The plate carrier is one of the most important gears in any armed scenario. It is an all-in-one load carrier that helps you in every stage of combat. However, choosing the right plate carrier is very crucial as your life depends on it. In this regard, Condor and NCStar are the two largest manufacturers of tactical equipment. Their products are so reliable that many government authorities buy their gear from them. Moreover, the soldiers who want personal gear can only buy their gear from either of these two brands.
It is very easy to choose between a high-end and a budget brand. But what to do if you have to choose between two legends? Therefore, I have created a detailed comparison between the two to help you decide your preferred brand of plate carriers and other tactical gadgets.
What to look in a plate carrier?
I won’t make any recommendations as both these brands deserve equal appreciation. The products from both Condor and NCStar are worthy of your trust and loyalty. Therefore, I leave the decision on your judgment:
500D Cordura is the standard material for most plate carriers. Almost all brands use this material in plate carriers and battle belts. However, the quality of 500D used by Condor and NCStar is military-grade. They use an improved version of the material to provide unmatched durability and reliability in their products.
Condor uses improved 500D Cordura in their plate carriers with the addition of synthetic reinforcement. The reinforcement material is strong and durable and doesn’t add to the total self-weight of the vest.
On the other hand, NCStar uses different materials to reinforce its product. For instance, the medium-ranged plate carriers have a synthetic reinforcement in them. The benefit of synthetic reinforcement is that it is lightweight, sturdy, and corrosion-resistant. In contrast, some plate carriers have steel reinforcement. It adds a little weight to the chest rig but ensures maximum durability and wear resistance.
The gear pockets determine the effectiveness of any plate carrier. It is because you don’t want your inventory exposed to impact damage and environmental hazards like rain and water. Similarly, the placement of pockets ensures that all your equipment is within your reach, whether you are looking at it or not.
Condor plate carriers have more than ten pockets placed at key points. Each new model of the vest is produced after several physical and psychological tests before going into production. However, it doesn’t provide enough room to strap a secondary arm to the vest.
NCStar plate carriers, on the other hand, take an improved approach. They have about seven pockets on average placed throughout the vest. However, most of the pockets are placed at the center to provide easy accessibility. Furthermore, there is enough room and a hanger to strap a second arm like a rifle to the plate vest.
Molle vs. PALS Webbing:
Webbing plays a crucial role in making any plate carrier field-friendly. The webbing allows you to attach different equipment to the plate carrier so that you can carry them while keeping your hands free. Generally, two types of webbing are used in plate carriers, and both of them have their own pros and cons.
Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment or MOLLE webbing system is utilized in every Condor plate carrier. It is a series of straps sewn at key locations on the chest carrier to organize your inventory easily. However, you need some practice before you can remember where you attached a particular gadget.
A pouch Attachment Ladder is a system of organized straps sewn in either horizontal or vertical alignment. Each strap is about one inch apart and provides enough space to hang whatever you like. Soldiers most commonly use this system due to its customizability ease of access. However, you have to manually assign a strap to a gadget and then remember the placement throughout your mission.
Both Condor and NCStar provide plate carriers in a number of color options. You can get your plates in custom color as well by paying a little extra. In this regard, you get equal options from both manufacturers.
Condor and NCStar are the largest manufacturers of tactical equipment. When presented with the option to choose between the two legends, you have to look at your style and choose the best brand accordingly. Apart from that, both brands are highly reliable and recommended by military personnel and experts.