Updated: Jan 2, 2020
Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.
It's a timeless adage that Blue Force Gear took into account when making their PLATEminus V2 carrier.
Weighing in at 0.75lbs (0.344kg) the entire plate carrier weighs less than a single, fully loaded 30 round PMAG.
Not only that, but the ULTRAcomp laminate it's cut from is half the thickness of a dime and 4 times as abrasion resistant as 1000D Cordura fabric.
An astonishing feat of strength and durability, considering this carrier weighs less than an NFL regulation football.
To be expected from the company out of Pooler, Georgia, who are well known in the industry for their collaboration with Larry Vickers (retired US Army 1st SFOD- Delta) and the best selling Vickers Sling.
This remarkable achievement of featherweight mass and impregnable durability is achieved by a multifaceted approach to not just the textiles that are used, but how they're put together.
For starters, Helium Whisper is Blue Force Gear's patented MOLLE compatible attachment system, which uses a single piece of laser cut ULTRAcomp laminate, instead of sewn webbing straps.
The result is a 60% reduction in weight compared to similar MOLLE systems. Not only that, but the material is less rigid and moves more easily through the MOLLE slots, making gear customization quicker and easier.
The female end of the system is their MOLLEminus platform, which uses laser cut slots and voids to create an integral MOLLE grid, removing the need for rows of webbing to be sown onto a base fabric layer.
This system is featured across the front and back of the carrier, as well as across the front portion of the cummerbund, allowing maximum compatibility with pouches and accessories.
This unique cut uses considerably less material than the traditional MOLLE system, making for a much lighter carrier. The system also adds an increase in durability, as a single continuous piece of fabric doesn't have the same weak spots as those where other material is sewn in.
Less moving parts means less room for failure.
So not only is the design more durable than the regular MOLLE system, it's noticeably lighter.
Whether it's the 10 mile mark of a patrol, or 10 hours into a night shift, this lightened load will be a saving grace for those putting in the extra work.
The most vital component of this entire carrier is the laminate that it's cut from.
At a fraction of the weight, and stronger than the industry standard 1000 denier nylon in terms of tear strength, tensile strength, and abrasion resistance, Blue Force Gear's ULTRAcomp laminate is the gold standard of industry materials.
The technology combines the properties of a rubber based laminate, while adding a Cordura fabric facing for the use of color patterns and a reduced IR signature.
Unparalleled in it's strength's, the material is also hydrophobic and resistant to bacteria and fungal growth.
Something useful in a tropical theatre of war where absorbed rainfall would otherwise weigh down the carrier heavily, and prolonged exposure to moisture would otherwise be a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal spores.
A true revolution for the tactical industry, ULTRAcomp will no doubt have you looking at stand alone Cordura carriers the way we look at the cotton uniforms used by World War troops.
The most ergonomic feature of this carrier is the side access cummerbund.
The front of your carrier is likely where the most gear is going to be stored. Between magazine pouches, admin pouches, and any other accessories, there isn't much room for the front panel to fold upwards and reveal the cummerbund straps.
The advantage to side access is that there is no rigid top of the carrier that you are folding against when raising the velcro flap, meaning less gear gets in the way when removing or donning the carrier.
Another great feature are the four magazine pouches (two each side) that are built into the cummerbund. Without any pouches attached to the carrier, the cummerbund already provides four magazine pouches for the user, making the combat carry load of 10 magazines easy to achieve with minimum additions.
For law enforcement officers, the slots will also hold similar sized items such as trauma dressings.
The cummerbund itself is fully adjustable and features military grade Ten-Speed® elastic, for a comfortably snug fit.
The cummerbund also features side inserts for armour (6" x 6" plates), providing nearly 360 degrees of ballistic protection to the user.
One of the smallest, but perhaps handiest feature of this carrier and other Blue Force Gear pouches is the Ball Loaded Index Point, or BLIP™ for short.
The system was designed based off the concept of fine motor skill loss during adrenaline rush, as well as loss of haptic function due to extreme weather conditions.
The idea, born in the freezing rain on a Blackwater range, was the solution to the problem of lack of finger control during cold and wet conditions.
When your digits are frozen, it can become very difficult to get a grasp on a flat piece of webbing and to distinguish a pull tab from the rest of the gear.
The BLIP system solves this problem by having a small protruding ball wrapped within the material that allows the user to both easily identify the pull tab, and to get a good grip on it.
Available in a variety of plate sizes, (S - 8.75" x 11.75", M - 9.5" x 12.5", L - 10.125" x 13.25", XL - 11" x 14") the back of the plate pockets are made out of Tweave material, which allows some give for various plate sizes and shapes, including SAPI & ESAPI.
Utility: Extremely durable, featherweight.
Application: Low profile tasking / Patrol.
Weight: 0.344kg (0.75lbs)
MASS // Heavyweight Middleweight Lightweight Feather
DURABILITY // Impregnable Durable Average Delicate
+Extremely lightweight construction.
+ULTRAcomp laminate material is half the thickness of a dime and 4 times as abrasion resistant as 1000D Cordura fabric.
+Carrier opens via side of cummerbund instead of front panel, meaning less gear gets in the way when removing or donning the carrier.
+BLIP system makes handling tabs easier.
-Thin material on shoulder straps makes enhanced padding addition a must for long treks.
-Lack of velcro on front plate bag makes carrier incompatible with systems such as Spiritus, Haley, etc.
A true revolution for the industry in terms of weight and durability, the Blue Force Gear PLATEminus V2 is the gold standard for plate carriers.
This carrier will be able to stand up to more abuse than any other carrier on the market, an incredible feat considering it weighs less than a pint of beer.