I first saw Spiritus System’s products at one of Kinetic Counsulting’s limited visibility classes. Jon showed me his Spiritus Systems covert plate carrier. It impressed me. I decided to meet them formally at the new vendors section at last year’s Shot Show. After looking at their kit and speaking with Nichole about what makes Spiritus Systems different, I predicted then they were going to be big. It has come to fruition. I don’t believe one can find a better combination of outstanding quality, modularity, innovative features and a reasonable price anywhere else.
Before I get to my experience with the components, let me highlight that Spiritus Systems is truly a system. Their overt and covert plate carrier components are fully interchangeable with each other as well as variety of their cummerbunds, side straps and accessories. This creates an opportunity for an unparalleled amount of customization on the part of the user. I’ve had the opportunity to use both their Covert and Overt systems for the last several months and I can’t say enough good things about them. They are ideal for every user from the low-profile user to the loaded for bear operator.
Pulling the Covert and Overt systems out of their packaging I was immediately struck by their light weight. Its been my experience that lightness is often an indicator of a lack of structure and/or quality. That is DEFINITELY not the case with Spiritus Systems.
The materials are top notch and the workmanship matches. They use high quality sewing and while I was concerned about the robustness of the fabric components, that concern was unwarranted. Most of the plate carrier is 500D Cordura. This contributes water resistance and durability. The shoulders are made of HANK, short for “High Abrasion-resistant Neoprene-coated Kevlar”. This approach all but insures high wear areas from failing. No frays, or loose thread and the fabric is tough.
The Covert quickly became my go to plate carrier for everyday wear. I wore the Covert system with side straps under my uniform shirt to minimize the military look with level IV plates in the oppressive Florida sun. I came to greatly prize how Spiritus Systems’ inner mesh kept me cool and the fabric surfaces on the cover were cool, comfortable and shed moisture. The low-profile shoulder covers surprised me with the level of comfort they provided especially when it came to abrasion.
While being light weight the carrier provided me a sturdy non shifting fit. I never got a flopping effect when running. The overt plate bag was exceptionally comfortable. Its snug fit enhanced my balance moving through tight spaces and climbing into and out of structures or vehicles.
Spiritus Systems consistently demonstrates a great deal of thought goes into their products with enhancements and hidden features. The Covert features three Velcro panels. The upper chest 3” x 5” panel is perfectly sized for patches and oversized patches. There’s a similar panel on the back for the same purpose, perfect for when not covered with a shirt and important to ID oneself. Across one’s belly is a third 6” x 9” panel that serves to anchor a cummerbund or side straps but also has plenty of room to turn the Covert into an overt rig.
Versatility on the Covert is where Spiritus Systems demonstrates their comprehensive experience and unique approach to designing kit. The Covert has hidden features and adaptability with other Spiritus Systems components to turn it into an equipment bearing (“tactical”) plate carrier. The first hidden feature are two hidden loops underneath the front chest seam that one can attach the included 1″ ITW NEXUS buckles allowing one to connect a micro fight chest rig or your own load carrying solutions.
Behind the front plate pocket is a second hidden feature. A handy pocket placed on the chest to store maps, cheat sheets or a VS 17 panel. The inside “map pouch” is made of Tweave. It’s an amazing fabric that feels like a tough, thicker spandex without the sticky hot factor providing a flexible and cooling material close to your body. The third/fourth hidden feature is in plain view. Spiritus Systems uses a wide, color matched Velcro panel on the belly allowing one to use that area to attach a variety of pouches and/or cummerbund. One can also select from a variety of other Spiritus Systems options to turn one’s sides into storage space or even add side plates.
For those requiring equipment carrying capability on their plate carrier, the Overt system deliver just that. The Overt system has the same footprint as the Covert but with more features. If worn slick, it can be used as a pretty effective covert system. The Overt carrier front platform features a three row by four column MOLLE field that is covered in color or camo pattern matched Velcro creating a 6” x 3” field.
One of the unique features of Spiritus Systems approach to the tactical carrier is a thoughtful approach to communication integration. The Overt front platform includes standard PTT/Porkchop loops on either side and cable routing throughout the front and back platforms.
The rear platform of the Overt system has one discreet row of MOLLE and zippers along the sides compatible with yet to be announced Spiritus Systems accessories. Even with zippers the rear platform run slick, could function as a covert solution.
The Covert and Overt plate carrier bags come in two sizes, medium and large. The medium will fit 10″ x 12.5″ standard sized plates and the large handles 10.25″ x 13.25″ plates. Plate thickness on both models can handle a maximum of 1.20″.
Spiritus Systems offers a variety of approaches to connecting its front and rear platforms along the sides of one’s body. On the low end, there is a simple strap and a variety of others that allow for ammo, radio or other equipment storage as well as side plates. A recent addition is FirstSpear’s TUBES quick release system (must use an Overt System front platform). My order is going in.
A standout feature of Spiritus Systems plate carrier solutions is a proprietary cummerbund/side strap attachment approach. This creates a no snag or rip off risk. Spiritus Systems uses a hidden integrated fabric grid panel between the plate pocket and the exterior fabric to connect side straps/cummerbunds. That grid panel also allows for a wide variety of adjustment to fit just about anyone. Spiritus Systems thoughtfully offers an assembly guide for users.
I’m now a huge fan of Spiritus Systems and not the only one. It isn’t uncommon to have to wait for Spiritus Systems products, the demand is that strong. The ability to mix and match between Overt and Covert platforms is a huge plus for users trying to create unique solutions. Yet, the adaptability of each component still allows for a great degree of user versatility if the mission changes.
The materials are top notch, American designed, made and assembled. Not only strong, but comfortable, easy to clean and odor resistant. If one doesn’t believe Spiritus Systems makes the best all around low-profile plate carrier systems (I think they are), they definitely deserve an assessment if one is in the market. It’s affordability and modularity make it a go to solution especially if one’s organizational solution isn’t meeting your need. There’s enough at Spiritus Systems to meet or create your specific solution.
Spiritus Systems will be at Booth 32106 at Shot Show 2020.