What pouches and accessories should I use for my plate carrier?
What gear pouches work best with IcePlate EXO® plate carrier?
What gear pouches does Qore Performance® recommend?
What armor plates should I use with my IcePlate EXO®?
As armed professionals, we depend on our gear and our teammates. Neither one can let us down. The gear choices we make for duty/deployment/patrol use are literally a matter of life and death. This is why we are so humbled every time a customer asks us for a recommendation on gear that is compatible with our IceAge Ecosystem of thermoregulation and human performance innovations. We take your gear questions seriously because we took our choices seriously when we were on the job. We know what is at stake.
People ask us for our recommendations on gear everyday. In particular, we are asked what pouches/gear we recommend for use with our IcePlate EXO® Ultralight Ventilated Armor Plate Carrier with integrated cooling/heating/hydration for elite military and law enforcement personnel. Drawing on the totality of our training and experience (almost eight years in law enforcement for Justin and a distinguished 20 year career with the US Army, 15 of which were spent in USASOCs most elite units for Tyler), we put this article together to help you put the best kit together for your application.
The Best Kit to use with IcePlate EXO® Ultralight Vented Plate Carrier
Plate Carrier Hard Armor Plates
DFNDR Level III Stand-Alone Rifle Rated Armor Plates
Above: IMS Pro internally mounted to IcePlate EXO® Ultralight Ventilated Plate Carrier for conductive body armor cooling
Can I run 10" x 12" hard armor plates with my IcePlate EXO® Ultralight Ventilated Plate Carrier?
BLUF: yes, but they cannot be thicker than 0.35" or 8.89 mm because our unique IcePlate EXO® does not stretch...like at all. This engineered rigidity is intentional and gives IcePlate EXO® its structural strength as well as the ability to securely hold the Medium ESAPI 9.5" x 12.5" hard armor plates for which it was designed.
Above: IcePlate® MOLLE Sleeve (IMS) plate carrier hydration externally mounted to JPC 2.0 by Crye Precision
Plate Carrier and Chest Rig Hand Warmer
IceShield Plus Plate Carrier and Soft Body Armor Hand Warmer
Above: IceShield Plus hand warmer for plate carriers and chest rigs also provides optimal armor protection for the otherwise vulnerable mid-abdominal region without compromising mobility/agility.
Plate Carrier Magazine Pouches and Shingles
Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Triple M4 Mag Pouch
Plate Carrier Ventilation
IceVents® Classic Stand-Off Ventilation Pontoons
Above: IcePlate EXO® shown with two sets of IceVents® Classic Ventilation Pontoons (front and rear) along with a pair of IceVents® Aero minimalist plate carrier shoulder pads.
Above: the Micro Trauma Kit Now by Blue Force Gear is our favorite med pouch to use with IcePlate EXO® and our favorite belt - the CHLK Belt, also by Blue Force Gear.
Blue Force Gear Drop Down Radio Pouch
Above: IcePlate EXO® shown with a Blue Force Gear Drop Down Radio Pouch mounted on the MOLLE Cummerbund.
Above: IcePlate EXO® with our IceShield Plus plate carrier hand warmer running underneath an HSP Multi-Mission Hanger.
Plate Carrier Placards/Chest Rigs
Haley Strategic Partners D3 Chest Rig Micro (D3CRM)
Above: IcePlate EXO® shown with HSP D3CRM in placard configuration
Our advice always begins with First Principles: why do you need side plates? If your SOP requires Side SAPIs, that's one thing. If your SOPs don't require Side SAPIs, then our advice is to take a hard look at your application, current load out, physical fitness level, AOR, etc. and really decide if you need Side SAPIs. Remember the old adage "ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain" is old for a reason: it is good advice based on First Principles thinking. For most applications, including law enforcement, Side SAPIs dramatically increase heat retention (more armor, armor = insulator), which decreases performance and metabolic capacity. They also add weight to protect against edge cases that are extremely low and rare in permissive environments and may force you to pay a penalty with low or no upside. However, the heat trapping and weight are with you all the time.
For non-permissive environments, Side SAPIs are probably worth their weight in gold. This is particularly true for non-permissive urban environments.
If you must run Side SAPIs, we don't have any great recommendations for you at this time since we haven't found one we would run ourselves. All of them are made with traditional 500D nylon and Spacer Mesh. This means they trap heat, are heavy, bulky, retain a ton of water. This is sub-optimal at best. If/when we find one we'd run ourselves, we'll update this article ASAP, but our IcePlate EXO® MOLLE Cummerbund will accept any Side SAPI pouch your heart desires.
The HSP FlatPack Plus is the pack we've run the most on our IcePlate EXO®. While the materials construction is old technology in 500D nylon, it works and the form factor is great. It is the perfect size pack for a plate carrier and comes with MOLLE Straps permanently attached.
Above: the Haley Strategic FlatPack Plus will work with both IcePlate EXO® and IcePlate EXO®-CRH since the rear plate bags are identical.