The one thing you know you must be prepared for while on the job is protection from high velocity rounds. Most police officers wear soft body armor on patrol; either concealed beneath their uniform shirt or in the form of an external carrier. This soft body armor only has the capacity to stop small arms ammunition such as 9mm, 45, 40 and in some cases, 44 magnum. However when it comes to high velocity rounds, commonly fired from long barrel weapons, this soft body armor proves to be ineffective.
It is because of this that many agencies are now equipping their front line patrol officers with plate carriers with rifle rated armor plates. These plate carriers are meant to be quickly donned in the event of an active shooter or any other high-risk call which could potentially involve a long gun. The carriers typically contain either steel or ceramic composite plates in the front and rear. Due to their excessive weight, most police agencies (and civilians) steer clear of steel body armor plates and opt for the lighter (and often pricier) composite plates.
The most common complaints among officers wearing plate carriers is that they are cumbersome to get on and off (donning and doffing) and once on, they are extremely hot and uncomfortable. So it was precisely these concerns which were addressed in the design and engineering of the new Shadow Plate Carrier offered by New York based 221B Tactical.
The Shadow Plate Carrier was principally designed by United States Marine Corps and Police/SWAT Veteran Tony Sentmanat. Tony, who is known as “Real World Tactical” by his nearly 1.5 million social media followers, noticed the breakdowns of most plate carriers on the market today. As a police officer and SWAT operator in one of the toughest districts of one of the roughest cities in the nation, Tony utilized his 15 years of real world experience and knowledge when designing this state of the art plate carrier.
One of the key features of Tony’s signature plate carrier is 221B Tactical’s proprietary Maxx-Dri Technology incorporated into the vest. Sentmanat said, “these officers need to be safe and comfortable while wearing plate carriers. That’s why we put so much attention on the comfort and functionality of this plate carrier.” This industry first design allows for maximum airflow and ventilation for those wearing the Shadow Plate Carrier. Additionally, by incorporating the Maxx-Dri Technology into the shoulder straps, engineers were able to optimize weight distribution. This results in the plate carrier feeling lighter, reducing officer fatigue, while worn for extended periods of time.
Add to this features like polymer cobra buckles for ultra fast donning and doffing, form-fit stretch cummerbund (capable of holding soft armor or additional gear, and a rifle sling management system and you have a plate carrier that’s just as beautiful as it is functional.
“There is truly nothing like it on the market today and that was very intentional. Tony is like no other individual in the fitness or tactical training space so we were relentless in designing something that was going to change the game.” - Suresh Madhavan (221B Tactical Founder and CEO, a law enforcement veteran)