What size armor carrier do I need?
Armor carrier size and plate size are not always the same. You may have a larger build and need a large plate carrier but choose to use a medium set of plates. The most common size of a ballistic armor plate is 10.5” x 12”. If this is enough to cover your vital areas (as pictured below) then the plate size is right for you. Do not use under sized armor plates because you want to save weight.
If you want to lose 2 pounds, eat some oatmeal for a few days and take a good Sh@t, or take 6 magazines instead of 7. The armor is designed to withstand the impact and effects of high velocity handgun and rifle rounds. Most importantly it is designed to keep you alive and in the fight. I have always believed that you should stay as light as possible with as little armor needed. In combat, movement is life. If you are slow and all of your available energy stores have been depleted because you have been carrying too much weight, then you have just diminished your capabilities. If you are not at your best and able to fight then you have just let your team down, making the entire unit more susceptible to whatever the enemy is throwing at you. My personal choice is large plates depending on cut and manufacturer. I may wear a medium; if I wear a medium plate I use a medium plate carrier because it fits the plates. I then put on large cummerbunds. I like the ability to adjust my carrier for cold weather gear, wetsuits, water exposure suits, chemical suits, internal radios, side plates (if needed) and mags. Test fitting and training in your gear is the best way to know if your plate carrier is set up correctly. Do not wait until you have to use it for real to find out it doesn’t. Again you have a personal responsibility to your team…they are your family by choice, it’s your duty to show up prepared and ready to fight so they come home to their families.