Technical Plate Carrier Review: Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6

Technical Plate Carrier Review: Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6

While best known for their slings and pouches, Blue Force Gear is less well known for their plate carriers. Founded in 2004, Blue Force Gear is widely recognized as the first company to address weight as a major issue in load bearing equipment design. Today, that philosophy manifests in their newest plate carrier which is also the subject of today’s INSIGHTS Technical Plate Carrier Overview: the PLATE6 MOLLEminus.

While the name might be a bit unwieldy, the PLATE6 MOLLEminus is anything but. When the PLATE6 first arrived at our office in Knoxville, TN, we noticed the focus on lightweight, efficient, monolithic design immediately. With Blue Force Gear's focus on “lighter, faster, stronger” the big questions we want answered today are: how does the PLATE6 MOLLEminus stack up against the competition and why aren’t more people talking about this carrier? Read on or watch below this installment of Qore Performance INSIGHTS to find out.



If this is your first time checking out one of our Technical Plate Carrier Reviews, this is an important note. These articles and videos are not traditional “reviews.” We started doing them to answer frequently asked customer questions about how to integrate our IceAge Ecosystem of thermoregulation and hydration tools with various plate carriers on the market today.

As such, our format is largely empirical. It attempts to be as objective and quantitative as possible. While we are not perfect, we make every effort to avoid sharing anything that is qualitative, subjective, opinion, or conjecture. You guys are grown ups and professionals. Our only goal is to provide you the information you need to make decisions that help you be the greatest version of yourself.

Relationship Disclosure

In the interest of full transparency, we need to briefly discuss the relationship between Qore Performance and Blue Force Gear. This is the first Technical Plate Carrier Overview video we have done where we have an existing B2B relationship with the manufacturer of the subject plate carrier.

Our business to business relationship with Blue Force Gear dates back several years. They are the only pouches we sell on our website for use with our ICEPLATE EXO® and we worked together closely on our ICEVENTS® Inner Belt project. We even used the same closure mechanism to insure optimum compatibility between our ICEVENTS® Inner Belt and their CHLK and GRID belts. Despite this relationship, our review will still be completely unbiased and objective thanks to its purely empirical format. Blue Force Gear was not involved in this review in any way other than to sell us the PLATE6 at our wholesale account price. Yes, we paid for the PLATE6 used in this review.

The Blue Force Gear Inner Belt alongside the Qore Performance ICEVENTS Inner Belt.
Above: The Blue Force Gear Inner Belt alongside the Qore Performance ICEVENTS® Inner Belt.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration

For those of you familiar with our Technical Plate Carrier Overview series, you know that thermoregulation is the next frontier of human performance enhancement. We view thermoregulation as a foundational principle in everything we do. This series started as a way for us to answer customer questions about how to integrate our IceAge Ecosystem of performance-enhancing and environmental inoculation technologies with kit from other manufacturers. As such, IceAge Ecosystem integration is where we will begin. 

ICEPLATE® and ICEVENTS® augmentation supercharges any non-Qore Performance plate carrier, providing them with critical thermoregulatory capabilities that are otherwise missing from every carrier on the market today except our ICEPLATE EXO®

While the PLATE6 MOLLEminus might lack organic thermoregulation capabilities, the fix is simple. Multiple members of our IceAge Ecosystem integrate easily with PLATE6: IMS, IMS Pro, IMS Versa, CATAMARAN, and ICEVENTS® Aero.

The lack of full loop Velcro fields or MOLLE on the inside of the plate bags means the PLATE6 limits our IMS and IMS Pro to external hard cell hydration mode on the rear plate bag only. 

However, PLATE6 is an ideal platform for an IMS Versa and CATAMARAN installations. IMS Versa facilitates internal mounting of our ICEPLATE® Curve for conductive thermoregulation plus hydration to the inside of the PLATE6. CATAMARAN uses largely the same mounting system for our ICEVENTS® Classic Plate Carrier Ventilation Pontoons to add convective thermoregulation capability to the PLATE6.

Heavy loads in the PLATE6 are made lighter thanks to easy integration of our ICEVENTS® Aero Minimalist Plate Carrier Shoulder Pads. ICEVENTS® Aero provide convective thermoregulation for your shoulders while distributing load - a capability unique to our ICEVENTS® technology.

ICEVENTS Aero plate carrier shoulder pads illustration.

IceAge Ecosystem Integration Comparison Chart

ICEVENTS® Aero ICEVENTS® Classic ICEVENTS® Classic Ventilation Pontoons IMS
Qore Performance ICEPLATE EXO®
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
LBT 6094
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6


Dry Weight

Few things impact human performance more than weight. Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain…we’ve all heard it. We all know it. 

At the time writing on 28 October 2023, the BFG website lists two different weights for the PLATE6 MOLLE minus in size Medium: 670 grams (23.63 ounces) is the listed weight at the top of the product page in the title tile. BFG also lists the weight as four pounds in the Specifications section of that same PLATE6 MOLLEminus product page. Our in-house testing shows the PLATE6 MOLLEminus in size medium as weighing 1.46 pounds or 23.40 ounces dry. This is how the PLATE6 dry weight compares to other plates carriers we’ve tested thus far:  

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
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 23.4
Defense Mechanisms MEPC 23.9
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

We’ll touch more on this later in the video during the Unique Features segment, but It is important to note that the PLATE6 we used for our testing is the model that comes with integrated 6x6 side SAPI plate bags. The BFG website states that a LowVis version is available that deletes these side SAPI plate bags, but our weight figures do include the additional weight of this feature. None of the other plate carriers in our testing have built-in side sapi plate bags except the LBT 6094.

For context, 16 ounces is the approximate weight of a loaded 5.56 magazine. In other words, for every 16 additional ounces of dry weight in your plate carrier, you are potentially gaining or sacrificing 30 rounds of 5.56 NATO ammunition, depending on if you have a lighter or heavier plate carrier. 

To find out how the weight of the BFG PLATE6 compares to carriers like our ICEPLATE EXO®, Spiritus Systems LV119, Crye Precision SPC, and others when loaded up and configured, click on the link in the show notes below to check out our Plate Carrier Weight Calculator. The data is super interesting as it lets you set up your PC with various accessories and then it gives you the final weight of your custom PC build.

Wet Weight

Wet weight matters and this is where the PLATE6 really starts to empirically separate itself from the rest of the field. Whether salt water or sweat, the ability of a plate carrier to repel/shed water weight and to do so quickly has a dramatic impact on operator performance. The wet weight of the PLATE6 came in at 34.20 ounces. This means the BFG PLATE6 retained 10.60 ounces of water or roughly the same weight as 10 rounds of 5.56 or ⅓ of a loaded magazine in water retention. 

If you’ve watched any of our earlier videos in this series, you know that our experimental design is simple. It is the same for all PCs we test in this series: submerge carrier in water for 60 minutes, remove and hang dry for 60 seconds. Weigh the carrier. We conduct all of these tests inside our office to make sure external variables like sunlight, wind, etc. are not present. Our scale is always zeroed to account for the weight of the bin.

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
LBT 6094 68.75
Crye Precision AVS 70.95


Materials are another area where the PLATE6 MOLLEminus by Blue Force Gear starts to put some serious daylight between itself and the competition. PLATE6 is built from BFGs proprietary UltraCOMP laminate. This is a highly capable material that is significantly stronger than common products like Squadron:

ULTRAComp Material Illustration

Above: UltraCOMP Laminate material illustration.
(Image courtesy of

UltraComp is fire resistant and 100% made right here in the US. PLATE6 also uses Tweave for the soft armor plate bag. BFG does not specify whether they use Velcro® brand hook and loop or a generic alternative.

Thermal Transmittance: 

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 and for you to control your body temperature independent of your kit. 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®, can even augment your body’s natural thermoregulation mechanisms, boosting your performance in the process. Carriers without this capability can be augmented with members of our IceAge Ecosystem like IMS Pro, IMS Versa, ICEVENTS® and CATAMARAN.


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”.


For all of us super nerds out there who want to know the Experimental Design for our Thermal Transmittance testing, here it is:

  1. FLIR camera surface reading of the body facing side of the plate bags at room temperature
  2. Place a single ICEPLATE® Curve, fresh out of the freezer, into the same plate bag
  3. Close plate bag, 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. Use short exposure time to test efficiency, not capacity. 
  4. Remove the Tencate Level III hard armor plate from the surface of the subject plate bag
  5. Take new FLIR surface temperature reading


What do these numbers mean? The smaller the spread between the Initial or Baseline Surface Temperature and the surface reading at room 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 Initial or Baseline Surface Temperature and the surface reading at room 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 BFG PLATE6 MOLLEminus has an initial or baseline surface temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and and ICEPLATE® Inside surface temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a Thermal Shift of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This is how the BFG PLATE6 MOLLEminus stacks up against the other plate carriers we’ve tested: 

Thermal Shift
(Big Numbers = Good, Small Numbers = Bad)
Qore Performance
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 25˚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
LBT 6094 11.0 ˚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

Unique Features:

PLATE6 MOLLEminus is loaded with unique features that we haven’t seen on any other plate carrier we’ve reviewed as part of this INSIGHTS series. As we noted earlier, the PLATE6 is equipped with built-in 6x6 side SAPI plate bags. However, what we didn’t mention is that PLATE6 also has magazine pouches built into the cummerbund. These are both particularly clever features and not something we’ve ever seen in rival minimalist plate carrier designs.

Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 Plate Carrier with side armor plates and cummerbund elastic mag pouches.
Above: Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 Plate Carrier with side armor plates and cummerbund elastic mag pouches.

PLATE6 also features BFGs BLIP or Ball Loaded Index Point technology on the corners of the side SAPI plate bags for easy manipulation in harsh environments like extreme wet or cold. The plate bags have integrated eyelets for radio routing while the front plate bag has a built-in admin pouch. The PLATE6 plate bags are also optimized for ESAPI or SPEAR plates. Last, but not least, the PLATE6 has a Tweave plate bag liner for use with a soft armor backer.

Attachment Mechanisms:

The attachment mechanisms on the BFG PLATE6 are simple: Velcro and MOLLE. That’s it. The PLATE6 does not have SwiftClip compatibility or zip on back panels.

Sizing Adjustability:

The Shoulders and Cummerbund allow for a wide range of adjustability. As you can see here, the BFG PLATE6 has a 9” length of Velcro on the shoulders and 12” of adjustability in the cummerbund.


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 
Defense Mechanisms MEPC
LBT 6094
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6

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
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 


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

Defense Mechanisms MEPC


LBT 6094
S-XL up to Level IV Thickness
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6
S-XL. Cut for ESAPI or SPEAR armor plate geometries.

*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:

As with all things Blue Force Gear, the PLATE6 is made in America from American materials.

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
LBT 6094
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6


While we are firm believers in not skimping on life-saving equipment, the PLATE6 MOLLEminus by Blue Force Gear sells for $299.95 on the BFG website as of October 2023 which makes it one of the best values on the market today.

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
Blue Force Gear PLATEminus 6 $299.95
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
LBT 6094G
(Modular Plate Carrier)
Crye Precision AVS $661.40 AVS Detachable Flap M4 $60.80
Shaw Concepts ARC V2
ARC Placard V3 $55, RAM Elastic Insert $30


That’s going to do it for us and our Blue Force Gear PLATE6 MOLLEminus overview. Now that you know all about the PLATE6 and how it stacks up to the competition, we want to know what you guys think. 

  1. Why isn’t the PLATE6 more popular?
  2. Would you consider the PLATE6 as your go-to carrier? 

We hope you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful. If you’re looking to see the latest in All-Aspect Thermoregulation don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @qoreperformance and subscribe to our LaunchPad email list to join us in Building A Superhuman Future.

Until next time: #StayFrosty

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