Spotter Up Review: FirstSpear First On Plate Carrier

In the tactical world, there are companies whose names proceed the product itself. Some for good reasons, some for not so good. One of such companies is FirstSpear. They have a reputation for innovation, quality and product designed and optimized for the user as opposed to what is easiest for production.

The Basics:

In their vast array of plate carrier options exists the First On plate carrier. At a quick glance, the First On carrier is minimalistic. The chest side of the carrier offers two magazine pouches and a sewn on general purpose pouch. There are loops just under the lapel area on either side of the over the shoulder straps to secure a handheld microphone radio attachment. The carrier offers a medium sized Velcro area on the chest and larger Velcro area on the back for identifying patches.

The First On over the shoulder straps utilize hook and loop Velcro type material to secure. They offer a large contact patch between the two sides of the Velcro which help with creating a universal fit while maintaining the integrity of the level of secureness associated with Velcro straps. Straps around the side of the body use FirstSpear’s trademarked Tube clips. When you see these clips for the first time, their manipulation can seem a little wonky. After a few minutes of familiarization, they become as manageable as any other clipping mechanism. The only issue I encountered with the side straps is that once the plate carrier is dawned, they are not easy to adjust. It’s critically important that the carrier is adjusted to fit prior to being “patrol car ready”.

The Gear:

The elastic magazine retention straps keep the magazine secure in place. Large nylon loops are affixed to the magazine fasteners, zippers on the general purpose pouch, and Tube clips to ensure their easy manipulation with gloved hands. A sewn on general purpose pouch offers enough space to contain an individual first aid kit (IFAK) including a tourniquet, chest seal, Israeli bandage and hemostatic gauze.

Putting It On

While dawned, the First On kit weighs basically as much as the items adorning it. It has been designed to be lightweight and minimal. I appreciate the minimal design of the kit for what it was designed for, a first responder’s response to a critical incident where more ballistic protection is needed. This is slipped on, buckled in and ready to go in a matter of seconds. It’s relatively low profile and footprint allows for easy storage in the front seat of a patrol car. The low profiled nature of the First On kit allows for full mobility when wearing it. Shooting from standing to kneeling to prone is unrestricted and easily accomplished. Using my shooter cut steel plates, I was able to punch my weapon out on target without being pinched or prohibited by the plate carrier.


This system enters the market of budget priced active shooter response kits for first responders. The carrier has capacity for 10×12 shooter cut plates and SAPI plates so long as they are a thickness of one inch or less. This means that in a low profile system, you are able to armor up to rifle level ballistic protection, bring more high caliber ammunition and life saving measures with you into a critical incident. The First On carrier comes in at a price of $114.72, comparable to similar carriers but carries the FirstSpear brand name quality as well as their lifetime warranty.

Wrapping Up:

As a system designed for a very niche purpose, the First On plate carrier is lightweight, low profile, made of high quality material and well constructed. I can appreciate it’s lightweight, minimalistic design, however, with carrier of this type, I would still like the option to add more implements to my set up. Having the option to add a dump pouch, handgun magazines or other tactical accouterment would have optimized this system. As it arrives at your door now, it is good. It’s just not perfect.

Let’s rank it!

Fitment: 5/5

Utility: 4/5

Storage: 3/5

Maneuverability: 5/5

Weight: 5/5

Overall: 4.4/5

For more info on the First On Plate Carrier or to purchase one, click here!

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.



By Bill Farmer

Bill Farmer is a 12 year law enforcement veteran He is a defensive tactics, tactical driving and active shooter instructor. Bill has worked in school resource, violent crimes, plain clothes and patrol assignments. Bill is an avid outdoorsman, backpacker, hunter and shooter.

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