If you’re looking to buy some protective gear but aren’t sure what the differences are between tactical vests, plate carriers, and bulletproof vests, you’ve come to the right place!

There are lots of different types of personal protection equipment on the market. Some products use more advanced materials than others, so it’s important to understand their benefits and disadvantages to choose the right gear for your needs. Let’s take a look at the basics of each type of protective gear and figure out which one best fits your situation.

Whats a Tactical Vest?

Tactical vests are typically worn over clothing and may or may not have pockets. However, these lightweight vests usually come with multiple pockets and attachments to carry essentials during missions or outdoor adventures. People who wear tactical vests can access items quickly during an emergency. In addition to holding magazines, these vests can be modified to carry other items, such as flashlights and first-aid kits. The amount of gear you can store in a tactical vest depends on its size. Smaller vests tend to hold fewer items than larger ones do.

Your typical tactical vest is lighter weight than both a plate carrier and bulletproof vest. This is because it uses only lightweight ballistic nylon fabric instead of Kevlar or other heavy-duty materials (such as a fully integrated body armor system) that are designed to stop bullets from high-powered rifles. The tradeoff for protection is mobility, which makes your tactical vest more comfortable to wear for extended periods.

KEY FEATURES

  • Lightweight, adjustable and fits tightly to the body so it won’t come loose during fast running
  • MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) is not a mandatory part of tactical vests but most come with it
  • Carries protection level of a bulletproof vest and storage facility of a plate carrier
  • Features strategically placed buckles and zippers to switch between holster and mag pouch.

PROS

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • best-suited for fast missions
  • Provides extra storage for important stuff

CONS

  • Can be heavy when fully-loaded
  • You have to choose only essential equipment to carry if you want to keep it lightweight

Whats a Plate Carrier?

These vests are normally used by law enforcement officers and military personnel. Plate carriers are easily available in the market and civilians can also buy and use them for various reasons. A plate carrier looks like a simple vest, with shoulder straps and a cummerbund (or waistband) that helps keep things tight to your body. It features pockets in front and back to hold ballistic plates—protective material used for additional protection from bullets.

If you’re looking for more protection without buying an expensive bulletproof vest, your best bet is probably going to be an affordable plate carrier. Plate carriers are constructed out of lightweight but durable ballistic nylon which protects against 9mm rounds. They come with large side pockets where you can store extra ammo and any other necessary equipment.

KEY FEATURES

  • Heavy-duty armor that provides military-grade protection
  • Features skillfully designed and strategically placed ballistic plates
  • Comes in 100% breathable material to keep the carrier from heating up
  • Available in various plate materials for optimal protection such as ceramic, polyethylene, or steel

PROS

  • Can be used for military or non-military activities such as weight training
  • Provide flexible protection by allowing to put plates of different strengths as needed
  • Offers plenty of MOLLE spaces for equipment carrying

CONS

  • They are heavier than bulletproof vests and tactical vests
  • They are bulky and cannot be concealed as bulletproof vests can be

Whats a Bulletproof Vest?

A bulletproof vest (often referred to as just bulletproof) is an item of personal armor that helps absorb or deflect impact from weapon strikes or bullets. They are made up of numerous layers of woven or laminated fibers designed to slow, dissipate and stop bullets. These vests are capable of protecting wearers from firearms including handguns as well as low-velocity rounds from assault rifles. Ballistic vests might use a combination of both soft and hard armor plating materials.

There is absolutely no doubt that anyone involved in law enforcement, private security, or even just someone concerned about their safety should own a quality ballistic vest. The question isn’t whether you should buy one; it’s which one will be best for your particular set of circumstances. Bulletproof vests offer numerous benefits that make them invaluable in dangerous situations.

KEY FEATURES

  • Provides adequate protection from light weaponry
  • Thin construction makes it easier to be worn under the shirt
  • Vests with varying thicknesses are available to match specific needs
  • Made from breathable material and also allows flexibility of movement

PROS

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Easily concealable in many compromising situations
  • Provides basic protection without any hassle

CONS

  • Doesn’t provide full protection in hardcore environments
  • High protection bulletproof vests are thicker and heavier

Tactical Vest vs. Plate Carrier vs. Bulletproof Vest

 

 

Tactical Vest

Plate Carrier

Bulletproof Vest

Weight

Lightweight

Heavyweight

Lightweight

Fabric

600D Oxford fabric

1000D polyester

Kevlar/Aramid

Protection Levels

Adequate for light weaponry

Military-grade protection

Adequate for light weaponry

Plate Material

Bulletproof

Ballistic extra

Bulletproof

Easy to wear

Yes

Yes

Yes

Breathable

Yes

Yes

Yes

Concealable

No

No

Yes

Storage Capacity

Large storage

Large storage

Not applicable

Waterproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bulletproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Comfort& Fit

Tight-fitting

Somewhat heavy

Comfortable

Applicable Scene

Hunting, fishing, outdoor activities

Sports & Fitness

Hunting, shooting activities

 

 

Conclusion - WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Whether you want protection from gunfire or something more, there are products designed to suit your every need. If you need back support while climbing up a mountain or quick access to medical supplies while hiking in bear country, there are vests made for any activity imaginable. To know which type of body armor will work best for you, find out which type of vest suits your needs based on where and how often you plan to wear it.

More often, it is a matter of personal preference. If you’re comfortable in a bulletproof vest but would like more options for carrying gear, you might want to go with a tactical vest instead. For protection against projectiles and to carry all your necessities, you may consider getting a plate carrier. On the other hand, if you are not keen on carrying extra stuff for quick missions, a bulletproof vest will suffice, depending on your specific needs.

No matter which option you go with, it’s important that you invest in high-quality body armor that will adequately protect you. Body armor will help keep peace of mind no matter what life throws at you - making it an investment worth making.

Best Tactical Vest & Plate Carrier to Choose

You may be asking yourself, what do I need? A full plate carrier or a tactical vest? The truth is that there are many uses for each. However, the most common is protection against bullets and stab wounds. Some vests come with padding to absorb blunt force trauma while others protect against sharp objects. Many modern vests offer both protection as well as a level of heat resistance against fiery explosions. It all depends on your profession and personal needs.

Let’s check out these useful protections from Gloryfire:

1. Gloryfire Tactical Vest

  • Nylon
  • Imported
  • HIGH QUALITY: The tactical vest composed of 1000D fabric, high-tensile strength thread, and webbing is equipped with a map pouch and three modular heavy-duty mag panels.It comes with two stable side straps as well as adjustable padded shoulder straps. Airsoft vests are fully padded with breathable 3D mesh, which are comfortable and keep you cool by allowing air circulation.
  • FUNCTIONAL-RAPID OPEN:This tactical vest is built with rapid-open connectors on the shoulders and waist that make it easy to quickly put it on and take it off. The unique cummerbund features integrated pockets that can even be accessed through the side pla-te for added protection in case it's required. The ideal training tool for combat training, field work, shooting, hiking, camping, extreme challenges, and military fans alike.
  • MOLLE SYSTEM: Throughout the military vest, there are MOLLE webbing attachment points and optional personalization options. Map pockets with snap-and-hook closures keep important documents within reach, and pla-te pockets offer easy access to soft pocket as needed. Shock-cords and cord locks can be hidden in the back of the vest, not only can the waist and size be adjusted, it can also enhance the feeling of comfort.
  • PERFECT SIZE: Adjustable shoulder strap and cummerbund fit most people from size S to XXXL size: maximum waist 52 inches, minimum waist 32 inches. Retro kit integrates seamlessly with carriers that use hook-and-loop flap systems to fit different waist sizes. In addition, waist belts and shoulder straps can also achieve the effect you want.
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE: This army vest is a very nice gift. We provide a one-year warranty. If you encountered any quality issues regarding this tactical vest, please contact us immediately and we will make every effort to resolve your issue until you are satisfied.

    2. Gloryfire Plate Carrier

    The Gloryfire Plate Carrier is made out of premium materials. It has Ballistic nylon as its outer shell and inside it has flame resistant 600D textiles for added protection. The carrier also comes with adjustable shoulder straps for comfortability on your body, adjustable cummerbunds for more fitting options, and of course, it also comes with detachable Velcro panels on both sides so you can attach any of the MOLLE accessories.

    KEY FEATURES

    • Offers heavyweight, military-grade protection
    • Breathable, adjustable, and lightweight modular vest
    • Made from 1000D high tear strength polyester
    • Strong webbing for easy MOLLE attachments
    • Easy to handle front map pocket
    • 2-year warranty

    PROS

    • Padded mesh inside lining for added comfort
    • Features emergency drag handle
    • Adjustable size to suit various needs
    • Functional product with ease of mobility
    • Cost-effective

    CONS

    • Some users complain about insufficient MOLLE attachments at the front

     

    Past Topic:

    1. Is a Tactical Vest the Same as a Plate Carrier?

    2. A Beginners’ Guide on Tactical Vest for CS/ Hunting/ Training

    April 28, 2022 — Ying Ying Teng

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