It wasn’t that long ago that I announced Beez Combat Systems (BCS) overhauled their plate carriers and I was fortunate enough to have some small say in the design of their Plate Carrier Low-Profile. Since that time I have come into possession of one of these plate carriers and put it through its paces.
Thoughts on the Design
The BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile is designed to be low profile as the name would suggest. In order to fit this low profile mission, it is devoid of any extra bulk like MOLLE webbing or padding. However, when we were talking through the design, we also wanted this carrier to be scalable to match the user’s needs so we incorporated a unique feature – a large hook and loop field on the front plate pocket.
This hook and loop field is the key to the versatility of this carrier. It allows the user to instantly add various pouches to fit their requirements. This hook and loop field also allows you to stabilize a chest rig by adding some small patches of hook and loop material to the back of your chest rig. Chest rigs can often slide around when worn over a plate carrier but this hook and loop system can help lock the rig in place.
So, while this plate carrier is extremely low profile, it can be instantly scaled up to meet your load bearing requirements for items like rifle magazines, pistol magazines, flashlights, and first aid gear.
The BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile has front and back plate pockets. The front pocket features the large hook and loop field that I mentioned above and a smaller one designed to display name tapes, patches, or blood types. The rear plate pockets has a tube sewn on the lower portion that retains the waist strap. The plates (and soft armor) are loaded into the plate pockets from the top which is fairly unique.
The 2″ wide shoulder and waist straps are not padded (though pads are available, more on that later) to maintain a lower profile when worn under a covering garment. The waist straps utilize 2″ side release buckles to secure the rear plate pocket to the front plate pocket. The shoulder straps are sewn to the front plate pocket with reinforced box stitches in such a way that plastic hardware is kept to a minimum to reduce the interference with your rifle’s buttstock.
My BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile features A-TACS camo but it is also available in a full palette of other colors and patterns including the new A-TACS FG pattern. I also really like that BCS gives the user the choice between 500D and 1000D nylon. The 500D nylon would be a great choice on a low profile carrier like this.
I have really enjoyed using the BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile. It works very well as a slick low profile carrier – or at least as low profile as hard armor carrier can be. In spite of its lack of padding, it is still fairly comfortable to wear thanks to the wide straps and light weight. I have been wearing it with training plates or TAP Gamma Plates which helps keep the weight down.
The design of the plate pockets is fairly unique. When the carrier is off your body, the pockets look like they would be very loose. But, because of how the straps are attached the pockets are drawn tight over the plates when the carrier is worn, locking them in place. They do not shift at all in my experience. It is a pretty clever set up because the plate pockets are basically self-sizing whether you use just a plate, just soft armor, or both.
Donning and doffing the carrier is easy. The large 2″ side release buckles are easy to use and easy to reach when the carrier is worn.
The large hook and loop field on the front makes this carrier very versatile. It really comes into to its own when you add pouches from the Blue Force Gear Dapper line. Dapper pouches have hook material on the backs which interfaces with the loop material on the Plate Carrier Low-Profile. I have been using a Ar-15/M16 Dapper™ Triple Magazine Pouch Dapper Triple Mag Pouch and it is perfect for this application. It lays completely flat when empty and it can be used to carry as many as 3 AR-15 magazines. It can also carry flashlights, first aid gear, a cell phone, or even handgun magazines. In this configuration it is the perfect plate carrier companion to a battle belt (belt rig).
If you are going to use the BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile, then I recommend purchasing the accessory shoulder pads. These shoulder pads are almost worthy of their own review. They have a tri-fold design that wraps around the shoulder straps and have very comfortable padding. There are various routing points on the shoulder pads that can be used to organize hydration tubes or comm wires. The coolest feature is the webbing loop with a snap that serves as a sling retainer. You just route your sling through the loop to keep the sling off your neck for comfort and help distribute the weight of your rifle.
The BCS Plate Carrier Low-Profile is a low profile plate carrier that can quickly and easily be scaled up to an extremely simple, functional, and effective load bearing plate carrier. I am proud to have had a very small part in the design.