Once I’d moved out of the army, continuing my military training meant I had to buy my own gear. Knowing well that the equipment used in the army would not be available in the open market, I decided to search for the closest possible alternative. After some amount of searching I decided to try out the popular brand Modern Warrior. Additional research brought me to the best plate carrier candidate I am currently discussing, and my curiosity regarding its features led me to take the risk of purchasing it without prior trial.
A considerable amount of time has passed since then, and I am happy to say that my intuition allowed me to purchase a product that has provided me with stellar service. Not only are there enough types of pockets, the durability and comfort factors have been considered carefully as well. That said, not every aspect of the unit is equally likeable, and I’ve studied both positives and negatives in a detailed review below –
Sufficient Number of Pockets for Different Types of Ammunition
Unlike a majority of other manufacturers, Modern Warrior understands that it is not enough to provide a large number of pockets, but pockets that cater to different types of ammunition. Hence, this unit comes with pockets specifically designed to accommodate M4 mags, pistol mags and even shotgun shells. Further, with some dexterity, one type of ammo can be used with another type of pocket, thus improving the applicability of the pockets beyond the ammunition class for which they are meant.
Adjustable torso with Straps Around Sides
The product caters to users with chest sizes ranging between 42”-50”. Further, torso sizes varying between S and XL are supported, thus making it ideal for both medium-chested people like me or large-bodied soldiers. Further, there are straps running around the sides of the product for tightening the product around the waist and achieving a more comfortable fit. Together, these make the unit one of the best plate carriers in terms of amount of adjustability offered.
Zippers and Mesh for combination of Longevity and Utility
Unlike other products that come with complex drawstring enclosures, this product comes with simple zipper mechanisms that are easy to operate and are extremely rugged. This is important since in my experience the zippers are used extremely regularly and a slight malfunction can lock out large amounts of supplies when you need the most.
Further, pockets and side-sections make use of high-quality mesh that is capable of drying quickly after becoming wet. More dangerous than water are the numerous protrusions that can snitch the mesh and cause tears. Thankfully, the mesh used in this product is capable of avoiding such tears and thus manages to provide excellent support to the other parts of the unit as well as comfort to the user.
Padding on right Shoulder for recoil
While small arms do not require padding for recoil, the best plate carrier contenders have to assume that the user will use heavy weaponry with considerable recoil. To protect the shoulder from damage and fatigue, the right shoulder of the unit has been provided with comfortable padding spread over a sufficiently large area.
A few points of bother
While the presence of padding on the right shoulder is surely good for those firing using the right hand, it is useless for those who are left handed. This problem does not mean that those using the unit and firing from the left hand will be at a serious disadvantage, but it does imply that the comfort quotient will fall several notches.
Further, the unit has poor support for maps, torchlights and other accessories. While they are nowhere near as necessary as the ammunition magazines, their presence would have helped the unit become a more well-rounded offering.
While it is hard to ignore the fact that left-handed users and those in need of nocturnal missions involving torchlights would find the unit somewhat difficult to operate, it is true that this is one of the best plate carriers when it comes to the ability to hold ammunition of a wide range of weapons, and to provide them to the user without involving complex mechanisms. Coupled with the use of durable materials and the availability of sufficient padding on the right shoulder, these features make the product ideal for folks who are interested in survival or military training or would otherwise like to replicate the military model to the greatest possible extent.