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.
Plates side by side
The strike face sticker.
I threw a plate on the scale and it came out to 9 lbs. Pretty close to the weight of a ESAPI plate.
Prepping the Condor chest rig for the front plate.
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.
Can’t really tell but both plates are in the carrier. Took all of 5 minutes to insert both and readjust the velcro.
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.