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What Is a Plate Carrier

What Is a Plate Carrier and What Is It For?

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Plate carriers are becoming more and more popular every day. But what is a plate carrier, and what is it used for?

In short, a plate carrier is a piece of tactical gear that is used to carry ballistic plates. It is worn over the upper body and helps protect the wearer from gunfire and shrapnel.

They are often used by law enforcement officers, military personnel, and civilians who want to be prepared for any situation.

In this article, we will discuss in detail what plate carriers are and what they are used for, we will take a look at all the different types of plate carriers available and answer some frequently asked questions. about plate carriers!

Plate carrier

What Is a Plate Carrier?

A plate carrier is a piece of tactical gear that is designed to hold and carry ballistic plates. It is worn over the upper body and consists of several straps and pockets that are used to securely hold ballistic plates in place.

Most plate carriers also have a cummerbund or side panels that can accommodate additional pockets and pouches, allowing users to customize their setup according to their needs.

The plate carrier itself is typically made from heavy-duty nylon or other durable material and can be adjusted to fit different sizes and shapes. It is designed to protect the wearer’s vital areas such as the chest and back from bullets, shrapnel, and other dangerous projectiles.

Plate carriers are typically made to carry a set of two ballistic plates. One plate is usually positioned at the front and one at the back, allowing for full coverage of the wearer’s vital organs. However, some plate carriers also hold side plates, giving the wearer 360-degree protection.

What Is a Plate Carrier Used For?

Plate carriers are primarily used to provide ballistic protection for the wearer. They are designed to protect only the most vital areas of the wearer against bullets and shrapnel. 

Plate carriers are also used as a load-bearing vest. Usually, but not always, plate carriers are covered with MOLLE webbing, which allows the wearer to attach additional pockets and pouches for carrying items such as ammunition, first aid kits, flashlights, knives, and more.

Plate carriers also provide a layer of comfort between the wearer and his/her equipment. The material used to make plate carriers is usually lightweight and breathable, allowing the user to remain comfortable even in stressful situations.

A correctly set up plate carrier will help keep the wearer’s equipment accessible and organized, allowing for quick and easy access to what they may need in an emergency. Also, it helps distribute the weight of what they are carrying more evenly, making it easier and less fatiguing to wear.

Because of their load-bearing capabilities, plate carriers are also used for airsoft, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

They, are also popular amongst CrossFit athletes and are used as a replacement for a weighted vest in order to increase the intensity of their workouts. 

Who Uses Plate Carriers?

Plate carriers are used by law enforcement officers, military personnel, and civilians who want to be prepared for any situation.

Police officers typically use them as part of their protective gear in order to protect themselves from potential gunfire and other threats. Military personnel use plate carriers for the same purpose but on a much larger scale due to their mission requirements.

Plate carriers are also popular amongst civilians who want to be prepared for any situation.

Hunters, airsoft players, and shooting enthusiasts also use them as a means of carrying their gear in an organized fashion while keeping what they may need easily accessible at all times.

Plate carrier

What Are the Different Types of Plate Carriers?

Plate carriers can be categorized by two different means: First is by their size and bulk and the second way is by the ballistic plate, which the plate carrier is designed to use, cut, or style.

Size or bulkiness-wise, plate carriers are categorized into 4 different types: Slick plate carriers, minimalist or lightweight plate carriers, medium or standard plate carriers, and heavy plate carriers.

  • Slick plate carriers are slim in design and are made to fit closely to the body. They usually lack extra pockets and pouches, making them ideal for those who want to keep things lightweight and streamlined. Also, they are ideal for wearing under clothing as they are not bulky.
  • Minimalist or lightweight plate carriers are a more common type of plate carrier. They are designed to be lightweight but they usually still have a MOLLE webbing system and pockets, making them ideal for those who want to be able to attach more pouches.
  • Medium or standard plate carriers are the most common type of plate carrier and they can vary in size and shape. These types of plate carriers usually have an extra MOLLE webbing system and pockets, which allow users to add additional pockets and pouches.
  • Heavy plate carriers are what they sound like: they are designed to carry a lot of extra gear. They are usually made from heavier and more durable material, to be able to withstand the weight of what they will be carrying. Often they have extra pouches and side plate inserts on their cummerbunds.

The second type of plate carrier is categorized by the ballistic plate that it is designed for. Ballistic plates come in full cut, the shooter’s cut, and swimmer’s cut.

  • The full cut ballistic plates are either rectangular or square shape full plates that are meant to protect the whole torso area.
  • Shooter’s cut plates are basically full cut plates that have their upper corners cut off in order to give more freedom of movement to the wearer.
  • Swimmer’s cut plates are similar to shooter’s cut plates but they have a larger portion of the upper corners of the plate cut off to maximize mobility.

What’s the Difference Between a Plate Carrier, a Tactical Vest, and a Bullet Proof Vest?

A plate carrier is different from a tactical vest or bulletproof vest because it is specifically designed to hold ballistic plates which provide protection against bullets and other forms of projectiles.

Tactical vests are primarily made to provide storage of equipment such as magazines, ammunition, and other items. They do not provide any protection from projectiles like a plate carrier does.

And bulletproof vests opposed to tactical vests are designed to provide protection from bullets and other projectiles. However, they are not as effective as plate carriers when it comes to protecting against large-caliber rounds and heavier rounds.


In Conclusion

  • A plate carrier is a type of tactical vest that is designed to hold ballistic plates which provide protection against bullets and other forms of projectiles.
  • Plate carriers come in two main types and are categorized by their size/bulk or by what specific ballistic plates they are designed for.
  • Plate carriers are commonly used by the military, law enforcement officers, and first responders. They can also be used by civilians for self-defense or recreational purposes.
  • Plate carriers differ from tactical vests and bulletproof vests because they are specifically designed to hold ballistic plates.

All-in-all, plate carriers are an effective way to protect yourself from bullets and other projectiles. They provide good coverage, mobility, and comfort when used properly. 

When choosing a plate carrier make sure you do your research and get the right one for your specific needs! 

We hope this article has helped you understand what a plate carrier is and what it’s used for. Thank you for reading!

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