The best budget plate carrier is a means of individual armor protection (IAP), which protects the human body (with a ballistic inserts) from being hit by fire and cold weapons, fragments of mines, grenades, and shells.

Detains bullets, fragments and dampens their kinetic energy. As a result, it reduces the probability of injury and getting an armored (forbidden) injury, which sometimes leads to serious consequences and even death.

So , How to choose the affordable plate carrier?

Choose the budget plate carrier

Unloading or tactical vest – an element of equipment with multiple bindings and pockets, which facilitates the carrying and removal of weapons, magazines, medical kits, grenades, walkie-talkies, flasks, and others. This type of armor evenly distributes the weight of the equipment, which reduces fatigue when worn for a long time.

How to choose the affordable plate carrier
Choose the budget plate carrier

Unloading plate carrier for hunters – is equipped with cartridges and pouches for hunting equipment. Individual models are equipped with an extra firle magazines on the back plus admin pouch.

Protection levels

Level of safeguarding – the main characteristic, which indicates the impact of which pellet can resist SIBZ. This parameter is regulated by special standards – NIJ (USA), CEN (EU).

Protection is divided into classes:

  1. PM pistol, 9mm pistol cartridge bullet 57-N-181 s.
  2. APF pistol, 9 mm pistol bullet 57-N-181 pistol. TT pistol, 7.62 mm pellet 57-N-134 pistol. 2-A – hunting smooth-bore weapon, hunting bullet of 12 calibers.
  3. AK-74, bullet 5.45 mm cartridge 7H6; AKM, bullet 7.62 mm of 1943 model 57-N-231.
  4. SVD rifle, 7.62 mm bullet of the 57-N-323s cartridge; AK-74, 5.45 mm pellet of 7H10.
  5. AKM automatic rifle, 7.62 mm armor-piercing incendiary pellet of the automatic model.
  6. SVD rifle, B-32 armor-piercing 7.62 mm rifle cartridge pellet. Special – dagger, knife.

NIJ and CEN bulletproof vest protection classes

According to the American standard NIJ, class I bulletproof vests protect against 22 and 38 special pistol ammunitions. Levels II and II-A provide safeguarding against 9 mm and 357 Magnum ammunition, and these levels differ in the initial velocity and shell of the bullet. Class III-A withstands 9 mm and 44 Magnum pellets.

Class III armor deters 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge bullets. Finally, IV type models retain the 30-06 Springfield armor-piercing ammunition. In this case, the standard prescribes that the depth of the dent from the pellet (imitation of the human body) should not exceed 44 mm. Such a reserved injury in one out of ten cases can still lead to death.

The European CEN standard defines classes differently. The armored best affordable plate carriers of BR 2, BR 3, BR 4 classes are resistant to 9 mm Parabellum, 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum pistol bullets.

The BR 1 and BR 5 protect against 22 rifle ammunition and 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridge, respectively. Models of BR 6 and BR 7 classes provide safeguarding against 7.62×51 mm rifle pellets. The difference between the latter types is in the core – lead or steel.

Important: usually, higher-class equipment protects you from being hit by a weapon, for which the models of the smaller types are designed. For example, a bulletproof plate carrier of the 2nd type protects a person from TT, APS, and PM pistols.



External armor vest – worn over clothing, provides maximum safeguarding. 


High price, high weight. Used by law enforcement officers.

There are three types of the bulletproof best budget plate carrier.

Covers are the simplest and cheapest model, which allows you to install armored plates of the desired level, format, and weight.

Armored plate carrier with pouches – a more advanced solution that eliminates the need to purchase and selection of containers for equipment (pouches). Minus – relatively high cost.

Bulletproof vest with unloading system – the most perfect variant replacing the unloading. It allows you to install pouches, various elements of equipment, accessories, depending on specific conditions and tasks. The MOLLE unloading system distributes the load evenly, which increases the comfort of wearing equipment.

Hidden vest – worn under clothing or as an element of clothing, such as a jacket, vest, or even jersey. This best affordable plate carrier is lighter than the previous version. Minus – weaker protection. It is used by bodyguards, guards, and other specialists who hide the safeguarding equipment.


Soft (flexible) – the protective structure consists of special fabrics. These are flak jackets that are worn secretly. Protection class – 1 and 2.

Semi-rigid – the protective structure consists of special fabrics (soft armor), but is supplemented with hard protective elements. Protection class – 3.

Rigid – protective structure of the bulletproof best affordable plate carrier consists of rigid protective and cushioning elements. At the same time, soft armor is often used as additional safeguarding against splinters, covering the entire torso. Covert armor vests are hard. Protection class – 4; 5 and 6.


Bulletproof – protects against bullets. Classic bulletproof plate carrier for law enforcement officers.

Anti-shrapnel type – protects against splinters. A distinctive feature – collar to defend the neck and apron, covering the groin. Suitable for journalists and civilians who are in the war zone.

Bomb Disposal Shop – used by engineers to clear the area. It is essentially an armored suit that includes a vest, protective pants, helmet, aprons, and mittens. The same group of armored suits includes an assault model, which is used by assault teams during combat operations.


The weight affects the comfort of wearing, as well as maneuverability and fatigue. The higher the protection class, the heavier is the SIBS.

As the weight increases, the time it takes to wear it continuously decreases:

  • 17.5lbs – 12 hours;
  • 22.5 lbs – 9 hours;
  • 30 lbs – 5 hours;
  • 40 lbs – 2 hours;
  • 57.5 lbs – 1 hour.

The most massive model – an armored suit for deminers, which weighs up to 100 lbs.

Important: choose the best cheap plate carrier by weight, taking into account the physical condition of the owner. If the product is uncomfortable to move or run, then the fatigue will come much earlier than the declared time. This, in turn, reduces the soldier’s fighting ability with all the risks associated with it. To estimate the weight of, wear an unloading type on which bags with sand of the same weight are fixed.


Covers and armor plates

The SAPI / ESAPI standard (USA) specifies the correspondence between the cover and the armor plate. This allows you to choose the best option while changing the protection class and weight. This standard is used by many third-party manufacturers who produce copies of different quality.

SAPI / ESAPI standard

Extra Small – 2,8 lb (SAPI) / 3,7 lb (ESAPI), size – 184×292 mm.

Small – 3,5 lb (SAPI) / 4,6 lb (ESAPI), size – 222×298 mm.

Medium – 4 lb (SAPI) / 5,5 lb (ESAPI), size – 241×318 mm.

Large – 4,6 lb (SAPI) / 6,3 lb (ESAPI), size – 260×337 mm.

Extra Large – 5,3 lb (SAPI) / 7,2 lb (ESAPI), size – 280×356 mm.


Kevlar is a light material, but expensive and not strong enough. It is sensitive to cold weapons and moisture. Kevlar is made of soft flak jackets of hidden wear class 1-2 protection against pistol bullets.

Important: Kevlar type of defending should be protected from moisture because when wet it loses its strength by 40%.


Titanium, armored steel – high strength and durable materials, but very heavy. It is used to create a rigid army open-wearing SIBZ, protecting from rifle cartridges and carrying multiple hits. Steel types of armor do not protect against pallet fragments, which crashed when hit. Titanium is devoid of this deficiency but loses to steel in strength.

Ceramics – much lighter than steel with comparable strength. But the ceramic type cracks when hit by a bullet and is not suitable for reuse. Also, the safeguarding clothes with ceramic ammunition will cost more than its steel analog. Rigid SIBZ is made of ceramics.

UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene of high density) is a strong and lightweight material. Such SIBPE is more expensive than the armored steel models and gives a lower protection level (maximum 3).

PRIME ARMOR (Will It Stop A 50AE??)

The most covers are made of nylon, the strongest and densest variety of which is called “Cordura”. The same material is used to produce backpacks, bags, belts, and other equipment. Cheap bulletproof plate carriers are made of lower quality nylon, which adversely affects the life of the vest.

Number of standard armored plates

Usually, the vest is equipped with two armor plates – front (on the chest) and back. It is possible to install additional elements. Thus, increases the protective characteristics of the product, but increases the price and weight. As a result, wearing comfort and maneuverability is reduced.

Important: the risk of injury in places that are protected is relatively low. Therefore, additional protection is set based on the specific situation.


Purchase and use only certified types of safeguarding that have been tested to meet the standards. If possible, pay attention to the test reports.