If you need a hard plate that means that your mission is already a serious one. Ideally, you will want to combine your decision with your company and decide what would be the best tactical plate carrier for anyone in the team. Depending on your specific task you will need to adapt to each situation.
There are three aspects that you need to consider when picking out hard plate body armor:
- Overall gear weight
- Utility features
- Area of coverage
As you can already assume that your enemy will have automatic weapons, betting everything that every bullet will hit your plate is not the ideal option. Shady groups like insurgents or drug cartels usually don’t have expert grouping but work on the spray’n’pray model of targeting.
Keeping mobile and adequately covered by your team will always be a better choice. Plates are there just to save you from injuries to your vitals.
Adapt to the Mission
Always make sure that you are taking everything you need with you, and not carrying anything else. This won’t always be possible, but in most cases, you can at least get close.
For instance, if you need to act quickly and be geared up in a matter of minutes, you will need something like the Fast-Response plate carrier from https://uarmprotection.com/ that can be clipped on and off very quickly.
These carriers also have MOLLE webbing so that you can attach your PALS gear ahead of time. This way you will be able to simply jump into action whenever the situation demands so.
Weight is Still an Issue
Even though the difference between the heaviest and lightest plate carriers is just a few pounds, those add up quickly. Everything you have wasted on fabric is something you could’ve used for other things.
Unless your specific situation demands it, you will always want to carry more ammo, water, or medkits, than to pull around carrier fabric. The lightest option, like the aptly named Weightless Plate Carrier from UARM, is less than six ounces.
While these models don’t have MOLLE webbing and similar features, they will hold the plate. And, if you want to stay quick and mobile, with these solutions you can cut down the weight of your gear to less than 30lbs of you want to.
Gearing up Your Tactical Plate Carrier
Finally, don’t forget that the body armor is not the only thing you need with you. Aside from your main weapon and your sidearm, you will probably need ammo, medkits, as well as some additional protection.
Make sure that you can balance all of that gear with your plate and attach everything you need with your carrier. If you go on a variety of different missions, you will want this aspect to be modular. And, with a good tactical plate carrier, you will always be able to carry everything you need, and nothing else.