US Army Issued Plate Carrier: Upgrading the MSV (Modular Scalable Vest)

US Army Issued Plate Carrier: Upgrading the MSV (Modular Scalable Vest)


The MSV or Modular Scalable Vest, is the newest standard issue plate carrier of the United States Army. The Army states the goal of the MSV program is to "lighten the load" of the individual soldier. However, the MSV tips the scales at 25 pounds when fully loaded with all protective layers, but this excludes things like ammo, sustainment, etc. While this is five pounds lighter than the previous standard issue body armor, the IOTV, 25 pounds is anything but light.

The MSV also covers a significant amount of surface area on the body, no doubt an attempt by the Army to protect Soldier's from the many threats faced on the battlefield (while simultaneously protecting Members of Congress). In this regard, the MSV is no stranger to the challenges faced by all forms of body armor since the dawn of time: protection comes at a cost. In the case of the MSV, that cost is more than just the tab footed by the American taxpayer, it is also the cost paid by the individual solider in weight and heat retention.

Weight and heat combine to be a significant and potentially lethal threat to Soldier's, both individually and collectively. In this video, we present three easy upgrades that every Solider can do to their MSV in a matter of minutes that will both improve comfort by evenly distributing the weight of the MSV and also mitigating some of the heat trapped by the body armor itself.

US Army MSV Upgrades:
1. External Hard Cell Hydration
IMS Combo External Plate Carrier Hydration

2. Internal Hard Cell Hydration with Thermoregulation
IcePlate® Curve Plate Carrier Hydration

3. Shoulder Pads
IceVents® Classic Heavy Loadout Plate Carrier Shoulder Pads





  • Qore Performance

    Hi Alex,
    We provide a detailed answer to your question in our Technical Plate Carrier Review Series. Here is a link:

  • Alex

    Why is the MSV 2.6 the worst plate carrier you have ever seen?

  • Qore Performance

    To our knowledge, the MSV is not commercially available. If it were, you are best served saving your hard earned money. The MSV is easily the worst plate carrier design we have ever seen. Here is an article with video that kicked off our INSIGHTS Technical Plate Carrier Review series that will help you find the right duty carrier for you:

    Additional Technical Plate Carrier Reviews can be found here:

    Hope that helps, but let us know if you have any additional questions.

  • Quinn Peters

    Is there any website where I can go on and buy this msv. I’m currently in the national guard and although we don’t get issued this I would like to pay out of pocket for one.

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