Body Armor and Plate Carrier Ventilation Comparison: IceVents, MaxxDri, TacVent, ArmorVent, SKD PIG Pontoons


Justin Li

Body armor is hot and miserable, but it can be a necessity. Conductive cooling, the most powerful way to cool your body under armor, relies on physical contact to extract heat from your body. Working in every climate, IcePlate and IcePlate Curve are the lightest and most powerful conductive cooling tools for body armor wearers. If you work or operate in humid climates, conductive cooling is definitely the best method to remove heat from your body.
IceVents help your plate carrier breathe
But sometimes conductive cooling is not an option; we know there are mission critical situations where IcePlate's powerful cooling may not be readily available due to a lack of infrastructure (freezers). Or maybe you are looking for every last ounce of cooling. This is when tools for evaporative cooling become key.
IceVents can be fitted to any plate carrier on the market
Evaporative cooling works when the sweat your body generates absorbs heat and evaporate from the surface of your skin. It is not effective in humid climates because the air is already saturated with water; high humidity inhibits the ability of sweat (or any liquid) to phase change into a gas and remove heat from your body in the process. But in less humid situations, or when the air is less stagnant, evaporative cooling is a natural process and can be very effective.
There are a number of choices when it comes to body armor ventilation systems that provide enhanced evaporative cooling. We’ve assembled a comparison chart to help you make the best purchasing decision for your specific requirements.
Evaporative Cooling Options for Body Armor
Product Weight Placement Universal? Multi-Purpose? Conductive? Air by Volume Price
IceVents <1 oz. Front, Back, Shoulders Yes Yes Yes 90% $60
MaxxDri Vest 3.0 9 oz. Over the Shoulders and Torso Yes No No N/A $100
Body Armor Vent N/A Front and Back Panel Yes No No N/A $85
TacVent 9 oz. Front and Back Panel Yes No No N/A $35
SKD Tactical Pontoons 1.4 oz. Front, Back Yes No No 0% $20

IceVents Conductive Body Armor Ventilation Pads: The lightest, most versatile option available. Simple. No moving parts.

221B Tactical MaxxDri Vest: Good solution, full torso, easy to use. 

Armor Vent: Moving parts and air bladder can fail/rupture. Complex. 

TacVent: Heavy, made from rubber. Insulates and traps heat.

SKD Tactical Pontoons: Made from foam and nylon which can trap heat and absorb moisture/water. No internal ventilation capability. Not hydrophobic. Old technology. Rotary dial in the iPhone age.


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