Body Armor: Sizing Plates and Plate Carriers

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Video Transcript

Determine Plate Size First (00:00):
Let's talk plate sizing and plate carrier sizing. Now, oftentimes people get the two confused and they wanna jump straight into sizing their plate carrier before they've even figured out what plate size is right for their body. Now here's the fun thing with plate sizing. If you're not constantly changing size all the time—you know, like adding weight or maybe you're cutting weight, which is, you know, pretty rad—but once you figure out what size plate you're gonna be, you're really not gonna have to change that. Although, I mean, if you lose a ton of weight (which, hey, if you do that, that's super awesome), maybe you go from a size large to a medium. But for most people, they're gonna get a plate size, they're gonna figure out what size they are, and that's what they are. And then once you know that, then you go buy your plate carrier to match that size of plate.

How To Measure Yourself (00:40):
So how do you size the plate to your body and what size you're gonna be? Well, the simplest trick is you're gonna measure between your two nipples and then you're gonna look at the size chart of, you know, what distance that is, you know, 9", 10". And that's gonna tell you whether you are a small, medium, or large. I wanna demonstrate for you guys here is a L210. This is not a traditional SAPI size. This is technically a size large for their, you know, shooter cut—you know, what they're doing right here—and that is actually more like a size medium. It will fit in a size medium carrier. And that's why we have to specify on our website. And it does get a little confusing with certain plates out there made by certain manufacturers. They'll say something's large, but it's more like a medium or vice versa.

If you're going off of just SAPI sizes, those will be the same across the board. Once you know what size SAPI you are, that is the size you're gonna buy. I know for me right now, I'm a size small SAPI. I can wear mediums. I can have some like extra on the side. That's, that's fine. But I'll kind of demonstrate for you guys. This is a size small 3810, and you know, nipple to nipple, as you can see. Yep, I'm good to go. I'm not, sitting over a whole lot. If I do end up sitting, you know, having the plate much wider than that I'm, you know, not gonna have as much, you know, body underneath that, and it could start to lead to some comfort issues and your cummerbund doing some weird things as well.

Plate Positioning (02:00):
When it comes to adjusting the plate on your body (this is actually going to be a great demonstration) there's a lot of people out there that wear their plate really low. And as you can see, the curvature of this plate—this is a multi-curve plate—is not going to allow for very good comfort. You can see a huge gap right here, if I wear this plate super low, because it has, you know, the harsh curve here at the edge of the bottom and this harsh curve here at the top. This curve is designed to curve more up high with your body where it's supposed to actually sit.

You are gonna want the plate to be resting right about where your sternum is. And then it's gonna be riding basically just right above your belly button, more or less, but that can also depend some based on, you know, what body you're running. So this is what it's gonna look like. And as you can see, the curve is you know, naturally lining up with my body. So it is nice and comfortable.

Plate Backer Tip (02:50):
There is another trick though, if you have one of these plates that does like curve inwards, sometimes that can cause a bunch of pressure up here, up at the top. So if you are using a—this is something I do for my plates—if you're using something like our plate backer, one thing you can do to relieve some of that pressure is to create some offset with these pads. And then what I do is actually chop the top pad out and that helps kind of make a little gap up here. So I don't have all that unwanted pressure up top. So don't be afraid to chop away at stuff, especially when it's inexpensive like one of these, to get that proper fit that you desire.

Plate Carrier Sizing (03:25):
Now another question that we get is, "Okay, well I've determined I'm a size small for my plate. Can I wear that in a medium carrier?" And the answer is absolutely you can, especially if it's a fatter plate like this 3810 that has some backing to it. So it's got a little bit of, you know, width to it. But what you're gonna have with a size small plate in a medium carrier like this AC1 is you are simply gonna have a little bit of slop on the sides. It's not bad, but the big one you want is you want to have on your plate carrier—whatever you pick, and this is something we designed into the AC1 to enable this to happen a little bit better—but you need to be able to push the plate all the way to the top of the carrier, where it needs to be sitting in relation to your sternum. And that is going to require having a flap with enough velcro inside of the carrier to be able to pull the flap tight against the bottom of the plate, to shove it all the way up to the top. And our AC1 has enough loop field to do that. So even though this is a size medium carrier, I can have my plate here at the top, which is what I want to be in line with my sternum.

So the L210s, which are technically a large plate, at least according to what it says on the back—they are going to fit… like, so. Just fine. And there is ample room on the inside for the soft backer that we have. Now, I recommend the soft backer on an L210 plate because this is a hard plate with no, you know, soft coating or soft pad, kinda like the 3810s have built-in. And it's not super comfortable. So that's why we came out with these to help give a little bit of comfort for the L210s to make them a little more usable.

Once it's in place, flap goes on the inside. Once again, pulling very tight. You wanna have the plate pushed all the way to the top, just like so, and I have those soft pads now. So this'll be a little bit more comfortable versus just having a hard plate against your body. If you have any other questions about plate carrier, sizing, plate sizing, different models out there, how they work with our AC1, how they work with other plate carriers, go ahead and shoot us an email [email protected] and the guys over there will help you out.