Why did you buy that?

That was the first question I was asked by WF when I opened the box up. I really didn’t have an answer for her. I was a bit dumbfounded really. Most guys have that last minute “boy got caught doing something wrong” answer. I didn’t.

What was in the box? Before I imbibe, I want to say and in my defense I have really spent a lot of time thinking about this. About two years worth. Read, reviews, YouTube videos, etc, etc. I really struggled with this decision.

Back to the box, I purchased body armor from a company called AR500armor.com. They are located in Phoenix Arizona and seem to be a small sized operation, and I don’t mention that to be a bad thing. I mention it because they are a smaller company and make a good product. From placing my order until the UPS guy dropped the box off at the door was around 3 weeks. Their website does state that do to high demand some orders are taking upwards to 6-8 weeks.

I went with the steel AR500 plates vice the SAPI/ESAPI plates that you can purchase from numerous online companies mostly because of the price difference. I was able to get the same level of protection from the steel plates, and a pair of steel plates came in less than half of what one ESAPI plate would cost. AR500Armor also coats each plate with the truck liner product Lin-x to reduce spalling that occurs when a round hits steel. Essentially causing shrapnel.

Not convinced that AR500 steel is not as good as the ESAPI/Ceramic plates? Here is a link to a number of videos showing the resilience of the product after taking numerous hits from many different calibers of rifles and handgun ammunition. I honestly don’t want to get shot period, and even wearing body armor a person is going to feel the strike for a few days. But a bruised chest is better than a sucking chest wound.

The box. I thought a bit more padding could have been placed around the plates. But I don’t want to split hairs. Shipping was pretty inexpensive, like $16. Hauling the box downstairs, I was thinking jezz they are real heavy. Like heavier than the ESAPI plates I was issued in the Army.

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Plates side by side

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The strike face sticker.

 

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I threw a plate on the scale and it came out to 9 lbs. Pretty close to the weight of a ESAPI plate.

 

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Prepping the Condor chest rig for the front plate.

 

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Each plate is curved to fit your torso, and the Condor plate pockets did not have any issue taking each 10″ x 12″ plate. Front and back slid right in without an issue.

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Can’t really tell but both plates are in the carrier. Took all of 5 minutes to insert both and readjust the velcro.

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I have had the Condor quick release carrier for a little over a year now and had it in the field numerous times without plates. So far it has held up well. I wore the carrier with the plates on for a few minutes and it fit well. My concern is wearing for long periods, are the should straps going to have enough padding with the extra 18 lbs? or with a full load out of ammo, magazines, and the hydration carrier on the back? Time will tell I guess.

 

Total price delivered to the door? $186.

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