A plate carrier is minimum, a vest is too much. So maybe a Plate Carrier Vest!!
The idea is to have enough protection and movement summer and winter. The height is the same as the plate and with extra soft armor protection. The soft armor covers the front/back/side and if you don’t need the plate you can take them out and you have soft armor vest as a minimum protection. You can also take the soft armor out and use it as a plate carrier. Since most user is using belt padding, this design works much better than a classic vest design with more space between the plate and belt padding.
We did not add traditional side panel for soft armor this time, we want more movement and ventilation. So, we use our light side panel that goes over the soft armor wings on the side, since the wings are two parts, they move much better when you move around and not stay fixed like with standard side panel that can be stiff in various positions and less ventilation. Our side panel has shock cord adjustment and the carrier stays much more stable on the body when moving with this option. Side panels is only made from webbing and its primary for extra ventilation when no pouches are attached to it, but also saving on the weight. The back-adjustment part is made from shock cord so it’s a much simpler adjustment system with great carrying comfort. Like this it’s not needed with extra plastic parts or fabric to cover the adjustments system and you still have MOLLE estate.
The hard plate pocket is sewed flat on the outside of the soft armor for more stability and it create extra air gap inwards the body when in use. Heavier Load = Sweating More. Also, it works better as a soft armor vest when the hard plate is not inserted. Inside is covered with mesh and were the plate is, we inserted foam ribs for extra carrying comfort and ventilation.
Shoulder part is classic snag free sone for the rifle stock, we don’t want any plastic quick release that can interfere with the rifle stock during operation. Shoulder has integrated simple quick release webbing that you pull, but the webbing length is made on minimum because of the rifle stock. Everybody who have been running around with classic soft armor vest knows the shoulder problem and rifle stock, it never ends perfect in the shoulder. This extra second you need to fine adjust the stock can cost you the first place. It can also be the same problem with hard plate, swimmer cut plate is the best option here, but since nobody almost got it issued, we have to stick to the SAPI shaped plate.
To connect the side panels to the front we have chosen the ROC buckles, we still believe Velcro is not the best option for that. But the ROC is connected with Velcro on the front platform, this is because of other configuration options you can fix before you go on mission. The vest has various front panel option you can configurate before mission and with ROC buckle its very silent in use.
The Plate Carrier Vest can be upgraded with extra soft armor protection after needs.