Low-Profile vs Fully Outfitted Kit

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  • This topic has 20 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Anonymous. This post has been viewed 941 times
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    • #139445
      comradecoolio
      Participant

        Looking at a variety of forums where civilians post glamour shots of their plate carriers, it seems like the majority of people stay away from minimalist PCs like the Ferro Slickster or Spiritus LV119 and instead opt for bulkier carriers that offer more protection and load carriage.
        Thinking about what the average civilian is likely to encounter in any situation that would require them to strap on a set of plates, I am wondering which end of the spectrum is better for us to adopt. It seems to me that low profile gear that could be worn under a jacket or hoodie would allow for a greater possibility of more discrete, urban usage than something like a CRYE AVS would allow. Looking at Max, it’s clear that he opts for the more overt approach with the First Spear AAC and I was wondering if he had a reason for this.
        Personally, I am caught between going minimalist with a Spiritus LV119 or loud with a First Spear Strandhogg. I want to know what people think makes the most in a civilian context, including some sort of “Boogaloo” situation. Any thoughts?

      • #139447
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          …instead opt for bulkier carriers that offer more protection and load carriage.

          Unless you are talking PC’s with side plates, they don’t offer more protection, just more gear and bulk.

          Ultimately your choice should be based on your mission and personal preference.

          More armor equals less mobility is another consideration.

          I am happy with a minimalist carrier for anything from a bump in the night to a encore performance in Afghanistan. ;-)

          My current choice is Blue Force Gear PLATEminus.

          I considered the Ferro Slickster, but prefer the ventilation of PLATEminus here in Florida.

        • #139477
          Max
          Keymaster

            Must be new around here, so welcome. In this blog post you will see photos of the two PCs I currently have on the go:

            A Review of the Excellent ShotStop ‘Green Tip’ (GT) Plates

            It depends entirely on the environment. At the Richmond Rally, I wore the low profile carrier under my coat. I was not carrying a rifle. I was aided in concealment by winter, summer would not be so easy.

            If you are conducting tactical operations carrying a rifle, you need your gear and being low profile is not such a consideration. Thus I wear overt gear.

            So, on the one hand it is about the tactical situation. On the other, it is important to be realistic in any situation where you want to wear plates. You are not James Bond.

            For the next July 4th rally, you can guarantee I will be going with AR, battle belt and AAC PC. The only question is how civilian or military my other clothing is, helmet or ball cap, in order to break up or not break up the impression.

            When wearing belt and PC, the only real question is how much goes on the belt vs how much goes on the PC. Other than my videos on the classic Brit belt kit, I am at a comfortable solution with how I have the fight lite concept split between belt and PC. Allows me in and out of vehicles etc with less on the belt. Read up on the MVT fight lite concept.

            For example, whem travelling low profile as contractors in Iraq, we would wear full PC because the tactical situation demanded it. For low profile we would wear an outsized shirt over the kit. This only passed muster at distance. Again, we were not James Bond.

            • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Max.
          • #139490
            comradecoolio
            Participant

              Thanks for the response, Max. I somehow failed to consider that carrying a rifle already makes me overt thus defeating any purpose to try and conceal armor. Additionally, in my mind, I’ll only be publicly carrying a rifle if I am expecting the possibility of rounds being exchanged, I want to demonstrate how my buddies and I are prepared if tyrannical forces go to far, or if I’m training. In those cases, I suppose it doesn’t really make a difference.
              To add to that, I know the plate carriers themselves dont really add any protection. I neglected to clarify and make it clear that I was more referencing the ability add soft armor and plates to my sides which is something that more overt plate carriers seem to perform better in rather than more “modular” systems like the LV119. With all of that, I suppose it might make more sense, if I can only afford one plate carrier, to go loud with a Strandhogg.

            • #139491
              Lloyd
              Participant

                My little 2-bits: If I could only have one, I would definitely choose a slick plate carrier that could be more or less concealed under a sweatshirt or light jacket. If I need mag pouches etc, I can wear a chest rig over the PC.

                I can envision a whole bunch of scenarios where I’d feel better wearing plates, but would not want to be all jocked up like I was looking for a fight.

                MVT Texas 2015-2020
                Team Cowbell / Team Coyote / Team Rekkr

              • #139502
                hellokitty
                Participant

                  IMO
                  Another question to ask yourself every time you consider gear- Can you hump the weight? Combining soft armor and plates sound like a great idea for protection. But it weighs a LOT. And it is very hot. Can you hump all this protection and carry 6-8 mags, water, IFAK. Do you need extra equipment or some food? Now you got a small pack.

                  Its all academic until you actually train hard with this gear. And thats when you start stripping non essentials and balancing needs versus wants.

                  HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                  HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                  FOF X3
                  OPFOR X2
                  CLC X2
                  RIFLEMAN

                • #139505
                  Short Stroke
                  Participant

                    I have a low profile plate carrier that I can wear a chest rig over, as Lloyd suggested. As long as you tighten the straps, it’s all snug.

                  • #139506
                    comradecoolio
                    Participant

                      Thinking more on this subject, and in keeping with Max’s fight lite concept, I am leaning more towards something that straddles between the two side of the spectrum, maybe more towards slick. While I may not try to conceal armor, the light weight and lower profile would undoubtedly make it easier to carry. Plus, looking at the offerings in the low-profile category, there appears to be a great degree of modularity. Even if bad things happen, I’m not very likely to be in an environment where I will have to worry about large amounts of shrapnel coming at me from the side, thus reducing the need for side (though not eliminating it). I am definitely leaning more towards something like the Ferro Slickster or Spiritus LV119 so I can just scale it down. Thanks all for the input.

                      • #139508
                        Max
                        Keymaster

                          The question needs to ne asked: how much training, or wearing, of this kit have you done?

                          • #139511
                            comradecoolio
                            Participant

                              None yet. Just getting my first bit of kit together so I’m trying to piggyback off the experiences and perspectives of others. I know there will be some iterations of kit and I’ll eventually find something that works, but I’d prefer to reduce the amount of time and money that goes towards things I end up ditching.

                        • #139519
                          hellokitty
                          Participant

                            The one negative I have on going slick and throwing a chest rig over it or attaching to it. Its added weight. The materials add weight. You will add 2 extra pounds of material doing this. That is an extra mag.

                            Why not just get a lightweight PC like a Crye JPC and be done with it? Its lighter. Once you start training and humping this shit. 2 pounds makes a difference.

                            There are situations where you want to wear a lo pro PC and a rifle in a backpack. That is a completely separate gear set up.

                            IMO modularity is french for “HEAVY AS FUCK”.

                            HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                            HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                            FOF X3
                            OPFOR X2
                            CLC X2
                            RIFLEMAN

                          • #139520
                            hellokitty
                            Participant

                              Crye JPC
                              Stopshot GT plates
                              6mags
                              Radio
                              IFAK
                              Knife
                              Small possibles pouch
                              20lbs

                              Attachments:
                              You must be logged in to view attached files.

                              HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                              HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                              FOF X3
                              OPFOR X2
                              CLC X2
                              RIFLEMAN

                            • #139529
                              Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                              Moderator

                                The materials add weight. You will add 2 extra pounds of material doing this. That is an extra mag.

                                This is a excellent point!

                                However it also depends on the gear itself.

                                For example…

                                The combined weight of my BELTminus (belt/suspenders), Micro RACKminus (minimalist chestrig), RACKminus (chest rig), PLATEminus, and the various Helium Whisper Pouches attached to them is only 2 lbs 4 oz!

                                This is just the web gear, no contents.

                                By switching to gear manufactured out of BFG’s ULTRAcomp; vice Cordura, I have saved pounds off my carry load and it doesn’t absorb water like Cordura when wet.

                                Remember too I’ll never wear two chest rigs regardless of my quest for modularity. ;-)

                                IMO modularity is french for “HEAVY AS FUCK”.

                                Don’t underestimate what Hellokitty is saying!

                                This again is a valid point, but there are exceptions.

                              • #139566
                                JustARandomGuy
                                Participant

                                  The one negative I have on going slick and throwing a chest rig over it or attaching to it. Its added weight. The materials add weight. You will add 2 extra pounds of material doing this. That is an extra mag.

                                  Why not just get a lightweight PC like a Crye JPC and be done with it? Its lighter. Once you start training and humping this shit. 2 pounds makes a difference.

                                  There are situations where you want to wear a lo pro PC and a rifle in a backpack. That is a completely separate gear set up.

                                  IMO modularity is french for “HEAVY AS FUCK”.

                                  There’s a LOT of truth to all that.

                                  As an aside, if 5.56, 2 lbs is actually 2 rifle mags, or 4 G17 9mm pistol mags, or an IFAK, or a large radio…
                                  For the OP, get the idea? If the end user is already running plates in the 4- 5.5 lb range, that +2 pounds can be better spent as either “free” weight or for something useful.

                                  The other thing that is forgotten when using a “throwover” idea is profile – the actual thickness of the material all stacked on top of each other, or over your cover/insulating garments.

                                  That being said, if throw-over is the only/best option for the user (and in some cases it likely is/will be), than it is what it is. Just try and get the lowest-profile of all worlds and roll with the downsides.
                                  I’ve found that it may help to scale down your chest rig when doing this (a good case for an all-molle rig, or something like the Crye Airlite/other lasercut options, or maybe a micro-rig), but then again, I am a skinny guy and very “profile conscious”. When stuff starts getting “fat” I can *really* tell. haha

                                  As far as profile and scalability, the thing a lot of people miss is, especially with SOME modern carriers, there’s almost zero difference between a carrier with MOLLE webbing and a “low profile” carrier.

                                  If you’ve got an “extra features” carrier like a FS AAC/Hogg, MMAC/6094 or AVS/CPC and others with a lot of extra padding and side cumberbund pockets and buckles, etc etc, then you’ll of course see an increase in profile.
                                  But a basic cordura plate bag is a cordura plate bag, and a cumberbund is a cumberbund, the difference being about an accumulated (front and back) 1/16 of an inch in webbing. Or none if it’s lasercut. So *some* “full featured” carriers can also pull double duty.

                                  SO…I guess my point is, for ComradeCoolio, you’re doing what I did, chasing the holy grail of a carrier that is both low profile enough to conceal/throw-over and full featured enough to scale up.
                                  In the service of short-circuiting your search, I will say that after owning 15+ plate carriers of all types over the last several years (no, I’m not exaggerating) the best/closest you’re going to get on the current retail market is a LV119 w/ Molle C-bund, or a BCS Aptum (if you’re ok with a month-long wait).

                                  Alternatively, a basic JPC, Direct Action Spitfire, or Raptor Tactical Ghost (if you cut the drag handle off) could probably be pressed into service as well in a dual role, along with a few others.
                                  The overall profile of a FS STT is potentially workable, depending on how much the buckles print for you.

                                  I’m honestly ‘meh’ on the Slickster, since for $20-something more you can have a better carrier (BCS) or for $40-ish less practically the same thing from Warrior Assault Systems (the tan slick carrier in that blog link Max posted). There are a couple of other things with the Slickster I question from a long term use perspective as well, but I won’t drag this out further…

                                  • #139589
                                    Max
                                    Keymaster

                                      the tan slick carrier in that blog link Max posted).

                                      It’a a Chase Tactical LVPC – low visibility plate carrier. Ideal for purpose. It has 2 x 556 elastic mag pouches on each side in the cummerbund. So would work under an open shirt not for full concealability, but for a lower profile.

                                      The FS AAC has no padding. There is nothing huge about it. The tubes are perfect.

                                  • #139597
                                    Short Stroke
                                    Participant

                                      I have the Chase Tactical LVPC as well. Someday I’ll buy a PC that does it all, but I’m glad that for now I am covered in both a low profile scenario, and in a full kit scenario. My chest rig is the MVT one, so it’s pretty slick and light over the PC. I’ll accept any extra weight resulting from this setup and put my money toward training instead of extra PCs. If someone knows how to attach the MVT chest rig to the Chase PC, let me know.

                                    • #139598
                                      DiznNC
                                      Participant

                                        I would only add to what has been said, when thinking about what level of visibility is required, also consider threat level as well. For us, I would say pistol threats are still the primary right now, although for a “boogaloo” that could change rapidly. So I would consider soft (pistol rated) armor that is much more concealable for low profile, and/or every day carry, with a rifle rated PC (and rifle) at the ready for any escalation.

                                        So to Max’s point, the sit is gonna drive the gear choice; if you need a rifle, then hiding a PC is probably a moot point.

                                        The only scenario where I see what you may be thinking about is when you are moving through a known high-threat environment, on foot, where the chance of contact is high. You are solo and trying to avoid contact. In this case, a rifle caliber PDW might be slung under arm, with a low pro PC and bulky jacket. But this is a very specialized case, which might be possible in the future, but not very likely in the present.

                                        Coverage vs mobility. This had been covered, ad nauseum, but, you have to determine what threat level you need, AND you have to be able to fight in it. ‘Nother subject, but since Hello Kitty hit it, goes hand in hand. To the above para, if you make contact, you better be moving fast.

                                        I like the JPC with the Green Tip plates from Max.

                                      • #139602
                                        Short Stroke
                                        Participant

                                          I’ll also add that I’m in a more urban environment than most, where I see plenty of scenarios for using the low-profile PC.

                                        • #139618
                                          DiznNC
                                          Participant

                                            I can make that happen. Message my ass.

                                          • #139653
                                            JustARandomGuy
                                            Participant

                                              It’a a Chase Tactical LVPC – low visibility plate carrier. Ideal for purpose. It has 2 x 556 elastic mag pouches on each side in the cummerbund.

                                              Ah, my bad. Has the same features/design as the WAS carrier, so I figured… :unsure:

                                            • #139683
                                              Anonymous
                                              Inactive

                                                Just my 2 cents, I got the PlateMINUS carrier on Joe’s advice, even with heavy steel plates I was able to conceal it pretty darn well under my Columbia jacket at the Richmond Lobby Day rally.

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