While often used as a colloquial name in marketing, a jumpable plate carrier is a collective name for high-mobility plate carriers. These models are not always covert and can include gear as well, but are focused on allowing combatants to move quickly even over obstacles.
Although there are a few conditional exceptions, there are three things that every jumpable plate carrier must have:
- Very light and fitting
- Allowing for a full range of movement
- Capable of perfect balance
Additionally, it might be necessary for the plate armor to accommodate your rifle attached to the back or front. This is necessary for situations where obstacles can’t be simply jumped over, but need the use of tools such as rope or climbing gear.
Missions where dedicated jumpable plate carriers are necessary are relatively rare. But, even a good plate carrier should be deductible to a moment where you can jump and run in them.
Built for Mobility
In most cases, jumpable PCs will have the same SAPI/ESAPI slots for plate armor as would any other model. But, the focus here would be the fact that those plates are as near as possible to the body and don’t need as much gear attachments.
In fact, even the gear relegated to the chest will often be heavier than the plate itself. This will prevent the soldier from jumping and running as quickly as they would without it.
When jumpable PCs are considered for offensive missions they will usually be reduced to little more than a mag holster and the radio attachment. All other modular interfaces will need to be removed.
But, in cases where extreme mobility only may be needed defensively, most units will use chest rigs that will carry the auxiliary gear. If there is immediate danger, those can be dropped allowing the soldier to reposition, take cover, or reply to attacks from a more favorable position.
Adjustable for Balance
Every PC that expects to get a passable grade should be adjustable for position and comfort. But, when it comes to balance it is also the capability of balancing your gear that would be on the plate.
For this reason, MOLLE/PALS interface should be found on both the front and the back. Jumpable PCs will usually use a skeletal cummerbund, but you will still be able to equalize your carry-weight between the back and front and left and right.
Balance is essential in high-mobility scenarios as you won’t be surprised with what you can’t do. Pulling more with one side than the other will induce fatigue in those muscles and lower your combat ability faster.
Must be Compatible with Regular Plate Sizes
Some manufacturers will reduce the weight of the plate by reducing its size, usually cutting the bottom part. This will often help with the price as well. But, generally, this is not a good idea.
The plate that is too high might prevent injury from straight ahead, shot from an assailant standing in front of us. But, if the attacker is laying down a shot might hit our vitals from below the plate.
It is better to have a larger plate that covers your vitals and train to be mobile with them than to cut corners and get an injury from which you won’t return home.