Body armor has been way down on my tactical shopping list. For one thing, it’s expensive. While I’ve always wanted a good plate carrier and armor for “just in case” scenarios and for my pistol and rifle classes, I could never justify the cost.
CapArms has just introduced an extremely affordable solution: their $200 Level III+ carrier and plate set. Over the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time wearing the carrier during my courses and during fitness training.
The carrier is MOLLE ready, made from 1000 denier Nylon. It comes with two NIJ level III+ rated steel plates. It’s fully adjustable at the shoulders and the waist. The shoulders are well padded and sit comfortably, supporting the fully-kitted 24 lbs.
The interior is lined with a mesh material that keeps it from getting too hot and clammy in summer heat. (Texas tested!) There’s also a back rescue loop, so the God forbid incapacitated wearer can be dragged out of a bad situation. More cheerfully, the carrier’s front offers plenty of Velcro real estate for patches.
The armor carrier comes in OD green, coyote tan and black. You can buy the optional three-pouch magazine holder for $29.
The plates measure 10 inches by 13 inches, weighing-in at 10.5 pounds each. They’re made of milspec MIL-A 46100 steel, curved for comfort. The plates feature a 1/4-inch anti-spall coating which CapArms claims helps contain fragments when struck.
CapArms says their plates were tested and “certified to withstand multiple (6) strikes of the following (at 15 meters):”
7.62 NATO BALL FMJ
7.62x39mm PS Ball (AK47 Steel Core)
To test the durability of the armor, I took the plate to John Wayne Taylor’s secret backwoods range and shot it with the following calibers at 15 yards:
CapArms .45ACP 230gr FMJ
CapArms 9mm 115gr FMJ
Wolf 7.62×39 123gr HP Wolf
Berger .308 Federal 185gr OTM
Noser 7mm Magnum 168gr Accubond
Federal .375 H&H Magnum 300gr Power Shock soft point
To our surprise, we saw zero penetration of the actual armor. The heavier calibers merely dinged the steel. The only real damage was some separation of the anti-spall coating from the plate.
I tested the CapArms vest over a couple of months during training and workouts. While easy to put on and adjust, I found the body armor began to wear on my shoulders and back after about 30 minutes of use, due a relative lack of waist support.
But the carrier set provides serious protection from all of the most used calibers at an extremely affordable price. It’s ideal for the civilian who wants to have something simple, easy to wear and affordable for a dangerous or active shooter situation.
Specifications: CapArms Level III+ Body Armor
Size: 12x4x6 inches
Individual Plate Weight: 10.5 pounds
Total Weight: 24 pounds
Colors: OD Green, Coyote Tan, Black
Price: $199 (carrier and two plates)
Price: $95 (single plate)
Price: $29 (three-magazine pouch)
Price as Tested: $228
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit/Finish/Quality * * * * *
Fully adjustable and very durable. I rolled around with it quite a bit at the range, through training classes and during training, without any wear or tearing of the carrier.
Utility * * * *
It’s designed for the prepper in all of us, for just-in-case scenarios. With the level of waist support, you’ll begin to feel it after about 30 minutes.
Overall * * * *
CapArms body armor does exactly what it’s designed to do. It’s a tremendous value.