLLE compatibility with webbing panels on the front, back, and sides enables customization with modular accessories
- Extremely lightweight.
- Adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund ensure a secure and comfortable fit for various body types.
- Accommodates medium or large SAPI plates with built-in Velcro straps for secure placement.
- Top-notch quality with a reputation to back it up.
- Mesh padding on the inside promotes airflow and breathability, preventing heat buildup during extended wear.
- Offers storage capacity with a kangaroo pouch, integrated admin pouches, and attachment points for radio or hydration.
- Limited space for larger items or equipment due to minimalist design.
- Higher price range compared to some other plate carrier options.
- Some users may prefer additional cummerbund options for added load-bearing capacity.
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
Top-tier plate carrier designed for elite professionals
*Price accurate at time of writing
The Spiritus Systems LV-119 plate carrier is known for its modular design and lightweight construction. It offers optimal mobility and a lot of customization.
The LV-119 SYSTEM is a collection of products that can be customized to fit your needs. You can mix and match accessories to create your perfect setup.
The SYSTEM has many parts. Some are already available, while others are still in development. These include Back Panels of different types, MOLLE cummerbunds, and various placards.
The LV-119 can accommodate medium or large SAPI plates with built-in Velcro straps for secure placement. Its mesh padding on the inside promotes airflow and breathability, preventing heat buildup during extended wear.
- Maximum customization, versatility, and personalization.
- MOLLE compatibility allows for easy customization with modular pouches
- Ample space on webbing panels for attaching essential gear and accessories
- Modern and ever-evolving design.
- Can accommodate medium or large SAPI plates.
- Mesh padding on the inside promotes airflow and breathability for added comfort
- Price range is higher compared to other plate carriers on the market.
- Technically a system rather than a plug-and-play plate carrier purchase.
- Some users may find the adjustability options difficult to navigate or less intuitive
- You have to buy all of the parts separately and they aren’t cheap.
- Proprietary system may not appeal to all users’ personal preferences
Overall, the Spiritus Systems LV-119 plate carrier system offers MOLLE compatibility and ample options to build the best plate carrier for you. However, the higher price range and design, are potential drawbacks.
Spiritus Systems LV-119 Overt Front Plate Bag
* Don’t forget to get all the components as pictured to complete a full carrier.
*Price accurate at time of writing
The Velocity Systems Scarab LT is a top-notch plate carrier that offers exceptional performance and comfort. This is the plate carrier for you if you could care less about a minimalist design and want to carry a full loadout. The Scarab LT is built to withstand the rigors of high-risk situations.
The shoulder strap design is patented and it swivels. It helps distribute weight and allows for shooting from unconventional positions. It doesn’t bind or restrict movement too much for being a full-sized kit.
There are many additional features that make the Scarab LT able to handle anything you throw at it.
The Scarab LT does offer exceptional performance, but the price is higher than other plate carriers on the market. However, for those looking for a durable and highly customizable plate carrier for all their gear, the Velocity Systems Scarab LT is an excellent choice.
- Full-size plate carrier that offers a host of add-ons to bring you one of the best plate carriers for a full load out.
- It is made from durable materials that are designed to withstand the elements and perform during extended periods of use.
- Patented swivel shoulder straps have a secure and comfortable fit that moves with you.
- The Scarab LT excels in comfort and weight distribution, allowing users to carry heavy loads without experiencing excessive strain or fatigue.
- It is compatible with a wide variety of accessories, including zip-on panels and magazine pouches, allowing users to customize their loadout to their specific needs.
- Not cheap and the add-ons get expensive quickly.
- Not tailored to a minimalist design that many desire.
Velocity Systems Scarab LT
One of the best plate carriers for a full load out.
*Price accurate at time of writing
The Shellback Tactical Banshee Elite 3.0 is one of the best plate carriers out there particularly if you’re looking for a heavy-duty option for a full load out.
It has a number of built-in features like a hydration sleeve, mag pouches, padded plate bags, and a lifetime warranty. People who use it often find it very comfortable and great for those long days in kit. The Banshee Elite 3.0 really is able to hold a lot of gear right out of the box.
The Shellback Tactical Banshee Elite 3.0 is a top-notch plate carrier for carrying a lot of gear. This plate carrier is made from durable materials, ensuring its longevity, and is an excellent option.
- Comfortable and padded shoulder straps and cummerbund options allow for all-day comfort and secure fit.
- Compatible with a wide variety of armor plates, including soft and ceramic plates, offering options for different levels of protection.
- Its level of comfort and design is suitable for various activities.
- Excellent padding reduces fatigue and discomfort when carrying heavy loads for extended periods of time.
- A lot of out-of-the-box features to carry a customized loadout.
- Quick-release cummerbund is convenient.
- Comfortable plate carrier design and it is water resistant.
- It’s not the most budget-friendly option by any means.
- Some users find it to be too bulky.
- Excess shoulder padding makes it difficult to shoulder the rifle.
The Ferro Concepts Slickster is a minimalist plate carrier that offers a lightweight and low-profile design. Much like the CPC it is easily concealable. Like it is named, it has a slick surface and is not covered in MOLLE. The Slickster was built to be adaptable and versatile.
The Slickster features adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund options, allowing for a comfortable and secure fit for users of different body sizes and preferences. It can accommodate various armor plates, including soft armor and level IV ceramic plates. This provides users with the flexibility to customize their level of protection.
One notable feature of the Slickster is its minimalist design, which reduces bulkiness and improves overall mobility. Despite its lightweight construction, it still offers ample space for accessories and attachments, such as magazine pouches or zip-on panels, making it a versatile piece of gear with its ADAPT line of accessories.
The Ferro Concepts Slickster is a reliable and comfortable plate carrier that prioritizes functionality and adaptability and certainly needs to be considered when you talk about the best plate carriers out there.
- The Slickster is compatible with various armor plates, offering options for different levels of ballistic protection to cater to individual needs.
- Incredibly light, coming in at .8 pounds
- Despite its minimalist design, it maintains durability and functionality, making it ideal for both military operations and outdoor adventures.
- The Slickster features adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund options, ensuring a personalized fit for optimal comfort and weight distribution.
- It can be customized with numerous accessories, providing flexibility for different scenarios and preferences.
- Completely slick design appeals to many users and is good to retain a low profile.
- The Slickster is a high-quality plate carrier, which comes at a higher price point.
- Built to be modular, so it is not a plug and play option.
Ferro Concepts Slickster
Minimalist plate carrier with a lightweight and low-profile design
*Price accurate at time of writing
Runner Ups: Almost The Best Plate Carriers and Some Armor Plate Bundle Kits
These plate carriers didn’t quite make the top 5 best plate carriers list but they are definitely worth mentioning and to be frank, would make for the perfect plate carrier for most people. In fact, I run the next one myself as of writing this.
Crye JPC 1.0
The Crye Precision JPC 1.0 is a minimalist plate carrier that offers a lightweight and comfortable design. It is made from high-quality materials, has built-in features, and is still a great option to go for.
The JPC 1.0 has adjustable shoulder straps and a cummerbund. This allows for a personalized fit and better comfort on most body types.
The JPC 1.0 provides great mobility and doesn’t restrict you at all when wearing it. Don’t be fooled by its streamlined appearance; you’ve still got space for your essentials, like spare mags or a first aid kit.
Overall, the Crye JPC 1.0 is a great choice for those looking for a lightweight and minimalist plate carrier that does not compromise on functionality or durability. This is the plate carrier I personally run at the moment. You can get this plate carrier bundled with level IV armor plates for a deal here.
RMA Concealable Plate Carrier (CPC)
The RMA Concealable Plate Carrier (CPC) is a top-notch option for those looking for a plate carrier that balances concealability and protection. It is designed to be worn discreetly under clothing, making it an ideal choice for covert operations or everyday use in high-risk situations.
The Concealable Plate Carrier is a plate carrier designed for covert or overt operations. It weighs only 1.8lbs and has a thin profile, so it can easily fit under jackets or outer layers. It is made with mil-spec 500D cordura and is very durable and comfortable. The CPC plate carrier has a low-profile design with bottom-loading plate insertion capability. It also has fully adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund to fit people of various sizes. You can wear it as an outer carrier and it is compatible with a velcro placard. There is also room for two AR magazines on each side of the cummerbund.
Overall, the RMA CPC is a reliable and effective plate carrier for those in need of a concealable option that doesn’t compromise on protection or comfort.
You can also get the CPC carrier and bundle it with armor plates of different levels of protection.
Crye Precision AVS [Adaptive Vest System]
The Crye Precision AVS (Adaptive Vest System) is regarded as one of the best plate carriers on the market. The AVS was designed with versatility and functionality in mind aiming at full weight-bearing combat loads.
One of the standout features of the Crye Precision AVS is its modular design. This allows you to customize and set up the carrier to your specific needs and preferences. The AVS really shines in a full kit setup, but it is capable of being a minimalist carrier as well.
Crye’s Adaptive Vest System is a versatile platform for combat. It starts as a plate carrier and can be turned into a full armor system. The AVS is designed to distribute weight evenly, saving your shoulders from strain. It’s easy to use and has panels that can be quickly installed or removed.
Overall, the Crye Precision AVS offers a lightweight solution without compromising on performance. Its modular design, customizable options, and compatibility with various armor plates make it a top choice for those seeking the best plate carrier. To be honest it makes the top 5 best plate carriers, however all the components are so expensive and can be hard to find so it didn’t make the cut.
Condor MOPC Plate Carrier
The Condor MOPC Plate Carrier is not a top choice for the best plate carriers. It only makes the bonus section because of what you get out of it for the price.
As a budget-friendly option, you still get the standard accessories found on most plate carriers today and it will suit most enthusiasts who do not need to rely on their plate carrier in a warzone or other high-risk situation.
This one may suit you if you are short on cash and need a plate carrier for simple range use, and even just as a weighted vest for workouts. However, I recommend investing in one of the other options above for any in-the-field use.
Final Thoughts On The Best Plate Carriers
When it comes to choosing the best plate carrier for your needs, there are a few key factors to consider. The design, features, comfort, price, and mobility are all important considerations for the best plate carriers for you.
The Crye Precision JPC 2.0 stands out with its lightweight design, making it an excellent choice for those who need to move quickly and efficiently and need a whole host of additional features.
If you’re looking for a more concealable plate carrier, the RMA Defense CPC and Ferro Concepts Slickster plate carriers offer sleek and low-profile designs.
For those who value versatility and customization, the Crye Precision AVS and Spiritus LV119 are top contenders.
As far as carrying a full combat fighting load out with a proper battle belt setup, the Velocity Systems Scarab LT and the Shellback Banshee Elite 3.0 are your go-to choices.
Ultimately, the best plate carrier for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re a military professional, law enforcement officer, or a civilian seeking more personal protection, there are plenty of high-quality options available out there.
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