If you are an army personnel, you must wonder the difference between a plate carrier and a bulletproof vest. If you look at both, you will think that they look the same. Their looks are the only similarity between the two. The plate carrier is more suitable for military-level protection as its construction is sturdy, and the ballistic plates provide a great defense mechanism.
Bulletproof vests are lighter and provide slash protection and shotgun protection. However, plate carrier works best for hardcore protection and used mainly by law enforcement personnel. In this article, we will discuss the main difference between plate carriers vs Bulletproof vests. If you are someone who is confused about which one to buy, your queries will be resolved.
Plate Carrier and Bulletproof vest
There are a few factors that make the bulletproof vest and plate carrier different from each other. The differences are minor, but either of them may not fit your profession. Hence, it is essential to understand the difference to buy the ideal one for yourself. Let’s analyze some fundamental difference between the two:
Short Summary about the Difference!!
Check: Chest Rig VS Plate Carrier
Bulletproof Vest: We must talk about the protection level, as it is the main factor determining a user’s purchase. A bullet-proof jacket is more fitting for soft protection. It does provide you protection against bullets, but the penetration depends upon the protection level. The protection-level II-A provides the least protection. It is ideal for keeping you safe against jacketed soft-point bullets such as magnum JSP. The bulletproof vest with protection level III protects a user against flat-nose and semi-jacketed hollow-point bullets. If you need more protection against knife slashes and shots, you must choose a higher-level bulletproof vest.
Plate Carrier: On the other hand, the plate carrier is appropriate gear for military-grade protection. It has ballistic plates on the front to provide advanced-level safety. In the plate carrier, you analyze the ballistic plates to determine the protection level it provides. Each plate carrier section is skillfully designed to give protection to different parts of the body. Other metals are used for distinct protection levels; the most common ones are steel, ceramic, and Polyurethane (PE). Polyurethane is the best material as it provides high-grade protection and it is lightweight. Steel and ceramic are also excellent materials, but they are heavy and uncomfortable for more prolonged use.
Bulletproof Vest: Weight is another significant difference between the bulletproof vest and a plate carrier. Let’s talk about the bulletproof vest first. A bulletproof vest is made by closely knitting dense fabric, mostly Cordura, mesh, and polyester. Some of the sturdiest bulletproof vests use Kevlar, Twaron, or carbon nanotube material. Bulletproof vests are comfortable to wear as they are lightweight and allow maximum movement. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that high-protection level vests are heavier than low-protection ones. Hence, you will have to compromise on the weight if your job demands high protection.
Plate Carrier: On the other hand, the plate carrier vest is much heavier than a bulletproof vest. The actual base of the carrier plate is made with a heavily insulated material. However, the plates themselves are heavier to provide heavy protection. The polyurethane material is an excellent alternative as it is lightweight and offers maximum protection. On the other hand, steel and ceramic are the most common and inexpensive ones. However, they are super heavy, and it is almost impossible for civilians to wear them all day. However, military personnel are liable to wear these daily to avoid uncertain situations.
Related: Low profile Plate carrier
Bulletproof Vest: Concealability is one factor that can change a person’s mind in getting either of the two. A bulletproof jacket is thin, and you can easily conceal it under your shirt. If you wear a bulletproof jacket, you do not want it exposed because the offender can easily target non-concealed areas. A bulletproof vest with high-level protection is thicker; hence, it is difficult to conceal it. The lighter bulletproof jacket works the best for adequate protection and concealability.
Plate Carrier: The plate carrier is something you would wear over your outfit. It is for professional use and not for civilians. It is heavier than the bullet-proof jacket and a lot thicker, which is why you cannot wear it under your clothes. It exposes a user to more danger as the offender can target the non-concealed areas. It is not a practical option for daily use as it is uncomfortable and weighs more. It is a suitable choice for law enforcement professionals.
Which one is better?
Both bulletproof vests and plate carriers are fantastic for protection and safeguarding against uncertain attacks. However, both have their perks. They have different purposes and serve diverse working classes. If you are a regular civilian, then a bulletproof vest is a better option. However, people in need of heavier protection must go for a plate carrier.