Plate Carrier Hydration Pack: Military Camelbak Alternatives

Plate Carrier Hydration Pack: Military Camelbak Alternatives

Staying hydrated while wearing a plate carrier is a necessity, whether you are in combat, on duty, on the range or otherwise. The extra energy expended from weight and trapped body heat will dehydrate you rapidly. Military Camelbaks have traditionally been the go-to solution for soldiers and security personnel alike. However, with hard use, these can sometimes fail, resulting in popped soft bladders and a lack of water when you need it the most. This, in part, is why we introduced the ICEPLATE® Curve.

In this article, we’ll delve into the various mounting methods for the ICEPLATE® Curve and discuss the best options for some of the most popular plate carriers currently in use. These plate carriers are just examples, as our IMS family (ICEPLATE® MOLLE Sleeve) provides a solution for cooling, heating and hydration capability for just about every single plate carrier on the market.

Crye AVS Plate Carrier

MultiCam Crye AVS Plate Carrier with Blue Force Gear placard and Soure 90 drink tube.

Above: Crye AVS Plate Carrier with ICEVENTS® Classic Shoulder pads, IMS Pro and Blue Force Gear mag placard.

The Crye AVS plate carrier is a versatile system loved by many for its adjustability and durability. Integrating the ICEPLATE® Curve for hydration seamlessly complements its design. By utilizing its MOLLE webbing, one can affix ICEPLATE® Curve via our IMS directly to the back. This is true for any plate carrier with a MOLLE field on the rear plate bag.

MultiCam Crye AVS plate carrier with IMS military camelbak plate carrier hydration pack.
Above: Crye AVS Plate Carrier with IMS mounted for plate carrier hydration.

Beyond simply being a plate carrier hydration pack, ICEPLATE® Curve also provides cooling or heating when mounted internally via IMS Pro. IMS Pro easily attaches to the inside of the Crye AVS using the VELCRO® sheet loop on the harness. ICEPLATE® Curve matches the shape of a Medium ESAPI armor plate, conforming to the body and remaining comfortable during prolonged use. For further cooling comfort while wearing the Crye AVS, check out the ICEVENTS® Classic Ventilated AVS Harness Pad Set.

MultiCam Crye AVS plate carrier with IMS Pro plate carrier hydration pack mounted internally.
Above: MultiCam Crye AVS plate carrier with IMS Pro tactical hydration pack mounted internally.

For more information on the Crye AVS, you can watch out full technical review below:

LBT 6094

LBT 6094 plate carrier with Esstac mag placard and Spiritus Systems SACK Pouch MK3 in MultiCam Tropic.

Above: LBT 6094 plate carrier with Esstac mag placard and Spiritus Systems SACK Pouch MK3 in MultiCam Tropic.

The LBT (London Bridge Tactical) 6094 is another stalwart in the plate carrier community. Its robustness and efficiency are unparalleled and proven with it's long GWOT history. Mounting ICEPLATE® Curve on the LBT 6094 is a breeze even without internal VELCRO® as found on the Crye AVS. Our newest member of the IMS family, IMS Versa, can mount on any plate carrier, including slick setups.

With an elegantly designed laser cut MOLLE mounting ladder and ICEPLATE® EXO laminate and elastic strap kit, IMS Versa can be adjusted for a wide variety of setups. The two laminate straps secure IMS Versa vertically and either one long or two short elastic straps to secure it horizontally, installation is quick and painless. While the traditional military Camelbak served its purpose on the LBT 6094, the ICEPLATE® Curve and IMS Versa combo is a welcome upgrade, offering cooling, heating and hydration all in one. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for our upcoming technical review of the 6094.

AC1 Plate Carrier

AC1 Plate Carrier from T.REX Arms in MultiCam Arid with Blue Force Gear Triple M4 mag placard.

Above: T.REX Arms AC1 Plate Carrier in MultiCam Arid with IMS Versa plate carrier hydration pack mounted internally.

The AC1 Plate Carrier from T.REX Arms, while relatively new to the market, has been gaining traction because of its simplistic design and functionality. The sleek design of the AC1 pairs perfectly with the ICEPLATE® Curve and IMS Versa combo for internal cooling, heating and hydration. We have a full article detailing mounting IMS Versa on slick carriers like the AC1, Spiritus Systems LV-119 etc. that can be found here.

Internal plate carrier hydration bladder IMS VERSA on the AC1 Plate carrier from T.REX Arms.

Above: IMS Versa plate carrier hydration pack mounted internally on the AC1 Plate Carrier.

You can watch out full technical review of the AC1 below:

Why Plate Carrier Hydration is Essential

It cannot be stressed enough how vital hydration is, especially in tactical scenarios. With plate carriers adding considerable weight and trapping body heat, dehydration can set in quicker than one might expect. Having a reliable plate carrier hydration system ensures that water is always within reach. Moreover, with advancements like the ICEPLATE® Curve, gone are the days of soft bladders that are prone to popping or becoming a heat casualty while wearing armor. Durability, thermoregulation, and efficiency are the new standards.


Traditional military hydration packs have been a hallmark of tactical hydration for years. However, with the wear and tear that comes from rigorous field use, there was a need for a more resilient solution. Enter the ICEPLATE® Curve. Its compatibility via the IMS family with popular plate carriers like the Crye AVS plate carrier, LBT 6094, and the AC1 Plate Carrier makes it a favorite among professionals who demand the best from their equipment. In the world of tactical hydration packs, the ICEPLATE® Curve paired with an IMS best fitting your plate carrier sets a new benchmark, proving that innovation is key in ensuring performance and safety on the field.

The subject matter expert who reviewed and approved this article is: Justin Li

Justin Li spent almost eight years with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department where he worked a wide variety of law enforcement assignments including patrol, alpine mountaineering, border work, wild fire evacuations, manhunts, SAR, and Active Shooter Response. He is trained and certified in a wide variety of law enforcement skills including, Patrol Rifle, Search And Rescue, First Aid/CPR, Chemical Agents, Less Lethal, Defensive Tactics, Alpine Mountaineering, Off-Road/ATV, Emergency Vehicle Operators Course, Impact Weapons, TCCC, and Shotgun.

Since leaving law enforcement, Justin has invented and designed multiple innovations for military and law enforcement use which carry both U.S. and international patents.

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