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Difference between plate carriers?

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Old January 23rd, 2017, 18:05   #1
Bermanator98
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Norwich, ON
Difference between plate carriers?

So I'm new to "professional" airsoft, all I've done before this is just skirmishing in a buddy's backyard. I've played a couple times at a local indoor place, and when it's better weather I want to start playing outdoors. I have the basic gear (gun, mask) and I figured my next step would be to get some tactical gear to go along with it. What should I be looking at for a plate carrier and mag pouches? I've done a bit of looking online, and I don't see much of a difference between the carriers I've seen so far? Is it mainly build quality? Real estate area for pouches? Also, what brands should I lean towards and stay away from? Or is that a big deal with gear? Help with this is much appreciated!

Thanks,


Michael

Last edited by Bermanator98; January 23rd, 2017 at 18:08.. Reason: Rewording
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 19:29   #2
riley_A
 
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If you have the money, definitely look into buying real steel gear which is essentially made for military use. By doing so you're getting extremely high quality pieces of equipment that are going to hold up to much more extensive use than chinese made gear. Secondly you're going to want to find a plate carrier that fits your body properly. A properly fitted plate carrier will be far more comfortable to wear than something that is flopping around all over the place when you run. Also properly fitting your carrier will allow you to wear it for longer without discomfort. You also have to keep in mind that rarely you will find a carrier that is one size fits all so you have to find something that is appropriate for your body type. You can find tons of videos on youtube about how to size a plate carrier properly so I wont go much more into that.

When choosing a carrier as well you have to decide what your play style is. Are you more of a support player who hangs out in the back and carries everything? Or are you more of a faster high speed player who likes to be more streamlined? The common trend that you'll see mostly nowadays is high speed, low drag, which essentially means you only carry what you absolutely need. What goes along with this is lightweight, minimalist style plate carriers; something like the crye jpc for example.

What I would suggest you do if at all possible is either go to a tactical supply store or airsoft store and try on some offerings to find out what style of carrier fits you best. You can also ask players around you to see if they would be willing to show you their kit as well.

Now as far as reputable brands go, brands like crye precision, mayflower, LBT, LBX, shellback tactical, firstspear, and the likes are good brands that offer solid equipment. If you cant afford to go with real gear then I would look towards higher quality repros such as flyye industries, UR tactical, or semapo gear.

As for other equipment like pouches, follow the same idea that real steal equipment is far better than repro gear. You can definitely look used for pouches as well as you can get great deals on quality used equipment.

I hope this answers all of your questions
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 21:30   #3
Bermanator98
 
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Yes, it does, thank you very much. How much of a price difference is there between regular China-made plate carriers and "real steel" plate carriers?
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 21:52   #4
riley_A
 
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It really depends on what carriers you look at. China made repros can range anywhere from $50 to $150+ whereas real steel equipment will generally start around anywhere around $200 and can go up to $1000+. Im currently running a mayflower apc which is probably one of the more popular plate carriers around right now since its a great blend of quality and price, and that ended up running me about $350 cad shipped from the states. Other carriers that are going to be similar to the apc are going to be ones like the LBX 0300 and 0300s, LBT 6094, shellback tactical banshee and the firstspear STT. Depending on where you buy from those plate carriers will fall between the $200-500 range.
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 21:52   #5
ThunderCactus
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The china carriers are like the $60 things that come with pouches. You'll think it's great because you paid $60, wear it to a few games, yeah great for price. Then you'll start playing harder and realize your pouches are coming apart, the PC is uncomfortable, and the neon repro multicam pattern glows in the sun.

The high end repro's are $160-$200 and perfectly fine for airsoft. Stitching is pretty good, materials are real, they're comfortable, and up to date on modern designs.
High end repro would be like ur-tactical.com or semapogear, or in rare example; SKD's first spear STT which is purpose made to be an affordable FS plate carrier with all the cool options.

RS carriers range from $160 upwards. Condor USED to be high end china clone, but since the US military apparently now uses them, they are now real steel.
Crye, mayflower, LBT, eagle, HSGI, ferroconcepts, etc

Real steel doesn't ALWAYS mean top end best made shit. Sometimes it's just high end china clone quality at ridiculous prices (*cough* BLACKHAWK *cough*)

All the veterans around here are going to recommend the top end china repro to RS end for 3 major reasons:
-comfort: proper sizing, real material, fewer jagged edges, cable routing
-it's not going to fall apart on you after 3 games, a season, or 5 years...
-resale value
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 23:40   #6
Ricochet
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Clone/repro come in two types; overpriced and terribly made. There's always quality, real-steel gear that's affordable. Look for modern, low-profile, lightweight, in plate carriers. You also want to make sure it has enough realestate for mags, hydration, batteries, ammo, etc, so avoid the tiny, tactical sports-bras. May also depend on your personal size and stature, but remember sizes are typically plate sizes and not people sizes. Check out UR-Tactical, they have very high quality, very affordable plate carriers in a few modern designs and a plethora of camos and colours.

Good plate carries, that also range in prices; Crye, 5.11, Mayflower, LBT, First-Spear, Tactical Tailor, High Ground, etc.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 00:06   #7
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if you're interested in trying out different configurations, cheaply made junk with nicer pouches is probably a good way to experiment. Little investment for the base pc itself to see if you like the style, and then if you change your mind you don't lose much money or time in going to the next style you want to try. Pouches can be kept and moved to the next plate carrier. This is where I feel cheap china made stuff has a place. You see guys changing their gear once every few months or a season all the time. Imagine buying a lbt 6094 at 700$ and deciding you want a jpc for 400$ 6 months later. You have to sell that lbt, maybe it sells for close to what you paid, but maybe you buy a 50$ clone of a 6094 and you're only out 50 bucks. Maybe you sell that to a kid for 20 at a local field right away. 20$ is an easier sell than 600 or 650. After you try different layouts or styles of carriers, maybe you decide on one and you can go out and buy the real one.

Those are 2 examples of real gear that's been cloned. It will work for a season of gentle/casual use and beyond that, it owes you nothing.

The flipside is that if you know EXACTLY what you want, then you can go out and get it for however much, tyr tactical pico (no clone exists) and it's like 1200 bucks or something ridiculous, but you know you'll use it until your knees fall off your body. Nice gear is nice. It will more than likely outlast any long term interest or use in airsoft. Real stuff is designed and made to be worn every day, being dragged over rocks and dirt and trees. Chinese made stuff looks ok for a few months and may come unstitched in a year.

Take what people tell you about resale value with a grain of salt. Items fake or real are only worth what people are willing to pay you for. If it takes 7 months to sell a plate carrier you don't want, you have that much money tied up in a dead asset because you want to maximize what a lightly used item is worth, whereas a cheaper one that may not last a few years is not going to break the bank and you can deal with it however you want and not cry over it. You could end up with an oddball real carrier that nobody likes the style of and you might not be able to sell it at all if you decide you don't like it.

I have cheap condor pouches I bought 5 years ago that are still in use. I also have 2 condor vests still in good shape after 2-3 years of use.

The pricepoint in which you should start considering real stuff is probably around the 200-250$ mark in usd. Condor makes a couple modular plate carriers in the 100-150$ cad range, that's probably as high as I would go before looking at real stuff like the banshee or mayflower.
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Last edited by lurkingknight; January 24th, 2017 at 00:10..
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Old January 24th, 2017, 00:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkingknight View Post
if you're interested in trying out different configurations, cheaply made junk with nicer pouches is probably a good way to experiment. Little investment for the base pc itself to see if you like the style, and then if you change your mind you don't lose much money or time in going to the next style you want to try. Pouches can be kept and moved to the next plate carrier. This is where I feel cheap china made stuff has a place. You see guys changing their gear once every few months or a season all the time. Imagine buying a lbt 6094 at 700$ and deciding you want a jpc for 400$ 6 months later. You have to sell that lbt, maybe it sells for close to what you paid, but maybe you buy a 50$ clone of a 6094 and you're only out 50 bucks. Maybe you sell that to a kid for 20 at a local field right away. 20$ is an easier sell than 600 or 650. After you try different layouts or styles of carriers, maybe you decide on one and you can go out and buy the real one.

Those are 2 examples of real gear that's been cloned. It will work for a season of gentle/casual use and beyond that, it owes you nothing.

The flipside is that if you know EXACTLY what you want, then you can go out and get it for however much, tyr tactical pico (no clone exists) and it's like 1200 bucks or something ridiculous, but you know you'll use it until your knees fall off your body. Nice gear is nice. It will more than likely outlast any long term interest or use in airsoft. Real stuff is designed and made to be worn every day, being dragged over rocks and dirt and trees. Chinese made stuff looks ok for a few months and may come unstitched in a year.

Take what people tell you about resale value with a grain of salt. Items fake or real are only worth what people are willing to pay you for. If it takes 7 months to sell a plate carrier you don't want, you have that much money tied up in a dead asset because you want to maximize what a lightly used item is worth, whereas a cheaper one that may not last a few years is not going to break the bank and you can deal with it however you want and not cry over it. You could end up with an oddball real carrier that nobody likes the style of and you might not be able to sell it at all if you decide you don't like it.

I have cheap condor pouches I bought 5 years ago that are still in use. I also have 2 condor vests still in good shape after 2-3 years of use.

The pricepoint in which you should start considering real stuff is probably around the 200-250$ mark in usd. Condor makes a couple modular plate carriers in the 100-150$ cad range, that's probably as high as I would go before looking at real stuff like the banshee or mayflower.
Good advice, but a major limitation to that is the pattern/camo of the plate carrier. If you want common patterns (Multicam, solid ranger green or coyote brown, etc), then for sure, real steel gear is always very much worth it. However, if you're like me and like special snowflake or civilian patterns like Pencott or Kryptek, good luck finding real steel kit in it and your only option is looking at high-end repros like UR-Tactical.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 04:50   #9
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Its worth spending the eons finding the right peice of kit, and the dollars on the real stuff, Ive been to many milsim events where players have laughed at either myself or others for having such, lets be honest ludicrously expensive gear, only to have them 6-8 hours later taping it back together, sitting out because their gear is too uncomfortable to wear, complaining that it doesnt work properly etc. A good fitting, properly made and setup plate carrier should impede your motion about as much as a hoodie.... (not at all) and be just as comfortable as a hoodie as well.
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I think that's the direction I should have gone with this one though.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 09:42   #10
Ricochet
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I've seen stitching fly apart on day one, more than once. If you love be near a tactical store (a real tactical store), then go and try on a couple if you like to get an idea. Also, research, research, research. Check out reviews and information on products online to look into things like weight and features. I don't see you buying a JPC or 6094 and hating it, unless you're so small they don't fit or something.

Resale value depends on the item. Clone stuff can be near throw away, unless it's going really cheap. The real-steel stuff can sell well if the used price is reasonable, but the more expensive the item is in of itself, the more likely you'll be waiting for a buyer who's specifically looking for that exact item. You may also be waiting a long time for it to sell, months or years even to get top dollar. But why would someone pay $650 for something when a brand new, never used one I'd $700?
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Last edited by Ricochet; January 24th, 2017 at 09:50..
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Old January 24th, 2017, 10:34   #11
BioRage
 
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I personally find plate carriers to be to bulky, especially if all you plan on doing is CQB most of the time.

Most people run slick, or low profile - (HSGI small AO) and of course the infamous battle belts with tacos;

... and if you're on a budget, I would recommend Condo over emerson and china stuff, granted everything is made there anyways.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 11:50   #12
lurkingknight
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Originally Posted by Datawraith View Post
Good advice, but a major limitation to that is the pattern/camo of the plate carrier. If you want common patterns (Multicam, solid ranger green or coyote brown, etc), then for sure, real steel gear is always very much worth it. However, if you're like me and like special snowflake or civilian patterns like Pencott or Kryptek, good luck finding real steel kit in it and your only option is looking at high-end repros like UR-Tactical.
like I said, common or unique... you have to pay the price and be willing to lose money or a lot of time should you choose to sell it. Weird camo patterns or your final camo pattern you choose can be at the end of the selection process of your real steeel gear once you know what you are looking for, tho pattern might also determine availability of certain styles of gear and clothing. Quite honestly pattern shouldn't be something beginners should be worried about.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 11:52   #13
Desmodus
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Originally Posted by lurkingknight View Post
like I said, common or unique... you have to pay the price and be willing to lose money or a lot of time should you choose to sell it. Weird camo patterns or your final camo pattern you choose can be at the end of the selection process of your real steeel gear once you know what you are looking for, tho pattern might also determine availability of certain styles of gear and clothing. Quite honestly pattern shouldn't be something beginners should be worried about.
For this reason I strongly advocate against getting a camouflaged plate carrier if possible...but thats just me. Some people prefer to be completely matching haha.

I personally would rather have a colour like coyote or ranger green that works well with a multitude of common camo patterns.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 01:33   #14
Flavio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermanator98 View Post
So I'm new to "professional" airsoft, all I've done before this is just skirmishing in a buddy's backyard. I've played a couple times at a local indoor place, and when it's better weather I want to start playing outdoors. I have the basic gear (gun, mask) and I figured my next step would be to get some tactical gear to go along with it. What should I be looking at for a plate carrier and mag pouches? I've done a bit of looking online, and I don't see much of a difference between the carriers I've seen so far? Is it mainly build quality? Real estate area for pouches? Also, what brands should I lean towards and stay away from? Or is that a big deal with gear? Help with this is much appreciated!

Thanks,


Michael

Hi there,

I've had great enjoyment with my LBX stuff and no issues. I run a 0300 plate carrier and it's never uncomfortable or heavy. I use some foam plates so It's rigid while still allowing me good mobilty.

In terms of addons I can't recommend enough the 10 speed line from blue force gear. Super light and tough but more on the pricey side.

Also do think about kneepads. The first time I jumped without noticing on an ocean of bb's left me hurting for quite a while.

Cheers


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Old January 26th, 2017, 15:53   #15
Bermanator98
 
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Thank you very much for all the help. I am on a bit of a budget, and given all the info I've seen, I'm kinda set on buying Condor... Am I making the right decision? I want to spend maybe $100+tax for the plate carrier, plus whatever for mag pouches.. I checked on ebay.ca and I can get it for what I'm looking to spend. I'm sure I could find better prices on here, but I've only given it a quick look to see what it'll cost for Condor.
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