The Best Plate Carriers in 2024 – How to Choose

As supply chains get fractured due to Russia-Ukraine war, manufacturers of plate carriers and body armors experience difficulties. At the same time we, end users are still interested in reliable and quality gear to do our daily job on the shooting range or on the mission. In this review, we’ll see what plate carrier features are trendy in 2024, what models to look at, and what the best options for every budget are. Let’s go!

Plate carriers – the trends

According to market researches, plate carriers are one of the most popular personal defense products on the U.S. market. Multifunctional vests are gradually becoming more popular year after year. Modular design of such vests and a lot of options in addition to ballistic protection make them ideal for a wide range of purposes, so this segment is expected to display 10% or more annual growth.

Now, what is a modern plate carrier? Here is how they looked back in 1960s:

Plate carriers in 1960s

Apparently, the design and functionality have changed drastically since then. Contemporary carriers got lighter, smaller, easier to use and to store, and they now offer more maneuverability and more comfort in wider range of environment conditions. Moreover, new technologies of 2020s including artificial intelligence and machine learning allowed achieving previously unimaginable quality by carrying to apogee almost every element in the plate carrier design.

Ok, that sounds fascinating, but what should you look at when selecting a plate carrier in 2024? Let’s see what is trendy, what qualities are a true must, and which ones are merely a buzzword.

Things to look for in a plate carrier in 2024


One word: nylon. First invented decades ago, nylon is still one of the best fabrics to use for plate carriers and ballistic vests. However, science doesn’t rest on its laueres and offers new types of nylon fabrics almost each year. In 2024, there are advanced nylons on the market that combine cotton-like comfort to skin with stretch properties that allow for better mobility and more comfortable fit of the plate carrier.

Common nylon types include 400D Nylon, 500D Nylon, 1000D Nylon and so on. There are also modernized patented materials that come under specific brand names, but that are essentially nylons too.


Ok, here is where modern materials allows achieving the most spectacular progress. Currently, there are dozens of low profile and minimalistic plate carrier models on the market. And, boy, are they light-weighted!

Indeed, there are minimalistic vests that less as low as one pound! And if that does not sound too impressive for you, know that there are even lighter plate carriers – as low as 0.8 lbs. Such tactical vests are very comfortable even for small frame wearers, and are basically unperceivable on your body. Which in turn means that you can carry more tactical gear without being overloaded.

Customization and modularity

One more trend of 2023/2024. More and more plate carriers today shift towards multifunctional tactical vests offering a bunch of options to fine-tune, or even designed with modularity in mind in the first place.

Such modular plate carriers are the best to adjust it to every single mission individually. You can add cummerbunds, mag pouches and MOLLE panels to attach any imaginable equipment to your carrier if necessary. Or go low profile and without the inserted armor plate if the tactical mission doesn’t require that.

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carriers

As an alternative, you may look for a full-sized kit plate carrier. These guys are designed for longer and extended missions where you may want carrying all available stuff with you. No one will ever call such plate carriers “low profile” or “sleek”, of course, but who cares if you just need the job to be done? The plus side of such all-in-one plate carriers is better weight distribution over your shoulders and back, so you can carry heavier weights without feeling tired too soon. Also, the kit handles heavy loads better than low-profile designs thanks to better arrangement of equipment, so it is a preferred choice for real combat situations.


The newest materials and manufacturing methods promote higher than ever comfort while wearing tactical plate carriers. Things to look for if comfort is a must for you are:

  • Wide bands for better weight distribution;
  • Low profile plate carriers typically offer better comfort and mobility;
  • Systems to quickly put the carrier on and off;
  • Additional spots to hold mags and attach other equipment;
  • Laser cut MOLLE webbing for instant attaching-detaching and sleek look;
  • Swivel shoulder straps offer better mobility of your upper body and hence improve your aiming;
  • Adjustable elements: shoulder straps, waist band, chest and armpit adjustments.

Overall, comfort is the new oil today. Everyone is obsessed with comfort in 2024, and so do plate carrier manufacturers. Make sure to pick a carrier that offers as much comfort and adjustability as you can get.

Sustainability and eco-friendly materials

Synthetic materials degrade slowly. Too slowly to be safe for the planet. The newest trend is to use eco-friendly materials in plate carrier and armor plate production, and also make the entire production and utilization chain sustainable.

What’s in it for me, you ask? Well, there are new organic materials that are actually twice as strong as Aramid fibers! It goes without saying that your safety is the primary goal when you select a carrier for your armor plates. But with everything else being equal, selecting a “green” plate carrier is a good thing to do in 2024.

How to choose a plate carrier in 2024?

For beginners

If you are new to all these “pew pew” stuff, you may feel a bit disoriented looking at the abundance of types, models and brands of plate carriers on the market. So here are a few rule of thumb to help you quickly choose the best value for the price:

  • Easy setup is a must. As a beginner, you need a carrier that you can put on with minimum adjustments. Buy it, wear it, that’s it.
  • Minimum hassle. Modular plate carriers are trendy, but what you really need at this stage is a cheap and cheerful solution to fulfill your tactical needs. Pay attention to simpler, low profile designs at first.
  • Plug and play. When you need to go beyond a minimalistic approach, you should stick to plug and play models. This way you won’t need to select attachments and pieces to end up with a dream carrier – leave that for pros. There are plenty of PnP carrier solutions on the market in 2024, so just buy the one with all the options already in.

For discreet wearing

If you plan wearing your plate carrier without much tactical add-ons, under your casual clothes, look for concealable options. Discreet plate carriers are very affordable and are extremely lightweight making them suitable for all day long wearing.

Such plate carriers typically have no MOLLE webbing, but may offer small mag pouches or a number of hook-and-loop on the front and on the back to keep crucial accessories with you.

When buying a plate carrier for discreet wearing, put comfort in the first place.

Ballistic protection

Plate carriers do not offer any protection from shots per se. But there are fully-sized ballistic vests that incorporate a body armor plate as standard. Otherwise, select an armor plate that corresponds to a presumed threat level. There are four:

You can learn more about threat level in our blog, but basically, plates with highest numbers offer better protection from more dangerous threats.

Best plate carriers available now at BattleSteel

Ok, what can you buy right now? Let’s take a close look at several great plate carriers offered at BattelSteel.

BattleSteel Laser Cut Plate Carrier

Fully laser cut design of this affordable plate carrier made of durable 500D nylon means the highest quality and maximum comfort. The carrier is low profile so it fits well on you, whether you are a big guy or has a smaller frame. Shoulder straps are padded, so you can easily insert Level IV plates and still feel agile.

This plate carrier offers a lot of space for rifle and pistol mage, a hook-and-loop on the front and back panels, as well as lots of MOLLE. Works well with any size of plates up to 2XL.

The best part is the price. For less than $100 you get a quality and versatile carrier for almost any tactical need.

Tasmanian Tiger Plate CarrierTasmanian Tiger Vest Base Plus MKII

This lightweight plate carrier is designed with experienced user in mind. Not only does it look smooth, it also feels like that during everyday missions. As for main features, here they are: sturdy nylon with laser cut profile is durable enough to withstand any conditions. Adjustable shoulder straps offer comfort during longer shifts.

The Tasmanian Tiger plate carrier offers plenty of space to attach equipment including laser cut MOLLE system. Comes in different colors to match your environment.

BattleSteel® Discreet Plate Carriers

BattleSteel® Discreet Plate Carriers

When you need a simple yet reliable way to remain protected undercover, or just want to wear armor while keeping it low key, take a look at this BattleSteel Plate carrier designed specifically for concealable wearing.

It accommodates hard and soft armor plates, and is 100% adjustable for the best fit. You can set how high it sits on the torso and make it feel like your second skin.

What about the price? It is merely $20. Yes, that’s it. A basic, durable and rigid plate carrier for discreet wearing.

TacTec Plate Carrier Kangaroo

One of the best plate carriers available at BattleSteel purchased in 2024. Here is why. The plate carrier offers exceptional functionally paired with sleek design and a pinch of modularity to tailor the carrier to your mission. Apparently, Kangaroo targets professionals seeking for a comfortable yet high-performing piece of equipment.

It has got MOLLE, lot of it. It featu8res adjustable shoulder straps and special waistbads for secure fit on any torso. There is a quick release system to instantly take off the armor in emergency.

Fully adjustable, TacTec offers as much comfort as you need. But at the same time it is also durable as hell thanks to 500D nylon fabric. And on top of all, the plate carrier is extremely lightweight – barely 1 pound net. This model is definitely worth your attention!

Agilite K-Zero Plate CarrierAgilite K-Zero Plate Carrier

Every single detail of its sleek low-profile design screams: this baby is for pros. Meet the acclaimed Agilite K-Zero plate carrier, one of the lightest and most functional minimalistic plate carriers on the market.

ade from special tactical nylon fabric with Kevlar coated neoprene, the plate carrier combines extreme durability under heavy loads and maximum comfort of the wearer. The computer designed layout and shape of the plate carrier redistributes the load evenly, so there are no hot points where the entire load is attached to. The result? Enhanced comfort, of course.

Plus, K-Zero has once pioneered cable management, so you now you get the most flexible and versatile way to set up your hydration system, cables to night vision and radio sets.

Overall, Agilite K-Zero is one of the best low profile plate carriers for 2024 according to BattleSteel. Pricey? Yes. But the quality is well worth it.

This article is the author's opinion and does not represent the official position of BattleSteel®️

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