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10 Best Plate Carriers of 2021 (Reviewed)

10 Best Plate Carriers of 2021 (Reviewed)

Table of Contents

    Plate carriers serve a lot of purposes. Obviously, they’re mostly going to be used to carry a bullet-resistant plate. If you’re out in the field or just preparing for the worst-case scenario, a good plate carrier can be an invaluable addition to your stockpile.

    If you’re on the fence about picking up a plate carrier, consider the benefits of having one around. One of the less obvious uses for a plate carrier is weighing yourself down for bodyweight exercises. If you throw some ceramic plates into your carrier and remove all of your other gear, you can really increase the resistance in your exercises, giving you the gains you need to get yourself some real results really quickly. If you’re not interested in the impact resistance you can get from a good plate carrier, you can also just pick them up for their utility. 

    Lots of good plate carriers have MOLLE systems integrated into them, you can skyrocket the amount of equipment you’re carrying on your person just by adding a simple vest to your wardrobe. That applies to search and rescuers as well. A plate carrier isn’t just about surviving combat, they’re great for the simple utility of handsfree transport. So if you’re looking to survive a doomsday or just trying to ditch the bag when you’re heading out to the range, here are the best plate carriers on Amazon!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Price
    $89.99
    Rating
    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Price
    $89.99
    Rating

    10 Best Plate Carriers - Overview

    Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-10).

    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    Price
    $89.99
    $88.99
    $65.90
    $79.99
    $83.98
    Rating
    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Price
    $89.99
    Rating
    Overview
    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    Title
    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    Price
    $88.99
    Rating
    Overview
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    Title
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    Price
    $65.90
    Rating
    Overview
    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    Title
    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    Price
    $79.99
    Rating
    Overview
    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    Title
    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    Price
    $83.98
    Rating

    1. YAKEDA Quick Release Military Tactical Outdoor Vest

    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    210 Reviews
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    • 【Great Material】 It is constructed with premium 500D nylon material,durable water-resistant, laser-cut MOLLE panels at both the front and back that allow easy attachment of pouches, equipment, and...

    This Yakeda Quick Release vest has all of the hallmarks of a great plate holder. It’s made from 500D nylon, so it’s going to be incredibly durable and water-resistant. If you’re using this to weigh down your workouts and you’re the sweaty type, then the nylon is going to keep your vest from getting soaked and coming apart after a few months, and if you’re taking it outdoors, you’re going to have a much easier time in the rain and mud.

    The vest is adjustable at several points, you’re not going to have to worry too much about this not fitting, the shoulders and waist straps are most likely going to fit around your body. The straps are the home to clips that make it easy to get this on and off. The clips are all large and easy to manipulate with a single hand, and if that’s not enough there’s a paracord system. One tug and you’re out of the vest with no effort at all. 

    PROS

    • The unique quick-release system makes it easy to remove this vest
    • Velcro all around this vest is great for attaching accessories

    CONS

    • Not very much MOLLE webbing on this vest

    2. CAMO Tactical Outdoor Vest

    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    154 Reviews
    CAMO Quick Release Tactical Outdoor Vest (Khaki)
    • 【HIGH QUALITY】 1000D Nylon,The special structure of the fabric gives it excellent wear resistance, unmatched strength, light weight, softness and easy care.

    This vest is great if you’re looking for something to increase your carrying capacity. It’s covered in convenient pouches all the way around. You can fit at least almost a dozen extra magazines with you without hampering your mobility. If that’s not your thing, the amount of outdoor gear you can pack in here is astounding. It also very comfortably fits some pretty sizable plates. 

    If you want to use it for exercise, it’ll fit over even the broadest of chests, so you have a long way to go before you need to worry about growing out of this vest. The paracord adjustments on the side make your horizontal space easy to navigate, and getting a comfortable fit is possible for almost anybody sliding into this vest. The construction of this plate holder is tight and impressive. It’s a sturdy piece of equipment, you’re not going to be wearing this out any time soon, and it’s strong enough to hold some of the heaviest plates out there. 

    PROS

    • Great production quality
    • Holds a vast amount of equipment before factoring in the velcro and the MOLLE straps

    CONS

    • Some larger plates aren’t going to fit into this vest 

    3. GFIRE Tactical Vest

    Sale
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    2,446 Reviews
    GFIRE Tactical Vest Modular Vest Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable Lightweight (Green1)
    • Tactical vest with Emergency drag handle; Removable anti-slip padded shoulder pads with hook and loop guides.

    Not every plate holder is designed to accommodate side plates. This tactical vest from GFire has pockets on the inside if you want to slide in some optional side plates. This vest is made from durable and water-resistant 1000D high-strength polyester. This makes it easy to clean if you’ve had a particularly rough jaunt outdoors, and it’s going to last you a very long time. This vest is tough and ready to hold whatever you want to throw at it.

    Every single angle of this vest is covered in a robust MOLLE system. If you own it and you can strap it down then you can attach it to this vest. You’ll never find yourself unprepared for anything ever again. Your chest, your back, your sides, and your shoulders all become a potential surface to carry your valuable life-saving equipment. 

    PROS

    • The padded mesh interior of this vest makes it surprisingly comfortable
    • The adjustable cummerbund pockets increase the already ridiculous carrying capacity of this vest

    CONS

    • The clips can become a point of failure if you overload this vest

    4. VISMIX Tactical Vest

    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    112 Reviews
    VISMIX Tactical Vest Adjustable Molle Military Vest for Men
    • [Molle System Compatible] Attaching more pouches or other articles on front or back Molle strap, Carrying up to three M4 magazines in front magazine pouch.

    This vest is less cumbersome than a lot of other plate carriers. If you’re looking for one to run in, then this might fit your needs neatly. You can fit some pretty sizable plates into this vest, which is going to make your runs that much more difficult. It’s great for folks looking to get the most out of their cardio. It’s not too heavy on its own, and it doesn’t become too uncomfortable over the course of your run. 

    From a more tactical perspective, this vest is great for customization. You’re going to have a lot of space to work with. It’s not a very crowded vest out of the box. If you have a lot of equipment that you like to bring along with you, then you’re going to have ample space to strap it down without limiting your mobility. 

    PROS

    • Fits some pretty large plates. This vest will take some AR500 steel plates without complaint 
    • Great for runners looking for a plate carrier that won’t limit their mobility
    • Works well for airsoft competitors

    CONS

    • Its simplicity creates a “blank page” problem when you’re equipping yourself for an outing

    5. OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest

    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    110 Reviews
    OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest (Black)
    • Tactical Vest for Men: Solid 500D nylon construction that's lightweight and dirt/water/abrasion resistant

    Plate carriers have the tendancy to get a little bulky. They’re designed with rugged outings in mind, so they’re not worried about fashion, it’s all functionality here. If you’re looking for something slimmer that doesn’t get in the way of your workouts or you’re more interested in carrying things without looking like you’ve geared up for a firefight, this low profile vest might be exactly what you need.

    This vest from OneTigris is excellent for folks that know exactly how much they’re trying to bring along with them. Sometimes having the option to pocket and bind everything and the kitchen sink to your torso encourages you to go a little over the top with your loadout. This vest is comfortable and minimalistic without shunning the most important aspects of a useful plate carrier.

    PROS

    • Comfortable water-resistant and abrasion-resistant nylon
    • Light and streamlined without sacrificing storage space
    • Incredibly breathable

    CONS

    • Lacks the carrying capacity of larger and more bulky vests

    6. YAKEDA Tactical CS Adjustable Vest

    vAv YAKEDA Tactical CS Adjustable Vest (CP Camouflage)
    594 Reviews
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical CS Adjustable Vest (CP Camouflage)
    • 【ADJUSTABLE SIZE】It is a fully adjustable system for adults, S-XXL: the maximum waist is 55 inches .

    A lot of vests run small. They’re already pretty bulky without having to accommodate a set of particularly bros shoulders or a pair of massive pecs. If you’re having trouble fitting into the plate carriers you’ve tried on in the past then this adjustable vest from Yakeda might be a better fit for you. The vest itself is pretty slim. You’ll have more room to slip your body into this vest, and the mesh cushion on the inside is pretty comfortable. Once you’re under the plate carrier, you can totally adjust this vest.

    It fits small frames pretty well if you bring the straps all the way down, and if you’re a bit bigger, this vest can accommodate a maximum waist size of about 55 inches. If you’re tired of trying vests and sending them back because they’re trying to crush you, then give this fully adjustable vest a spin.

    PROS

    • Extremely comfortable mesh insides
    • Incredibly adjustable. It accommodates all sorts of body shapes and sizes

    CONS

    • The adjustable nature of this vest ends up sacrificing some of the storage space you’d normally find on the sides of a plate carrier

    7. OneTigris Griffin AFPC Modular Vest

    Sale
    OneTigris Griffin AFPC Modular Vest (Multicam)
    186 Reviews
    OneTigris Griffin AFPC Modular Vest (Multicam)
    • OneTigris GRIFFIN AFPC Airsoft Vest: 500D Cordura Nylon(USA Material) construction offering dirt/water/abrasion resistance

    This is another quick-release plate carrier. This vest is easy to get on, and once you’re done with it a single tug can get it off of your chest. Being able to slip in and out of a plate carrier is one of the most important options to look for. When you’re able to suit up and get out there quickly, you’re able to take full advantage of the protection and utility of your plate carrier. This vest also comes equipped with hook and loop utility pockets on the sides for concealed carriers. If you like to keep your vest stocked without unloading it every time you need to put it away, there’s a handle on the upper backside.

    You can just whip it off with the quick release system and store it back in your gun safe. This vest is also incredibly modular. You can attach nearly anything to the MOLLE system located on the front, back, and sides, and if you’ve got your own custom chest rigs, you can unclip the front MOLLE flap pretty easily and slot your own in.

    PROS

    • Easy to get into and out of
    • Great for customization
    • Easy to transport and store with the top handle on the backside

    CONS

    • It’s a little short, so it might not reach all the way down your torso

    8. OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest

    Sale
    OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest (Brown)
    583 Reviews
    OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest (Brown)
    • OneTigris Airsoft Vest for Men: 500D Nylon construction for versatility and durability

    This plate carrier is built with transport in mind. You can slip plates into this vest pretty easily, and there’s MOLLE pretty much everywhere you look. The front, back, and sides are essentially total MOLLE surfaces. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to customize and great for storage, then you’re going to love wearing this vest. You’ll pretty much never get caught out in the cold without any of your key equipment.

    The pockets built into the vest are deep and wide, and they’ll provide you with more than enough room to pack in several backup magazines before you even start strapping anything onto your MOLLE.  This plate carrier is full of utility before you strap anything down or add any plates to it, and once you do it becomes a one-stop-shop for everything you’ve ever wanted to carry when you leave the house for an extended period of time.

    PROS

    • The MOLLE here is plentiful and accessible
    • The built-in pockets are great for magazine storage

    CONS

    • Beyond the front pocket, this doesn’t come with much storage out of the box

    9. OneTigris Tactical Larser-Cut Vest

    This vest ditches a little bit of utility and replaces it with flexibility. There’s functionality in mobility. If you’re already being weighed down by your plate carrier and all of your equipment, it pays to give yourself a little bit of extra room to move around. Even medieval suits of armor left your key joints open to provide mobility to the knights of their day. Your plate carrier can protect you and carry all of your equipment while freeing up your sides so you can move around and bend over easily.

    This plate carrier doesn’t totally ditch functionality either, it just looks for clever solutions to cut down on material and weight. Your MOLLE straps are still there and you also have slots cut into the sturdy nylon that you can use for the same thing without creating the extra bulk of additional webbing.

    PROS

    • Great for someone looking for a light vest that won’t cut down on their mobility
    • Very comfortable for a plate carrier

    CONS

    • If you’re used to arming yourself to the teeth, you might feel underdressed in this vest

    10. YAKEDA Tactical Vest Military Chest Rig

    vAv YAKEDA Tactical CS Adjustable Vest (Black)
    242 Reviews
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical CS Adjustable Vest (Black)
    • YAKEDA KF-099 Chest vest is a versatile and multi-use platform. This system allows you to adjust the height to where you require the much needed.- 1000D nylon fabric excellent wear resistance,...

    This is the most minimalist plate carrier on the list. The minimalism doesn’t make it any less capable of carrying a solid 10 x 12 ceramic or steel plate, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re going to be giving up much of your carrying capacity. 

    This plate carrier is pretty much like a heavy-duty harness. You’re going to be slinging the straps over your shoulders and most of the carrying capacity lies on the front of the rig because they save on weight by leaving an open backside. Instead of giving you a rigid back to strap on dozens of pieces of equipment that you’re going to have a tough time reaching, they acknowledge that you’re most likely going to be pulling from the front or sides and concentrate all the utility there. 

    You can side your plates into this rig pretty easily, and if you’re looking for a lightweight and flexible alternative to the more rigid or tight-fitting vests out there, then this one is a great find. You’re going to be able to greatly increase your mobility by using this rig rather than a more rigid and cumbersome plate carrier. You can also double up. If you already own a plate carrier or a bullet-proof vest that doesn’t quite have the carrying capacity you were hoping for, then 

    PROS

    • Much lighter than a lot of other plate carriers
    • Great for augmenting a sturdier plate carrier or a bulletproof vest
    • The mesh on the rig is great for airflow, and the more open design makes this, overall, a much more breathable and wearable package

    CONS

    • Because this isn’t a full vest style plate carrier you’re going to be missing out on some crucial storage space along your backside

    Our Winner

    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Price
    $89.99
    Rating
    Overview
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Title
    vAv YAKEDA Tactical Military Vest for Men Quick Release Outdoor Airsoft Vest Adjustable for Adults
    Price
    $89.99
    Rating

    This plate carrier is an excellent choice for anybody looking to pick up a tactical vest. You’re going to be able to fit it with some pretty sizable plates, giving you an excellent degree of protection when you need it. 

    This plate carrier is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for something to weigh down your exercise. The nylon is durable and water-resistant making it a great choice if you’re looking for something that will hold up to your sweat and the kind of repetitive motions you’re going to be making while you’re working out. That also means that for folks making their way outdoors, this vest is going to keep pace with you. Whether it’s hiking, patrols, or hitting the backcountry shooting ranges, the 500D nylon is going to hold it together through thick and thin, keeping you well-equipped for whatever you might come across during your travels.

    The vest is highly adjustable and long-lasting. If you’re just looking for something to keep in storage until you and yours absolutely need it, this vest will be waiting for you. It can adjust well to the needs of whoever comes along and needs it at the time, and it’s easy to slide into and simple to unequip, so you’re not going to ever be entirely over-encumbered by this vest.

    Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for professional help with kitting out and properly equipping your plate carrier, then this video is stuffed as full as our vests with knowledge and experience.

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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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