Pouches for armor plates aim to solve a lasting problem of plates being essential, but also very heavy. You don’t want to carry a hard plate, especially not something like and NIJ Level IV, everywhere with you. But, you want to have it close by when the going gets tough. These pouches will protect your plate and keep it securely fastened to your backpack or vehicle to be there when you need it.Because these pouches or bags are mostly something you will need to get in a hurry, they need to have a way to access easily. Especially if you have multiple plates stores in the same bag, you want to know what you are taking and to be able to slide it out unobstructed.There are three things that a good pouch for armor needs to do:
Hold the hard plates in place
Fasten safely to solid objects
Offer lateral shock protection
Thankfully, those that need to buy pouches for armor plates will notice that they can be found for sale at very competitive prices. As most manufacturers used them to transport their plates to different marketing and testing venues, the features of the pouches have been developed greatly, allowing the buyer to reap the benefits.
What are Armor Plate Pouches?
They are dedicated bags means to store and transport ballistic hard plates and panels. Even though they are often referred to as pouches and can be used as an attachment to the gear, they are rarely used in this way as they would be inferior to a regular PC socket.But, if you need to supply or resupply your brothers in arms with new plates, you will be able to attach such a bag to your gear as a modular piece and transport the plates safely.While protecting ballistic plates might sound redundant, as to why would you be protecting something that can take a .30cal armor-piercing bullet, there are physics around it. While some armor like the UHMWPE NIJ Level III models have a strong interconnection between the layers and are quite durable against lateral impact, harder Level IV plates are often not.Now, a fall might not damage the structural integrity of the plate in any significant way, but it might, and it doesn’t need to be a hard fall either. Because of the molecular crystals inside the plate, their lateral integrity might be way weaker than their frontal, and you don’t want to risk anything.Also, carrying something by the handle is much easier than clamping the plate with your fingers, especially for the very heavy models.
What to Look for in Pouches for Armor Plates?
On their own, hard plates are both heavy and cumbersome to carry. A good armor plate pouch should solve these two issues and allow the carrier to quickly grab and carry the pouch.Also, when it is connected to the gear, it should be easy to slide the hard plates in and out and to keep them steady when they are on the body. In this position, the pouch should double as a PC and have the same balance solutions as such an item.To solve the main issues with hard body armor transportation, two things have been found as the best solutions:
The pouch must have a MOLLE or similar webbing attachment system to securely hold such a dense item while you are moving quickly. Ideally, if there can’t be PALS to MOLLE connections over the whole area of the pouch, there should be secure belt attachments that would hold the place close to the body of the wearer.
The pouch should have a handle or strap attachment where you would be able to pick up and carry multiple items without straining yourself or dropping the plates.
Plate Pouches and Stomach Modules
Hard plate pouches are often mixed up with stomach hard plate modules that can be connected to the plate carrier to offer abdominal ballistic protection. Even though they serve a similar purpose, to carry hard plates, neither the plates nor the reason why they are carrying them is the same.The primary purpose of a hard plate pouch is to transport a plate. And, while it can be used as a provisional plate carrier, it will never be as easy, comfortable, or efficient as a dedicated carrier. But, it will hold the plates safe and easy to carry.Stomach modules are there to carry abdominal plates and to add ballistic protection to your stomach and intestines. They are always worn with a plate carrier are connected via flexible straps for mobility and don’t stand on the MOLLE webbing.