Technical Plate Carrier Review: Defense Mechanisms MEPC

Technical Plate Carrier Review: Defense Mechanisms MEPC

In this article, we're diving deep into the technical aspects of the Defense Mechanisms MEPC. Hailing from Winona, Minnesota, Defense Mechanisms is a gear manufacturer and training company. Instead of relying solely on personal opinions, our focus is empirical data on the MEPC’s capability, materials, manufacturing, and more. With the plate carrier market more competitive than ever, we want to know: where does the MEPC stand? Read on or watch below to find out.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration

At Qore Performance, our goal is to Build A SuperHuman Future, weaponizing temperature to enhance performance and survivability for all of our end-users. We started this Insights series as a way of answering customer questions about how to upgrade their plate carriers with our suite of thermoregulation tools, so IceAge Ecosystem integration is where we will start. This is particularly important given the substantial influence of core body temperature on athletic performance.

The MEPC is easily upgraded with both our ICEPLATE® and ICEVENTS® technologies. The overlapping shoulder straps, lined with spacer mesh on the interior, can be enhanced with our ICEVENTS® Classic or ICEVENTS® Aero Shoulder Pads (for a detailed look into the performance characteristics of spacer mesh, click this link). This integration provides improved ventilation, load-distribution, and comfort. The spacer mesh plate bag lining is an ideal candidate for our all-new IMS Versa for internally mounting ICEPLATE® Curve. This allows for conductive cooling, heating, and hydration on both the MOLLE or Slick variants of the MEPC. For those preferring external hydration, IMS can also be added to the MOLLE-backed MEPC variant.

Defense Mechanisms MEPC equipped with ICEPLATE Curve for plate carrier cooling, heating and hydration. ICEPLATE Curve is shown mounted via IMS Versa and IMS.
Above: Defense Mechanisms MEPC equipped with ICEPLATE® Curve for plate carrier cooling, heating and hydration. ICEPLATE® Curve is shown mounted with IMS (ICEPLATE® MOLLE Sleeve) Versa and IMS.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration Comparison Chart

ICEVENTS® Aero ICEVENTS® Classic ICEVENTS® Classic Ventilation Pontoons IMS
Combo
IMS Versa IMS Pro Combo ICESHIELD Hand Warmer 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      
 
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC


Weight:

Weight is arguably the next most critical factor in plate carrier selection. Right behind temperature and environmental factors, weight significantly impacts human performance. The MEPC Medium plate bags tip the scales at 14.70 ounces, and when you add the Defense Mechanisms five Inch MOLLE Cummerbund, the weight rises to 23.90 ounces. Comparatively, this places the MEPC in the same range as the Spiritus Systems LV-119 and the Crye Precision JPC 2.0.  For a comprehensive weight comparison of the MEPC to other plate carriers we’ve tested, see the data below from our "Best Plate Carriers of 2023 video and article.”

Plate Carrier Dry Weights

Weight Dry (ounces)
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® 16
Crye Precision SPC 21.15
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 21.6
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 22.95
Spiritus Systems LV-119 23
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 23.9
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 33.25
Shaw Concepts ARC V2 39.75
Agilite K19 41.6
Crye Precision AVS 48.35


Plate Carrier Wet Weights

For our next test, we soaked the MEPC in a tub of water for an hour, let it hang dry for one minute, and then measured its wet weight. Details on our experimental design can be found in our other videos. The results? The MEPC logged a wet weight of 40.25 ounces. 

Weight Wet (ounces)
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® 26.5
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
Shaw Concepts ARC V2 60.7
Agilite K19 62.8
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 66.3
Crye Precision AVS 70.95


Materials:

The MEPC is constructed using 500D Cordura, spacer mesh, hook and loop, Nylon, zippers, First Spear tubes, and a Squadron laminate cummerbund.

Defense Mechanisms MEPC plate carrier equipped With IMS Versa and CATAMARAN for conductive and convective thermoregulation capability.

Above: Defense Mechanisms MEPC plate carrier equipped With IMS Versa and CATAMARAN for conductive and convective thermoregulation capability..

Thermal Transmittance:

Thermal Transmittance is the transfer of heat through a medium or structure. When talking about plate carriers, we want minimal insulation for maximum heat dissipation. Our baseline for the MEPC, in a controlled environment and with ballistic plates, was 75°F. After inserting a frozen ICEPLATE ® Curve, the average temperature dropped to 62°F.

How does this compare? A closer look at our 2023 testing lineup reveals the MEPC's standing:

Thermal Shift
(Big Numbers = Good, Small Numbers = Bad)
Qore Performance
I
CEPLATE EXO®
18.0-38˚F
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 20.9˚F
Spiritus Systems LV-119 18.0˚F
Crye Precision SPC 14.0˚F
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 13.0˚F
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 8.8˚F
Crye Precision AVS 4.0-9.0˚F
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 7.0˚F
Agilite K19 4.7˚F
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
20°F


A brief explainer: A smaller difference between the baseline and ICEPLATE ® temperatures indicates poor thermal transmittance. Conversely, a larger difference means better heat dissipation. A low number signifies a warmer experience, while a high number indicates a cooler one.

Unique Features:

The MEPC does not have any features that are unique to it. A good example of a unique feature is the Velcro quick release on the JPC 2.0 or the shrouded SwiftClip mounts on the LV119 or the Y-yoke on the K-19.

 

Attachment Mechanisms:

Three primary mechanisms allow customization of the MEPC: MOLLE, Hook and Loop fields, and Swift Clip or G Hook. Both the MOLLE and optional slick rear bags further offer either an ID patch loop field or loop covered MOLLE.

Crye AVS Pattern MOLLE Velcro Swift Clip G Hook Proprietary Zipper
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  
 
Shaw Concepts 
ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC

Defense Mechanisms MEPC plate carrier in Multicam tropic worn on the range with IMS Versa plate carrier cooling, heating and hydration mounted.

Above: Defense Mechanisms MEPC plate carrier in MultiCam Tropic, worn on the range with IMS Versa for plate carrier cooling, heating and hydration mounted.

Variety:

For colors and camo pattern options, it's available in a range of colors including Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, and various camo patterns. Size-wise, there's an added option for 8x10 ballistic plates. Below we compare color and pattern options with other popular plate carriers on the market:

Black Coyote Ranger Green Wolf Grey MultiCam MultiCam Black MultiCam Tropic MultiCam Arid Woodland
Spiritus Systems LV-119
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
 
 
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5
     
Agilite K19
     
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT
       
Crye Precision SPC
 
       
Crye Precision AVS
 
       
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®
 
       
Shaw Concepts 
ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC

 

Sizing Adjustability:


MEPC offers five sizes: 8x10, Small, Medium, Large, and X Large.

Size

Small Medium Large XLarge One Size
Crye Precision SPC
 
Crye Precision JPC 2.0
 
Crye Precision AVS
 
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT
 
Spiritus Systems LV-119  
 
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5  
   
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®  
     
Agilite K19        
Shaw Concepts 
ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC


The MEPC in Medium features 16” of adjustability in the shoulders. Our MEPC setup utilized the Small - XL Five Inch Hybrid MOLLE Cummerbund, with 10.25” of adjustment at the rear, and 10” of adjustment in the front.

Sizing Adjustability

Shoulders (inches) Cummerbund (inches)
Agilite K19 4.5 32
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® 4 14
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT 4.5 10
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 4.5 8.5
Crye Precision SPC 3.5 8.5
Spiritus Systems LV-119 3.5 7
Crye Precision JPC 2.0 3 8
Crye Precision AVS 4 0
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
6 6
Defense Mechanisms MEPC
16 10/10.25

Plate Bags:

The MEPC caters to various plate sizes:

  • 8x10 fits 8" x 10" Plates
  • Small accommodates 8.75"x 11.75" plates
  • Medium caters to 9.5"x12.5" and 10"x12" plates
  • Large is for 10.25" x 13.25" Plates
  • X-Large fits XL 11" x 14" Plates

Plates can be of SAPI, ESAPI, Shooter, or Swimmer cut.

Accepted Plate Sizes

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
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 


*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 (see instructions and placement in product photo gallery).

Country of Origin:

A product's COO can shed light on its quality, innovation, and craftsmanship. Every MEPC is handmade in Winona, Minnesota, USA. A notable point for those prioritizing Berry Compliance.

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  
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
Defense Mechanisms MEPC

It’s worth noting that when we reached out to Defense Mechanisms to confirm Berry Compliance on the MEPC, we contacted them at 3:28PM Eastern Time and got a response a speedy 24 minutes later at 3:52PM Eastern Time.

Screenshot of email correspondence with Defense Mechanisms concerning the Defense Mechanisms MEPC Beri Compliance.

Above: Screenshot of email correspondence with Defense Mechanisms concerning the Defense Mechanisms MEPC's Berry Compliance.

Price:

Prices for the front and rear plate bags range between $140-$165, with a variety of cummerbund options priced from $50 to $175. Our setup, inclusive of plate bags, tallied up to $300 before pouch additions.

Price Extras
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
Spiritus Systems LV-119 $283.35 Placard 5.56 $59.95
Agilite K19 $289.00 Pincer Placard $69.90
Defense Mechanisms MEPC $300 Cummerbund options priced from $50 to $175
Velocity Systems SCARAB LT $338.00 Quad SwiftClip Placard $90.00
Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 $385.00 Kangaroo Front Flap $50.00
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO® $500.00 IMS Pro $165-170
Crye Precision AVS $661.40 AVS Detachable Flap M4 $60.80
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
$500
ARC Placard V3 $55, RAM Elastic Insert $30

 

Conclusion:

Thank you for joining us in this technical review of the Defense Mechanisms MEPC. The testing data shows the MEPC finds itself firmly in the middle of the pack amongst those we have reviewed thus far, albeit with thermal transmittance capability on the lower end of the spectrum, as can be seen in the table above.

Be sure to check out our Insights video and blog article: Best Plate Carriers of 2023 for side by side comparison data and stay tuned for our upcoming Best Plate Carriers of 2024 which will include the MEPC. Be sure to check out our Insights videos on YouTube and our articles listed at the bottom of the page.

Before you go, we want to know: are you considering an MEPC? If so, why? Also, let us know in the comments below what other Plate Carriers you’d like to see us review in future installments of the technical review series. Until next time, Stay Frosty.


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1 Kommentar


  • Luke

    Can you guys please review the ferro slickster?


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