Army soldier in combat uniform with plate carrier and combat helmet.

Top 3 Things to Know About Plate Carriers

Finding the right plate carrier is crucial to ensure your protection. Whether you venture into the wild or guard against a potential home invasion, a plate carrier loaded with an armor plate is your first line of defense against a bullet. Plate carriers come in various types and sizes, which can make finding the right one a tough nut to crack for first-timers.

The best plate carrier to invest in is one that fits well and can be worn for prolonged periods of time without any discomfort. Here we're going to break down the process of choosing the right plate carrier and the main factors to consider before making the purchase.

Choosing the Right Type

Plate carriers have been around for a while now. Once restricted to the armed forces and law enforcement, nowadays, place carriers can be purchased by ordinary civilians who plan on keeping themselves protected while outdoors or as a safety measure at home.

While plate carriers follow a similar concept, the design depends on the brand of the plate carrier. For instance, if you are new to plate carriers, you are going to find many options from various big-name brands, such as Shield Concept.

Shield Concept offers their customers top-shelf tactical plate carriers capable of holding composite, steel, and ceramic armor plates to protect the body. We provide plate carriers to let people complete their tasks with ease.

These plate carriers are available in a variety of sizes and with a variety of functions. You may select from the several designs available in our online shop based on your scenario, setting, or operation. You can easily find the one you are looking for, from fully manufactured tactical gear for comfort in high-stress circumstances to lightweight body armor for plain clothes. The modern range of plate carriers is adaptable, practical, and lightweight.

Furthermore, the plate carriers that are being designed by reputable manufacturers have been tested by professionals to ensure their comfort and safety on the field or in any setting. This ensures that you are able to get the best level of quality when you purchase a plate carrier from Shield Concept.

Module vs. Scalable

Plate carriers can be broken down into two basic types – modular and scalable. Many of the modern plate carriers you will come across feature MOLLE straps and other added pouches, making it easier for you to carry additional equipment and gadgets apart from your firearm and bullets.

One of the most recommended accessories of tactical gear, such as plate carriers, is the MFAK/IFAK. This is basically going to be your first aid kid (both medical and individual). Other accessories that you can include in the modular tactical belt include additional holsters for your magazines and any specific equipment you might need depending on your situation.

Regardless of the type of plate carrier you go with or the amount of accessories you add to the modular design, you must always make sure to keep what's needed within arm's reach. As in, all ammunition pouches should be placed where they can be easily and quickly reached in case of an emergency where you will need to reload quickly.

Other important equipment that you might want to keep in pouches that are closer include pouches for the radio, spare batteries, a medical kit, and a pen or compass. When choosing the amount of tactical pouches to add to your plate carrier, it is important to take a minimalist approach so that you are not bogged down by carrying too much equipment or stuff you do not need.

During your search for a plate carrier, you will also find that there are different kinds of plate carriers that have been designed for specific threat levels. The standards that have been set for protection against various threat levels are scrutinized by the National Institute of Justice.

The great thing about using a plate carrier is that they are extremely easy to scale up. This means if you have just started out with your first plate carrier, you can go with the NIJ Level IIIA, which falls lower in the threat index offered by the NIJ. Then, you can scale up from there to a higher level or a Level IV to get more protection from your plate carrier.

It is important to consider the reason why you are getting a plate carrier in the first place before choosing one from these various threat levels. If all this seems too confusing, there are guides that can help you make the right choice. You can also find many other resources on Shield Concept that can help you make a more informed decision when choosing between the threat levels of plate carriers and which one will suit your specific needs.

Getting the Size Right

The plate's positioning is a major factor to consider when choosing your first plate carrier. The measurement depends on your torso, which varies from person to person. It is important to remember that the plate should be fitted to the center of the clavicular line, just 1-2 inches above the navel. To get a perfect fit, the back armor plate needs to be placed lower than the vertebra prominent.

The most popular armor plate size is 10" x 12" since it suits the majority of armor plates and is also called a medium-sized plate. However, if it does not suit you, you must obtain certain body measures to ensure a proper fit.

It goes without saying that wearing a large plate hinder is only going to hinder movement and will also have a negative impact on the fluidity with which one can access their weapon. The good news is there are many online charts and plate carrier size guides that can help you get it right the first time. 

If you are in the market for a plate carrier but are having a hard time choosing one, you're not alone. Many people around the world find it difficult to make the right choice when getting a plate carrier. However, failing to get the right size or fit can end up getting you one that's not only uncomfortable but is not able to provide you with the level of protection you require.

Furthermore, getting a plate carrier that is not the right size will also hinder your mobility, slowing you down on the field or while wearing it indoors. This is why it is crucial for you to take the right measurements before getting a plate carrier.

Shield Concept is the go-to destination for top-shelf plate carriers and other tactical equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. The platform has a good selection of tactical gear that you can choose from, along with useful guides and information that will help you make a more informed decision.