Best plate carrier setup | A complete Guide with some Accessories

Would you like to prevent gunshots during battle as well as easily handle your paintball attackers? Normally beginners do not understand where and how to place magazines, rifles, knives or anything else. Therefore, to understand these settings, everybody should have to know about the best plate carrier setup.

An image containing one plate carrier with different accessories
Plate carrier setup

After a week of analysis, we are feeling proud to share the best plate carrier setup for the safety of your life in every dangerous situation. You would have an idea right now about how to pick up things and install them onto the plate carrier.

In this article, we will talk about the plate carrier setup ideas and each aspect that will be a useful guide for beginners & people searching for new ideas.

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Plate Carrier Setup

Importance of plates

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

Therefore, you should install the front and back plates in your plate carrier. You can use any kind of 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 more protection, but they also cause heavy and bulky, which limits your movement ability more.

I think now you have an idea about the importance of plates. Now we are going to take the important steps which can fit your tactical plate carrier accurately.

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

It is really important to know the complete method of how to set up your plate carrier before using a plate carrier and attaching different pouches.

Basically, the main purpose of producing a plate carrier is to protect your heart and lungs. So, it is very important to make sure that you carry it properly.

These steps will help you in all types of plate carrier setups like the police plate carrier setup, USMC plate carrier setup, army plate carrier setup, condor plate carrier setup, plate carrier set up for home defence, and best plate carrier setup Reddit, etc.

Step 1- Take off the side panels

You should take off the side panels before starting any adjustment of the plate carrier.

Take off the side panels

Step 2- Adjusting the front panel

If it is done, then you should grab the front panel of the chest rig and adjust it under the collarbone around two fingers wide. This assures that your vital organs are completely secured by a plate.

Adjusting front panel

Step 3- Adjusting the back panel

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

Adjusting back panel

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.

Adjusting shoulders

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.

Adjusting side panels

Step 6- Testing your adjustment

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

Basic steps of plate carrier setup

Best plates for carrier setup

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 armour plates are better as compared to steel plates. They are light weighted than steel, or even you don’t have to anguish about cracking.

These plates seem to be much more costly. Normally, 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 armour plate companies like AR500 armor have become very famous recently. But, they have a few drawbacks, weight is one of them.

Steel plates are heavy than ceramic plates. The breakage of steel plates can occur. When a high-speed bullet hits the plate, a thin edge occurs, and the material spreads around in the form of small fragments.

Yeah, this 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.

That is not suitable for survival.

Many companies are going to 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 don’t afford the ceramic plates, then I will suggest the AR500 level 3+ plates have an additional build-up coating.

So, the best plates that we have for the best plate carrier are:

Spartan armor plates:

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

1-Chest Protectors 10″ x 12″ inches Armor Plate x 2pcs

Chest Protector
  • Stand-Alone Armor System
  • weight 1.5kg in weight
  • 10″ X 12″ or 11″ x 14″
  • Neutrally buoyant
  • Multi-Curve Ergonomic Design

Technical Features:

I am showcasing these plates because they just weigh 1.5kg in weight. There are two sizes available 10″ x 12″ and 11″ x 14″. The weight of large size plate may be slightly more.

It is manufactured by Alloy steel plate (steel plate thickness 3mm.

Why do people like this?

The HYGJ plates provide the warmth and durability you have come to know from the NIJ. It also provides maximum comfort and mobility wearing with level 3 protection.


  • Lightweight
  • Low profile
  • Multi-Shot Rated


  • Expensive

Final Review:

You should buy these plates because they provide level 3 threat protection and are available mostly as a bundle. It is the best choice for those who are interesting in soft armor but are cautious about total weight.

2- Spartan AR550 protective gear & Achilles plate carrier kit

Spartan AR550 protective gear & Achilles plate carrier kit
  • Lightweight
  • 1000D fabric material
  • Fast release buckles
  • Removable kangaroo pouches

Note: This product is unavailable, check the price-related one.

Main Features:

The Achilles plate carrier is very lightweight with Spartan AR550 protective gear. It is manufactured by the 1000D fabric material which is long-lasting.

It contains triple M4 removable kangaroo pouches and one zipper admin pouch. The front and backside shoulder straps are padded for airflow.

The Achilles plate carrier provides low-profile dragging handles, fast release buckles. It contains10x12 front and back plates, and 6×6 or 6×8 side plates.

Color Options:

Coyote Brown, Black, or OD Green colours are available.

Why do people like this?

Many people wish to buy these plates because this plate carrier contains the plates and it is suitable for small to extra large body sizes.


  • Low profile dragging handles
  • 6×6 or 6×8 side plates
  • Lightweight
  • Great fit
  • Sturdy feel


  • Somehow expensive
  • plastic clips

My Review:

Spartan AR550 body armor is approved by NIJ level III and achieves III+ level in the special threatening test. Therefore, you should purchase this plate carrier with front, sides, and backplates.

3- AR500 BODY Armor Level 3+

AR500 BODY ARMOR Level 3+
Strike Face

Technical Features:

The Strike Face Ar500 body armor is lab certified. This is a high-quality steel plate on the market. This plate contains a triple curve, which provides you with the best comfort.

This Ar500 body armor offers you to shoulder your weapon with more freedom and less discomfort. It fits well on your body due to curvature.

Weight of chest plate:

Ar500 body armor level 3+ is very light weighted. The 3″x 10″ is 5 to 6lbs of weight, 10″x 12″ is 8 to 9lbs of weight and the 11″x 14″ is 10 to 11lbs of weight.

Side plate weight:

The 6″x 6″ is approximately 2lbs of weight and the 6″x 8″ is 3lbs of weight.


  • Fits well on your body due to curvature
  • High comfort level
  • affordable price
  • Lightweight


  • Heavy than ceramic armor plate

4-IDOGEAR Tactical Plates+ Lightweight

IDOGEAR Tactical Plates
IDOGEAR Tactical Plates

People Buy this due to these Features:

This is a level3+ lightweight armor plate. It can stop 5.57x45mmM193 rounds. This ACP plate is manufactured with Non-toxic EVA foam with 20 years of free maintenance.

It will provide you with extra room for weapon stock and improve your comfort level. It also provides rugged and stress-resistant features.

Weight of the plate:

The weight of the ‎12.48 x 10.75 x 2.6 inches sized base coat is ‎0.22 Kilograms and the build-up coat is 7.6lbs.


  • 20 years of free maintenance
  • extra room for weapon stock
  • Provide Frag-Lock
  • Lightweight


  • No

Spartan plate carriers:

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

1- Sentinel plate carrier

Sentinel plate carrier
Sentinel plate carrier
  • 1000 denier Cordura fabric
  • Anti-slip padded shoulder
  • Removable cummerbund
  • Drag handles

Key Features:

It contains long-lasting drag handles, an anti-slip padded shoulder, and releasable buckles. It offers 10 x 12 cut plates. There is a removable cummerbund for side plate armor.

The sentinel plate carrier is constructed with 1000 denier Cordura fabric. It also contains the front, back, and sides of Velcro.


It entertained only 38 to 48 chest-sized people.


  • Many attachment options
  • Very comfortable feel
  • Removable cummerbund
  • Great fit


  • Not available in small size

Why do people buy this?

The Sentinel is a decent full-cover plate carrier. It is for those people who like to keep it convenient. There is enough space to install the gear and if you want all side protection, you can carry the side plates also.

Note: This product is unavailable, check the price-related one.

2- Achilles Laser Cut Plate Carrier

Achilles Laser Cut Plate Carrier
  • kangaroo pouch
  • 1000D laser cut material
  • Multiple M4 mag pockets

Main Features:

The Achilles laser cut plate carrier can support both 11″x 14″ and 10″x 12″ military gear. There is a removable cummerbund that supports the 6′ x 8′ side plates with 2-inch fast-release buckles.

It is manufactured with lightweight 1000D laser cut material. It contains the top zippered admin pocket and kangaroo pouch that comes with adjustable multiple M4 mag pockets.

Who likes this?

This plate carrier is built for multi-role fighters. So, the multi-role fighters like this plate carrier.


  • Easy to attach and remove the pouches and buckles
  • Long-lasting material is used
  • High comfort level
  • Great fit


  • The shoulder straps are too stiff and digging

Why buy this?

The shoulder straps are stiffed but padded with ventilation vents which provide easy adjustment. The drag handle is a really low profile in this plate carrier. It is very comfortable and sturdy with perfect adjustment, and plate size option.

Note: This product is unavailable, check the price-related one.

Best plate carrier Setup Configuration:

Before setup up your plate carrier, it is essential to know about your major 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 it can be difficult to reach your things with your own carrier.

Available space

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

Available space
Available space

Quickly assemble

Quickly assembling means that you are going to 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.

Quickly assemble
Quickly assemble

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 properly protects your heart and lungs. At the same 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 pouch of the front plate should be placed under the collarbone at a distance of three fingers. The shoulder pads should be used 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 tight or lose the side strap for easy mobility and breathing.

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

Things you should carry to start the setup of plate carrier

Now we have gone through all the pre-requisites to select the plate carrier and armor. Let’s move to know about the best plate carrier setup.

The front panel of the plate carrier

A plate carrier must carry your extra ammunition on the front panel for your main 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 to have an extra double magazine pouch, then you can attach it under the sidearm to carry two more magazines. I think you should have 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

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

Basically, the design of the magazine is concerned with how the bullets are dealt with. It is just a personal opinion. So, you should consider each magazine to see what suits you.

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

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

2- Medical supplies and IFAK

Medical supplies and IFAK
Medical supplies and IFAK

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



Chest seals, bandages, and a few other things are also important. 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. This is the safest place to have your medical kit because it could be comfortably accessed 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 actually 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 of it, where we can install soft armor if you like.

Tactical Joey pouch

 Tactical Joey pouch
Tactical Joey pouch

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

This backpack also contains extra space in the major compartment for any gear that you maybe want to bring. I noticed many people, sometimes bring a lot of equipment that they don’t need. It is not a good practice.

Optional Gear

After those two key gears, you can carry several other things on your plate carrier. There are some other things that can be useful, but you should be careful.

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

Quick mag pouches

Related post: 10 best magazine pouches

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

I personally 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

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.

So, 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 are typically going to have a flashlight on your main weapon device, and even going to have one on the side gun. Although you may need to carry a little portable light or a headlight, that helps you to point out something or sometimes do not need to show your weapon.

You should have the Stream-light Pro-Tac HL that you can carry in a pouch of Leatherman Nylon on the right-hand side attached with the cummerbund.

Stream-light Pro-Tac HL

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

There will be little elastic cords on every side, where you can carry your chemical lights.

Military Grade Chemical Light Sticks

 chemical lights

It is very simple 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 in size and is kept in the Kydex sheath. The small knife works for a long time.

Benchmade Adamas

Benchmade Adamas
Benchmade Adamas

It is necessary to have a knife with you on the battlefield. The use of the 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

Normally, the back panel is less, but it can help you in a variety of ways. You can either 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 you hold a plate carrier, you normally use some kind of weapon system. And the handling of a firearm is always conducted close to the body. So, it is important to think about the connection of your weapon and sling with the plate carrier.

Testing the sling connection

It is important 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 certainly necessary and this test will reveal bugs that might require some improvements. This process might involve detaching or re-attaching a few things, but 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 plate carrier setup. This can reveal three flaws:

  1. Few things might make noise while jumping.
  2. This up and down movement will test that anything comes not fit or anything falls off from your carrier.
  3. It will ensure that the movements are painless or difficult.

Step2- Reloading

The further step for testing your setup is recommended that reload every mag pouch. This will ensure you that it is the easiest reach or adjustments needed.


Step3- Training

Now in the last step (i.e. Training), you should test your plate carrier set up by dry firing. This might reveal a few other weaknesses as well.



To summarize, this blog covers a lot of possibilities for the setup of the plate carrier. I think we have provided more clearance by making a different approach. Keep in mind we have attempted a few basic guidelines in this article to tell you the basic adjustment for the plate carrier setup and accessories, but there might be a few exceptions that could fit best for you.

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

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