The kind folks over at Grab a Gun have sent us the NcStar Plate Carrier Vest to test out and review. We have been using and playing with this vest for about a week now and feel that we can finally make a few comments on the NcStar Plate Carrier vest.
NCStar Plate Carrier Vest Summary
The NCStar Plate Carrier has molle style webbing for easy configuration of magazines and other molle attachments. The carrier has removable shoulder pads with molle webbing and the shoulder straps and side panels are fully adjustable to allow for different sizes and to increase mobility. Hook and loop panels along with velcro are included on the front and back of vest to attach name tags, patches and other accessories. The vest also includes heavy-duty D-Rings for attaching accessories and heavy-duty quick release buckles and last but not least is the durable drag handle on the back of the vest.
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The first thing I noticed when I picked up the vest was how durable the fabric felt. I’m not 100% sure of the material but it feels very similar to 600D Polyester, which I’m very fond of and is used in many tactical/molle style products. The design of the vest is very simple and easy to quickly setup and adjust to your settings.
Plate Carrier & Plate Options
The NcStar comes with the option to have both a front and back plate which can easily be taken in and out of the vest through the bottom. There are two Velcro straps that hold the plates in the vest. The plate carrier can hold either hard or soft plates, or even both if you desire. The benefits of using the soft plates would be less weight and more freedom of movement, however you lose your ballistic protection from high-caliber guns with soft plates. The hard plates typically weigh a little more but the increased protection from high-caliber rounds is a huge plus.
Fit & Comfort
External plate carriers are not something that I’m used to using. So when I first put it on it felt odd and uncomfortable. It felt like it was too high and that it was exposing too much. However I am used to wearing soft plate body armor and it also felt very unnatural when I first put soft body armor on. Soft body armor and external plate carriers wear very similarly in that they don’t cover up much, if any, below your belly button. While this will feel like you are leaving yourself unprotected you have to realize that more vital organs are between your neck and belly button than below it (ignoring your legs for this example). Also stopping any type of body armor above or at your belly button area will allow you to move more freely in your waist region, which is a must.
A few downsides
The plate carrier does not come with any instructions on how to use it or adjust, so for the people who are new to plate carriers they will have to do some digging to find out how to best use and adjust their carrier for them. I have not seen any NCStar branded plate carriers that you can buy with plates already in them, however that does not say they are not out there and this is not really that big of a deal for 99.9% of people.
The colors to choose from are somewhat limited given all the color options out here. The color options are black, ACU, green, tan, and urban gray. Since this is a tactical vest I find it odd that multi cam, digital woodland, and OD green are not options and this may deter people from buying if they do not have their color or pattern of choice.
This vest definitely gets the job done without any questions asked. I will be continuing to outfit this vest in different configurations as times goes on and I will be sure to update this post with new pictures and different configurations. My recommendation if you are looking for a plate carrier at a great price check out the NCStar Pate Carry Vest. Again, I’d like to say thanks to our friends at Grab A Gun for providing us with an NCStar Plate Carrier to review!
Sizing and Adjustments