12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018

best plate carrierAcross all fields, professionals understand the need to dress for success. Today, the modern day warrior, hunter, and the outdoor player come strapped with body armor by way of plate carriers every time they’re in the field. The best plate carriers are crucial in order to perform effectively and, more importantly, to stay safe and alive.

One size doesn’t fit all situations.

Plate carriers (or tactical vests) come in different shapes and sizes designed for a variety of uses. For instance, you can find a plate carrier most suited for outdoor games like airsoft, or for more serious and professional activities such as security and law enforcement.

Since this is a very important piece of equipment to anyone who relies on it, we decided to perform a hands-on test of some of the best plate carriers you can buy and the results are in!

Research You Can Trust

We’re confident after reading our in-depth reviews and buying guide about plate carriers, you’ll be able to choose the best one–regardless if you’re in law enforcement or a paintball enthusiast.

Here’s why:

We considered the opinions of real-life users of all the products, as well as input from experts in the tactical vests industry. We looked at different factors including pricing, weight, quality of materials, camouflage, heat balance, protection level, adjustability, consumer reviews, and other variables you’ll find noted in our reviews.

How we decided:

 

WhyTrustUs-BestPlateCarriers

Our Top Picks

Product NameImageBest FeatureThe "But"Overall RatingDetails
UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest 81n4kZk3luL. SX522  e1518016957865 - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Inexpensive with a lot of pockets and pouches and an option to add more Heavy over long trips when fully loaded 10 Check price
YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest 61BvXgZHFZL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Three adjustment straps on each side for virtually all body types with no lacing, There’s little padding on the shooting shoulder making it uncomfortable in a shooting range 9.5 Check price
Condor Recon Chest Rig (Tan) 51PoWCYRzL - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Very lightweight and made from durable material The double-stacked pouches on the front of the vest get too bulky when loaded 9.5 Check price
UTG Law Enforcement Tactical SWAT Vest, Black 41k3HtAJp7L - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Inexpensive The zipper mechanism is too exposed and can come off easily especially when playing paintball and airsoft. 9 Check price
Condor Tactical Rapid Assault Chest Rig 51t7k1FmL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Affordable with plenty of storage space in the six magazine pouches Difficult to adjust 9 Check price
Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest 711aUrr2ZbL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Highly adjustable in terms of length, girth, holster position and length of the straps covering the pouches Some magazines do not fit into the ammo pockets 9 Check price
Crye Precision JPC Multicam Medium 41kjzxCyNrL e1518019788114 - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Versatile with capabilities to accommodate plates, shells etc. Expensive 8.5 Check price
GLORYFIRE Tactical Vest 81nOAj9kefL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Easily accessible pockets included Heavy when fully loaded with plates and ammo 8.5 Check price
Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set 51mE2rJGomL. SX522  e1518023991963 - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Versatile with a lot of space for more MOLLE pouches in the front and the sides Lacks a bladder hanger/hook in the hydration pouch 8.5 Check price
Lancer Tactical CA-307 Modular Chest Rig 61vWoLP cnL. SX522  e1518024081981 - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Flaps are designed to fold into the pouch to accommodate larger items A hydration bladder is not included 8 Check price
Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical Assault Vest 61OUOl53WDL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 Very affordable Lacks capabilities for adding MOLLE accessories 8 Check price
Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical Vest 71GB8PT9bJL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018 MOLLE strap for attaching additional items The Velcro holding the handgun pouch holster is not sturdy when loaded and it sags almost tearing apart 8 Check price

How To Choose The Right Plate Carrier

As you can see in the chart above, we loved the UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest due to its low price, excellent features, and good quality. However, choosing the best plate carrier for you goes much deeper than this.

There are a lot of variables.

But, mostly, it all depends on how you intend to use it.

If you’re a security agent or in the military, your needs will differ greatly from a paintball or airsoft player. Keep that in mind when you’re shopping. Ensure you know exactly what you want before you start shopping for a plate carrier.

Buyer’s Guide: What To Factor In When Shopping For A Plate Carrier

A lot of people think finding a great plate carrier is as easy as clicking on the first thing you see on eBay or Amazon.

However

There’s much more to these wonderful vests and a thoughtful purchase makes for a happy purchase. 

Level of protection

best plate carrierPlate carriers are essential in a lot of situations. For instance, they’re mandatory in any tactical situation where the right gear can mean the difference between life and death. These types of vests have to be able to hold ballistic armor plates. They must also make it easy to reach all ammo and accessories while spreading the weight of all loads uniformly for easy movement.

What’s more…

Most tactical vests are MOLLE compatible, meaning you can attach additional MOLLE accessories such as pouches, radio pockets, holsters, grenade pockets etc.

Apart from tactical situations, it’s smart to wear your plate carrier during target practice or weight training. This is where you get used to its weight and different features. These factors will help in a real situation since the extra weight will make aiming slightly different by putting more pressure on your shoulders and back.

Plate carriers are also popular with hunters and fishermen since they can accommodate more gear, snacks, and water. These vests provide a great advantage when blind hunting or fishing in different spots, since everything you need will be close enough to reach the moment you mark your target.

Lastly,

Fans of paintball or airsoft can also find plate carriers very useful by choosing the correct one for their competitions and matches. These games have become more competitive over the years, and the right equipment certainly makes a difference between the winners and losers.

Type of vest

Plate carriers come in different types, each designed to perform better in some conditions than others. Depending on what you want to achieve with your vest, there are a few things you need to be on the lookout for.

For starters,

There are two main types of tactical vests: multifunctional vests and plate carriers.

Best Plate Carriers -types

Multifunctional vest

This vest type comes with multiple pockets and accessories to maximize storing capacity. Most feature pockets for rifle and pistol magazines, a medical pouch, a special radio pouch, and space for other accessories.

Most models are also fitted with a detachable pistol holster to allow for easy adjustment. These vests make it easy to carry anything you might need in a tactical situation.

They can also be adjusted both in length and girth to fit different body sizes using multiple straps usually on the sides and shoulders.

However,

These vests do not offer ballistic protection and cannot accommodate rifle plates. The internal pockets and pouches can only store documents or a hydration bladder on the back. 

Plate carriers

These types of vests are designed to protect you in case of an armed exchange. On their own, the vests do not offer any kind of ballistic protection. However, they can accommodate plates in the back and front, hence their name.

They can also be adjusted to fit over your usual gear using straps. Unlike the multifunctional models, these typically do not include many pockets for your accessories. Nonetheless, most models are MOLLE compatible meaning you can add as many pouches, pockets, holsters, and other accessories as you wish from the MOLLE catalog. 

Materials used

Tactical vests are produced using a wide range of materials, the most common being nylon mesh, PVC, and rubber. The nylon mesh is normally used to provide the structure on which the vest is built on because it’s lightweight and durable. The nylon mesh also helps to keep you cooler since this outfit is meant to be worn over regular gear, whether a T-shirt or a winter jacket.

PVC is placed over the nylon mesh to resist tear and strain since it can take a lot on a lot of weight. This makes it one of the best materials for holding various pockets, pouches, and holsters without tearing.

Even when they’re fully loaded with ammunition.

Some producers include rubber surfaces to lower or control the recoil impact on the shooter and to avoid the vest from sliding against the fabric. You will mostly find these on the shoulders.

Ease of adjustment

A lot of people have different preferences on where they want their gear and accessories to be located based on their strong/weak hand or other factors. Having a highly adjustable vest is a big plus and should be an important factor, especially if you’re left-handed.
A Close Look At The Best Plate Carriers For Different Tactical Situations
Now that you know what to factor in when shopping, here’s the list of some of our favorite plate carriers.

#1 UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

According to our tests, the fully adjustable UTG 547 Tactical Vest takes the top spot. It’s fully adjustable in both girth and length and is a great option for anyone with a moderate build. It features four standard adjustable rifle magazine pouches (one on the right and three on the left), with drain holes and strong elastic Velcro closures that hold the magazines solidly in place.

The back is installed with a mesh ventilation system for releasing moisture and heat which actually makes it more comfortable. It also features one cross-draw holster with an adjustable position and an extra hook-and-loop attachable modular double-mag pouch that can be interchanged with the holster for more options.

Features

  • Fully adjustable in girth and length
  • Four adjustable rifle magazine pouches
  • One cross-draw holster with adjustable position
  • Heavy duty back loop system
  • Durable rescue handle
  • Signature mesh ventilation system for cooling
  • High-quality zippers

UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

When you get the UTG 547 out of the box, it will not seem like much.

The stench of the materials fills the air and the vest feels really stiff at first. Like a spine-alignment brace that makes it hard to lean forward and backward.

Not to mention it’s a bit heavy.

However,

After the first wash the stiffness and smell disappear, and it hugs your body more naturally and sturdily.

The vest will fit most sizes but it’s not recommended for really tall and heavily built people. It’s comfortable and cool even after wearing for long hours though it might get a little heavy.

For law enforcers, this vest is awesome as a quick secondary option emergency-response jacket in the field. As for paintballing and airsoft fans, this vest is great.

PROS:
  • Made out of durable materials
  • A lot of pockets and pouches
  • Three large internal pockets for holding a plate or a water pouch

CONS:
  • The Velcro sections have sharp corners and they can scratch you
  • The vest is heavy especially over long trips
  • Straps are difficult to adjust

#2 YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest Outdoor

YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest

The YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest is an adjustable combat training vest and can fit adults ranging from small to extra-extra-large based on our tests. It has a maximum waist of 53 inches and a minimum of 33 inches.

The vest is built on a tough nylon mesh structure with air ventilation for comfortability. It zips up in front and comes with an additional pistol belt.

The left side has a pistol holster for most standard pistols and three pistol magazine pouches that are adjustable to the height of most standard magazines allowing you to store any mag size. The opposite side is fitted with three ammo pouches, a large shell carrying pouch, and a shooting pad.

Features

  • Adjustable shoulders
  • Two metal D-rings for attaching equipment
  • Double-ply mesh on the rear of vest to hold a hydration bladder
  • Fitted with a carrying handle
  • Pistol holder on the left
  • Three pistol mag pouches included
  • Made of durable 600D Encryption Polyester

The Yakeda CS Field is light and works as the perfect multi-accessory and multipurpose tactical vest. The Yakeda CS is especially recommended for paintballing and airsoft fans due to its lightweight and numerous accessories.

Although,

…it’s still a useful addition to your gear if you’re in the security business.

The nylon mesh on which the vest is mounted gives it enough ventilation and its signature lightweight. Overall, the vest looks durable with double stitches and heavy-duty material where needed the most.

PROS:
  • Fits most body sizes
  • Lightweight
  • Contains utility pouches
  • Snaps, buckles, and zippers are heavy duty

CONS:
  • Little padding on the shooting shoulder

#3 Condor Recon Chest Rig

Condor Recon Chest Rig

The Condor Recon Chest Rig is able to fit most adult sizes from small to extra-large and comes with three, built-in Kangaroo mag pouches which can hold six M4 and six pistol magazines. It features padded cross-back shoulder straps with webbing and a D-ring which all look and feel durable even when pressure is applied.

What’s more…

It has an additional mesh pocket on the back and is also installed with a Swivel lockster, push-button release buckle, and one open-top magazine pouch on each side making accessories easy to access.

Features

  • Three built-in Kangaroo type magazine pouches
  • Swivel push-button release buckle
  • Padded cross-back shoulder strap

Condor Recon Chest Rig

For its price, however…

You’ll feel like you got a much better deal than what you paid for the Condor Recon. We tested this rig with a 6-foot 2-inch professional weighing 300 pounds and it fits and adjusts well with room to spare, even when wearing winter clothing underneath.

It’s super light, the stitching is awesome, being double where needed such as the pouches and it can comfortably hold six AR-15 thirty-round magazines and six pistol magazines without slouching. There is more room on both sides for attaching MOLLE accessories and the auxiliary pouch behind the rig can hold personal items such as; maps, documents, keys, phones, etc., depending on what you may need to carry in the field.

PROS:
  • A lot of storage space
  • Camouflaged and does not make you look bulky
  • Very lightweight and made from durable material
  • Easily adjustable
  • You can add your aftermarket MOLLE accessories/pouches
  • Affordable

CONS:
  • The double-stacked pouches on the front of the vest get too bulky when loaded making it hard to get a good firing position when in prone position

#4 UTG Law Enforcement Tactical SWAT Vest, Black

UTG Law Enforcement Tactical SWAT Vest, Black

The UTG Law Enforcement SWAT vest is another awesome plate carrier that weighs 3.5 pounds when empty and measures 23-inches long. The girth is adjustable with a range of 40-to-54 inches around the torso, making it appropriate for most body sizes.

Do you carry accessories and gear?

It features a thumb break holster, pistol and rifle magazine pouches, elastic loops for shotgun shells, and a radio pocket – all necessary features for anyone intending to clash outside. The tactical vest was designed with law enforcement entry teams and firearm enthusiasts in mind.

On the inside, it’s made of comfortable and light material while it features heavy-duty nylon on the exterior.

Features:

  • Thumb break holster
  • Pistol and rifle magazine pouches
  • Elastic loops for shotgun shells
  • A radio/medial kit pocket

UTG Law Enforcement Tactical SWAT Vest

This vest is especially easy to adjust both at the waist and shoulders and is surprisingly comfortable. It fits anyone with a moderate build, and all the pouches, pockets, loops, and holsters are easy to access.

One thing we didn’t like was…

The only issue we found is the material does not breath well and staying in it too long can be very uncomfortable. It’s also not the best choice for airsoft and paintball players since the zipper mechanism can easily come off when yanked.

PROS:
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily adjustable
  • Made of heavy duty material

CONS:
  • The zipper mechanism is too exposed and can come off easily especially when playing paintball and airsoft.
  • Not easily breathable after a couple of hours

#5 Condor Tactical Rapid Assault Chest Rig

Condor Tactical Rapid Assault Chest Rig

The Condor Rapid Assault Chest Rig comes with a lot of adjustability features. It’s able to fit most body sizes when wearing normal gear like a T-shirt or jacket.

It features six AR-15, open-top magazine pouches with a swivel push-button release buckle, all made of high-quality materials that feel strong and durable when exposed to stress.

How it won our vote for one of the best plate carrier…

We liked the padded, cross-back shoulder straps and the D-ring and additional mesh pocket on the back for durability and comfort. This vest is fitted with detaching clips on the shoulder straps that can withstand frequent use and are easy to use.

There is additional space in front of the vest for attaching MOLLE accessories in case you need more.

Features

  • Padded cross-back shoulder strap
  • Six AR-15 open-top magazine pouches
  • Heavyweight webbing for modular attachments
  • Swivel push release buckles

Condor Tactical Rapid Assault Chest Rig

We do not understand why some reviewers say this vest is only for people weighing 200 pounds or more since we tested it on a 5-foot 7-inch subject weighing 180 pounds, and it fit with more space to strap it even tighter. The waist strap is adjustable for a more comfortable fit after you get a hang of how it works.

The vest is weightless when not loaded. We weighed it in at 1.2 pounds when empty and a respectable 7.2 pounds when all the pouches were loaded with six, 30-round magazines.

All that being said,

The quality of the stitching could be improved and does not match up to the more expensive models, but all the pockets and pouches feel solid.

PROS:
  • Inexpensive
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Lightweight
  • Open-top pouches for quick access to tools and ammunition.
  • Made of heavyweight nylon material

CONS:
  • Difficult to adjust

#6 Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest

Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest

The Yakeda Army Fans is an adjustable tactical vest that fits adults ranging from small to extra-large in size. The vest can be adjusted to fit the shoulder and waist size.

It’s made of high-density polyester which has good durability and heat resistance making it both light and comfortable. The right side is fitted with three ammo pouches, a shooting pad, and a large shell carrying pouch. The left side features a pistol holster for holding standard pistols and three pistol magazine pouches with an adjustable strap to account for height.

Additionally,

The rear of the vest is lined with double-ply mesh which allows for the addition of a hydration bladder.

Features

  • Fully Adjustable in girth and length
  • Hook-and-loop closure, drain holes, and elastic to hold mags tight
  • Carrying handle
  • Has strips across the back for the addition of camouflage material or other pouches
  • One standard cross-draw holster
  • Two large internal zippered document pouches

Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest

It’s not for all sizes.

We tried this tactical vest using a 6-foot, 2-inch subject weighing 212 pounds and after a few adjustments, it fits well with a T-shirt on but leaving little room for expansion. In case you’re the same size and would need something that can accommodate a jacket, we do not recommend this particular vest.

The exterior material is strong and sturdy with double stitching, while the inside is both comfortable and well aerated.

The rifle and pistol magazine pouches hold the magazines tightly, and the holster will solidly hold most handguns in place for easy access.

The mesh lining makes the vest breathable and the belt is of very high quality. Unlike in other vests, the black upper right shoulder is in green which matches the rest of the vest providing more camouflage.

PROS:
  • Highly adjustable
  • Accommodates a hydration bladder
  • Two internal document/map pouches
  • Left and right sides can be adjusted for width

CONS:
  • Some magazines do not fit into the ammo pockets making it hard to close the Velcro top straps

#7 Crye Precision JPC Multicam

Crye Precision JPC Multicam Medium

The Crye Precision JPC is a lightweight, minimal plate carrier vest made in the USA that feels comfortable to wear thanks to its lightweight. It comes in multiple sizes from small to extra-large making it able to fit most body types.

The vest accepts different plate sizes to match the vest size. For example, a large plate fits a large vest. It’s fitted with multiple magazine pouches depending on the size. They all feature heavily padded shoulder straps and are customizable with MOLLE accessories.

Features

  • Made in the USA
  • Lightweight weighing only 1.4 pounds.
  • Velcro side straps for easy adjustment to fit most body types
  • Customizable for MOLLE pouch attachment inside or outside

Crye Precision JPC Multicam Medium

Comfort is key.

Even with plates inside and loaded pouches, the vest is relatively light and comfortable. It’s easy to adjust thanks to the quality straps and it’s high enough to run a belt through without pinching the vest.

It’s finished with nice double-stitching on the parts that count such as the vertical MOLLE adjustments on the back and the magazine pouches. The shoulder straps and the 330 D that holds the plate in place might look a bit weak, but after feeling the professional quality that Crye have put into the material, you’ll change your mind.

PROS:
  • Versatile with capabilities to accommodate plates, shells, etc.
  • Lightweight
  • Flexibility for packing
  • Increased mobility

CONS:
  • Expensive

#8 GLORYFIRE Tactical Vest Elite Molle Law Enforcement Vest Modular Vest

GLORYFIRE Tactical Vest Elite Molle Law Enforcement Vest

The GLORYFIRE Modular Tactical Vest is able to fit medium to extra-large sized individuals thanks to its adjustable shoulder and weight straps. It’s perfect for adding modular attachments on all sides and made of durable material that can withstand frequent and extensive use.

The shoulder pads are anti-slip and fully padded with hook and loop guides. The interior lining is also padded mesh and it has an emergency drag handle.

It accommodates level III soft armor, sternum plates, and will also take 10 x 12 steel plates.

Features

  • Emergency drag handle
  • Removable anti-slip padded shoulder pads
  • Side release buckles on shoulders and internal waist strap
  • Padded mesh interior lining
  • Adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund with easy access pockets
  • Heavyweight hook and loop webbing for modular attachments
  • Front map pocket with snap, hook and loop closure

Gloryfire Tactical Vest

The materials and stitching on this plate carrier are excellent and light, making it comfortable to wear–even when fully loaded–over long periods of time compared to other plate carriers in the same range.

We tested it on a 6-foot, a 260-pound subject with plenty of room to expand it for larger people. That makes it great for any plus size individual who needs to wear a plate carrier.

The Velcro is very rigid and does not open accidentally. It’s a great choice if you’re a fan of paintball or airsoft.

PROS:
  • Features emergency drag handle
  • Comes with adjustable shoulder straps
  • Padded mesh interior lining
  • Heavyweight webbing

CONS:
  • Heavy when fully loaded with plates and ammo

#9 Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set

Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set

The Condor Modular Chest Set is able to fit individuals from medium to extra-large thanks to the adjustable and removable chest and waist platforms. It’s installed with six built-in M4 magazine pouches and two internal mesh pockets for carrying your gear.

It also features an internal pocket with heavy-duty webbing for modular attachments. The shoulder straps are heavily padded for comfort, and there’s a built-in hydration carrier but does not include a bladder so be sure to find your own.

Features

  • Six built-in M4 magazine pouches
  • Adjustable/removable chest platform with internal pouch
  • Built-in hydration carrier (bladder not included)
  • Two internal mesh pockets and padded shoulder straps

Condor Modular Chest Set

The Condor Outdoor Modular is a great plate carrier that won’t leave a hole in your pockets.

The sewing is surprisingly nice.

Our tester was 5-foot 9-inches tall and weighing about 190 pounds. He had a moderate build and the vest sat quite well on him with the Velcro fasteners keeping all the straps tucked nice and neat.

One thing we didn’t like:

But we did notice the front tended to open on its own, which could be a big problem.

The padded shoulder straps and internal mesh around the waist make it versatile, cool, and comfortable even when running around and wearing it for a considerable amount of time.

PROS:
  • Versatile with a lot of space for more MOLLE pouches
  • Built-in hydration carrier
  • Easily adjustable

CONS:
  • Will not fit small people
  • Front opens on its own
  • Lacks a bladder hanger/hook in the hydration pouch

#10 Lancer Tactical CA-307 Modular Chest Rig PALS MOLLE Vest and Hydration Pack Slot

Lancer Tactical CA-307 Modular Chest Rig

The Lancer Tactical CA-307 is a fully-adjustable vest able to fit most body types with no qualms. It features three major panels to provide you with maximum space. The MOLLE panel systems are located on the front, back, and side to accommodate compatible pouches and accessories. The front section is fitted with an integrated with a huge Velcro panel for sticking patches and IDs.

The large rear panel can accommodate a full sized 2.5-liter hydration bladder and is lined with more MOLLE panels for you to take advantage of. The back panel is removable, or you can use it as a stand-alone hydration pack.

Features

  • Made of durable 600D polyester
  • Fully adjustable
  • PALS webbing on front, back, and sides and interior mesh pocket
  • Triple MOLLE magazine pouch
  • Two utility MOLLE pouches

Lancer Tactical CA-307 Modular Chest Rig

Looking for value?

For what you pay, this is one of the best chest rigs available and a good platform to build on by adding additional pouches and pockets.

This vest sits comfortably, being light even when loads are attached. It’s very sturdy thanks to its durable material. The MOLLE webbing is well stitched and does not fall apart. Once you figure out how to attach the pouches properly, they stay in place. The three pouches fit two M4 magazines perfectly and solidly.

However, you will need to buy a hydration bladder, but those are cheap when bought separately.

PROS:
  • Flaps are designed to fold into the pouch to accommodate larger items
  • Removable hydration pouch
  • Chest rig and hydration pouch can be used independently

CONS:
  • The side multipurpose pouches are a bit small
  • A hydration bladder is not included

#11 Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical Entry Operation SWAT Police Military Law Enforcement Assault Vest

Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical Entry Operation SWAT Police Military Law Enforcement Assault Vest

The Ultimate Arms Gear tactical entry vest is meant for military and law enforcement entry teams but is also perfect for hunters and campers thanks to its many pouches and pockets. We found it to be fully adjustable on both length and girth providing a perfect fit for most body types. Though, if you’re a bit thin or of moderate build then this is especially recommended for you.

The exterior is made from rugged nylon and features a heavy-duty D-ring, radio and flashlight/baton pockets, dual rifle magazine pouches, dual vertical pistol magazine pouches, nine shell holders, and high-quality zipper-snaps to get you well-prepared for any eventuality in the field.

Features

  • Fully adjustable length and girth
  • High-quality zippers-snaps
  • Thumb break pistol holster
  • Two rifle magazine pouches and two vertical pistol magazine pouches
  • Five rifle ammo shotshell holders and four shotgun shotshell holders
  • Rear radio/first aid pouch

We inspected the stitching right away and found it to be durable. The back pouch works perfectly as a first aid kit, but you can also use it to carry other items.

When it comes to adjustability, the vest fits right even with a ballistics vest underneath and can be easily adjusted to fit without one.

Why didn’t it rank higher?

It does not come with MOLLE enhancement features meaning you cannot add any pouches, pockets, or holsters so be sure to keep that in mind.

Other than that, it has everything you need for an outdoor skirmish. 

PROS:
  • Easy to adjust
  • Contains a lot of storage space even with no MOLLE capability
  • Very affordable

CONS:
  • Not recommended for use over long hours
  • Lacks capabilities for adding MOLLE accessories

#12  Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical Vest 

Barska Loaded Gear VX-200

The Barska VX-200 tactical vest measures 22-inches long with a 38-50-inch wide torso which is big enough to accommodate most body sizes.

We found this four-piece tactical vest was able to keep ammo and tactical essentials organized at close range. It’s a great choice for security personnel as well as players and fishermen out in the field.

It features four adjustable rifle magazine pouches that can accommodate the standard M4/AR15 thirty-round magazines. It also comes with one-inch heavy-duty MOLLE straps which allow you to add more accessories.

Here’s where it gets really good:

On the inside, it’s fitted with a mesh webbing to improve ventilation and durability. It has a front and back touch-fastener spots that allow users to easily attach patches or IDs and also features a reinforced rescue pull handle located on the upper back of the vest.

Features

  • Adjustable shoulder panels, ladder buckles, and side straps
  • Two large hidden internal zippered pockets
  • Web System compartments with Velcro closures for ventilation and durability
  • One-inch heavy-duty MOLLE strap
  • Back mesh pocket with Velcro closure, ideal for hydration system

It’s made from a durable exterior and a comfortable interior that keeps you well ventilated. It’s fully adjustable with ladder buckles on each side of the vest, adjustable shoulder panels, and side straps that allow for a quick and custom fit for most adult body types.

This vest is especially great in airsoft and paintball competitions thanks to its lightweight and numerous pockets that are easy to access.

PROS:
  • Reinforced rescue pull handle
  • Easy to adjust
  • Breathable and durable
  • MOLLE strap for attaching additional items

CONS:
  • The Velcro holding the handgun pouch holster is not sturdy when loaded and it sags almost tearing apart
  • New Velcro is stiff and may need a wash to soften

Other Things To Consider

As seen in these extensive reviews, plate carriers have a wide range of uses. In case you’re still undecided, here are some more features you can keep in mind:

Weight

The weight of your vest is important since it directly affects mobility and breathability. If you forecast that you’ll need to move quickly at a moment’s notice, a lightweight vest like the Crye Precision is a great fit.

Heat factors

vestsWhen in a stuffy tactical vest, things can get hot and sweaty quickly. Be on the lookout for plate carriers that have features to dissipate heat efficiently. Especially if you live in a hot environment.

Camouflage

If you’re in law enforcement, camouflage can become a huge factor. There are vests specifically designed to be concealed easily.

Gun Safety

Staying safe while shooting is important. Keeping your guns clean and free of any dirt or debris is all part of it. If you’re serious enough about your safey and guns to purchase a plate protector, we highly encourage you to check out the reviews we wrote on these gun cleaning kits as well.

FAQs

What accessories can I add to my tactical vest?

Check to see if your vest is MOLLE compatible. If yes, you can add a wide range of pockets and accessories. You will not be able to add more pockets in most vests with a cross-draw design.

What if my tactical vest does not fit?

When buying something online, it can be hard to tell how small or large it is. Read other reviews from real-life users or check up with the customer service to be sure it fits you. Also, check the seller’s return policy in advance.

How do I wash my plate carrier?

Never machine wash your vest unless the attached instructions clearly approve. To remove most stains, just rub using a wet cloth.

Will the vest keep me warm if I do not wear any gear inside?

No. Tactical vests are not designed to act as clothing. Most are designed to fit whether worn with a T-shirt in the summers or with a jacket in the winters. Most are also poorly insulated since they are designed not to trap any body heat.

Can my vest hold extended rifle magazines?

Most vests have standard rifle magazine pockets and you will not be able to close the top if you try putting an extended clip in them. This means you’re at risk losing them in the field. Nonetheless, you can store the extended clips in the interior pouches which are larger. For MOLLE compatible vests, you can add special pouches for extended magazines.

Conclusion

After a wide series of tests to establish ease of adjustment, weight, ease of mobility, ease of access to items and many other factors, we concluded the UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest as the best plate carrier currently in the market.

It meets all the quality standards being cheap yet highly adjustable. The build is also made of heavy duty material and features a safety handle for rescue operations. The signature mesh ventilation system does a great job ensuring you remain cool and the zippers are all high quality.

9.7 Total Score
Conclusion

81n4kZk3luL. SX522  - 12 Exceptional Plate Carriers To Keep You Safe In 2018

After a wide series of tests to establish ease of adjustment, weight, ease of mobility, ease of access to items and many other factors, we concluded the UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest as the best plate carrier currently in the market.

It meets all the quality standards being cheap yet highly adjustable. The build is also made of heavy duty material and features a safety handle for rescue operations. The signature mesh ventilation system does a great job ensuring you remain cool and the zippers are all high quality.

Materials
10
Pockets
9.5
Protection
9.5

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