“What size plate carrier do I need?” is one of the most popular queries we receive. However, as much as we want to keep it simple, it’s not that easy to answer.
When you are trying to find the right plate carrier, you need to focus on several aspects, including your height, your desired level of protection, and additional gear you’ll be wearing on your body in addition to your plate carrier.
A plate carrier which is often referred to as a ballistic plate carrier is a type of load-bearing tactical gear that, when used in conjunction with ballistic plates, serves as body armor or a “bulletproof” vest. The military, police, and other tactical forces typically wear detachable plate carriers to protect them from different types of attacks.
Table of Contents
- How Should A Plate Carrier Fit?
- Plate Carrier Sizing
- Plate Carrier Armor Plate Sizing
- How To Wear A Plate Carrier?
- How To Adjust A Plate Carrier?
- Key Takeaways
How Should A Plate Carrier Fit?
The most important feature of any plate carrier is always maneuverability and comfort. It’s crucial to find a sturdy, high-quality plate carrier. Your ability to move should not be restricted by it.
Your arms should be free to move as you like, whether you are shooting, reaching for gear, running, or doing any other action. You definitely don’t want to be slowed down by or have your muscle memory interfered with due to resistance from your plate carrier.
It should be comfortable to put on and take off while still being loose enough to not feel like a straightjacket. When you lift your arms up or move about while wearing the plate carrier, it should not be so loose that it pulls up as well.
Tighten the plate carrier as much as you can without making it too uncomfortable. Also, remember that you should choose the larger size if you can’t decide between two different sizes, since having the slightly looser one is always a better option.
Make sure your plate carrier fits comfortably and securely on your torso when you’re ready to wear it. If it doesn’t fit properly, it could cause harm if you are attacked. The plate carrier should always be worn sitting against your body so that it can provide the most comfort and protection.
Plate Carrier Sizing
Follow these four important steps to get the plate carrier that fits you best:
- Measure Placement Height. The placement height of your plate is the first thing you should measure to find the right size. This dimension varies from person to person and depends on your torso size. The plate should be positioned such that it fits your clavicular line and is around 1 or 2 inches above your navel.
- Measure your chest. The second thing to measure is the width of your chest. You can do this by ringing your chest at its broadest point with a flexible tape measure. This will help you calculate your plate carrier size.
- Find out your plate carrier size. There are three sizes of plate carriers: small, medium, and large. Before placing an online order for one or visiting a nearby store to get one, it’s crucial to know what size plate carrier you require.
- Try on different plate carriers. After determining the size of the plate carrier you require, try on a variety of styles until you find one that fits comfortably and is in line with your measurements.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR PLATE CARRIERS
Plate Carrier Armor Plate Sizing
Measure the area of your chest that is the largest beneath your arms. Make sure the measuring tape is pleasantly loose and level across the back.
Determining the ideal plate size for your body type is highly important. The top plate edge should sit at the level of the jugular notch (the soft region just above the sternum) while you are standing. To ensure the protection of essential organs and arteries, the bottom of the plate’s edge should extend around 4.5 inches above your service belt.
Now use this plate carrier sizing guide based on the width of your chest to determine which size would fit you best:
- 32-39” Chest: S (8 x 10”)
- 40-47” Chest: L (10 x 12”)
- 48+” Chest: XL (11 x 14”)
How To Wear A Plate Carrier?
Follow the given steps if you are having trouble wearing a plate carrier or putting a plate carrier on.
- f your plate carrier is closed with Velcro, make sure you unfasten all of the Velcro fasteners before using them.
- Put your arm into one of the sleeves.
- Repeat with the opposite arm.
- Find the emergency release buckle and pull it down once.
- The belt will loosen.
- Lift the carrier up.
- Fasten the Velcro.
How To Adjust A Plate Carrier?
When you have to adjust your plate carrier size, focusing on the cummerbund and shoulder straps is the way to go. Place your plate where it should be on your chest. Adjust the shoulder straps while maintaining the plate’s proper position so that they are evenly distributed between the front and rear of the shoulders.
Use your hand to hold one side of the strap and tighten it with the other. Put the cummerbund on your waist. Although it should always feel tight, it shouldn’t be painful. It should feel somewhat loose when you slouch over and collapse your chest and a little tight when you take a deep breath.
You must learn how to wear a plate carrier properly, just like any other tactical gear. If you don’t know how to do it, it could limit your movement, and as a result, your battle preparedness and safety may both suffer.
Make sure you know how to wear a plate carrier if you end up deciding to wear one. And remember, it is equally important to get the plate carrier sizing right. You should always wear a plate carrier that fits you perfectly, large enough to protect what needs to be protected, but not too large that feels loose on you.
All you have to do is follow our instructions so that you can take full advantage of wearing a plate carrier.
Written by John-Caspar
John-Caspar Jaanus is an Estonian military, tactical gear, and survival expert and author. He has an extensive military background and has been involved with the Estonian defense structure for over 10 years. Read bio!