Best Plate Carrier 2017 – The Complete Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

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If you are reading this, it means that you are interested in buying some protective gear. We have all seen plate carriers in films and on security officials. The thing about plate carriers is that you really need to find the right one. This list will help you find the best plate carrier for you needs.

There are so many different kinds of applications for these types of vests, that it can often be quite overwhelming to choose the right one.

But don’t worry, this article is here to help. We will look at some of the best plate carriers out there. We have selected 10 different ones, each with its particular strengths. Once you have read through this article you will have a much better idea of what to look out for when buying your next plate carrier. You will also be much more familiar with what exactly is on offer.

best plate carrier and best body armor

By providing you with all of the information you need about plate carriers, the different options available and the pros and cons of each one, this article will help you decide what is the right option for you.

Things to consider when buying the best plate carrier.

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In short conclusion

All of these points are important to keep in mind when you buy your plate carrier.  Make sure to read carefully though all of them to make sure that you are considering all of the right things before making this choice that might be the key to your safety and protection.  Or, the key to a good performance on the airsoft field!

We tried to include all the points of consideration that will help you to make a good and informed decision when it comes to your next plate carrier vest.  Here is a summary of some of the points.

  • Application is everything — make sure the vest suits what you will be using it for.
  • The size will determine how effective the vest is in doing its job.
  • The ability of the vest to carry the types of plates that suit your application.
  • The extras and accessories that the vest can accommodate — sports/military
  • Your own personal financial situation and taste.

Best Plate Carriers 2017 – Top 10

NameMaterialSizeApplication
Condor Modular Chest Set (Ed’s choice)Combination - syntheticAdjustableMulti
Tactical Molle Airsoft VestCotton Synthetic combination.45 cm to 112 cm)Airsoft
Rothco Molle Modular VestSynthetic AdjustableLoad-carrying (non-plated)
CAMTOA Tactical VestCombination (Synthetic)Medium to Large adjustableLight Duty Tactical (with plate)
Crye Precision JPCSynthetic and nylon combinationFixed sizes with some individual adjustment possibleMulti
UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical VestSynthetic AdjustableTactical
Condor Sentry VestCombinationAdjustableMulti-Application
Condor Outdoor MOPC Gear Vest LBE Tactical MolleSynthetic reinforcedFixed sizes, but adjustableOutdoor sports
Yakeda Army Fans Tactical VestCombination of nylon and synthetic materialsAdjustable Tactical (Milatary)
Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical VestSythetic Adjustable, but in specific sizesMultiple

What did not make our list:


Condor Tactical Chest Rig

There is nothing wrong or bad about this vest per se.  It is a lightweight model that is quite versatile in its application and also easy to use. It just doesn’t really qualify as a VEST.  It is more like a belt that has some applications very similar to some of these vests.

It has an emergency drag handle that can be used to get a wounded or shell-shocked teammate out of a dangerous situation.  The shoulder straps are all quickly adjustable and it has quick release buckles.  The access to all the pockets is easy and the color is good for military style camouflage.

The main reason this otherwise good vest did not make our list, is because it has not been sufficiently tried and tested.  When it comes to any sort of safety gear, it is really important that is thoroughly tested in real life situations.  Until this vest has been used and tested over an extended period of time, we just cannot include it in our list here.

But if you want to give it a try, in a low risk or sports situation, this could actually be a very good choice.

GZ XINXING Black Tactical Airsoft Paintball Combat Military Swat Assault Army Shooting Hunting Outdoor Molle Vest

This is a very good vest for entry level airsoft enthusiasts.  It is a fairly cheap and popular vest that consistently gets good feedback from customers.

It is definitely a good product, and for a certain demographic of people it can even be a highly recommended choice.  It just can’t be on this list because it is simply too much of an entry level vest.

While it comes with a lot of pockets and clips that can really be useful on the airsoft field, it does not offer maximum amount of protection or agility.  If this is your first vest, or if it is a gift to a young friend or relative, it can work well.

There are some issues with the adjustability and sizing.  So be sure that the vest fits well before buying it as it does not come in a wide variety of sizes.  If you are very big or very small, you might have some trouble with this one.

Our pick for the Best Plate Carrier 2017

Our editor’s choice for the number one best Plate Carrier is the Condor Modular Chest Set. 

Our top pick came down to two criteria where this vest just blows the competition out of the water.

The first is its versatility.  The vest can easily be worn without body armor and be used as a sports vest for low risk situations.  With plenty of attachments for gear, you can use it for hunting, spots or military applications.

The second is its reasonable price considering its high quality.  This is an extremely popular vest for good reason.  It works well and it is capable of serving many different kind of purposes with great efficiency.

Whether you are an airsoft rookie, or a serious military or security professional, this vest can work for you.

It has a wide range of pouches for extra gear attachments which further enhances its ability to work for a wide range of applications.  The Velcro straps also helps you too keep all of your attachments neat and close to your body for maximum movement and general agility.

This our number one pick.  It is easy to use, versatile and considering its good quality also very affordable.

The reviews

With our dedicated team of experts, we spent a considerable amount of time researching all of what the plate carrier market has to offer.

We compiled a list of the top 10 plate carriers currently available.  Each has been carefully considered.  In these extended reviews you will be able to find some very helpful information that might just help you make the best choice.  After weighing out all the options, considering all possible applications and styles, these are the 10 best plate carrier vests for 2017.

The idea is that this will give all of the information you could possibly need to select the absolute best plate carrier vest for you!

Best Plate Carrier #1: Condor Modular Chest Set (ed’s choice)

This is our editor’s choice and number one plate carrier vest.  As we mentioned earlier, it is a very versatile, high quality and affordable vest.

The vest can be used instead of standard army issue vests for real combat situations and daily training.

The versatility of the vest means that the plates can also be removed for the vest to be used in more low-risk or sports situations.  The body armor aspect is optional depending on your application.

The vest has Velcro fasteners to keep all your gear comfortably tucked away, which helps increase agility and speed in sports or training situations.

This is also one of the more breathable vests on the market.  That is to say that the vest can accommodate for a lot of fresh air to ventilate over your body and keep you cool.  It is therefore a good plate carrier to be used in hot or humid climates.  Definitely not one that would be recommended for use in colder regions or without extra, insulated gear.

Unique hydration bladder sleeve on the back is a great way to carry an extra water pack.

Conclusion:

Versatile, easy to use and relatively cheap vest.  Our number one pick.  Multiple application and works well with many different types of gear.  We are happy to recommend this one to just about any customer looking for a plate carrier, regardless of application.

Pros
  • Durable material with high quality stitching.
  • Adjustable straps to fit many different sizes.
  • Cool and breathable design.
  • Very versatile in terms of application.
  • Comes with a hydration pack
Cons
  • Not suitable for cold climates.
  • Minimum upper chest protection.
  • Sometimes the company mixes up people’s orders

Best Plate Carrier #2: Tactical Molle Airsoft Vest

As you can see from the name, this vest is very specifically for airsoft.  That means that it is not the most versatile pick, like our editor’s choice above.  It is, however a great option if you know that you will be using it on the airsoft field.

It is a very basic vest, that does not offer maximum protection but definitely does more than serve its purpose as an airsoft vest.  It allows basic protection while still providing add-on gear enhancements.  The front, for example offers a lot of space, pockets and clips for small gear to be carried on the front.

Since this is an entry level vest, it is very easy to put on, and adjust.  No special knowledge or skill needed to start using this vest.

Since it is specifically for airsoft purposes, the vest is very light and helps you maintain agility on the field.  It is also quite affordable if you are just starting out and getting your gear together.

Airsoft specialty.  Does not provide maximum protection, but helps maintain agility on the airsoft field.  Also affordable and very easy to adjust and to use.

Pros
  • Airsoft specification vest.
  • Easy to use and to adjust.
  • Helps maintain sportsmanlike agility.
Cons
  • Does not provide maximum protection.
  • Not suitable for cold climates
  • Not for military or security application.

Best Plate Carrier #3: Rothco Molle Modular Vest

The biggest upside of this vest is all of the space that it offers to carry extra gear.  It is important to note that this is not a protective gear vest at all.  This vest is best suited for applications like hunting or the shooting range.

As we mentioned, it comes with incredible amounts of space, pockets and clips to deal with many different types of gear.

The straps are all highly adjustable to suite your size as well as the way you decide to use the vest.  The application might exclude heavy military uses, but it includes many other uses.

The stitching on the vest is very good and the size is one size fits all, which is great if you are ordering this type of thing on line.

Conclusion:

Good vest if you have a wide range of applications in mind.  It is easy to purchase extra straps and holsters to add to the vest.  Not good for military or security application, but excellent for a variety of other sports related applications.

Pros
  • Multiple applications
  • Good quality stitching and adjustability.
  • Can buy extra holsters and clips with the vest.
  • One size fits all
Cons
  • Not suitable for military application.
  • Quite expensive for a non-plated vest.

Best Plate Carrier #4: CAMTOA Tactical Vest

The Camtoa tactical vest comes with protective plates.  The plates are interchangeable depending on your application.  It is, however, still a lightweight vest and cannot be used for intensive combat situations.

It is good for airsoft, and low grade security operations.  The materials and stitching are all top quality and the thick shoulder straps are great support if you are carrying a big load over a long distance.

The color options vary, which is a great asset if you might need to be camouflaged in different environments.

Conclusion:

Excellent entry level tactical vest, that is affordable and capable of carrying a lot of extra gear.  Multi-application and superior overall quality.

Pros
  • Multi-Application
  • Tactical vest capabilities
  • A lot of space to carry extra gear.
  • Easy to adjust and use.
  • Comes in multiple color options.
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy duty security application.
  • Unflattering front design.

Best Plate Carrier #5: Crye Precision JPC

This is a well-known brand in military and security equipment worldwide.  It is one of the more expensive options on our list, but with the extra dollars comes a lot of extra quality, and in this case a lot of extra protection.

Everything about this vest is borderline professional quality.  It has a lot of options for adding extra gear, but what sets this one apart from the rest is how it manages to, without compromising safety, keep everything close together.

The way the vest connects the front part to the shoulders is seamless and allows you to spread the weight of your gear around your body in such a way that you can hardly feel it.

Conclusion

Superior quality vest that can be used for multiple applications.  The design of the vest enables a lot of extra gear to be added in way that evenly distributes the weight over your body.  Excellent quality and material.

Pros
  • Exceptional quality
  • Great design for extra gear
  • Adjustable sizes
Cons
  • More expensive than some of the other options on our list.
  • Not a one size fits all vest, you need to know what size you take.

Best Plate Carrier #6: UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

This is the plate carrier that you need if you want to be wearing something that will allow you to use the gear of standard law-enforcement professionals.

It is also for this reason that this is an extremely popular vest among a vast amount of buyers.  The use of space on the front, sides and back is very good.

If you are training in the field of law enforcement and you need to get as close as possible to experiencing the real thing with all the bells and whistles, this is the vest for you.  This tactical vest, however does not hold plates.  So it is not for protective purposes.

This is also one of the vests that you can easily wear over warmer clothes, so it can actually be used in colder climates.

Conclusion:

Tactical vest that comes with a lot of the standard law enforcement bells and whistles.  Not for protective or security purposes.  Tactical training and sports only.

Pros
  • Standard issue law enforcement accessory pockets and clips
  • Affordable
  • Versatile for sports and suitable for colder climates.
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Non-protective, tactical only.
  • Does not come in camouflaged colors.

Best Plate Carrier #7: Condor Sentry Vest

Very good quality entry level vest with multiple applications.  It is a fairly new model that has not been tested as much, but the initial feedback has been positive.

It is very well-made and adjustable to almost any size.  If you are looking to maybe buy your very first plate carrier, or looking for a multi-purpose vest, this is your top choice.

The Condor Sentry also enables you to add a lot of extra gear to the front and sides, so depending on your application, you will be able to customize it to work very well just for you.

Conclusion

One of the best entry level plate carriers out there today.  It is solid quality, multipurpose, highly adjustable and very affordable.  No wonder this is one of the most popular plate carriers available on the market today.

Pros
  • Adjustable straps, and Velcro reinforcement
  • Multi-application
  • Well ventilated.
Cons
  • Not suitable for cold climate training.
  • Does not offer maximum protection, due to emphasis on breathability and keeping agility in airsoft application.

Best Plate Carrier #8: Condor Outdoor MOPC Gear Vest

This is a very well-received vest among plate carrier enthusiasts.  It is a good choice if you are just getting into outdoor airsoft or other military style sports.

It offers a lot of space for extra gear to be added while still allowing you to move freely.

The stitching is high quality, the vest is adjustable and offers a fairly wide range of possibilities in terms of application.

Conclusion

This is one of the best options for those of you who are just getting into outdoor airsoft.  High quality vest at an affordable price that is still very versatile with multiple applications.

Pros
  • Good for outdoor airsoft
  • Adjustable straps
  • Many possibilities of extra gear additions
Cons
  • Only comes in black
  • Bulky design, without that much protection.

Best Plate Carrier #9: Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest

The Yakeda Army Fans Tactical Vest is a vest that is especially made for army fans.  In fact, it is often marketed as a Cosplay vest.

This means two things.  Firstly, the vest is very accurate in its representation of a real army tactical vest.  You can look like and a real tactical response team member in this vest.

Secondly, it means that this is not the type of plate carrier that you should be using for real security situations.

It is great for carrying gear and even for paintball or airsoft use.  It is, however not a good idea to use this in high risk situations.

Conclusion:

Adjustable, affordable and hyper realistic cosplay vest that can be used for sports or dress up purposes.  Not recommended for security scenarios

Pros
  • Ultra-realistic Cosplay vest.
  • Multiple colors and designs for various applications.
  • Adjustable sizes and straps.
Cons
  • Not for real security.
  • Might have too many extras, if you are just looking for basic protection.

Best Plate Carrier #10: Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical Vest 

This is one of my personal favorite vests.  Despite the fact that it does not come with protective plate pockets, it is one of the most useful vests for airsoft enthusiasts.

The amount of pockets and other add-ons for gear is really incredible.  But that is not the only reason we liked this vest.  The trick lies in the way that the space is used.  All of the pockets are incredibly well laid out in such a way that it uses the available space with maximum efficiency.

Everything is easily accessible, and the vest does not inhibit movement at all.  That means that it is perfect for outdoor airsoft use.

Conclusion

Non protective, but incredibly useful vest for outdoor airsoft, or other sports or training related activities.  Excellent layout of extra pockets and compartments.  Affordable and easy to use.

Pros
  • High quality
  • Excellent pocket layout
  • Comes in multiple colors
Cons
  • Does not have plate pockets. Only good for plate carrier training.
  • Not always good for larger individuals.

Wrapping it up

This list, and these reviews were designed to really help you make the best and most informed choice when it comes to buying a plate carrier vest this year.  We really hope that you found this helpful.

The current market is chock full of options.  We know that this can be quite overwhelming sometimes.  But don’t worry.  If you read all of our reviews and considerations, we are convinced that you will be able to make an informed choice about your next vest.

We really tried to be thorough with our research and our tests.  Remember to keep your application in mind and we are sure that you will be able to use this article to find the best vest for you.

Did you enjoy our reviews?  Did you find them helpful?  We hope that you did.  If we left out your favorite plate carrier vest, please let us know about it in the comment section.

If you found this helpful, please share it with all of your friends!

Until next time

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