I was able to acquire some locally, price was right.Get the lightest plates, that stop the threat you’re concerned with, that fit your budget.
For a plate carrier, I’ve run a few but my personal recommendation would be the Crye JPC 2.0.
I've said this for years and people don't listen. WEIGHT MATTERS.if you want to play around with this stuff, AR500 and similar types of armor will do, but if you have any thoughts of using it in a serious way, I would suggest delaying gratification, saving up a good chunk of money and then selecting the highest quality, lightest weight gear you can realistically afford. The old "buy once, cry once" saying applies here.
I went with a set of Tencate 2000SA Special Threat plates in a Ferro Slickster a few years ago for a contract in Afghanistan, and I was very pleased with this setup.
It wears comfortably even on the longest days, I can strip it down to wear under a shirt or scale it up to an assault carrier. I wore this setup for two straight years without a single issue or problem, and it was more comfortable than the issued Mayflower LEPC setups by an order of magnitude. I followed the lead of the experienced hands on my team, watching what they did, what they wore and how they wore it.
There's no good reason to carry a bunch of extra weight if you don't really need it. MOLLE real estate is nice, but if you're not using all of it, why buy a carrier covered in it? that's just extra weight and snag points you don't need.
Minimalist is the way to go, especially if you're attempting to go "grey man" in any sense of the phrase. A big, bulky assault carrier with huge cumbersome plates that weight a ton, coupled with a ton of MOLLE loops will print, snag weigh you down and generally ruin your life for the time you have to wear it.
A low-profile, lightweight and versatile carrier will be infinitely scalable and suitable for any mission profile that calls for you to roll heavy, but it can be scaled down to go grey anytime you need that capability.
Take the time to examine what you will be doing, what your armor setup needs to make that happen, and tailor it to that, without so much in the way of frills and extras.
That last is worth repeating a whole buncha times! Those thicc ass LVL 4s and megachonk steel plates make shouldering a weapon real hard in a lot of situations, and if they're not properly sized, they'll make your life miserable getting in and out of a vehicle.I went from AR500 to Level IV, to level 3+ that defeats M855A1 @ 4.5lbs. The difference in mobility is night and day. I dropped half the weight from the AR500 and quite a bit from the level 4. Much more swift and not so sluggish when moving. Level 3+ or special threats plates are where it's at IMO.
Slim, being able to shoulder your rifle comfortably(thin straps), durability and comfort.
Exactly! Why carry twice the amount of weight if you can delay gratification, save up over time and buy the real deal armor that is engineered way better than the bargain basement stuff?I've said this for years and people don't listen. WEIGHT MATTERS.