A good few months back I published a brief ‘essay’ on Crye’s Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC).
That particular piece of equipment, or rather plate carrier in it’s current incarnation has served me well, and aside from dirt and a few scuffs is going as strong as the day I received it. I had found however, its ability to significantly load carry over considerably longer ‘games’ was somewhat lacking, and often found my self having a day sack along, left at a ‘laying up’ point to reload and replenish items expended in the field.
To be fair, it was never intended to be used as such, and it’s original brief was to increase my mobility and lower my profile on ‘Direct Action’ (DA) games.
Well, whilst idle I started to extrapolate possible solutions which would help increase ‘load bearing capability’ yet give me the punch required when changing gears into DA segments.
I immediately started taking a long hard look the CAGE Plate Carrier (CAGE – Crye Assault GEar). This is somewhat streamlined version of the original CAGE Armor Chassis offering a slightly lower profile and weight reduction.
I’ll firstly talk a little about the CPC. It essentially is built around an internal suspension system which can be adjusted to fit the users shape and size and is offset for comfort with eight varying sized pads all of which can moved or removed to the users preferred fit and form.
This is overlaid by to modular plate bags which hold solid state armor and soft armor backing. All of which is secured by a dual cummerbund which can additionally take soft armor and plates. These also feature two pockets for either radios and or magazines. The front plate like the rear is covered with a generous amount of MOLLE for attaching additional pouches, but also features a kangaroo pouch to take three 5.56 magazines and an admin pouch in the top of the bag for quick access to either pens, chem lights, note books and so on and so forth …
I was exceptionally impressed with its fit and form, found it very easy to adjust and modify to make for a very comfortable wear and instantly felt familiar and intuitive to use.
Initially as I started to position additional pouches and accessories, as pretty much everything I use gets placed to my left ‘weak’ side – I started to feel it become cluttered and overloaded. After discussing at length with a very ‘reputable’ and knowledgable source I reorganized my belt load bearing equipment (LBE) to drive forward the more streamlined ‘function over form’ ethos.
Whilst not completely in a state where I’d call it complete, I’ve started to get nearer to a more usable and functional position that’s practical and intuitive to use.
Most of the stuff on the Plate Carrier has been moved on to the belt.
Essentially as follows:
2 x Grenade Pouches
2 x 2 BFG 5.56 (4 x Mags 30 Rnds)
1 x BFG 9mm
On the PC
On the rear:
1 x IFAK SOFLCS (fully stocked/qualified First Aid Trained)
1 x 100 Rnd Saw SOFLCS Pouch (used for admin items, spares etc)
3 x 5.56 in the Kangaroo pouch
2 x BFG Smoke Pouches
2 x 9mm CP style pouches
ATS 40mm FB pouch (two be replaced with two CP style 40mm FB pouches)
HGG MBTIR pouch
1L Source Hydration Pouch inside the Type C rear MOLLE panel
I worked around this conundrum by starting move pouches around and working out best placement in order of priority. Slowly but a little more ‘brutal’ in minimizing what I was prepared to carry.
I really put a lot of thought into how much I needed in the field, and what could be left behind or acquired slow time when appropriate.
It’s laughable, but at one point I was really pushing for between four and six secondary magazines across the board. Despite whatever justifications I sought to keep these it just didn’t work and pushed ahead with streamlining down to two, with an admin load on the belt.
Moving onward, the rear plate bag has been complimented with a ‘Type C’ back panel, allowing for the carry of a hydration bladder, and overlaid with an IFAK, Admin Pouch and two Smoke Pouches for team mates.
This can all be very quickly unzipped and removed for reduction of weight or load bearing, perhaps when using a day sack or simply for purposes of storage.
Well, after several long weeks of sitting in storage awaiting completion the CPC finally got an out over two extended days at a large urban event.
Even better it was unseasonably clement, so I was intrigued to find out how hot it’d be whilst worn and how it would play out fully loaded …
In a word, I was amazed – the suspension system and pads distribute the weight, or rather off set it evenly across the shoulders and torso. It’s segmented interior and the channels sitting between the rear plate allow for air to flow through and further dissipate heat.
In summary an easy light weight wear. Configuration wise, a few pouches perhaps need to be either moved for more intuitive access or swapped over to my belt load but again, it was functional with no real fumble or confusion.
An addition I had made was High Ground Gears MBITR ’tilt pouch’ – which I had stowed on the rear left of the cummerbund. This was great for reducing profile, but meant absolutely no access to the radio to switch channels. An annoyance to say the least as in this instance I’d programmed the radio to speak with the other eight call signs in attendance.
In any other instance, perhaps when operating in smaller numbers and using the BDR function to communicate across two frequencies this position is not a problem. However, here I’d fallen foul from form over function. That said, perhaps aside from Tyr Tacticals radio pouch this is an outstanding pouch. It allows for battery access and replacement via a zip at bottom. Has plenty of loops for tidying cables, and when correctly positioned allows the user to access the radio without removal by simply pulling away from the body.
Back to the CPC, well over two days of high impact urban DA style play, it easily endured the rigors of crashing through disused buildings, climbing obstacles and has returned with little to no signs of wear or tear.
It’s in my estimation a great value high plate carrier, with an incredible scope for modularity and load bearing and when faced with ‘higher threat’ levels in DA style games this proves an above adequate solution.
In comparison, for days when I really need to be flight on my feet I can see the JPC still being brought out on occasion. Particular where vehicles are being used, if only that the CPC increases you profile to the point, when seated in a vehicle you’ll take up a lot of room …
To summarize a great plate carrier, user friendly, instantly usable out of the box and highly customizable – I’d be hard pushed to imagine how Crye could really improve on this innovative design.
CPC was purchased from LEAF Gear
S23 Golf Mike 75 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier
S23 FAMILIA SHIRTS AVAILABLE HERE
… in light of the overwhelming demand for patches (which have now gone) what was originally a limited crew served shirt has been made available online – printed on heavy weight Gildan shirts in charcoal gray (available S,M,L,XL worldwide here) – S23