The plate carrier world isn’t exactly small anymore. With the rise of the plate carrier over the standard full-sized armor carrier the market responded with a wide variety of options. Seeing plate carrier evolve from what I used in Afghanistan in 2009 to what they’ve become in 2017 has been fascinating. It’s shown me just how far we’ve come in the tactical realm. That being said, it can be tough to separate out the crap from the quality with so many options. That’s what we plan to do today, we are going to see what category the Ambitec USAF Plate Carrier falls into.
The Ambitec USAF Carrier is a modular design outfitted with features we all know and love. This includes a generous helping of PALS webbing to attach and detach accessories, a modern supportive design, and the ability to accept both hard and soft armor. The Ambitec USAF carrier is built from 500D Cordura, a lightweight, water-resistant, and tough material. It comes in Black, OD Green, Multicam, and Coyote. The design incorporates a modular cummerbund and is cut to accept any type of SAPI plate. It also fits my Premier Body Armor curved steel plates without issue.
The front of the carrier has a Kangaroo pouch built in to allow the storage of admin gear, small electronics, or three AR 15 magazines. The armor compartment is divided into two pouches. This prevents the hard armor from touching the soft armor. The reduced friction ensures the soft armor doesn’t begin to fray. By the USAF designation, it’s easy to tell this design was built for the United States Air Force but is in no way limited to just Airman use.
Putting in On
To the guy wearing this vest for hours and hours at a time comfort is going to be a big deal. The comfort of your plate carrier is more important than people realize. Being distracted by discomfort can lower situational awareness and situational awareness is one of the best weapons you can have. I’m happy to report that after several hours long sessions with the Ambitec Plate Carrier I remained comfortable. This is with hard armor, a small medkit, three magazines, and a knife. I ran it up and down ranges with my SCAR 16S and ran, sprinted and crawled in it at one point or another.
The padded shoulder pads were a gift from heaven. Never did the carrier dig into my shoulders and cause me discomfort and pain. Another critical feature to comfort is the ability to adjust and tighten the carrier to your body size. This keeps it from bouncing and jumping as you do work. Luckily both the side straps and shoulder straps are adjustable to ensure you have a solid and tight fit.
The inside of the plate carrier is heavily padded, and it utilizes a mesh-like material. The use of mesh ensures you aren’t rubbed raw by the carrier. The raised sections of padding aren’t just to ensure comfort, but to provide airflow under the carrier. The raised padded section creates channels between your body and the carrier. This allows air to hit sweat, which cools the body. I ran the USAF Plate Carrier in Florida’s August so this was a feature I adored. When it’s 92 degrees with a humidity in the 70s by 10 AM you really appreciate that airflow.
Finish the Review At Ambitec Blog