Plate Carrier Vs Chest Rig – What the Difference?

Plate carrier and the chest rigs must be the essential part of your clothing when you are going to perform any task like shooting or having a shotgun shell fly at you. While making a decision between chest rig vs plate carrier might be an enjoyable task or challenging at the same time.

Because it is a matter of your security, therefore the selection of chest rig over plate carrier completely depends on the extent of protection you’re trying to find for yourself.

Guide of Plate Carriers & Chest Rig

Chest rigs and plate carriers are one of the famous topics on the internet, and there is confusion among both of them. Sometimes, people need a plate carrier or body armor as a better option but they go for the chest rigs, and other times they need a chest rig as a better option but they select a plate carrier because they are not able to tell the difference between them.

The chest rig is generally referred to as panels of nylon and webbing that can be attached to your chest to hold magazines, gears, and other objects.

On the other hand, the plate carrier is built in a way that it can hold your armors and protect your vital body organs also because it’s attached to your chest.

While observing chest rig vs plate carrier, let’s make it simple and easy for you to select what’s better for you. For this purpose here is a complete guide for you.

Quick Review of Plate Carrier vs Chest Rig

Bullet Proof PlateYesNo
Front & Back SafetyYesNo
PurposeBody ProtectionJust Carrier

Plate Carrier

Plate carriers are the most famous choice for the protection purposes and it is mainly used by the military groups. Plate carriers hold rifle-rated hard plates and it is considered great for protection in any dangerous situation by covering the vital parts and organs of the human body.

Plate carriers are designed to carry a piece of armor over the chest areas like the heart, lungs, and other organs. Some plate carriers come with pouches to hold magazines and other tactical gears, while some plate carriers only hold the armors.

Protection is the main feature it has, while wearing it the person has more protection. However, some people may like to prefer soft body armors instead of plate carriers because they cover more areas of the human body than a plate carrier.

Several people also say that plate carrier is also rather heavy and therefore makes it harder for the user to move. This is unfavorable to military groups as they should be allowed to move more rapidly devoid of any effort required or any other troubles. Yet, one way to overcome this is by selecting a lightweight plate carrier, as compared to a heavy one.

Additionally, plate carriers are not a very well-known option for people who are not a part of the military. So, it is not recommended for daily use. Plate Carriers also let the user additional options as to how to accessorize it.

Pros and Cons

  • A well-liked and broadly used choice especially by military groups.
  • Provides great protection against rifles.
  • Allow the user an additional option to accessorize it.
  • In a contrast to soft body armor, plate carrier does not cover the wider area of a human body,
  • Plate carriers can be weighty and restrict movement.
  • Not perfect for daily use.

Chest Rig

The chest rig is a panel of nylon or similar material load carriage that is built to hold the tactical gears like pistols, magazines, knives, and other objects. The chest rig and plate carriers are slightly similar in the term of style and appearance. But the chest rig has to be put on the chest, it has pouches towards the front side and there is nothing towards the backside.

Chest rigs can be put on over body armor though they generally don’t have any type of armor inside of them. For those who are required to move more and frequently, the chest rigs are considered a great option for them.

However, a valid concern could be that when the user starts going downwards from any steep or vertical path, then it might be difficult to remain balanced by the user because all the weight is on the front side of the chest rig.

One more great thing regarding the chest rig is that it permits the user easy access to the objects as everything that is required or needed is exact there in the front pouches. So, there is no need to make an effort to reach and use the objects from pouches.

The military person using a chest rig might also have the concern that it is not bulletproof and they won’t be able to set the relevant weapons comfortably and properly because the chest rig’s style prevents that.

The drawback which can be unnoticed or ignored is that, located in a very humid and warm area it is difficult to keep breezy or cold with the chest rigs because it covers all the main areas of the human body.

Pros and Cons

  • It allows the user better relief in terms of mobility and movement.
  • Chest rig allows the user effortless and easy access to the objects as there are only front pouches.
  • The weight of the chest rig is on the front side so, the user may lose his balance if he is going downwards.
  • The wearer may not find the right or comfortable placement of the weapon.
  • Heat management might be a problem in warm areas.

Chest Rig Vs Tactical Vest

A chest rig vs tactical vest is also needed to be mentioned here because a tactical vest (or tac vest) and a chest rig can be considered alike. They are definitely in a similar type of family as a chest rig, but it is not what I generally think of when I first hear somebody talk regarding a chest rig.

Just like the chest rig the tactical vest is also a carrier and usually has pouches for magazines, pistols, and other tactical objects. It also has molle webbing to allow you to affix more pouches or holsters if you need them.

One more similarity between tactical vests and chest rigs is they both are not bulletproof and don’t have body armor or any place to set body armor within them. So if you need protection then don’t put a chest rig or tactical vest on and supposed it to stop a bullet or a knife.

The difference between both of them is, the tactical vest wrap around the body and are worn just like a vest, However, the chest rig has to put on the chest and there is nothing in the backside.


A chest rig vs a plate carrier can be pretty simple in some conditions and tricky in others. It’s depending on how much safety you require, where you suppose to need it, and when you going to wearing it.

If you are a military officer then you always need safety against deadly shots. So for protection purposes, you should opt for the plate carriers because it is not only a carrier it is also bulletproof, which can protect you against the deadly rifle fires.

However if you are not military personnel and do not face such situations, and just need to place your magazines or other tactical objects so you can opt for a chest rig.

Hence choosing plate carrier vs chest rig is your own choice, by keeping in mind their bright and downsides, you can choose any of them that suits you and fits you well for safety purposes and to carry anything you need to keep in them.

We tried to provide an easy and quick difference between plate carrier vs chest rigs, you can understand them easily. Read carefully and decide the better option according to your need.

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