Tactical MOLLE Plate Carrier in Multicam

Stephen Cliffe     09/22/2010

I originally undertook testing this new plate carrier from Jay Perry because I was tired of the various “light weight” carriers that were being sold through outlets with “mil-spec” as a construction detail that turned out to be more airsoft than hostile environs ready.  If I am betting my life, the life of my family and those I hold dear on a piece of gear I want to know it isn’t going to be substandard.

Being a bigger guy, it is hard to find things that can fit and even harder to find things that can fit AND be multitasked for several different scenarios.  This is especially true if those situations occur on-the-fly and require a superman change to get back to engagement and press an advantage without losing momentum.  JP seemed to have faith in his product and convinced me it was worth the money.  To say that JP was a man of his word is an understatement; this vest is easily one of the toughest and best thought out niche designs I have come across.

I use this particular carrier and its soft armor in four basic configurations.  First is as casual protection during spring/fall/winter under my jacket or sweatshirt or on EMS calls with my fire company under my coveralls.  It doesn’t restrict movement AT ALL and gives a little extra protection for when environments that could go wrong.  This carrier is a little thick for covert use in warm weather or without baggier or heavier clothing so using it as a covert vest it isn’t my recommendation, but then again it wasn’t built for that.

What it was built for was to be comfortable for long stretches in vehicles, or under other gear or as a standalone panel for operators to carry a minimum combat load and to be able to multitask while delivering comfortable protection and the range of movement that makes split second reaction possible from ECQ to weapons engagement ranges.  It is not the whole body, encapsulating armor carriers that cocoon its wearer making mobility almost impossible.  The design is to allow rapid dismount and engagement and use as a mobile engagement platform that is adjustable on-the-fly and can accommodate multiple roles.  It does not have side panels and I don’t like them as a rule since they are for me a pain in the rear to get into.  Having said that I see their value and I am sure such is coming from JP’s design room – he is a man with a plan and he cuts no corners with his gear design and manufacture.  It speaks volumes that it is the same gear he uses in the field and it says a lot to me that he is willing to stake his life on his product.

This vest is built tough.  The stitching and fabric have been crawled on, dragged over and  through briar patches, ditches and rockpiles with a 285 lb guy and his quick reaction load (8 x 7.62×51 steel mags, 6 liters of water, radio, and med kit along with an extra 140 rd battlepack of rounds strapped in a carry rig on the back) pressing down on it and it suffered through it with virtually no snagging damage other than two individual loops of the stitching that showed a miniscule fray on the thread.  It was also comfortable under my Artkis vest with a full load of 18 7.62×51 mags, water, med kit and sundries and did not bind or cause pressure points in any areas for extended periods of wear.  To the chagrin of my wife this included a 24 hour sleep, eat and function test for wear comfort.

The strapping is adjustable and provides easy quick-off options at both waist and shoulders that I haven’t been able to get to release accidently.  A really nice feature is the fact that the armor slides out the bottom making adding a plate or switching out a damaged one easy to do without dropping all your gear or taking the carrier off.  The design is well thought out and shows the intelligence and experience of its designer.

The heavy duty closures and strapping held up to everything I could do and had me reaching for the Aleve bottle long before this piece of kit showed any signs of giving up.  I tested this carrier multiple times and it has become almost a grudge match to see who will break, me or the carrier.  So far, I have been vanquished at each outing.

I am hoping to see more from this design guru.  He really is top end and the attention to detail is one of those things that makes the difference between looking cool in a piece of gear and staking your life on it.  I would highly recommend taking a look at his product offerings.

You can reach JP via email for orders and inquiries at retiredjp123@yahoo.com.

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