HYDRA Tactical’s Best Plate Carriers of 2020

 Top Plate Carriers

From Low-Pro To Tactical - We’ve Got You Covered

Protection, comfort, coverage, carrying capability, adjustability, weight - the list of things to consider when choosing your best plate carrier is almost endless. Whether you are purchasing your first plate carrier or upgrading to something better suited for your operations, finding a plate carrier that meets all of your criteria can be difficult. While the 5 plate carriers on this list range from affordable and lightweight to heavy-duty and tactical, they all share one thing in common - they’re stout plate carrier vests from brands we trust. Body armor technology is constantly evolving. Read on to find the right plate carrier for your needs, or browse our full collection here.

The 5 Best Plate Carriers You Should Be Considering This Year

FirstSpear Strandhogg Plate Carrier

The FirstSpear Strandhogg | The Carrier For Any Scenario | $392.99 - $410.99

Generally, plate carriers either lean one of two ways - lightweight and mobile, or heavy-duty and gear oriented. Enter the FirstSpear Strandhogg - the plate carrier designed to be compact and lightweight without compromising protection or gear options. With a precision cut accepting SAPI/ESAPI/SPEAR plates from S-XL, this plate carrier meets NIJ Category IIIA.06 and specific Military Specification requirements (depending on the armor used).

Product Highlights

  • The 6/12™️ Laser Cut Platform reduces weight up to 50% compared to other plate carriers without sacrificing MOLLE/PALS attachment points. 
  • The comfortable, compact design stands out on long days and in tight quarters.
  • The shoulder strap and cummerbund connection points are easily detached/reattached in seconds thanks to FirstSpear’s Tubes™ Technology.

Click Here To See Other Products From FirstSpear

Shellback Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier

The Shellback Banshee Rifle | A Law Enforcement Go To | $245.99 - $269.99

When protection is not an option, the Banshee Rifle plate carrier demands consideration. Designed to not only meet, but exceed law enforcement and military body armor requirements, this plate carrier stands out for its incredible protection and well-designed gear storage capabilities. While it’s not the most lightweight carrier in the bunch, it distributes and carries weight very well.

Product Highlights

  • Approved by the LAPD for use by law enforcement professionals
  • Incredible coverage thanks to front and rear pockets that accept level 3 and 4 ESAPI plates, and a cummerbund with pockets for 17” x 6” soft armor. 
  • MOLLE/PALS attachment rows cover every surface of this plate carrier, providing room to organize gear according to your preferences.

Click Here To See Other Products From Shellback Tactical

 Voodoo X-Lite Gen 2 Plate Carrier

The Voodoo X-Lite Gen 2 | When Less Is More | $79.95

Coming from a team of passionate veterans and other tactical experts out of North Carolina, the Voodoo X-Lite Gen 2 plate carrier gets straight to the point - protection in motion. This plate carrier stands out for weighing in at just 2.7lbs (without armor or gear). While the X-Lite doesn’t offer as much coverage as other carriers (no cummerbund armor options), it should be a contender on your list of lightweight plate carriers.

Product Highlights

  • Incredible versatility, adjustability, and customization options
  • Super lightweight and concealable design
  • MOLLE/PALS webbing across the front, rear, and sides allow you to carry the most necessary gear

Click Here To See Other Products From Voodoo Tactical

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier

The Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier | No Frills - Just Function | $126.95 - $135.95

Like the X-Lite, the Minimalist Plate Carrier stands out for its minimalist design. The pro’s at Grey Ghost Gear designed the minimalist for the professional who doesn’t care for unnecessary options. It’s another excellent lightweight plate carrier option, but made the list for one reason: an outstanding one-size-fits-most design. While this much adjustability doesn’t usually ring true with us, Grey Ghost Gear found a way to make the Minimalist plate carrier incredibly versatile without sacrificing comfort.

Product Highlights

  • A modest design featuring just two buckles makes this plate carrier very easy to remove
  • Without a cummerbund, this plate carrier is extremely breathable and comfortable
  • 6 rows of MOLLE/PALS webbing on the front and rear allow you to attach magazines, radios, and other gear 
  • A discrete stash pocket easily carries important documents, maps, or even a knife

Click Here To See Other Products From Grey Ghost Gear

Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier

The Condor Modular Operator | Lightweight & Adjustable | $66.95

For under $100, the Condor Modular Operator is hard to beat. This carrier is all about keeping total weight down and allowing for adjustability in any scenario. Whether you plan on concealing the vest underneath or overtop your uniform, the Modular Operator is a great option. Best of all, at just $67, it might just open up a little more room in the budget for some additional tactical gear.

Product Highlights

  • The balance between value and performance makes the Modular Operator a standout option
  • Continuous MOLLE/PALS attachments on all sides of the vest make modular attachments easy and intuitive
  • The adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund put this plate carrier at home in a variety of scenarios

Click Here To See Other Products From Condor Outdoor

Finding the best plate carrier is no easy task. We’ve all driven ourselves crazy pouring over comparisons, weighing options, and finding that perfect Multicam pattern. Fact is, when it’s all said and done, the best plate carrier is the one meets your demands. It’s comfortable all the way through an endless transport, keeps your gear exactly where you like it, and has you covered in case things get violent. If you didn’t find your plate carrier on this list, don’t worry - we’ve got plenty more to choose from.