What Makes the Best Tactical Plate Carrier?
While there are multiple models of plate carriers, they all follow a similar idea. The best tactical plate carrier will always be comfortable, balanced, and allow you to carry any equipment that you need.
But, it will never be a single carrier for any situation. Lighter and leaner PCs improve mobility and can be used to trim down any excess weight. On the other hand, larger models will usually have more options for additional armor and gear.
There are four aspects when it comes to picking a PC for a mission:
- Model capacity
- Weight without hard plate
- Balance with hard plates
- Utility and modular features
For modern plate carriers, the first aspect will usually be the same. Hard plated are made in a similar shape and standard sizes, and any good PC should be able to allow for any type of hard plate.
For the last three is where the differentiation comes into play between okay models and the best tactical plate carriers that you can find on the market today.
The difference between the lightest of PCs and the most robust ones might not seem great, only being a couple of pounds. But, this difference can mean a lot over time and especially if other gear is involved.
Even a pound less means that fatigue will hit later and that the weight of the armor can be exchanged for something more useful, like water or ammo.
If mobility is of the essence, there is a fragile threshold over which the combatant should be equipped. But, if more gear is needed than tactics should be changed to allow soldiers to move slower, but with more robust gear.
Theoretically, even an average American male should be able to adequately carry over 200 lbs for a short period. This number should be greater for someone who is trained. The carrying capacity of a human is seldom a question of strength because you carry yourself around every day.
Rather, it is a question of balance. If the weight is spread equally around your center of balance, it will impede you way less than if it is pulling you to a single side.
This is why the best tactical plate carrier will always tend to balance weight on your legs and keep your center of mass low. It should also allow you to balance your gear as best as you can so as to stay mobile even when encumbered.
Finally, there is more to a plate carrier than just the armor underneath it. While smaller models try to trim down everything, items like the RPC™ Robust Plate Carrier from UARM are made for maximum utility.
The MOLLE webbing and additional straps allow for soldiers to attach additional armor and gear, adding to their combat effectiveness and survivability.
The overall goal is to carry any gear and ammo you might need for the mission while staying as light and balanced as possible. If you can optimize your equipment, you will have the best chances in the field.