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  #1  
Old 06-30-2018, 8:44 PM
sternshot44 sternshot44 is offline
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Default EXTERNAL VEST CARRIER

Working on writing a proposal for external vest carriers for my agency. Any one have any experience doing so? Any tips to share? topics to hit on/avoid. any studies or articles to share. mostly focusing on the practicality of exterior carriers, less stress on back and hips, increased comfort in patrol cars and the option to remove the carrier when in station which is a huge benefit due to extreme heat in our summer months. any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2018, 9:29 PM
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Our chief finally approved them. I donít know the brand, but it has a similar look to our wool uniform shirts. We have to wear a metal badge and name plate, along with metal p buttons on the pockets and epaulets. I personally think a cloth name plate and badge looks better.

We are allowed to our different pockets in it for a baton, cuffs, taser, etc.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2018, 9:30 PM
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Oh, one suggestion. Find a super fit dude, have a vest mocked up, and have him model it for the chief. Donít use some soup sandwich as a model lol.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2018, 9:18 AM
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Originally Posted by eta34 View Post
Oh, one suggestion. Find a super fit dude, have a vest mocked up, and have him model it for the chief. Donít use some soup sandwich as a model lol.
yup...they look horrible on anyone that's even slightly on the "plus" sized end.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2018, 1:25 PM
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Default EXTERNAL VEST CARRIER

We wear BPS external carriers. They arenít my ďfavoriteĒ but they work well enough. Each one is custom outfitted to the officer. I wear a pistol, TQ, taser and a triple open mag on my holster. Everything else is on my vest; 3 mags, 3 cuffs, IFAK, TQ, radio, PBC, flashlight, multitool, and misc small items.

The vest is nice and comfortable, but it just encourages us to carry more crap. About every 6 months or so I downsize my gear. About 6 months later I find all my crap is overloaded again. Total loadout, with Safariland 3A, is 35#.

The vest is awesome for warm weather depts (Iím in the Sac area), but screws you on jacket options. In the summer I run to a couple special spots and drop the vest to cool off. I can put it back on in about 15 seconds. Jackets either have to be two sizes too big (and then your gear is covered) or you find a softshell jacket and you buy it form fitting. Personally, I wear a Condor Phantom SzMed Softshell (Dark Navy) under my vest. I had the uniform shop sew patches on the shoulders, which loses the arm pockets. The jacket is only about $80 and lasts for about one year of use.


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Last edited by robocop1051; 07-01-2018 at 1:27 PM..
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2018, 1:05 AM
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Originally Posted by robocop1051 View Post
We wear BPS external carriers. They arenít my ďfavoriteĒ but they work well enough. Each one is custom outfitted to the officer. I wear a pistol, TQ, taser and a triple open mag on my holster. Everything else is on my vest; 3 mags, 3 cuffs, IFAK, TQ, radio, PBC, flashlight, multitool, and misc small items.

The vest is nice and comfortable, but it just encourages us to carry more crap. About every 6 months or so I downsize my gear. About 6 months later I find all my crap is overloaded again. Total loadout, with Safariland 3A, is 35#.

The vest is awesome for warm weather depts (Iím in the Sac area), but screws you on jacket options. In the summer I run to a couple special spots and drop the vest to cool off. I can put it back on in about 15 seconds. Jackets either have to be two sizes too big (and then your gear is covered) or you find a softshell jacket and you buy it form fitting. Personally, I wear a Condor Phantom SzMed Softshell (Dark Navy) under my vest. I had the uniform shop sew patches on the shoulders, which loses the arm pockets. The jacket is only about $80 and lasts for about one year of use.
The whole jacket issue is probably one of the biggest drawbacks IMO to an external carrier setup. There isn't really an ideal solution for it; though yours is probably as good as one can get.

The ability to quickly take them off in extreme heat is definitely nice; I can't think of any patrol staff getting heat exhaustion/heat stroke on duty with an external carrier.
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2018, 7:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post

The ability to quickly take them off in extreme heat is definitely nice; I can't think of any patrol staff getting heat exhaustion/heat stroke on duty with an external carrier.

Iíve been on motors for 12 years, and I ride rain or shine. If thereís a possibility to get heat exhaustion, Iíll find it. Lol. Iíve had to power down by 12pm every day this week due to the heat.

Operators have been wearing fleece under their armor for years. Just remember to buy snug, or else all that jacket is bunched inside your vest.



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  #8  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:00 PM
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The padded duty belt (akin to backpacks, aka "battle belt") with suspenders under a tailored external vest carrier may save a lot of LE herniated L5-S1 vertebrae IMO.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:02 PM
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Try Googling: The Vest Man


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  #10  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:15 PM
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Originally Posted by UNLTD1487 View Post
Try Googling: The Vest Man


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Links for The Best Man, a film, came up

I'm thinking you meant The Vest Guy?

EDIT: Just looked at the site. I don't know. It must've been the photos or something. Those vests looked cheap and almost fake to me. All this external carrier talk keeps me wishing that my department would approve them for us sometime in the near future. Something like these:

Molle style


Or even something like this:


Just to be able to take some weight off of our hips. I already rock the HSGI slotted Suregrip belt. It's more comfortable than my regular duty belt, but that thing sure is heavy. To be able to carry just my gun, mags, baton ring, SL ring, and put everything else like my cuffs, TASER, radio, IFAK/TQ, etc. on the vest would make life more comfortable.

Either way. Good luck, sternshot. Hopefully, my department will switch over soon considering pretty much all other departments around us are already allowing them as options.

Last edited by esy; 07-02-2018 at 9:45 PM..
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:19 PM
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Originally Posted by UNLTD1487 View Post
Try Googling: The Vest Man


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Vest Man is good for service, but not the greatest quality. We demoíd his vest prior to going with BPS. The sux part is BPS is $$$$. Best off-the-shelf options Iíve seen are the Safariland models. I recently went to a Hardwire/Safariland vest. You really canít beat Safariland.


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Last edited by robocop1051; 07-02-2018 at 11:33 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2018, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop1051 View Post
Iíve been on motors for 12 years, and I ride rain or shine. If thereís a possibility to get heat exhaustion, Iíll find it. Lol. Iíve had to power down by 12pm every day this week due to the heat.

Operators have been wearing fleece under their armor for years. Just remember to buy snug, or else all that jacket is bunched inside your vest.
Motors might be the best/worst assignment in the best/worst career.

This week has been brutal I am sure for anyone riding an iron horse; stay cool!
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2018, 6:27 AM
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I'm back and forth on the outer. I usually wear on days that I know are going to be hot/humid. I keep all my gear on my belt and don't put a bunch of crap on my outer vest.

I use the Armor Express lighthawk and like that it has a built in kangaroo pouch. It keeps the vest low profile and allows you to keep a couple items without adding unnecessary bulk.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2018, 10:33 AM
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My last agency cheaped out and used The Vest Man. Quality it isn’t and mine was falling apart and losing color within a few months. I stopped wearing it altogether because it looked terrible.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2018, 7:08 AM
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I have a guy out of Phoenix making me a custom external. I’ll post it up when I get it. If anyone wants his info send me a PM

This is one of his and similar to what I ordered from him. Truly custom he will go mild to wild for you
https://m.imgur.com/a/evK6Ux7
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2018, 6:02 PM
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My last agency cheaped out and used The Vest Man. Quality it isnít and mine was falling apart and losing color within a few months. I stopped wearing it altogether because it looked terrible.


You and everyone else in his vest. Sorry to hear about the bad luck.


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  #17  
Old 07-10-2018, 7:51 PM
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Interestingly I am in the process of coordinating with Sarah from BPS (Blankenship Police Supply) on demo'ing an external vest for my agency.

We have used their Tac-Vest for 10+ years and overall have been happy with them. These new "Class-B-Look-a-like" vests are WAY more expensive... $425-485/ea and I am not convinced they're gonna hold up long term. On top of that, I would not put a price on my health but if im dishing out $400+ I want something more trangibile than "weight is off your hips, so its better"

I have not seen anything definitive that says wearing a load bearing vest does NOT cause other problems.

Another consideration is those who deploy plate carriers. The added bulk of an external vest makes deploying plater carriers an interesting challenge... ASK ME HOW I KNOW
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Old 07-10-2018, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jaysen View Post
Interestingly I am in the process of coordinating with Sarah from BPS (Blankenship Police Supply) on demo'ing an external vest for my agency.

We have used their Tac-Vest for 10+ years and overall have been happy with them. These new "Class-B-Look-a-like" vests are WAY more expensive... $425-485/ea and I am not convinced they're gonna hold up long term. On top of that, I would not put a price on my health but if im dishing out $400+ I want something more trangibile than "weight is off your hips, so its better"

I have not seen anything definitive that says wearing a load bearing vest does NOT cause other problems.

Another consideration is those who deploy plate carriers. The added bulk of an external vest makes deploying plater carriers an interesting challenge... ASK ME HOW I KNOW
My two cents: you can get some pretty nice, lightweight hard armor now and get internal pockets for the hard armor added. Granted; this means you either suit up for the day with hard armor (vs having an external to wear over your uniform) or donít have it at all for the day; but you can get some high end stuff that weight wise is t much more than just low to mid level level 3a. Iíll be going with that option if I return to the field soon.

Also; I am not a pt/MD/trainer; but I have been talking to a few guys in the rehab field who deal with a lot of LEOís. All of them like external carriers over duty belt for all the crap we wear these days; however, they also say that if LEOís donít work on shoulder and core muscle groups they can still see physical issues from the vests. Basically, if you wear a load bearing vest workout the core and shoulders more than you probably are (if you are not in great shape already).
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2018, 12:17 AM
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Iím in my 2nd BPS carrier now. Iíve been in a BPS carrier for about 5 years now. I got about 3-4 years out of my first carrier. They are atrociously over priced. I wouldnít have one if it wasnít dept issued.

I recently switched over to a Hardwire (by Safariland) IIIa vest. Itís lighter, thinner and more ridged than previous styles. Perfect for an external carrier, but SUPER pricy.

If my carrier was coming out of my pocket, I would be in a Safariland carrier.

I can take off my external vest in about 3-5 seconds. I can put it back on in about 15 seconds. If you want a plate carrier (combined with an external vest), get something small, in a Laser-cut, hypalon design. Then take that minimalist plate and carrier and wear it under your external vest. If you have time to deploy a plate carrier, then you have time to wear it right.




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Old 07-30-2018, 9:43 PM
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Most of the Safariland/Point Blank/Second Chance conglomerate external carriers are crap. They don't hold up well, retain a lot of heat and are not very modular. Plus they do not come in standardized sizes so you will have to order a crap ton of random-*** sizes that can't be passed on to other Officers. Not to mention the long wait after fitting.

If you are starting from a clean slate, I would highly recommend you take a look at Velocity Systems/Mayflower. Their external carriers are top-of-the-line, extremely well made and the armor panels come in standardized, interchangeable sizes.
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Old 08-03-2018, 7:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Pryde View Post
Most of the Safariland/Point Blank/Second Chance conglomerate external carriers are crap. They don't hold up well, retain a lot of heat and are not very modular. Plus they do not come in standardized sizes so you will have to order a crap ton of random-*** sizes that can't be passed on to other Officers. Not to mention the long wait after fitting.

If you are starting from a clean slate, I would highly recommend you take a look at Velocity Systems/Mayflower. Their external carriers are top-of-the-line, extremely well made and the armor panels come in standardized, interchangeable sizes.
I only saw hard plate carriers. Is that what you were referring to?
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Old 08-04-2018, 8:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chsk9 View Post
I only saw hard plate carriers. Is that what you were referring to?
They are on their website under the subheading "Vests" not Armor.

https://www.velsyst.com/store/vests.html
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2018, 2:58 AM
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I only saw hard plate carriers. Is that what you were referring to?


They do make an ďarmor carrierĒ as opposed to just a ďplate carrierĒ, and I agree that they are probably the best in the game, but they are FAR from the LE application for daily duty use.

Their $500-$750 price tag only gets you the carrier and provides no appearance of a uniform. If you were the occasional wearer (for raids and warrants) or a dedicated tac unit (SWAT) then itíd be perfect. For patrol, there are more feasible options.


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Old 08-11-2018, 1:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pryde View Post
Most of the Safariland/Point Blank/Second Chance conglomerate external carriers are crap. They don't hold up well, retain a lot of heat and are not very modular. Plus they do not come in standardized sizes so you will have to order a crap ton of random-*** sizes that can't be passed on to other Officers. Not to mention the long wait after fitting.

If you are starting from a clean slate, I would highly recommend you take a look at Velocity Systems/Mayflower. Their external carriers are top-of-the-line, extremely well made and the armor panels come in standardized, interchangeable sizes.
We recently switched to the Safariland funky new generation ones. I haven't gotten one yet, but they don't seem to be real popular. When I get fitted, I'm requesting sizing for the older "Oregon City" style carrier. I'm still using the old point blank/galls fixed pocket one.

The goofy slanted molle cuts are just ridiculous on the new stuff. They look cool, but **** hanging sideways is dumb.

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  #25  
Old 08-11-2018, 10:02 PM
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My personal setup is the Point Blank Alpha Elite AXIIIa. Very thin and lightweight but the carrier doesn't hold up well to daily use. Very comfortable though.

Last edited by pistolero805; 08-11-2018 at 10:05 PM..
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  #26  
Old 08-15-2018, 10:15 AM
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The OC Sheriff's patrol all the nice towns in South OC. Most deputies wear their vests on the outside. No one seems to care. Not sure if you have finished your proposal yet, but if you haven't... you may want to contact the OCSD association.
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