I have written before about how I believe that non-ballistic training plates can be a good investment for the civilian armor owner. I use them to prevent the wear and tear on my actual ballistic plates not because ballistic plates are especially fragile, but they can and do break. Not only can they break, but there is no way to tell if they have broken unless you have access to an X-ray machine. With that in mind, you can start to see what the civilian gun owner who lacks a supply chain to replace their plates could be well served by owning a set of realistic and basically indestructible stand-ins for their real plates. That is exactly what Warrior Trail makes.
Warrior Trail training plates are pretty basic in terms of construction. They are basically dense plastic slabs that are carefully shaped to replicate the shape and weight of actual ballistic plates.
The ESAPI Training Plates that I have been testing have a realistic, double curve shape like a real ESAPI. The edges have been ground so that they are no sharp corners. The Medium ESAPI Front and Back Plates weigh right around 5.5 pounds each. The ESAPI Side Plates weigh just over 2.5 pounds each.
Warrior Trail builds in some features to ensure that their products will not be confused for real ballistic plates. The training plates are bright white in color and have a large circular hole through the high center of the plate to serve as a visual cue to the user that these plates offer no ballistic protection.
Observations from Use
I have used SAPI training plates from Patriots-Choice in the past. The choice to use these plates was purely financial. I picked them up from an online auction for less than $25 per set of front and back plates. They have served me well and as it turns out, they were actually manufactured by Warrior Trail. So I actually have quite a bit of experience with their products.
The only issue that I ever had with those previous front and back plates was that, at 4.4 pounds, they weigh less than my actual ballistic plates (4.9 – 5.1 pounds). The difference can be noticeable. These newer ESAPI training plates weigh in at 5.5 pounds which means they are actually heavier than my ballistic plates and more of a proper stand-in for most ESAPI plates. That is a big positive.
These new plates that are being manufactured and sold by Warrior Trail are made to a noticeably higher level of fit and finish. The corners are more cleanly rounded. The surface treatment is smoother. It is just a more refined product over all.
There are no durability concerns with these plates and that is kind of the point. You need to be able to train in them without worrying that you are going to crack an expensive ballistic plate. I can’t even imagine what it would take to break one of these Warrior Trail plates.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about these plates other than they do their job well. They are nearly unbreakable and realistically shaped and weighted. These plates aren’t sexy but they are functional. I consider them a great investment.
Check out Warrior Trail Training Plates. Your real plates will thank you.