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A little guide to setting up a plate carrier, and other fighting rigs

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Before we delve in, some house keeping

#1, Is body armor legal? While I can't speak for other countries, here in the U.S., body armor is pretty much legal everywhere unless you are comitting a felony. Make sure to read up on any laws your state/country has regarding this.

#2 Is buying armor off ebay/amazon a good idea? No, typically not. It can be hard, if not impossible to tell where the armor came from. I wouldn't be too concerned if I got a plate carrier off amazon or ebay, but BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL ABOUT AIRSOFT COPIES. Stick to trusted vendors. I will link to a number of them (that I have personally delt with) throughout and at the end of this post. FTR, I'm not a fanboy of any specific company, nor am I connected to any of them in any capacity beyond being a customer. Some gear was purchased off amazon, like holsters and pouches, but I made sure the products were legitimate.

#3 At certian points, I will refrence NIJ ratings, these let you know what a specific armor plate can stop, I will go over the levels in more detail, and will link to the ratings there.

#4 Is homemade armor a good idea? No. Without access to specialized ceramics or steel, you run the risk of creating more debris that can enter a wound. You will also need much more material to stop a projectile. This will greatly hinder your movement. Don't waste time or money here, unless you happen to love plans coming together, enjoy building tanks out of corrugated tin, or pitty fools.

#5 Which is better, ceramic armor, or steel? Depends. Ceramic can be lighter while having a superior rating, but for fewer hits. Steel is often heavier, can take more hits, but more energy will be transferred to the torso. This can be alleviated by a trauma pad, but this adds more bulk, though it will still be thinner than a ceramic plate. Steel is also much cheaper than civilian SAPI/ESAPI alternatives, but some good ceramic plates can be had for not much more. It's generally reccomended to have a yearly X-ray done on ceramic plates. You really don't need to worry about this if you take good care of your plates, and don't treat them poorly. If you want to X-ray your plates, see if a local vet or dentist is willing to help.

#6, What experience do you have with body armor? I've done simunitons training with my local PD several times, local multi gun events, airsoft, and paintball, all wearing various vests. Go ahead and laugh at the last two, but it can help you figure out what works, and what doesn't, as far as pouches, and getting used to movement goes. This doesn't make me some expert though, so if you know better, be my guest. I'm certainly no special ops door kicker, so I welcome any input.

#7, I don't need/want armor, but still want a fighting rig, should I set up a plate carrier with no plates? In my opinion, no. It's not that a plate carrier can't be used without plates, but rather better, purpose built options exist that might meet your needs better. If you still want a set up that can hold rifle and pistol mags, first aid and water, get a chest rig, or get an old USGI ALICE gear belt and harness. These will be less bulky, and can be really lightweight. Barring that, you can find all sorts of surplus rigs that can be built into a great setup.

#8, wearing armor sucks. You can throw money at this problem, and make it suck a bit less, but most people aren't made of money. By wearing armor as much as possible and staying in shape, wearing armor will still suck, but it won't feel like you got spinal damage at the end of the day.

#9, I don't have the benefit of having a military behind me, so my set up is geared towards me, as an individual. If you are LEO/SWAT/.MIL, you will most likely want a different set up. Even if you are like me, what I've done might not work for you, so please do your research. I will provide info on what I've used, but I haven't used everything, so keep in mind what I have to say is not gospel.

Now, on to the real stuff.

What vest should I buy?

Generally, you'll get what you pay for. A $200 vest will be worlds ahead of a $70 one, but the $70 one can be just the ticket if you are looking for something to get started with, or are ballin on a budget. So to start off, figure out what purpose the carrier will be used for, a KISS rig will be different from a carrier you plan on using to fight Nazi pig bikers from Saturn. Second, decide on how much you want to spend. Certian types of vests will cost different amounts, but quality will cost. The rule of diminishing returns still very much applies. If possible, setting aside 100-200 dollars for the carrier will net you many high quality options, no matter the type.


A good entry level vest would be something like this, a condor mopc.


It's not very comfortable, and is cheaply made, but it has room for 4 plates. It's covered in molle webbing, so you can hang all sorts of stuff off of it. If you want, the cummerbund can be removed for a lighter weight, lower profile rig. It has a number of loops on the shoulder pads, so managing wires and hydration tubes is nice and easy. Price ranges from $50 to $70.


A great mid to high end carrier would be something like this AWS OCPC.


It's a clone of the LBT 6094A, but it is a bit heavier (and arguably more durable) due to thicker material. It's also a good bit cheaper. The weight increase is minor, at about 2 ounces. This vest also has loops for wires/hydration tubes. Price is $150. (To be clear, AWS and LBT both produce this vest for the US military, neither one is a knockoff).


One quirk of the OCPC is that it has 7 MOLLE loops on the front, so most mag pouches will have to be set off to one side, by one inch. I don't have an issue with this, but some people with OCD will be driven up a wall.

You can often find military surplus carriers, either online, or at surplus stores. These are ok, and most come with soft armor inserts. One thing they have over some other options, is the ability for some vests to add extra soft protection. Soft armor groin protecters, throat protecters, ABS armor (abdominal ballistic system), and shoulder pauldrons can be added, albeit at the expense of mobility. Common surplus carriers are the IBA (AKA Interceptor), the IOTV, the MTV, and the British Osprey. While most will include soft armor inserts, be sure to check the MFG dates on the pads, since they do have a shelf life. I reccomend sticking with the IBA and IOTV, since I'm certain the MTV was designed by satan. I have no experience with the Osprey, unfortunately. Price will vary wildly, but for all the surplus vests I listed, $100 to $400 is average depending on extras, condition, and supply/demand.


Interceptor, AKA IBA


MTV, AKA agony

Should you go this route, be aware of stolen government property. If it comes with green ESAPI's, that's a clue that the vest is stolen.

PASGT, and previous generations of frag vests are relatively cheap and common, however, I DO NOT reccomend these, while  internet tests show them to offer between level IIA and IIIa protection they've never been tested by the NIJ, and since kevlar degrades over time you are really taking your life in your own hands.


If you prefer mobility over protection, there exist a few options, some vests will not have a cummerbund and won't be able to mount side plates. Others might have a skeletonized MOLLE rack, while others will have a side release buckle. A cummerbund adds weight, and makes it a bit more time consuming to don and doff, but is far more secure and easier to adjust than other options. It also lets you add side plates with less bulk  compared to MOLLE side plate pouches. I'm not going to list any here, simply because I'm not experienced enough with them to say which is the best, or worst. However, I can tell you that you can spend anywhere from $40 to over $200 on them. Obviously quality will depend on budget.


People will always ask about airsoft plate carriers. While some can be quite faithful to the real thing, many are made to a far lesser degree of quality, molle webbing can be out of spec, stitches can blow out, it can be made out of inferior materials, the carrier might not actually fit a hard armor plate, and if it will, the carrier might not be secure enough to hold a plate, or the carrier might not be sized properly, letting the plate shift around. Airsoft gear is extremely common in the world of firearms/soft gear/medical, so do your research and stick to trusted sources.

I own several carriers, the condor, the OCPC, MTV, an interceptor, and have experience (but do not own) with many other carriers, a PIG PC, mayflower APC, IOTV, BCS PC, shellback banshee, warrior DCS, LBT 6094A, and a few slick sided carriers. Of them all, the OCPC/6094A is my personal favorite, so I'll be building up the OCPC.

Even if you decide on a different carrier, the same principles will still apply, but remember, what works for me might not work for you.

Most carriers come in multiple different colors/camo patterns. I like solid earth tones, brown and green. Theres noting wrong with, say, multicam, but in some situations it can really pop out compared to a solid color. Most companies will also charge more for camo patterns that need to be licensed.

I tend to go for coyote tan. It's a very effective color that can blend into a wide variety of environments.


Hopefully by now you know what kind of carrier you want, so now we'll move on to plates.

Before you jump at the first set of plates you see, remember that carriers are sized to the plates. A good way to pick your size is to measure the distance between your nipples. The plate should cover both, and have about half an inch on either side. Since the job of a plate carrier is to protect the vital organs as best as possible, you will want to wear it high, so that your heart is in the center of it. Like this picture.


Getting too small a plate will save weight, but reduce coverage, too large a plate will restrict movement, and add unnecessary weight. Many plate carrier Mfg's will size according to military ESAPI measurements, conversely, most armor plate Mfg's will use inch measurements (ie, 10×12). Below is a table that shows you some common measurements. Be sure to do research on the carrier and plates you are looking at.


Side plates will range in size from 6×6, to 6×8, and cover the sides of your body. You'll generally want them to ride pretty high, but you still want to have the largest range of motion you possibly can, without sacrificing too much protection. Obviously the larger your arms/shoulders are, the smaller you will want your side plates. I prefer a 6×6.



There are a number of different ratings for body armor. For soft armor;

NIJ I, which can stop .22lr and .380,


NIJ IIa, which can stop lower powered 9mm parabellum and .40 S&W

NIJ II, which can stop higher power 9mm parabellum and .357 magnum

NIJ IIIa, which can stop hotly loaded 9mm para from longer barrels, and .44 magnum

Those are all soft armor, and can be worn daily without much, if any, loss of movement, and don't add much weight. Soft armor is also often needed in conjunction with hard ceramic armor to achive full protection.

Hard armor (AKA rifle) plates;

NIJ III, which can stop up to a .308 M80 ball round. In some situations, a close range shot from a 5.56 M855 round can penetrate a level III plate

NIJ IV, which can stop up to .30-06 APM2. 5.56 cannot penetrate a level IV plate, unless the plate is ceramic, and the shooter scores multiple hits extremely close to one another. .30-06 APM2 is a bit of an odd duck nowadays, but it was quite common when body armor became more popular, and to this day, is still an extremely effective AP load that can still be occasionally found.

There are also plates known as "III+". This is an industry specific term meaning that a level III plate is specially made to be better able to stop close range 5.56 m855 hits. Otherwise, it still meets the level III requirements. The plates I am using will be III+.

NIJ ratings

A plate will have all the protections of the lower levels of protection, so the myth that .22lr can penetrate higher rated armor is false, the same goes for soft armor.


Plate options

Some plate manufacturers will present you with several options when it comes to the front/back plate, including low weight (aka swimmers cut), multi curve, build up coating, and advaced shooters cut.

Swimmers cut has extra material removed from the corners of the front/rear plate. This makes it lighter, and allows for more movement. Downside is that this plate will cover less area. Personally, I'm not a fan, but there's nothing inherently wrong with them. When using a lightweight front plate with a regular rear plate, you can balance out any front weight added by mags, or anything else.

Multi curve makes the plate conform to the torso a bit better.

Build up coating adds a thicker/more durable anti spalling coating to the plate. This, and multi curve are pretty much no brainers, imho.

Advanced shooters cut removes a bit of material from one top corner of the plate, so you have more room to shoulder a stock. Just pick the shoulder you would place a stock against, and you're set.

Side plates will often have low weight, multi curve, and build up options.

Multi curve and build up coats are well worth the additional cost, and unless you are on an extremely strict budget, it's a no brainer to spring for the creature comforts. Wearing armor sucks, but with a few more dollars, it can suck just a little bit less.

When picking out side plates, you can get more rectangular ones that will protect more of your sides, but it can be a major pain dealing with the plate pocket always being in the way. Also, some carriers like the OCPC, will only take 6×6 plates. So as usual, do your research.

While you can purchase plates made specifically for back protection, there is something to be said for having two of the exact same plates front and rear. comfort, weight, and having a similar backup plate are all things worth considering.

Oh, and don't forget trauma pads, make sure they measure the same as your actual plates.


The front and rear plate I'll be using will be from https://www.ar500armor.com , the side plates are from https://www.spartanarmorsystems.com . All plates have built up coatings, multi curve forms. None of these plates are lightweight.

Before we go any farther, lets step back for a second, and look at money. My set up, not counting pouches or the war belt, costs almost $600. That's a lot of money. But if you want to save some, you can easily find full set ups, not including pouches for about $200.

Like this


What to put on the plate carrier

It's tempting to stick every pouch you can on your new carrier, but it's a bad idea. Having too much stuff can wear you out fast. To put this in perspective, a USGI AR mag, loaded with 30 rounds of m193, weighs in at just over 1lb. A 3L military camelbak weighs over 7lbs full. Some vests when loaded with plates, can weigh over 20lbs. Get the vest too heavy, and it can be near impossible to stand up, let alone scale an obstical or run.

So that said, you obviously want to have as little as possible on the vest, so what do you pick? Pick what you need the most, the fastest. Mags, a tourniquet, water, comms (if applicable). Other small stuff, like maps, some glow sticks, and a general purpose pouch lend themselves well to being put on a vest. Many people like to keep a pair of sheers on the upper part of the front on the carrier, interweaving it through the molle can keep it nice and secure.

Things like an IFAK, sidearm, dump pouch are IMO, best kept on a war belt, but more on that later.

When it comes to toting mags, there are tons of options, for simplicity we'll be focusing on 30 round 5.56 ar mags. I've messed around with all sorts of options, HSGI double decker and regular tacos, ITW fast mags, milsurp shingles, etc. By far my favorite mag pouches are the blue force gear 10 speeds.  The HSGI's are good, but tend to angle forward really bad and mag retention can be an issue, though this can be adjusted. ITW and HSGI will take up room even when not loaded, and most milsurp shingles have top flaps, which I don't like, but they can be had quite cheap. The BFG 10 speeds hold mags well, and anything else I can cram into them. I have a 3 mag shingle on the front, and a 2 mag shingle on the left cummerbund flap. A 2 mag pistol shingle, again from BFG, is kept towards the end of the right cummerbund flap. It's really nice to just be able to take out the mags and have a really low profile set-up. Only downside is that its a bit annoying trying to re-insert mags, but a dump pouch makes this less of an issue.


You can pretty easily see the difference between the BFG 10 speeds (left) and the HSGI taco on the right


I don't have much reason to carry around a radio, but on other carriers I still kept a pouch for one. This OCPC has pockets in the cummerbund for radios or other items, like more mags. Time will tell how this works out, but I appreciate the idea of no longer having a random empty pouch sitting on my carrier for the times I'm not using a radio. If your vest doesn't have built in pockets for a radio, and you want one, I recommend the 5.11 pouch.



For water, I prefer bladders, some people prefer canteens, which can be easier to refill, but are a bit cumbersome to use when not at rest. Bladders can be separated into two categories, military and civilian. Civilian bladders are often cheaper, but far less durable. Military bladders are the opposite, tough and expensive. Military bladders often have better insulation, from the tube to the carrier, comes in more subdued and camouflaged colors, and often have bite valve covers. Canteens are easier to refill from things like creeks, and easier to purify water with. Downsides are that it takes up room when empty, less flexible when it comes to mounting, and you can't maintain situational awareness when drinking. Durability is a draw, I've seen a number of military camelbaks get run over by trucks, even full ones.

No matter the case, many options for both exist, but we'll be looking at bladders.


My more used camelbak (a milspec antidote) has clips (in addition to regular straps) that hook on the back of the plate carrier, so removal, cleaning and refilling is nice and easy, though you will need a buddy to help you, or take your armor off. The only criticism I can really level at camelbaks is that the caps/lids can be a huge pain to deal with, like a bottle of water that has a cap that doesn't want to thread on right.


A more "innovative" option is the ice plate from Qore performance. Instead of hooking it to the rear, you mount it inside of the carrier, against the rear pannel. If you freeze it before you set out, the ice will melt over 2-4 hours (depending on activity level and temperature), the ice will cool you off, and keep the water cold. It also works with hot/warm water in cold weather. Downsides are that it only holds 1.5 liters and it is a pain to refill, but on the flip side it opens up the rear pannel of your carrier, so you have more room for packs, pouches, etc. It uses standard hydration tube adapters, so you can use whatever you want, though it can be purchased with a tube directly from Qore. Personally, I'd get a camelbak or source tube with insulation and a bite valve cover.


Source hydration makes some very good bladders, and I am currently testing a 1L and 3L one out.

I've fallen in love with the idea of using the iceplate in conjunction with a normal bladder in a pack, like this Haley strategic flat pack.



This particular combo only nets me 2.5 liters, but with larger packs and bladders, I can get up to 6.5L. And if I'm truly insane, I can double up on the iceplates (one in front of my chest and the other against my back) and get 8L+. Really, the options here are endless.

Having my water split between a pack and the carrier lets me keep some water regardless of me scaling up or down, and for this reason I reccomend using the regular straps on a pack when wearing a plate carrier, so you don't have to remove your armor to access a pack, or to refill your bladder.

End of part 1


Sorry for this post being so janky, busy schedule makes it hard to go over what all I've written, and to get halfway decent pictures. I will come back and do some edits as time allows.

Edited by zackmars
Fix title typo
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Part 2, warbelt boogaloo.


The war belt.

Everything in this post can certainly be put on a plate carrier, but this will create space and weight issues. You also have to ask if putting all your eggs in one basket is a good idea. You'll probably see this brought up multiple times, so yeah, it's pretty much the overarching theme of this post


This particular set up is an HSGI pad with a "klik belt". Any belt with cobra buckles will work, and will make a nice and secure lockup that can still be shed easily if you need some out of reach gear. Note that if you use a groin protecter or ABS armor, a battle belt can interfere with movement, and can be almost impossible to don or doff with any sense of urgency. Personally, if I had to pick between extra soft armor or a war belt, I think I'd go with the war belt. Having extra soft armor can be a great life saver if explosives and shrapnel are a threat, but that simply isn't a reasonable concern for me, especially considering how unlikely it is I will ever need this armor for any serious situation in the first place. But I like cool stuff, and might as well ensure it's functional as well.


Before we go deeper, war belts (same for vests) should not be tailored to what you see other people use, or what you think looks cool, take for example the pad I'm using, an HSGI suregrip. It works very well for me, and is rock solid, but if you don't like them, don't sweat it. Heck, some people keep war belts threaded to their pant's belt loops (typically a military thing, where combat attire is more or less "permanent"), but still...

Now on to the show...

Lots of people like putting their handguns on the lower corner of their vests, but I've never quite liked that, since there are several downsides to this. It can crowd the area directly in front of you, and in some situations, like in a vehicle, it can greatly limit what can be put on and used on your vest. A different approach, but with similar downsides, is to set it so that it rests directly above the panel most vests use to secure the cummerbund flaps. This can make reloading your primary a pain, becase the gun can get in the way of your primary mags. If you are a pilot, or a driver, and a handgun is the biggest thing you can easily use, having it up there might make sense, but for others, more "flexible" solutions exist. Both this and the previous method can also cause you to sweep people in front of you with your muzzle.

There is also the concern that if you need to ditch the vest, you will no longer have your holster. Having the handgun and IFAK on a war belt lets you keep some important gear on you, and should you be alone, having an IFAK on the belt lets you easily access it, compared to having it on/near the back of the carrier, like I've seen some people do.

The dump pouch (from LBX tactical) is there partially to get it a bit out of the way, and to move it lower so I don't have to search for it under my armpit, like I did when i had it on another vest. Posistion is up to personal preference, but you will obviously want to keep it on your weak hand side, since you will most likely be using your dominant hand to maintain control of your firearm


As far as the knife goes, this is just a glock knife. I don't have much to say about this subject, the knife I originally wanted to use was an ASEK, but it didn't quite work well with how I wanted to have it set up. I briefly entertained the idea of the OKC3S, but bayonets, as cool as they are, are just too impractical compared to other options. 


I'm not going to say much about the IFAK either, other than to read THIS excellent post by @dthomasdigital

The holster is a SAFARILAND ALS, with a molle plate adapter. I wanted to keep it as close to my normal carry position as i possibly could. I reccomend skipping drop leg holsters, since they will often drop the gun so low you may need to lean into your draw, or crouch down slightly.

I will add that if you plan on wearing a handgun openly, try to find a quality hardshell holster with some form of retention. I really like SAFARILAND, but others exist, though I would steer clear of blackhawk, as I've seen several of them get ripped clean off belts with little force. Whatever you choose, be sure to train with it. A lot.

Since a war belt is not threaded on to your carrier, you can do like I do, and get away with using multiple plate carriers but only one belt, so whatever gear you have on your belt (IFAK, holster, dump pouch) only needs to be purchased once. The hips can also better support weight. However, too much stuff can catch on the bottom of your carrier, and can make it difficult to move. 

I tried to keep the belt as low as possible to prevent it from interfering with the vest, but i did cheat on this just a little with a kangaroo HSGI taco, so named for the smaller pistol mag pouch on top of the rifle mag pouch. This frees up some space, without adding too much bulk. Keeping some ammo on he belt is a good idea, since ditching my armor would cost me most of my ammo.


I've long held the thought that the war belt should be the Alamo of battle gear, you might not make it out, but when shits going all over the wall, the war belt will have the stuff needed to keep you in the fight, albeit for a somewhat short period of time.

Edited by zackmars

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Chest rigs get love too


I want to briefly cover chest rigs as well.


Sometimes, you just don't want armor. Moving through thick woods, or on long distance patrols/hikes/etc, armor can be more trouble than it's worth, but you'll still want to carry gear that lets you fight. 


In comes the chest rig. 


There are many options here, from vests (not armor vests) covered in molle webbing



To rigs that are just a few pouches sewn together, and can't be modified much. Point is, there are a lot of options here, and I've used a whole lot of them.


Since I dont want to drone on and on, I'll toss out my 2 cents on the various types, and will go more into detail on what I use the most


The MOLLE vests are cheap, but you'll still need to buy pouches. So you aren't going to save much by going this route, compared to newer pre designed rigs, BUT, you aren't stuck with the layout. Don't like a pouch? Get rid of it!


Only issues I have with these is #1, they don't quite fit me that well, and #2, the MOLLE webbing adds a bit of bulk and weight, on something I'd prefer to be as light and idiot proof as possible.


Comblock vests, like this chinese SKS rig, are cheap, and are pretty durable, and are drop dead simple. For the SKS specifically, where ammo is kept on stripper clips, its one of the better options, though I've had rounds get pulled off the clip when being removed from the pouch. It fits ok, the back needs to be tied, so getting it secure, or getting it off can be a PITA. The pouch flaps can also be a pain, to the point it's near impossible to open or close the flap if 2 10 round clips are in a pouch.



You can also get them for AK's, and will work just as well, and won't rip rounds out.


Cross draw vests. Most all are made in China, fit is really poor, and pouches are rather poorly thought out, and are sewn in. Most have a really poor fitting cross draw holster licated over the wearers stomach, and have a belt (often a USGI pistol belt knockoff threaded under the vest itself.


You can find some higher quality ones, but you're still going to have to deal with poor pistol retention, primary mags that are difficult to reach, and a lack of any sense of practicality. Leave these to the movies.51wH-SR05KL.jpg.b943d89e0178eb6186119c226e59fb58.jpg

The last common type are similar in layout to the old comblock rigs, where pouches are sewn together and kept in a straight line. However these are made of more modern materials, and fit (me, at least) much better, donning and doffing is also much easier. Since these are more modern, they fit more common mags (like ar15 style mags) better.


Haley strategic, SKD, Blue force gear, Mayflower, all make good options, and all have differences that may or may not matter to you, so do your research.


What I personally prefer is the Haley strategic D3CRX combined with the Haley flat pack. I really like this combo because the side buckes on the flat pack work seamlessly with the D3, so no extra straps to deal with



With this set up, I get 4 rifle mags, 4 pistol mags, and a small assault pack all in one rig. The 2 front pockets contain a small boo boo kit and an adapter that lets me fill my hydration bladder from the tube with a faucet or bottle, a tourniquet, and a few small misc items, like some MRE cheese spread, maps, etc.


The flat pack is kept the same from when I'm using it with armor, aside from the added chest rig, so I still keep some water and food with me. 


I keep my ammo loadout similar to my armor set up, 4 rifle mags and 2 pistol mags, 2 of the pistol mags on the carrier are used to keep a flashlight and a multi tool, though in the pic I have an extra pistol mag.


The D3 has bungee retention pull tabs for both rifle and pistol mags. I'm typically not a fan, but the rifle pouches are too loose to securely hold an AR mag on it's own, so I actually like the bungee pulls here. As for the pistol mags, you also have the bungee tabs, but are too long for most 15 round pistol mags. The tabs are adjustable, but the pouches hold glock mags well enough for me not to worry about loosing them, though if you use metal mags, you'll want to make sure it's properly adjusted. 


The chest rig is pretty much my go-to set up, it's nice and light, and has what i would consider the bare essentials for fighting and surviving.

Edited by zackmars
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That is one hell of a setup mate, out of curiousity- do you ever wear a vest concealed in normal environments or is this a SHTF set  up exclusively?

I have a friend who wears kevlar reinforced t-shirts as they are slash proof (supposedly) but I have my doubts- any thoughts on that?

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Never been a big fan of chest rigs - can't get on my stomach properly enough to get a decent prone position for firing / observing / keeping a low profile.

Belt kit all the way! :)


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Fantastic post Zackmars! Love the ‘A Team’ reference at the top. I haven’t looked that far into it but I think here in Canada, body armour is not legal. 

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16 hours ago, Thomas said:

That is one hell of a setup mate, out of curiousity- do you ever wear a vest concealed in normal environments or is this a SHTF set  up exclusively?

I have a friend who wears kevlar reinforced t-shirts as they are slash proof (supposedly) but I have my doubts- any thoughts on that?

I typically keep the chest rig and the belt in my truck. The armor is just too bulky for that. 


I only really use the armor for competition and training, and for SHTF should i need it. I suppose i could get away with wearing this carrier under a jacket in the winter, but i think its still a bit too bulky for that.


I don't have any experience with newer ballistic shirts, so you might still need to be careful with water, sweat, humidity and UV exposure. Using a concealable 3a vest under a shirt is more common here in the US

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14 hours ago, thegouldii said:

Never been a big fan of chest rigs - can't get on my stomach properly enough to get a decent prone position for firing / observing / keeping a low profile.

Belt kit all the way! :)


Yeah, if i were more into precision rifle, I'd be more in the war belt camp, but even when wearing my thickest armor combo with mags (one of the surplus rigs with ceramics and 3a backers) and an assault pack), I'm still going to have to get off the ground just a bit more to use my AR with a 30 round mag.


The haley rig with the adds the same amount of thickness to my front as the OCPC with steel plates does, while being close to 16lbs lighter

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On 12/9/2017 at 3:46 PM, Rspreps said:

Fantastic post Zackmars! Love the ‘A Team’ reference at the top. I haven’t looked that far into it but I think here in Canada, body armour is not legal. 

I find it so weird that something defensive can be illegal. Then again, suppressors are restricted in the states but very common (over the counter) in various EU countries like France.

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