A plate carrier is a piece of body armor that you wear to protect your vital organs against shrapnel, bullets, or other dangers in combat. These vests are designed to be used with ballistic plates that sit between your chest and back to absorb damage from weapons and explosions. In addition, plate carriers are also used to carry essential items that can be accessed quickly in emergencies.

To get the most out of your plate carrier and to be able to use it safely, you must know how to set up your plate carrier and how to use it in various situations.

The importance of setting up your plate carrier well

Mostly, members of law enforcement, military, rescue personnel, first responders, and preppers may use plate carriers. However, plate carriers are also used in many non-combat activities such as hunting, shooting, paintball competitions, etc.

Having a plate carrier that is set up properly will provide you with both mobility and security. So, after you've invested in your military-grade plate carrier, it's time to set it up properly, so you know where to pull an item from when needed. Moreover, setting up your plate carrier will facilitate your movements, and you will not feel overburdened or restricted during both active combat and non-combat situations.

How to set up your plate carrier: Step by step guide

Your plate carrier has an important job, so it makes sense to make sure you’re getting the most out of it by taking these few simple steps before putting it on and going out in the field or on patrol. By following these tips, you can be sure that your plate carrier will fit properly, remain comfortable, and allow you to access your weapons and other gear as needed.

1. Choose the suitable types according to your mission

The different types of carriers will offer different amounts of protection. Depending on your mission or planned activities, one type might be more appropriate than another. Four main types of plate carriers are heavy, medium, minimalist, and slick. You can choose any plate carrier according to your needs and the purpose of your mission.

2. Fitting and trimming

Fitting and trimming your plate carrier is important for comfort and usability as even small discrepancies can lead to discomfort or even injury. The best way is to try on a vest to find one that fits you properly. First, ensure that the plates are covering your vital organs. Then walk around and bend. If you feel comfortable and the plates are not hindering your movement, your plate carrier is the right fit.

3. List gears you will carry

Remember that even if you are not using a plate carrier in a combat situation, you must fill the carrier with plates or plate alternatives, so it fits properly and doesn't sag when you fill it with items. Then, make a list of the items that’ll go in your carrier and put them in place to see if they comfortably fit when you put on body armor. You may have to try several different options until you find one that works best for you. It will help you find what you need in an emergency when time is of the essence.

4. Figure out where to put

It might seem like a no-brainer, but choosing suitable compartments for specific items according to the frequency of usage and quick accessibility is probably more important than you think. But, there are other factors to consider that will help you use your carrier in the best possible way.

· Keep Everything Streamlined

Many plate carriers have a bunch of pockets, with bungee straps, velcro flaps, pouches, and such. They can make getting to what you need an exercise in frustration. It's important to keep things streamlined so that you don't waste time when you need something.

· Keep Balance on Your Carrier

Plate carriers should balance evenly on your body. The weight should be centered over your shoulders, with most of it sitting on your hips. If you have a flatter midsection or wider hips, you might have to move some weight toward your abdomen to achieve an even distribution.

· Keep the Shoulders Clean

When wearing a plate carrier, you'll want to keep your shoulders free, so you can aim with your gun easily when needed. Keeping shoulder areas clear also helps shift hands from the weaker side more efficiently. Taking weight off your plate carrier shoulders also gives a more comfortable fit.

· Make the Pistols Easy to Get

Most people like to put pistols in the belt holster. However, if you are putting them in your carrier, you must ensure that you can reach your pistols without difficulty. You should be able to draw out pistols easily when needed. So, place them where there are no obstacles in between.

· Set Pistol Reloads on the Beltline

Instead of keeping pistol reloads on the carrier, it's better to put them on the beltline. However, if you want to keep reloads on your carrier, place them higher up. If you're right-handed, set your pistol magazines on your left shoulder. If you're left-handed, set them to your right side. It will allow you to reload at a moment's notice easily.

· Ideal Place for a Flashlight

A flashlight doesn't exactly need to be quickly accessed, so you can put them at the far ends. Try putting it next to the med-kit or below the armpit line, whichever suits you more. Also, using a conventional tac-light is not a must as there are also smaller, less expensive options such as an LED light tucked away in a pocket or attached to a neck chain. You can even use a headlamp if you don't want to weigh your carrier with unnecessary things.

Best Plate Carrier I Recommend

With so many features to make it easy for use in combat, shooting, or hunting, Gloryfire Tactical Plate Carrier is the perfect option and great value for money. This plate carrier has quick-release buckles on both shoulders, making it much easier to put on quickly. They come in three different colors—camouflage, black, and coyote—which means you can match your gear to your uniform or add a bit of flair to your accessories. You'll get lots of comments wearing one!

Key Features

  • High quality: 1000D fabric, strong thread, and robust webbing
  • Imported rapid-open connectors made of nylon
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps and cummerbund
  • Includes MOLLE system, map pocket, and plate pocket
  • Quality assurance with one year warranty


  • Durable
  • Easy to wear
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Suitable for any body type


This product has great reviews without any bad remarks or any dissatisfied customers!