Everyone who trains is looking for an advantage. We all work hard in the pursuit of being better. In that pursuit we are constantly looking for a better method, a better technique, or a better piece of gear. In the world of load bearing vests the TacTec Plate Carrier from 5.11 is a better piece of gear.The TacTec Plate Carrier functions superbly as a tactical vest and as a weighted vest for physical fitness training. The TacTec Plate Carrier is as at home on patrol as it is in the gym. With its adoption at the Cross Fit Games the TacTec Plate Carrier has gained a lot of popularity in the fitness community.
The verdict is in, 5.11 has delivered a very good product in the TacTec Plate Carrier. It is hands down the most comfortable plate carrier I have worn. The TacTec Plate Carrier is comfortable, modular, lightweight, durable, has a solid list of features and is available at a competitive price. Sounds pretty good right? That’s because it is. First and foremost the TacTec Plate Carrier is extremely comfortable. It fits well, doesn’t bounce excessively, breathes, and doesn’t weigh too much. During testing, the vest remained comfortable and cool during 4 mile runs, gym sessions and long range sessions. The TacTec Plate Carrier’s comfort comes from a combination of its features. 5.11 has incorporated large sections of padding on the inside of the carrier. Between these sections of padding are air channels that allow body heat to vent. The pads do their job well keeping the vest snug and comfortable without rubbing excessively or getting in the way. The airflow channels between the pads aid in keeping the operator cool and dry as it allows airflow to help sweat to evaporate. The large padded shoulders add comfort by helping to distribute the load evenly across the front and back of the shoulders. While the shoulder pads are large enough to distribute weight they do not prohibit a shooter from mounting their primary weapon system in the pocket of the shoulder. The TacTec offers adjustable sizing from XS-XL and can accommodate medium or large ballistic plates. This allows for a vest that can be easily fit to the end user based on their needs and preferences. The modular fit also promotes an enhanced range of motion allowing the operator to move unhindered by their kit. A small but appreciated feature is Velcro on the inside of the vest for the tabs to secure to prevent them from hanging and snagging on other gear. That kind of attention to the small details matters. The TacTec Plate Carrier can support SAPI plates as well as men’s and women’s Weight Vest Plates from Rogue Fitness.
The TacTec Plate Carrier also has all of the features needed for a plate carrier utilized in an operational environment. It has a quick release system that can deployed with one hand. It features an extendable drag handle to assist in emergency exfiltration. The TacTec Plate Carrier is made from an abrasion resistant 500D nylon for a durable finish to give the vest a long shelf life and it has been treated with a water resistant coating to prevent the vest from retaining water which adds weight. Other features of the TacTec Plate Carrier worth mentioning include the ample amount of Velcro on the front and back for ID or department insignias or your favorite morale patch.There is also a built in pocket on the top front chest that happens to be the right size and depth to hold target documents, maps, a phone or other similar gear. The one downside of the TacTec is that it does not come with side pouches. Although, 5.11 does make side pouches that can be purchased separately. The side pouches are available in the same colors as the TacTec Plate Carrier with the exception of multicam. In full disclosure the side pouches were not part of the testing and evaluation for this article so it impossible to offer candid feedback about the side pouches and their performance. The bottom line still stands. The TacTec is an extremely comfortable vest with a ton of positive features. It is available in 6 colors (black, navy, multicam, storm [light grey], sandstone, and TAC OD green). And at $199 retail or $229 for the multicam option it is a great value.Material DisclosureI 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.