Plate Carrier Ventilation: Ending The Hot Misery of Body Armor


Justin Li

Let's help you compare the 5 known options for ending, or at least reducing, the hot misery of body armor where conductive cooling is not an option.

Body armor is hot and miserable, but it is a life necessity. There are two ways to stay cool under body armor: conductive and evaporative cooling. Conductive cooling, the most powerful way to cool (or heat) your body under armor, works in every climate as it relies on physical contact to extract heat from your body. Our IcePlate is the lightest and most powerful conductive cooling tool for body armor available today. For humid climates, conductive cooling is the only method to remove heat from you body.

Evaporative cooling (letting the sweat your body generates evaporate from the surface of your skin, removing heat as it changes state from a liquid to a gas) isn’t effective in humid climates because the relative humidity inhibits the ability of your sweat to phase change into a gas and remove heat from your body in the process. However, there are mission critical situations where IcePlate's conductive cooling may not be possible due to a lack of infrastructure (freezers). In that case, evaporative cooling, though significantly less powerful and adaptable, may be utilized.

There are a number of choices when it comes to body armor ventilation systems on the market today. We’ve assembled a comparison chart to help you make the best purchasing decision for your specific requirements.

 

Weight

Location

Compatibility

Multi-purpose

Conductive

Air by Volume

Price

IceVents

<1oz

Front, Back, Shoulders

Universal

Yes

Yes

90%

 $60

MaxxDri Vest 3.0

 9 oz.

 Over the shoulders and torso

 Universal

 No

 No

 N/a

 $100

Body Armor Vent

 

 Front and back panel

 Universal

 No

 No

 N/a

 $85

TacVent

 9 oz.

 Front and back panel

 Universal

 No

 No

 N/a

 $35

SKD Tactical Pontoons

 1.4 oz.

 Front, back

 Universal

 No

 No

 0%

 $20

 

IceVents Conductive Body Armor Ventilation Pads

Far and away the lightest option on the market today,

221B Tactical MaxxDri Vest

Good solution, full torso

Armor Vent

The original

 

TacVent

Just heavy

 

SKD Tactical

Made from nylon, no internal ventilation capability.


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