Tag Archives | Warrior Trail

Behind the Scenes at Warrior Trail

Warrior Trail gave us a peak behind the curtain. This very cool series of photos shows their training plate production process. It’s kind of like the crayon factory episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood but more tactical…

The production starts here where 100% recycled PVC, in powder form, goes into the hopper.

Warrior Trail Production 1

The PVC comes out of the extruder in a ribbon that is very hot. It is partially cooled with a water bath.

Warrior Trail Production 2

The PVC ribbon goes through a roller to compress it to the proper dimensions. It is still warm and flexible when it comes out of the roller.

Warrior Trail Production 3

It can take a while to reach a consistent quality from the roller. These rejected ribbons will be ground up and fed back into the hopper.

Warrior Trail Production 4

The ribbons are cut to length.

Warrior Trail Production 5

The corners are clipped and the bi-curve shape is applied.Warrior Trail Production 6

The plates are cooled in a water bath before having their sharp edges removed and their iconic hole drilled.

Warrior Trail Production 8

Review: Warrior Trail Training Plates

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 ESAPI Training Plates

Warrior Trail ESAPI Training Plates Front and Back


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.

Warrior Trail Side Plates

Warrior Trail Side Plates

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.

Warrior Trail Training Plate (right) shown with previous version (left)

Warrior Trail Training Plate (right) shown with previous version (left)

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.

Wrap Up

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.

Warrior Trail ESAPI Training Plate in Carrier

They fit just like normal plates.

Training Plate Patch from Warrior Trail

Warrior Trail makes a full line of non-ballistic training plates that can be used in place of your ballistic plates during training so you don’t have to subject them to wear and tear. I have written in the past about how I believe training plates can be a great investment for the non-military, non-police shooter since we do not have the backing of a supply chain should we break our plates. However, the use of training plates should be accompanied by vigilance on the part of the user to take care that a plate carrier with non-ballistic plates is never fielded accidentally in a situation that calls for ballistic plates. That is where the Training Only Patch from Warrior Trail comes in.

Warrior Trail Training Plate Patch

Most plates carriers have some plate around the high, front of the plate pocket that has loop material for affixing patches and ID. The Training Only Patch can be affixed there to indicate that the plate or armor carrier currently contain training plates instead of actual ballistic plates. I currently use reflective patches to serve the same purpose but it is somewhat ambiguous to people who don’t know my system. This dedicated Training Only Patch is a better and safer solution.

Check out the Training Only Patch at Warrior Trail.

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