Dress for Success
Imagine someone approaches you and says, “You own a rifle AND a pistol? Why on earth would you need more than one gun? That seems pretty extreme.”
How would you respond? After resisting the urge to chuckle at the naivety, you would probably explain to this individual that different weapons serve different purposes. You would not hunt whitetail with a 9mm handgun, the same way you likely wouldn’t defend your home with a .243 bolt-action.
Every situation will ca
ll for a unique weapon - and so is the case with the rest of your loadout. If you are defending yourself against an armed threat in or near the home, you will probably want adequate body armor. If you’re on a multi-day recon mission through difficult terrain, you’ll want to travel lightly and will probably take no body armor. And of course, there is everything in-between.
The Minuteman Plate Carrier
Versatility is the key to success in ever-changing tactical situations. When designing our debut carrier, we strove to create a product with this ideal in mind. Our team, possessing decades of combined experience utilizing plate carriers in and out of combat zones, wanted to design a carrier that was minimalistic and efficient, yet still provided an adequate featureset to accommodate most situations.
The Minuteman is lightweight and easy to don and doff without sacrificing functionality or performance. It is designed for 10x12 plates of any style or model. It is reliable and rugged, made from a strong 500D Cordura material, and possesses plenty of awesome features:
Six rows of MOLLE/PALS style webbing with built-in matching loop material on the top three rows for the option of attaching additional equipment or patches (gotta have those patches).
One size fits most - We’ve seen our carrier comfortably fit people from size Small all the way to 3XL. The shoulder and waist straps are easily adjustable to accommodate most body shapes and sizes.
Comfortable - The carrier includes removable mesh shoulder pads (good shoulder pads are a must-have when you’re packing lots of gear). The inside of the carrier is also mesh, providing more breathability and comfort. If you’ve worn an uncomfortable backpack or plate carrier for an extended amount of time, you know how important it is to be comfortable.
Additional features such as a drag handle and large quick-release buckles on the shoulders and waist
A comfortable, well-designed plate carrier should be an absolute priority when selecting gear for your loadout. It is NOT something you want to cheap out on under any circumstances. Having worn the Minuteman for extended amounts of time already, I personally would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Okay, so… To kit or not to kit?
If you take one thi
ng away from reading this article, let it be this: Your full kit, ballistic helmet, Multicam combat shirt and NVG’s may look cool, but that does not mean they are practical for every situation.
In the worst of worst scenarios, where society has collapsed and everyone is running around killing each other, my full kit would probably be the absolute last thing I venture out in… at least during broad daylight. Why? It’s simple: That would paint a massive target on my back. It screams “Hey! I’m here to fight, and I probably have expensive things I’m trying to protect.” I certainly would not go out unarmed or unprotected, but I would go about it in a much smarter (and subtle) fashion. I would move at low-traffic times. I would wear colors that blend well with my environment. I still would bring all the necessary gear for my mission, and make sure it is as concealed as possible.
Let me put it this way - Can you imagine how different the conflict in the Middle East would be if every enemy fighter wore an easily-identifiable uniform? Yet, we know that they generally wear civilian-style clothing. The reason for this should be obvious: If you are up against an overwhelmingly larger force and your goal is to cause as much chaos and harm as possible, that goal is best achieved by blending in until the last possible moment. It is the key to successful guerilla fighting and, unfortunately,
efficient terrorism. It is also, among other reasons, why that current conflict has lasted so long.
Your mission or goal will be much easier to accomplish if you conscientiously take the time to gear up in a way that minimizes the amount of direct enemy contact you have to encounter, yet still allows you to hold your own if you are forced into an engagement. The minimalist design of Minuteman will allow for this in most instances.
So what should I put on my carrier?
Good golly, I have seen a lot of nifty tools and contraptions on plate carriers over the years. Let’s go over some popular ones.
“Ammo, dude. Take ammo!”
I love my Black Hawk Down quotes, but this one is correct for obvious reasons. People throw all sorts of items on plate carriers, but I don’t think I’ve ever NOT seen one with ammunition. I always keep a triple mag pouch front-and-center on my carrier. Ammo gets heavy fast though, so take that into account.
Just as important, if not MORE important, is medical equipment. Damn it guys, don’t be prepared to make holes if you’re not prepared to plug them! Tourniquets, bandages, wrap, gauze, sheers, gloves, and other go-to medical supplies are essential for your IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). There are a thousand experts out there that will gladly tell you everything you need to know. And it goes without saying… make sure you know how to use the stuff.
Water - In my humble opinion, the back of your plate carrier and a CamelBak are a match made in heaven. Plenty of companies make great solutions for keeping your hydration bladder protected and conveniently routed to the front of your carrier.
Other popular gear: Knives, Handguns/Mags, Danglers, dump pouches, flashlights, comms. The list goes on, and there isn’t much you can’t attach to a plate carrier!
And lastly - perhaps most importantly - patches. It is completely and utterly wrong to use a plate carrier without at least one patch. You need to make sure the bad guys recognize your sense of style before you shoot them (Joking of course. But most people do wear patches as they are a great way to make your setup a bit more unique to you, identify your unit or group, etc).
Finding the right balance is
essential - and personal
If you’re new to the market for body armor, plate carriers, and other tactical gear, it can feel a little overwhelming - we get that. If you’re anything like me, you want to ensure you’ve done all the necessary research before making such important purchases. After all, these are life-or-death matters. But remember, there is no “perfect” solution for everybody. Every individual will have their own specific preferences that make their setup unique to them, from the citizen soldier all the way to the SEAL.
Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of arguing, bickering, and division within the 2A community regarding these topics. If you are active on soc
ial media, you will regularly see individuals (civilian and military alike) who believe their gear and tactics are perfect and that if you disagree, you are simply intellectually and tactically inferior. I wish I was joking, but I see it every single day. We invite you to ignore these individuals and their close-mindedness; their egos thrive on putting other people down. Instead, associate yourself with people that are willing to help you, learn with you, and build you up instead of tearing you down. It saddens me that I even have to include this disclaimer, but it is reality. And it is the furthest thing from Patriotic.
At the end of the day, most people will have to learn what works best for them through trial and error, and that’s completely okay. The point is to start somewhere, keep learning, and continually build off of that knowledge. Predator Armor seeks to help people specifically in this endeavor by offering a carrier that will suit a wide array of personal styles and tactical preferences. It may not be the “perfect” solution, but it will absolutely have something for everyone. So whether you are new to the industry, or a seasoned vet - the Minuteman Plate Carrier is sure to feel at home within your arsenal.