Technical Plate Carrier Review and Setup: Agilite K-19 Plate Carrier

Technical Plate Carrier Review and Setup: Agilite K-19 Plate Carrier

Agilite K19 Overview

Update 16APR 2022
Many of you have been asking us for our “opinion” on the plate carriers we review. As we state throughout the series, we don’t and won’t share our opinions because they are subjective and we will only share objective data that can be presented without bias. That said, we recognize that opinions are desired. As such, we are sharing this review video from our friends at Redbeard Tactical where they share their opinion on the K19 plate carrier for those of you who are looking for an opinion review. Enjoy! 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrFxf22AiG4/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

As you’ll see in the first few seconds of the video, the gents from Redbeard mention the extensive use of spacer mesh in the K19 (and other carriers). Here is an INSIGHTS article we put together on the science behind why we don't use spacer mesh.

 

Intro
At the end of our Best Plate Carriers of 2022 video, we asked what plate carriers y’all wanted us to review next. While the Crye Precision SPC topped the list, the Agilite K19 came in a strong second, just behind the SPC.

As some of you may know, we have the privilege of collaborating with some of the best companies in each of the markets we serve. We have an extensive library of kit we use to make sure that our IceAge Ecosystem integrates with all of the best products in use by elite professionals and civilians the world over. 

However, prior to these requests, none of us had ever heard of the Agilite K19. 

In fact, we had to look it up. We learned quite a bit in the process and we’ll share all that we learned about the K19 in our evaluation process, including a new segment debuting in this video where we demonstrate how efficient plate carriers are at dealing with heat. We call it Thermal Transmittance and you don’t want to miss it.

While there are a ton of reviews already out there for the K19, we’re going to find out together: “Does the K19 live up to the hype?”

Format
This is not a traditional “review” typically found on YouTube or the interwebs. These articles and videos started as a way for us to answer frequently asked customer questions about how to integrate our IceAge Ecosystem of performance enhancing thermoregulation and hydration tools with leading plate carriers on the market. As we started answering more and increasingly detailed questions, customers started to ask us for our opinions on their plate carrier selections. Our format attempts to be as empirical as possible. While we are still human, we make every effort to avoid sharing anything that is subjective, qualitative, conjecture, or opinion. You guys are professionals, so our only goal is to provide you with the information you need to be the greatest version of yourself.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration
IceAge Ecosystem integration is the first category we are going to cover since Thermoregulation is the next night vision and IceAge Ecosystem integration is the genesis of this video series.

The shoulder pads on the Agilite K19 measure approximately two inches thick from body side to world side, making them not just the thickest shoulder pad on any plate carrier we’ve reviewed to date, but the thickest shoulder pad on any plate carrier we have ever seen. If anyone has seen a thicker shoulder pad on a plate carrier, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll update our data.

When it comes to Convective Thermoregulation, the K19 is challenging because it is lined entirely with spacer mesh covered foam. While the spacer mesh construction of the Agilite K19 shoulder pads would benefit greatly from our IceVents technology, the thickness of the shoulder pads alone makes integration difficult. That said, our IceVents Classic Heavy Loadout Plate Carrier Shoulder Pads can be attached, just be aware that this will create a shoulder pad that is 2.25” thick: 2” from the K19 shoulder pads and 0.25” from IceVents Classic.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration Comparison Chart

ICEVENTS® Aero ICEVENTS® Classic ICEVENTS® Classic Ventilation Pontoons IMS
Combo
IMS Versa IMS Pro Combo CATAMARAN
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®
N/A
Crye Precision AVS  
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5
 
Crye Precision SPC
 
 
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
 
 
Spiritus Systems LV-119
 
 
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT
 
 
Agilite K19      
 
Agilite K-Zero
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC
LBT 6094
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6
Haley Strategic Thorax
T.REX Arms AC1

 

The Agilite K19 shoulder pads have a uniform width of 3”, eliminating some of the greatest benefits of our contoured IceVents Aero Minimalist Plate Carrier Shoulder Pads which use a 50% taper from 3” down to 1.5” to preserve full range of motion while ventilating and distributing load (on screen animation). We do not recommend using our IceVents Aero Minimalist Plate Carrier Shoulder Pads with the K19 because the uniform width of the K19 shoulder pads negates the contour advantage of IceVents Aero.

As for Conductive Thermoregulation, the Aglite K19 is the most difficult platform integration we’ve reviewed to date. Since the Aglite K19 plate bag liners are made entirely of spacer mesh, they do not have any loop Velcro, MOLLE or laser cut MAPs, so there is no way to integrate our IMS Pro Combo like on our IcePlate EXO or the Crye Precision AVS. This means the K19 cannot take advantage of any of the Conductive Cooling/Heating/Hydration capabilities of IcePlate Curve. 

There are only two members of our IceAge Ecosystem which integrate with the K19: the IMS Combo and the IceShield Plus Plate Carrier Hand Warmer. For those who are not familiar with the IMS Combo, it enables any MOLLE equipped plate carrier to take advantage of 1.5L/50 ounces of hard cell hydration in a slim form factor that is conformal to a Medium ESAPI plate at just 1” thin.

Weight (Dry)
Much like temperature, weight impacts human performance in a persistent and significant way, but you may not be familiar with some of the science on the subject which comes principally from Nike Co-Founder and legendary University of Oregon Track and Field Coach Bill Bowerman (Bowerman pics, b-roll). Part of the original PW-era Nike (on screen: pre-woke), Bowerman discovered that removing just one ounce from a shoe eliminates 55 pounds of lift over the distance of one mile when calculated using the gait of a six foot tall runner. 

This table shows how the K19 stacks up against the leading plate carriers on the market today in terms of Dry Weight (ask DMK for help making a pretty graphic for this). As you can see, the K19 is nearly twice as heavy as the leading plate carriers on the market today.

Weight Dry (ounces)
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® 16
T.REX Arms AC1 17.05
Haley Strategic Thorax 20.80
Crye Precision SPC 21.15
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 21.6
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 22.95
Spiritus Systems LV-119 23
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 23.4
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 23.9
Agilite K-Zero 30.65
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 33.25
LBT 6094 38.85
Shaw Concepts ARC V2 39.75
Agilite K19 41.6
Crye Precision AVS 48.35


For additional context using Bowerman’s formula, this table shows how much weight savings you would get if you used any of these carriers in lieu of the K19 in terms of lift effort over the course of one mile. In other words:

  • You would save 2461.8 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Crye Precision JPC 2.0 instead of a K19
  • You would save 2640 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 instead of a K19
  • You would save 2699.4 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Crye Precision SPC instead of a K19

In the show notes below, you’ll find a link to our Plate Carrier Weight Calculator which can be found in the INSIGHTS section of our website. It contains weight data for all of the carriers in this Plate Carrier Overview series along with weight data on armor plates, pouches and more. It is an excellent equipment procurement resource as well as a unique mission planning tool. You definitely want to check it out as it is super easy to use - the team did an awesome job putting it together.

Weight (Wet)
Wet weight is easily the most under-appreciated technical consideration when it comes to modern plate carrier selection. Whether sweat or salt water, moisture retention has a massive negative impact on human performance. In our testing, the wet weight of the Agilite K19 came to 62.8 ounces. This table shows how the wet weight of the K19 stacks up against those same leading carriers from the Dry Weight testing.

Weight Wet (ounces)
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® 26.5
T.REX Arms AC1 26.65
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 31.5
Spiritus Systems LV-119 32.4
Crye Precision SPC 34.9
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 39.6
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 40.25
Haley Strategic Thorax 45.40
Agilite K-Zero 47.50
Shaw Concepts ARC V2 60.7
Agilite K19 62.8
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 66.3
LBT 6094 68.75
Crye Precision AVS


Much like dry weight, the K19 is significantly heavier than other leading plate carriers on the market today when wet. As an example, the K19 is 45% heavier than the JPC 2.0 when wet. 

Let’s take another look at Bowerman’s formula to see what type of weight and effort savings you would get if you used any of these carriers in lieu of the K19 in terms of lift effort over the course of one mile. In other words:

  • you’d save 3062 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Crye Precision JPC 2.0 instead of a K19
  • you’d save 3682 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Crye Precision SPC instead of a K19
  • you’d save 4131 pounds over the course of one mile if you used a Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 instead of a K19

Thermoregulation and Hydration
Like most modern plate carriers and armor systems, the K19 does not have any natively integrated Thermoregulation or Hydration systems in the design. According to the Agilite website, “the rear of the K19 plate bags have a triple layer of low profile foam” embedded in them. Foam is an insulating material, which is why it is used as insulation in things like beverage coolers. 

When it comes to hydration, you can MOLLE any standard plate carrier hydration system onto the back of the K19 like our IMS Combo or any MOLLE capable offering from Camelbak or Source.

Thermal Transmittance
To quantify the thermoregulation capabilities of plate carriers, we’re introducing a new segment starting with this video called Thermal Transmittance. Don’t worry, we’re going to conduct this test for all plate carriers we’ve already reviewed to keep things perfectly consistent. 

So what exactly is Thermal Transmittance and why should any of us care? What does it have to do with plate carriers? Thermal Transmittance is the transfer of heat through matter. In our case, that matter is the body-facing section of a plate carrier plate bag.  If a wall or a plate bag is well-insulated, it will have low Thermal Transmittance. This is ideal for a home, car, or cold weather jacket as they are designed to protect you from the elements. If that same wall or plate bag is poorly insulated, it will have high Thermal Transmittance. This is ideal for active or athletic apparel: think running clothes, PT gear, combat uniforms, or anything you wear when under heavy athletic exertion where your body needs to dump excess heat generated from effort. 

Since kit is already insulating by nature, you want to find gear, especially plate carriers and body armor, that have the highest possible Thermal Transmittance. In other words, you want to find plate carriers and body armor that have the minimum amount of insulation. This will allow your body’s natural thermoregulation mechanisms to work as efficiently as possible. Preserving this natural function decreases the possibility of you becoming a heat casualty, keeping you in the fight and increasing survivability for you and your team. Some plate carriers, like our ICEPLATE EXO® and IMS Pro Combo, can even augment your body’s natural thermoregulation mechanisms, boosting your performance in the process.

We’ll cover Thermal Transmittance, Thermal Resistance, Heat Transfer Coefficients and much more later in this INSIGHTS video series. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn the basic Methods of Heat Transfer and how they apply to your gear, check out the awesome infographics we put together in our INSIGHTS blog article titled “The Methods of Heat Transfer” linked in our show notes below.

To measure the Thermal Transmittance of a plate carrier, this will be our Experimental Design:

  1. First, we’ll use our FLIR camera to take surface temperature reading of the body facing side of the plate bags. 
  2. Next, we’ll place a single ICEPLATE® Curve, fresh out of the freezer, into the plate bag of each plate carrier. 
  3. Then, once we’ve closed the plate bag, we’ll place a Tencate Level III hard armor plate on top of the plate bag for 30 seconds to simulate the effect of putting on the plate carrier. We are using a shorter exposure time to make sure we test efficiency and not capacity. 
  4. Finally, we’ll remove the Tencate Level III hard armor plate from the subject plate bag and take a new FLIR surface temperature reading.

Here is what we discovered:

Thermal Shift
(Big Numbers = Good, Small Numbers = Bad)
Qore Performance
I
CEPLATE EXO®
18.0-38˚F
T.REX Arms AC1 28˚F
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 25˚F
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 20.9˚F
Spiritus Systems LV-119 18.0˚F
Haley Strategic Thorax 18.0˚F
Crye Precision SPC 14.0˚F
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 13.0˚F
LBT 6094 11.0 ˚F
Shaw Concepts ARC V2 10-30°F
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 8.8˚F
Crye Precision AVS 4.0-9.0˚F
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 7.0˚F
Agilite K-Zero 7.0˚F
Agilite K19 4.7˚F


What do these numbers mean? The smaller the spread between the Baseline Surface Temperature and the ICEPLATE® Inside Surface Temperature, the lower the Thermal Transmittance of that plate bag. Plate carriers with these readings will trap and retain more heat, making you hotter. The larger the spread between Baseline Surface Temperature and the IcePlate Inside Surface Temperature, the higher the Thermal Transmittance of that plate carrier. Plate bags with these larger spreads are better at removing heat to let your body’s thermoregulation mechanisms work as normally as possible. 

The Agilite K19 has a spread of 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Crye Precision SPC has a spread of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The K19 has nearly the same spread as the Crye Precision AVS rear plate bag, but without the load-bearing capability of the AVS harness. (DMK: can you add a fourth column to the table above called SPREAD?) 

Materials
The Agilite K19 is built from materials regularly used in basic plate carriers today:

  1. 1000D Cordura
  2. Mil-Spec Polymer
  3. Hook and Loop
  4. Nylon
  5. Spacer Mesh

We’ll cover more on construction/fabrication materials later in the video during the Country Of Origin segment. 

Unique Features
When it comes to Unique Features, the K19 is loaded for bear. Whether or not these unique features add value for you and your application is another question altogether and one only you can answer, but hopefully this data will help. 

Agilite touts its Israeli roots and IDF work as a USP or Unique Selling Proposition. How much credibility should you give this USP? Well, that is up to you and your specific objective functions, but we’d encourage you to do your own, independent research into things like the wars in which the IDF has been involved to decide how credible or not credible you see this particular USP.

The first unique feature we noticed about the K19 is the front shoulder strap attachment mechanism. The front plate bag has a 6” strip of loop Velcro that faces the body. Theoretically, this is so that the shoulder straps can be adjusted for fit. However, this feature adds an additional 0.75” of thickness to the front plate bag and that is in addition to the thickness of the front plate bag itself which is already 0.5” thick at the thinnest point we could find…and that is without an armor plate inside. (joke about the buttstock in shoulder pocket debate?)

The K19 features four quick release buckles: two on the shoulders and two on the cummerbund. These are not First Spear Tubes, but rather a model with which we are not familiar and could not easily identify from anything in our sample library. Agilite does not provide specifics on their website. The female receiver buckles for the cummerbund are permanently attached to the K19 plate bag, while the female buckles for the shoulder straps can be removed.

The cummerbund is also unique to the K19. Constructed of simple nylon webbing, the cummerbund attaches to the front plate bag using the aforementioned mystery quick release buckle. On the rear plate bag, the cummerbund is secured using branded G-Hooks. The webbing cummerbund consists of three rows and three columns of MOLLE up front, but no MOLLE anywhere else. Instead, the back of the cummerbund has two strands of webbing used for sizing, adjustment and stretch…kind of. As you can see, the cummerbund has just 0.25” of stretch on each side. The amount of stretch is not adjustable. It is also worth noting that for individuals who are roughly 5’8” to 6’ and weigh anywhere from 165 to 200 pounds with 40-42 inch chests, you will be left with spare webbing that measures roughly one inch thick when secured with the included Keepers. 

The K19 also features a pair of webbing loops roughly 3/4s of the way up with a corresponding pair on the bottom of the plate bag which are used for Agilites backpack, called the AMAP III. 

Last, but certainly not least, the K19 features wings on the side of the front plate bag that measure approximately 1.5” wide by 6” tall. The intent here is supposedly to make the quick release buckles more comfortable. Since our video format takes a purely empirical approach, we won’t comment on whether or not they are comfortable since that is purely subjective. However, we can say that objectively, this additional spacer mesh and foam will insulate and trap more body heat which will degrade performance in the field. 

Attachment Mechanisms
The Agilite K19 uses industry standard attachment mechanisms: Velcro, SwiftClip, G-Hook, MOLLE.

Variety
When it comes to Variety, the K19 comes in one size which Agilite classifies as Medium/Large. It is offered in MultiCam, Ranger Green, Wolf Grey, MultiCam Black, Black, and Coyote.

Sizing Adjustability
According to the Agilite website, “the K19 is a one size fits all plate carrier that will fit all body types, shapes and sizes.” 

Plate Bags
Agilite says the K19 has a “one size fits most” plate bag design. It can accept Small, Medium, or Large SAPI/ESAPI armor plates up to 1.5” thick. Further, Agilite says the K19 fits 10x12 plates, however, XL size plates will not fit.

SAPI ESAPI Swimmer Additional Notes
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®
9.5" x 12.5" up to 1.1" for Medium ESAPI armor plates.
10" x 12" and 10" x 12" Shooter Cut up to 1.1" thick for Medium SAPI plates*
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5
M & L plates up to 1" thick
Crye Precision SPC
  Specific Model S-XL
Crye Precision AVS
  Specific Model S-XL
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
    S-XL
Agilite K19
  All 10x12 plates up to 1.5" thick
Agilite K-Zero
Accommodates 10x12, SAPI Medium, or SAPI Large armor plates.
Spiritus Systems LV-119
    M-XL up to 1.2" thick
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT  
  S-XL up to 1" thick
Shaw Concepts 
ARC V2

 

S-M size fits Small and Medium SAPI Plates while the L-XL fits Large and Extra Large SAPI Plates. 

Defense Mechanisms MEPC

S-XL 

LBT 6094
S-XL up to Level IV Thickness
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6
S-XL. Cut for ESAPI or SPEAR armor plate geometries.
Haley Strategic Thorax
M-L
T.REX Arms AC1
For sizes, the AC1 is available for Small Plates, Medium Plates and Large Plates. T.REX Arms breaks this down on the AC1 product page with both SAPI sizing, Single or Multi-Curve Shooter or Swimmer Plate Sizing and a separate chart for various HESCO Plate sizing.


*Use of 10" x 12" Medium Shooter Cut Armor Plates thinner than 1.1" may require sewing additional Velcro fields to the bottom plate retention flap.


Country of Origin

The Country of Origin, commonly abbreviated as COO, is an incredibly important consideration when it comes to plate carrier selection. COO is a dependable, but not absolute, indicator of innovation, quality and craftsmanship. 

The packaging and the hangtag on the K19 were devoid of any Country Of Origin markings. The hang tag says “Designed in Israel,” but it made no mention of where the K19 is manufactured. In our effort to be as impartial as possible, we did what no mainstream media outlet will ever do: reach out to the source for comment. We submitted our query on 27OCT and received a reply two days later on 29OCT. They told us the K19 is manufactured in Israel and Vietnam, with their own people supervising production and quality. Agilite also said that the specs are the same and that they import the same materials from the USA to both Israel and Vietnam.

Country of Origin Comparison Chart:

USA Outside of USA
Crye Precision SPC
 
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5
 
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
 
Crye Precision AVS
 
Spiritus Systems LV-119
 
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT
 
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®
 
Agilite K19  
Agilite K-Zero
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC
LBT 6094
T.REX Arms AC1
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6
Haley Strategic Thorax

 

In examining the packaging, however, there is no indication of where each K19 is manufactured. It might be Israel. It might be Vietnam, but either way it is not disclosed on an individual basis…at least not in a way that we could find.

Price
Agilite sells the K19 for $289 for the plate carrier itself while the Pincer Placard is an additional $69.90. Here is how that compares to other carriers on the market today:

Price Extras
T.REX Arms AC1 $85.90 - $160.00
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 $241.90 AVS Detachable Flap MOLLE $41.10
Crye Precision SPC $252.00 AVS Flap M4 $101.00, Airlite Detachable Flap MOLLE $29.60
Agilite K-Zero $279.00
Spiritus Systems LV-119 $283.35 Placard 5.56 $59.95
Agilite K19 $289.00 Pincer Placard $69.90
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 $299.95
Defense Mechanisms MEPC $300.00 Cummerbund options priced from $50 to $175
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT $338.00 Quad SwiftClip Placard $90.00
Haley Strategic Thorax $369.00
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 $385.00 Kangaroo Front Flap $50.00
LBT 6094G
(Modular Plate Carrier)
$573.28
Crye Precision AVS $661.40 AVS Detachable Flap M4 $60.80
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® $500.00 IMS Pro Combo $165
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
$500.00
ARC Placard V3 $55, RAM Elastic Insert $30

Conclusion
That’s it for us and our K19 overview. We hope you enjoyed it and we want to know what y’all think after watching this video and seeing the data we’ve compiled: does the K19 live up to the hype and how does it stack up against the JPC 2.0, SPC, and FCPC V5? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re looking to see the latest in All-Aspect Thermoregulation, follow us on Instagram at @qoreperformance and subscribe to our LaunchPad email list to join us in Building A Superhuman Future.

Addendum
Agilite reached out to us on 12JAN 2023, just prior to SHOT Show. Consistent with our objective, transparent format, we are disclosing this and publishing the emails exchanged between Agilite and Qore Performance, starting with the first email from Agilite on 12JAN 2023. TLDR: Agilite was not happy with our review, but they invited us to their booth at SHOT Show. We offered them an opportunity to respond on camera in a video we would publish unedited and uncut. We never received a response to our invitation.

Agilite K19 review

Agilite K19 review

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2 Kommentare


  • Qore Performance

    We’re glad you found the information and our empirical approach helpful! #StayFrosty


  • Jay

    Your incites on the K-19 and the thorough concise explanations and testing were simply outstanding!
    It’s fantastic that a company, such as yours, exists to assist potential buyers in navigating through the myriad
    product claims offered by companies such as Agilite. I was contemplating a purchase of their K-19 plate carrier, but I noticed that they never listed the “Country of Origin” on any of their products! I contacted them on several occasions regarding this omission and their response was illuminating! At first their answer was very generalized and vague. But eventually they noted that all products were designed in Israel, yet many items were either made in Israel, USA, or Vietnam, but they were never specific. Why? I probed further and asked why they didn’t include “COO” on their primary battle gear, but I never received an answer. Their apparel, hats, gloves and other sundries are labeled as being made in Vietnam. My question to them was quite simple, but I never received a simple reply! This should give one pause to their claims and the hyperbole surrounding their products! It did for me! I hope this can be helpful to others.


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