While most combat veterans would expect to find themselves in situations where they are required to confront the enemy in open combat, some special forces require extensive use of stealth. The best plate carrier for such special forces would ideally be one that can store a lot of ammunition without being bulky and thus easily detectable. Having worked in one such branch of the territorial army, I sought to continue my training once I had received an honourable discharge and needed a carrier that would serve this purpose.
After thorough research, I came across a reputed brand – Ultimate Warrior – that made just such a carrier. Having little by way of alternatives, I chose this unit and am relieved to say that even after participating in bi-annual military exercises on a regular basis, the suit has maintained its integrity and utility after 4 years. However, I realize that not everyone seeks specialization of the type I desired, and there may be flaws where I saw benefits. I shall discuss these points in detail below –
Military grade Nylon Construction with Mesh Lining
Meant for veterans and those serving in the reserve, this unit provides military grade nylon construction that is capable of withstanding the wear and tear of regular combat and training. In addition, the nylon is built to withstand the vagaries of weather.
This nylon is well-complemented by the availability of a thin mesh lining that forms durable pockets at appropriate places. Not only does such lining allow the user to enjoy superior fabric breathability, it also allows him to carry a number of additional equipment separately that he would otherwise have to put in a miscellaneous dump pouch.
Seven Pouches for Carrying Various Types of Ammunition and Equipment
While most of the best plate carrier contenders have only 3-4 pouches, this Ultimate Arms unit comes with seven pouches. Interestingly, these pouches have not been assigned hard and fast ammunition designations, and can be customized to fit small arms ammunition, M4 mags or even maps and miscellaneous equipment without there being the need for use of accessories.
However, since those engaging in stealth operations need to make extensive use of flashlights, communication devices and maps, one of the pouches has been provided with a Velcro closure to allow it to store these vital and irreplaceable products. This pocket also has a small Velcro patch at the front for attaching one’s unit code or as is more common among those engaged in military exercises, the country’s flag.
Number of Web MOLLE Straps at the front and back
Enhancing the customizability quotient further, this best plate carrier contender comes with 15 web MOLLE straps, 7 at the front and 8 at the back. Being made to military standards like the rest of the parts, these straps allow for inclusion of additional accessories where and when required.
Fully Customizable with Adjustable shoulder and waist supports
The unit comes with buckles and straps that allow users to adjust the unit according to their height and girth, thus allowing the unit to service all folks who have a body size of (or between) small and xtra-large.
Further, there are shoulder and waist supports for all sizes as well, these being as adjustable as the height and girth measurements courtesy of some simple strap-management systems.
Some possible negative points
While the large number of pockets would be appreciated by any combat specialist, the fact that all of the pouches are located at the front may be inconvenient for someone who has to engage in close range combat, as it would prevent him from lying prone on the ground without feeling all the magazines and equipment pressed against his stomach. Stealth operatives are used to such discomfort, but ordinary soldiers may find this to be an irritant.
Further, the buckles on this unit are not ambidextrous, there being a bias for someone who is right-handed. While adjustment by left-handed people is always possible, some minor modifications by the manufacturer could have removed this defect without pushing up the price.
While the lack of ambidexterity and the bunching of pockets at the front reduce the utility of the unit for certain categories of people, the fact that the unit does not add a lot of bulk while providing a large number of pockets, coupled with the excellent durability and adjustability of the unit, make this best plate carrier contender one of the most trustworthy of units available for those engaging in special stealth operations, or even those seeking to otherwise carry a huge load without exposing oneself unnecessarily to enemy fire. Back to home