Plate carrier setup in 2023 | Ultimate Guide

Would you like to prevent gunshots during battle and efficiently handle your paintball attackers? Usually, beginners need help understanding where and how to place magazines, rifles, knives, or anything else. Therefore, everybody should know about the best plate carrier setup to understand these settings.

Best plate carrier setup : An image containing one plate carrier with different accessories
Setup guide

After a week of analysis, we are proud to share this setup guide for the safety of your life in every dangerous situation. You would know how to pick up things and install them onto the plate carrier.

This article will teach you the best plate carrier setup and how to wear them. For the most part, you may already know how to wear a plate carrier, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you put the plate carrier on. When you put your plate carrier on,

Plate Carrier Setup

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Importance of plates

Before starting this setup procedure, we like to mention that the plate carrier requires the plates.

Therefore, you should install the front and back plates in your carrier. You can use any ceramic or steel plate. It is up to you. If you need the side plates, too, you should install them. Otherwise, the front and back plates are compulsory.

Mind it. More plates will provide you with more protection. Still, they also cause heavy and bulky, which limits your movement ability more. Now you have an idea about the importance of plates. Now we will take the essential steps to fit your tactical plate carrier accurately.

How to set up a plate carrier? Steps of fitting the plate carrier

It is imperative to know the complete method of setting up your plate carrier before using it and attaching different pouches.

The primary purpose of producing a plate carrier is to protect your heart and lungs. So, it is essential to make sure that you carry it properly.

These steps will help you in all carrier setups like police, USMC setup, army, condor setup, home defense, etc.

Step 1- Take off the side panels

It would be best if you took off the side panels before starting any adjustment of the plate carrier.

Step 2- Adjusting the front panel

If it is done, you should grab the front panel of the chest rig and adjust it under the collarbone around two fingers wide. It assures that a plate entirely secures your vital organs.

Step 3- Adjusting the back panel

The back panel also adjusts at the same height as the front panel. When both panels adjust correctly, then you should adjust the shoulders.

Step 4- Adjusting shoulders

Also, when you do this, please ensure that the shoulders of the plate carrier are balanced equally. Make sure that the shoulder straps are in the proper place as well. Otherwise, you will walk crooked.

Step 5- Adjusting side panels

Now put the side panels, and attach them to the front and back panel. After all these steps, you should go for a test.

Step 6- Testing your adjustment

To evaluate your adjustment, you should bend forward, backward, and sideways, push your arms up, and feel. If something is pinching, you should move your vest where you feel comfortable.

Basic steps of plate carrier setup

Best plates for plate carrier

The lightweight plates with the highest protection level would be the best, but it all comes down to cost and budget.

Plates have two main types:

  1. Ceramic body armor plates
  2. Steel body armor plates

Ceramic body armor plates

Ceramic armor plates are better as compared to steel plates. They are light-weighted than steel and you don’t have to worry about cracking due to soft body armor.

These plates are much more costly. Usually, it takes a long service time when we order.

The ceramic plates will block the rounds because they are classified. It is a major deciding factor when we talk about the weight of the plate carrier and body armor.

Ceramic body armor plates
Ceramic plates

The ceramic plates provide us with the mobility and speed that we want.

Steel body armor plates

Steel armor plate companies like AR500 armor have become very famous recently. But they have a few drawbacks, and weight is one of them.

Steel plates are heavy than ceramic plates. The breakage of steel plates can occur. A thin edge occurs when a high-speed bullet hits the plate, and the material spreads around in small fragments. It will protect your lungs and heart from hitting by a bullet, but you might get a spall or a thin edge that can injure your neck.

Steel body armor plates
Steel body armor plate

That is not suitable for survival.

Many companies will sell build-up coated plates, which are quite the same as sprayed truck-bed lining. It is supposed that this coating prevents the spall from happening.

So, it increases the weight and price of the plate. It is better to go for ceramic plates.

If you can’t afford the ceramic plates, I suggest the AR500 level 3+ plates have an additional build-up coating.

So, there are some best plates for plate carriers:

Spartan armor plates

Spartan armor system provides a wide variety of plate designs and plate carriers. They have become a fantastic source for those that need a close-fitting lightweight body armor jacket.

Spartan plate carriers

Spartan offers its plate carrier brands and also provides the condor carrier. Like other companies, they also have different prices and specifications. Remind it if you want to wear an airsoft plate carrier system. It should be as convenient as possible.

Configuration of plate carrier setup

Before setup up your plate carrier, it is essential to know about your primary side because it will affect your layout. It is necessary to take in mind what is your reasonable access area. 1600 is an angle where you can comfortably pick up your things. 1800 is feasible, but reaching your goals with your carrier can take time and effort.

Available space

For the minimalist plate carrier setup configuration, firstly, you must know how much space is accessible for pouches and other things.

Quick assemble

The quick assembling means that you will put your pouches on the carrier. You should attach your pouches with a single MOLLE ring. This way, you can quickly remove or reposition them when you want.

Fitting and size of a plate carrier

Firstly you should concern with the size of the plate carrier. You should choose the size of a plate carrier that adequately protects your heart and lungs. At the exact moment should provide sufficient space to grasp your armor.

It should accommodate both different and specific types of armor cuts. (e.g., snipers, as well as swimmers, cuts)

The front plate’s pouch should place under the collarbone at a distance of three fingers. The shoulder pads should use to move the backplate pocket to keep this in line with the front, so it does not tilt at the backside.

You can detach the sidebands and connect them to the front because the webbing and attachment objects are not obstructed. So, you can carry the strap away by the back pouch of the plate. You can also tighten or lose the side strap for easy mobility and breathing.

To ensure that everything is configured correctly. You may turn your waist backward and forward, side by side, sag over, and tap your toes. If the plate carrier does not dig into the body, it shows that the plate carrier has been properly installed.

Things you should carry for the good plate carrier setup

We have gone through all the prerequisites to select the plate carrier and armor. Let’s move to know about them.

The front panel of the plate carrier

A plate carrier must carry extra ammunition on the front panel for your primary firearm and medical supplies. There are two key things that you must carry on the front panel of your plate carrier.

1- Extra Ammunition

The whole front of the plate carrier must be smooth and carry only three extra 30 rd magazines. You don’t like to have a bunch of weight in front.
Your ultimate aim seems to keep the silhouette profile as minimal as possible.

There should be a triple AR magazine pocket on the front of the plate carrier.
If you want an extra double magazine pouch, you can attach it under the sidearm to carry two more magazines. It would be best if you had the Ten-speed Dual Mag pouch of Blue Force Gear. It works well and is very simple.

Ten-speed Dual Mag pouch of Blue Force Gear

Ten-speed Dual Mag pouch of Blue Force Gear
Mag pouch

It provides you with a maximum of seven magazines, one on a combat belt and one on your firearm. In other words, this provides you with around 210 bullets.

The magazine’s design concerns how the bullets are dealt with it. It is just a personal opinion. So, consider each magazine to see what suits you.

You can use the triple magazine kangaroo pouch installed with the JPC (Jumpable plate carrier). This plate carrier provides magazines and admin pouches in front of the carrier. One of the most significant advantages is that the flexible waist strap system is joined to the patented modular attachment system. It allows the pouches to be installed inside and outside the jacket.

You can put something else in the front, not only magazines. If you want to put some other ammunition gear, you have the opportunity. You can add three further G-code hornet soft shell magazine pouches that are quickly attached.

2- Medical supplies and IFAK

Medical supplies and IFAK
Medical supplies and IFAK

Medical supplies are essential but sometimes neglected. If you ever get shot, you have to stop the bleeding. The components of your medical gear would depend on your experience, but a tourniquet is an essential element.



Chest seals, bandages, and a few other things are also necessary. You should take a live-saving battle workshop if you’ve not already.

You can use a dangler bag right below the magazines across the front of the plate carrier. It is the safest place to have your medical kit because it can comfortably access from both sides. Further, this can be easily extracted by removing the zippers that keep it in this location.

You can have a tiny medical gear on your combat belt, but the dangler pouch must be your main IFAK. This little medical pouch is the Coyote Tactical Burrito bag.

Coyote Tactical Burrito

Coyote Tactical Burrito

The pouch that I like is the Tactical Joey pouch. It is of good quality and contains two different containers with zipper drags.

The Tactical Joey pouch offers a feature. It contains a soft armor wallet on the back, where we can install soft armor if you like.

Tactical Joey pouch

 Tactical Joey pouch
Tactical Joey pouch

On the bottom, two flexible loops can carry additional gear. It also contains three series of soft webbing across the front. They can help you to attach Velcro patches.

This backpack also contains extra space in the central compartment for any gear you may want. Many people sometimes bring a lot of equipment they don’t need. It could be a better practice.

Optional Gears for special forces plate carrier setup

After those two essential gears, you can carry several other things on your plate carrier. Some other things can be helpful, but you should be careful.

Always try to keep things easy to make clear that every object has a reason.

Quick mag pouches

People speak a lot regarding the need to be quick mag pouches. Most shooters believe your belt is the quick way to catch a new mag. So, it is advised that you have a quick mag on the belt.

I like the Taco MOLLE Mag Pouch due to its beautiful design and best-quality stuff.

Taco MOLLE Mag Pouch

Taco MOLLE Mag Pouch
Taco MOLLE Mag Pouch

Related post: 10 best magazine pouches

Admin pouches

There should be a small Admin pouch across the front side of the top of a plate carrier. You can use it to hold a notebook, a sharpener, a pen, and a pocket knife.

The Bench-made Adamas is a very compact and nice folding knife. Write in the Rain is a small notebook that I usually use.

This pouch should be small and tight enough that you don’t need to worry about falling out of anything. There should be a zipper to open or close this pouch. It will provide you with easy access to the pouch.

Write in the Rain

Write in the Rain
Write in the Rain

Side panels of the plate carrier

When we talk about the side panels of the plate carrier, people like to keep them empty or slim, especially their dominant side.

If you do not have the option on the back and front panels, then you should use the side panels.

Things can attach to side panels

You can attach your flashlight, Radio, extra magazines, grenades, and small knife pouches.

Flash-lights and Chem-lights

You will typically have a flashlight on your primary weapon device and even one on the side gun. Although you may need to carry a little portable light or a headlight that helps you point out something or sometimes does not show your weapon.

It would be best if you had the Stream-light Pro-Tac HL that you can carry in a pouch of Leatherman Nylon on the right-hand side attached to the cummerbund.

Stream-light Pro-Tac HL

Stream-light Pro-Tac HL
Stream-light Pro-Tac HL

There will be elastic cords on every side where you can carry your chemical light.

Military Grade Chemical Light Sticks

 chemical lights

It is effortless to carry the flashlight because it takes a little space.

Small knife placement

You can carry a tiny knife inside the cummerbund on your left side. It requires no space because of very small in size.

The Benchmade Adamas is small and kept in the Kydex sheath. The small knife works for a long time.

Benchmade Adamas

plate carrier setup: Benchmade Adamas
Benchmade Adamas

It is necessary to have a knife with you on the battlefield. A knife might be less than a rifle, but you need it sometimes. Therefore, you need to concentrate on your protection in all seriousness.

The back panel of the plate carrier

Usually, the back panel is less, but it can help you in various ways. You can leave it blank for your comfort if you already have to perform a lot.

Things can attach to the back panel

You can carry medical gear, extra magazines, grenades, water bottles, and lots of things if it is bid in size.

Placement of Radio on a plate carrier

Using a radio by itself, it is better to put it on the front of your shoulder strap or your plate carrier. It should be as near as possible to the mouth for communicating.

Sling connection with a plate carrier

When holding a plate carrier, you usually use a weapon system. And the handling of a firearm is always conducted close to the body. So, it is essential to consider the connection between your weapon and the sling with the plate carrier.

Testing the sling connection

It is essential to test how much you can conveniently go with your setup when your firearm hangs down. You should also test how the sling reacts when you bring your ass below your armpit in certain high-ranking positions, turn your shoulders to see what occurs and see what occurs to your weapon and sling when you reach your secondary role.

Steps for testing your plate carrier

Testing your setup is undoubtedly necessary; this test will reveal bugs that might require some improvements. This process might involve detaching or re-attaching a few things. Still, we have been trying to protect you from detaching and re-attaching as possible.

Setup Testing

Step1- push-ups

Doing push-ups is the best way of testing your airsoft plate carrier setup. It can reveal three flaws:

  1. A few things might make noise while jumping.
  2. This up-and-down movement will test whether anything does not fit or falls off your carrier.
  3. It will ensure that the movements are painless or complicated.
plate carrier setup: push-ups

Step2- Reloading

The further step for testing your setup is recommended that reload every mag pouch. It will ensure that it is the most accessible reach or adjustments needed.

plate carrier setup: Reloading

Step3- Training

In the last step (i.e., Training), you should test your plate carrier setups by dry firing. It might reveal a few other weaknesses as well.

Frequently Asked Questions


To summarize, this blog covers many possibilities for the plate carrier setup. We have provided more clearance by making a different approach. We have attempted a few basic guidelines in this article to explain the basic adjustment for setting a plate carrier and accessories. Still, there might be a few exceptions that fit best for you.

After reading and understanding these guidelines, I hope you can make the correct decision regarding the setup of your plate carrier.

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