A man doing pull-ups in military style weighted vest in crossfit gym

Choosing the Right Plate Carriers

When it comes to choosing a plate carrier, there's no dearth of options. However, some factors matter more than others in order to get the right fit. Size is the deciding factor when picking the appropriate plate carrier. Choosing the incorrect size will make it difficult to walk about without feeling awkward. It is not the same as choosing clothes on the rack, yet many individuals struggle to acquire the right size of plate carriers

Several different plate carriers are available on the market, and all of them have their advantages. If you are unfamiliar with body armor, choosing the proper one might be challenging because each piece is unique and created for a certain outcome.

Take the Right Measurements

The primary issue many individuals have is measuring accurately or even knowing what to measure. According to experts, this occurs frequently and is a cause for concern, especially for first-timers who need even more protection while out in the open. People buying larger-sized PCs than necessary in the mistaken notion that they'll receive additional covering and protection is a knee-jerk reaction that ultimately backfires.

Sizing up on a PC fit ultimately results in two key problems; The first problem is that you cannot adopt the right shooting position and, as a result, cannot use your weapon as intended. You can see how this may be a problem unless you don't mind missing the targets.

The loss of mobility and the additional weight from the extra plating and material comes in as a close second in terms of problems of using the wrong size plate carriers. Over time, this may considerably impact your use because you are battling with your plates, not simply wearing them.

The truth is, you don't want to be that heavily armed turtle that can only defend itself. Where you want to be is in that protective center ground. Keeping that in mind, the typical rule of thumb for minimal covering is from end to end horizontally and from the jugular notch to the belly vertically.

Your body armor plate should guard against the following: With the least level of protection, you can sit comfortably, draw your weapon correctly, and move around with the least bit of restriction. You may go bigger, but always keep in mind that offensive and defense must be balanced and that everything is a give-and-take situation.

Create cardboard cutouts of various plate sizes, put them on, and discover which fits your body type the best after measuring that section of your body. It takes a bit longer and may seem stupid to go through these extra procedures, but it is imperative to take the time. Once you feel at ease, you may confidently order your appropriate plate and PC.

Plate Carrier vs. Body Armor

It is important to mention a few words about the terminology used in relation to the subject at hand. Although the terms "plate carriers" and "body armor" are frequently used synonymously, they are really different components of a single system.

Body armor is a broad term for strong, ceramic plates worn over the body to shield vital organs from bullets traveling at a rifle's velocity. Soldiers have utilized this kind of armor worldwide for many years, but as it becomes more widely available, it is also being employed increasingly regularly by law enforcement and even criminals and citizens. The system's superstructure, called plate carriers, holds the body armor plates. Carriers are most frequently multi-purpose vests that not only hold the protective plates but also store equipment and weaponry for quick access.

Ceramic vs. Steel Body Armor

Since the plates themselves are what protect your essential organs, they should be the first thing you look at when trying to discover the finest body armor arrangement. Although metal may be used for this purpose, ceramic is a more effective choice, as seen by the history of body armor. Metal armor needs to be very heavy for it to be effective in stopping rifle shots. Spall or fragmentation is another issue with metal armor. Even if a bullet cannot pass through metal armor, the resulting pieces still need to go someplace, and that somewhere may be your jugular. 

Although most steel body armor marketed now has a coating that is intended to stop this. However, it isn't always effective. The best body armor now available is ceramic plates, as shown by the materials that modern forces utilize. Steel armor is still manufactured and marketed on the civilian armor market primarily because it is less expensive.

Difference Ceramic Body Armor

Ceramic body armor varies in quality. The National Institute of Justice rates and certifies body armor in the United States (NIJ). In general, NIJ armor rating levels I through IIIA apply to soft armor intended to withstand pistol shots. In contrast, levels III and IV apply to hard body armor made to withstand threats from rifles. The plates must effectively withstand six rounds of the 7.62x51mm M80 ball or one 30-06 armor-piercing round in order to be certified as level III or level IV armor, respectively.

Some armor makers have concluded that the problem with the NIJ rating system is that these standards were created for larger, slower projectiles that are no longer often utilized. Due to this, several armor manufacturers created what they refer to as "special threat" plates.

This prompted some armor manufacturers to create what they call "special threat" plates, which are evaluated internally rather than being rated by the NIJ against weapons like the 5.56 and the armor-piercing 7.6239. Numerous of these specific danger plates are more affordable, lighter, and smaller than their NIJ-rated equivalents. You must determine whether you trust the manufacturer's tests enough to entrust your life to it.


Movement is the next crucial consideration when picking the best plate carrier. You must consider your mobility before choosing the sort of armor plate you want. You should think about performing fast movements like moving your arms, bending to touch your toes, twisting your torso, and, if necessary, performing a burpee. You should be able to move around freely and unhindered at all times.

What About Side Plates?

Unless you get shot in the side, you won't truly know if you need them. Seriously though, side plates certainly offer lateral protection, but they also significantly increase weight and size. They will hinder you in any situation when you require movement. Also, if you're wearing side plates and other gear, good luck quickly getting out of a prone position.

Thanks to technological advancements, additional protection is now within reach if you know what to look for in a plate carrier. More and more Americans are seeking the best plate carriers as civilian body armor usage increases. Body armor and the plate carriers that contain it comes in a broad range of quality, costs, and designs. The ideal body armor for you can be one of the various options, depending on your spending limit, way of life, and intended purpose. For more information on plate carriers, you can visit Shield Concept.