5.11 Plate Carrier Review – Lightweight and Durable

Buy once cry once you must have heard it. right, well it is the scenario here because tactic has designed this body armor after talking to many professional and high-level operators.

This is why this product gets so much hype about its every feature. They designed it to stay super-light while serving the protection purpose and no doubt this plate carrier is different from other products.

However, there are lots of brands in the market that are offering many other vests but let me tell you, a 5.11 plate carrier review will make you find your soul vest. Before jumping right to the details let’s first have a look at the features that make this vest so popular.

  • Lighter in weight
  • Durable construction
  • MOLLE laser cut
  • Back drag handle
  • Skeletonized cummerbund

Initially, this plate carrier was designed for military and law enforcement personnel but due to its looks and performance, it was adopted by the CrossFit industry.

Level of protection

The level of protection is important to know before spending on any vest. Different vests provide a different level of protection. Some can face more rounds while some have less. First, analyze your needs and then buy one.

  • Bulletproof soft vests

They are good in terms of their lighter weight but they provide mild protection because they can only stop up to9mm caliper guns. They can not stop the high-caliber gunshots. They are easy to conceal and the best fit for playing games or used as training vests.

  • Plate carriers

Plate carriers are the solid level of protection because they can absorb high-caliber gunshots. You just have to insert the ballistic plates inside. Some of them have a place for one plate and some have two. However, you can insert both at the same time too. Further, you can wear them just like that for training and stuff.

  • Multifunctional vest

They provide a lesser level of protection like they are similar to ordinary vests. However, they provide great storage and you can carry multiple gears with this vest. They are soft armor and do not have any space to insert the plates.

TacTec 5.11 Plate Carrier Updated Review


  • Accepts M-L ESAPI ballistic plates
  • Oversized airflow panels
  • Web MOLLE platform
  • Fits Medium and Large ESAPI plates
  • 52-57 inches cummerbund


If you are a starter and want to enter the armor world then start from 5.11 plate carriers because they are super lighter in weight and made up of highly durable material. The shoulders are thick and padded with soft foam.

Plau, the shoulders have loops for radio wires and water hose. Further the shoulder straps are completely adjustable. The yoke-style padding of the shoulder is a great style because it distributes the weight throughout the shoulder.

Move to the cummerbund which is mesh or skeletonized. It is not stiff, rather it gives good mobility space to the wearer due to its elasticity. A little bit of flex gives comfort to the wearer while moving. Jumping, running, and lifting heavy objects.

Shoulder pads also allow little movement of pads with the body while leaning towards the floor. The area of the vest from the inner side is made up of mesh for the airflow.

The mesh system is breathable and has room for MOLLE attachment. You can also slide the SPIs plate in it. The shape of the vest is slightly different from other vests as it is tapered from the top for easy arms movement for swimming, lifting load, changing positions from sitting to stand, climbing, etc. there are laser cut MOLLE on the upper half region of the vest. It is present on both sides of the vest to offer more space and you can attach the placards as well.’

There is a front compartment to hold little gears, cell phone, notepad, etc. the other features include the drag handle that lifts as you pull it. plus, as you pull the drag handle, it extends out from the plate carrier.

This feature allows you to drag the person who is hurt in the direction of your motion. In case there is serious injury or casualty, the drag handle allows easy pulling.

Unique Design

The vest is uniquely designed as it has a frontal part covered with laser-cut MOLLE on both sides. This is for adding morale patches and gives you more space. The overall material of the vest is pretty soft, body-contoured, and comfortable.

The construction of the vest comprises 500 denier nylon materials that keep it alive in the harshest conditions. Further, there is an additional admin pouch at the front for all your useful documents and maps. It only weighs 2.5 pounds and holds both medium and large plates in front and back.

Internal mesh

The internal area of the vest is meshwork and allows much more circulation of airflow. The airflow channels pass through a quadrant of raised paddings for a more cooling effect.

Shoulders and cummerbund

Talking about comfort, tac tec has previously introduced the 5.11 backpack that comes with padded shoulders. The same is the case here as the 5.11 plate carrier has flexible yoke-designed padded shoulders that allow easy adjustments and zero friction. They have slight flex for your easy hand movements like lifting something over your head, climbing the cliff, etc.

Secondly, the cummerbund is skeletonized with bungee material which gives more comfortable leaning and bending movements. It gives you good body fitting along with good elasticity. There are loops for you to add more pouches or gears if you want.

Drag handle

The emergency grab handle is one of the great thoughtful inventions, because unlike other handles when you pull it, the handle comes out and extends from the plate carrier.

This technique was not seen previously and it is widely accepted because it allows the person to drag the injured person in the direction of motion. This gives a person complete ease of motion and awareness of the situation.

Protection plates

We know that internal plates sound a little corny but it is for your protection. There are four Velcro straps for horizontally holding the plates and two at the bottom. Tactec plate carriers come in two sizes.

The first one is small and can hold small and larger plates. The second one is XL that holds XL plates. This setup gives maximum protection from ballistic rounds.

Quick-release handle

It is located in the middle of the plates; you can easily track it. It is for quickly shedding the wires running throughout the tactec. It also immediately releases the cummerbund and shoulder straps. It is for emergencies where you don’t have time to put down the pieces.

Color options

Though it is armor it does not need to be boring. Tactec 5.11 plate carriers come in black, navy blue, terrain, storm, night, kangaroo, camo, and ranger green.


  • Easy to don and doff
  • Good in looks
  • Denier nylon material
  • Bungee cummerbund
  • Variety of color options


  • Higher in price
  • Cannot hold much weight.


We know that a 5.11 plate carrier is a bit pricey but look at the built and endurance power. Plus, it has been tested vastly by the world’s top athletes and they approve it to be the official partner for CrossFit.

It provides great strength, durability, mobility, and comfort. It looks stylish and at the same time, it provides you more space to hold your gears. Further, if you are a shooter or training guy then you must take this vest because it can hold all your megs and rifles.


1-How to wash the plate carrier?

You cannot wash the plate carrier in the washing machine or dryers. For every plate carrier, there is a manual attached. Read it carefully and follow the instructions.

2-What are the disadvantages of plate carriers?

Plate carriers are good protection vests but if you add more gears and plates to them, they get heavier. They can cease mobility and sometimes do not let the air pass. Not all plate carriers are uncomfortable, if you are looking for something just for training then a 5.11 plate carrier can be a good start.

3-How will the 5.11 plate carrier’s cummerbund fit?

5.11 plate carriers come with adjustable and flexible cummerbund. The cummerbund is skeletonized and attached with a bungee that gives you more flex with easy fitting. Also, must choose the right size of 5.11 plate carrier for you.

4-Is there any admin pouch?

Yes, there is a hidden admin pouch in the 5.11 plate carrier in which you can store your gears, maps, documents, cell phone, or whatever you think is required. No need to attach an external admin pouch.

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