Body Armor and Plate Carrier Ventilation Comparison: IceVents, MaxxDri, TacVent, Body ArmorVent, SKD PIG Pontoons
by 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 Curve is 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.
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.
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
Air by Volume
Front, Back, Shoulders
MaxxDri Vest 3.0
Over the Shoulders and Torso
Body Armor Vent
Front and Back Panel
Front and Back Panel
SKD Tactical Pontoons
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.
Body Armor Vent: First design had moving parts and air bladder can fail/rupture. Complex. New design is better as moving parts have been removed.
TacVent: Heavy, made from rubber which is a material that insulates and traps heat. Dense, but good stand-off.
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.