Best Budget Plate Carrier for Tactical Gear: Top Picks Under $100

Updated on March 5, 2024

Plate carriers, used by military, law enforcement, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts, carry heavy loads and provide protection with ballistic plates. They feature MOLLE webbing for additional attachments. We’ve researched and tested budget plate carriers, focusing on protection, comfort, adequate MOLLE webbing and affordability. After extensive research, we’ve found the best budget plate carriers that offer excellent value.

Best Budget Plate Carriers

We understand that finding the perfect plate carrier can be a daunting task, especially when you’re on a budget. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best budget plate carriers that won’t break the bank. Our team of experts has extensively researched and tested various plate carriers to ensure that each one on our list meets our high standards of quality, durability, and affordability. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, we’ve got you covered with our top picks. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the best budget plate carriers.

vAv YAKEDA CAMO Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest 40 Black Cp

vAv YAKEDA CAMO Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest (Black CP)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier, the vAv YAKEDA CAMO Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest 40 Black Cp is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The vest is lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • It has ample space for attachments and accessories.
  • The nylon fabric is durable and can withstand wear and tear.
Cons:
  • The side plate pockets are too small for large plates.
  • The vest may not fit larger individuals comfortably.
  • The main plate pockets are not as user-friendly as other plate carriers.
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In our experience, the vAv YAKEDA CAMO Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest 40 Black Cp is a solid choice for those on a budget. The vest is lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to wear for extended periods. The nylon fabric is durable and can withstand wear and tear, ensuring that the vest will last for a long time.

One of the standout features of this vest is its ample space for attachments and accessories. The vest has plenty of MOLLE webbing, allowing you to attach pouches and other accessories as needed. This makes the vest versatile and customizable to fit your specific needs.

However, there are a few downsides to this vest. The side plate pockets are too small for larger plates, which may be a deal-breaker for some users. Additionally, the vest may not fit larger individuals comfortably, so it’s important to check the sizing carefully before purchasing. Finally, the main plate pockets are not as user-friendly as other plate carriers, which may make it more difficult to insert and remove plates.

Overall, we recommend the vAv YAKEDA CAMO Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest 40 Black Cp for those looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that is versatile and customizable. Just be sure to keep in mind the potential downsides before making your purchase.

vAv YAKEDA Camo Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest One Size Black Cp

vAv YAKEDA Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest

If you're looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that offers quick-release functionality, breathability, and adaptability with chest rigs, then the vAv YAKEDA Camo Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The 1000D Nylon fabric gives it excellent wear resistance, tear resistance, unmatched strength, light weight, softness, and easy care.
  • The waist and shoulders can be adjusted quickly, making it convenient to be equipped with hand drawstring.
  • The detachable mesh padding provides good airflow during gameplay.
Cons:
  • Some users may find the plastic connections to be flimsy.
  • The vest may not fit larger body types comfortably.
  • The vest may not come with foam pads where the carrier plate is located.
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We were impressed with the vAv YAKEDA Camo Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest’s MOLLE Module System and concealed hook-and-loop utility pockets. The vest offers four pieces of detachable breathability padding for good airflow. The design fits different players with adjustable shoulder straps and adjustable upper waist sizes. You can also load it with tactical flashlight, knife, pepper spray, and other accessories.

The vest’s three-dimensional mesh ventilation and heat dissipation enhance air permeability and ventilation. It is suitable for tactics, duty, military fans, and CS games. All of the accessories can be disassembled and reorganized, making it a versatile and adaptable option.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that offers quick-release functionality, breathability, and adaptability, the vAv YAKEDA Camo Tactical Outdoor Carrier Vest is a solid choice.

Aekvinks Tactical MOLLE Vest Quick Release Skeletal Mesh Cummerbund Strap Side Belt for JPC XPC NCPC CPC Vest 50x13cm Black

Aekvinks Tactical MOLLE Vest Quick Release Cummerbund Plate Carrier Buckle Skeletal Mesh Cummerbund Mounting Strap Side Belt for JPC XPC AVS NCPC CPC 6094 419 420 Vest(Black Set)

If you're looking for an affordable plate carrier, the Aekvinks Tactical MOLLE Vest might just be what you need.

Pros:
  • Lightweight and breathable design
  • Quick-release buckle for easy removal
  • Compatible with various plate carriers
Cons:
  • Cummerbund straps may not be durable enough for heavy use
  • Limited MOLLE attachment points
  • May not fit larger body types comfortably
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We recently got our hands on this plate carrier and were impressed with its overall design. The skeletal mesh cummerbund strap and side belt provide ventilation and allow for a more comfortable fit during extended wear. The quick-release buckle is also a nice feature that allows for easy removal in case of emergency.

One downside we noticed is that the cummerbund straps may not be durable enough for heavy use. We recommend using this plate carrier for lighter loads and airsoft activities. Additionally, the limited MOLLE attachment points may not be suitable for those who need to carry a lot of gear.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable and lightweight plate carrier for airsoft or light use, the Aekvinks Tactical MOLLE Vest is a solid choice. However, if you require a more durable and versatile plate carrier for heavy use, we recommend looking into other options.

Frienda 4 Pcs Vest Inner Plate EVA Vest Inner Liner Foam Black Foam Plates for Plate Carrier Eva Foam Protective Pad Cushions for Kids

Frienda 4 Pcs Vest Inner Plate EVA Vest Inner Liner Foam Black Foam Plates for Plate Carrier Eva Foam Protective Pad Cushions for Kids

If you're in the market for a budget-friendly plate carrier, the Frienda 4 Pcs Vest Inner Plate is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The package includes 4 EVA vest plates, providing you with enough quantity to share with friends and family.
  • The plates are compatible with most vests, making it a versatile option for different types of activities.
  • The lightweight EVA material makes it easy to wear without increasing the burden of your clothes.
Cons:
  • The plates cannot be used as bulletproof vest plates.
  • The color may vary slightly due to different screen displays.
  • The sizing may have slight measurement errors.
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We’ve tested out these plates and found them to be well-crafted with good cutting and dyeing processes, which have allowed them to maintain their initial state even after wearing. The plates are stable in structure, strong enough to resist breakage, wear, fading, and scratches, making them a durable option that will last you a long time.

In addition to serving as waistcoat lining, these black plate vest pads are also suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor activities like cosplay, hunting, and other games. They provide a nice option for using as fitness equipment, helping to enhance your physical fitness by providing additional care for you during the process.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for a plate carrier, the Frienda 4 Pcs Vest Inner Plate EVA Vest Inner Liner Foam Black Foam Plates for Plate Carrier is a solid choice.

Check it out here.

Greencity Weight Vest

Greencity Weight Vest Adjustable Strength and Endurance Training, Tactical Vest Quick Release with Molle System, Fitness Workouts, Running

If you're looking for an affordable weight vest that can handle intense workouts, the Greencity Weight Vest might be just what you need.

Pros:
  • The vest is made of rugged 600D material and can hold up to 50 pounds of weight plates.
  • The MOLLE webbing system allows you to add modules and accessories to customize your workout.
  • The quick release connectors on the belly belt make it easy to remove the vest in case of an emergency.
Cons:
  • The vest only comes in one color (TAN).
  • Some users may find the vest uncomfortable due to the weight distribution.
  • The weight plates are not included with the vest.
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We’ve used the Greencity Weight Vest for several workouts and were impressed with its durability and versatility. The vest is made of high-quality 600D material that can withstand sweat, dirt, and intense training. The buckle connection design allows for quick release and removal, which is a nice safety feature.

The vest is compatible with almost all sizes, fitting shirt sizes from Small to XXXL and waist sizes from 38″ to 52″. The front and back pockets are suitable for weight plates with a size of 10X12 inches, and can bear up to 50 pounds of weight. We found that the weight distribution was good, although some users may find it uncomfortable depending on their body type.

The tactical vest is equipped with 3D mesh lining on the front and back for better comfort and breathability. We appreciated that it was made to withstand sweat and dirt, which is important for intense workouts. The MOLLE webbing system is a nice touch, allowing you to add weight plates or other accessories to customize your workout. We used it for strength training and running, and found it to be a great training tool for military enthusiasts.

Overall, we think the Greencity Weight Vest is a great option for those on a budget who want a durable and versatile weight vest. The vest comes with a 100% customer guarantee, so if you encounter any problems, Greencity provides excellent customer service.

GFIRE Quick Release Lightweight Vest Adjustable Breathable Weighted Vest for Training Camouflage

GFIRE Tactical Vest Quick Release Lightweight Vest Adjustable Breathable Weighted Vest for Training, Camouflage, Mens

If you're looking for a budget plate carrier that is both functional and comfortable, the GFIRE Quick Release Lightweight Vest is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The weight vest is made of high-quality 1000D fabric, which is durable and long-lasting.
  • The vest is fully padded with breathable 3D mesh, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
  • The MOLLE system provides ample attachment points for customization and personalization.
Cons:
  • The sizing may not be suitable for all body types.
  • The cummerbund pockets may not be easily accessible for some users.
  • The weight capacity may not be sufficient for heavier plates.
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We found the GFIRE Quick Release Lightweight Vest to be a great option for those on a budget. The vest is well-made and provides good value for the price. The rapid-open connectors on the shoulders and waist make it easy to put on and take off, while the adjustable shoulder strap and cummerbund ensure a comfortable fit for most people.

The MOLLE system is a nice feature that allows for customization and personalization, and the map pockets with snap-and-hook closures are a convenient way to keep important documents within reach. The shock-cords and cord locks can be hidden in the back of the vest, which enhances the feeling of comfort.

Overall, we would recommend the GFIRE Quick Release Lightweight Vest to anyone looking for a budget plate carrier that is both functional and comfortable. It’s a solid choice for combat training, field work, hiking, camping, extreme challenges, and fans alike.

Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 Plate Carrier

Crusader 2.0 Tactical Airsoft Vest with Molle Quick Release Buckles and Side Cummerbund Pouches and Triple mag Pouch(OCP Camo)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier, the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 is a solid option to consider.

Pros:
  • The quick release buckles on the waist and shoulders make it easy to remove the vest in a medical emergency or if you need to bugout quickly.
  • It comes with a triple mag pouch on the front that attaches to the placard by the buckles on the front, as well as a zippered admin pouch with a zipper built into the vest to make it more streamlined.
  • The vest has front and back pouches that allow for 10x12 Redemption Tactical foam pads to be put inside that is up to one inch thick.
Cons:
  • The interior padding to mount to the hook and loop is sold separately.
  • The mag pouches are OD Green color, which may not be everyone's preference.
  • The vest is made in China, which may be a concern for some buyers.
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We’ve used the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 in a variety of situations, and it has held up well. The quick release buckles are a standout feature, allowing for easy removal of the vest when needed. The triple mag pouch and zippered admin pouch are also useful for storing gear and keeping it organized. However, the fact that the interior padding is sold separately may be a downside for some buyers. Additionally, while the mag pouches are functional, the OD Green color may not be to everyone’s taste. Overall, the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 is a solid budget-friendly option for those in need of a plate carrier.

Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 Tactical Molle Quick Release Buckles Vest with Side Cummerbund Pouches and Triple mag Pouch Ranger Green

Crusader 2.0 Tactical Molle Quick Release Buckles Vest with Side Cummerbund Pouches and Triple mag Pouch (Ranger Green)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that offers quick release buckles and a triple mag pouch, the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 is a solid option.

Pros:
  • The quick release buckles on the waist and shoulders make it easy to quickly remove the vest in an emergency.
  • The triple mag pouch on the front provides ample storage for magazines and other gear.
  • The laser cut Molle allows gear to be held tighter to the vest for a more streamlined look.
Cons:
  • The interior padding needed to mount to the hook and loop is sold separately.
  • The mag pouches are OD green and not the same color as the vest.
  • The vest may not fit well for those with a smaller build.
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We recently tested out the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 and were impressed with its overall quality. The quick release buckles on the waist and shoulders made it easy to quickly remove the vest in an emergency, which is a crucial feature for any tactical vest. The triple mag pouch on the front provided ample storage for magazines and other gear, and the laser cut Molle allowed gear to be held tighter to the vest for a more streamlined look.

However, it’s worth noting that the interior padding needed to mount to the hook and loop is sold separately, which could be an added expense for some users. Additionally, the mag pouches are OD green and not the same color as the vest, which may be a downside for those looking for a more uniform look. Finally, the vest may not fit well for those with a smaller build, so it’s important to check the sizing chart before purchasing.

Overall, we would recommend the Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0 for anyone in need of a budget-friendly plate carrier with quick release buckles and a triple mag pouch.

IDOGEAR Tactical EVA Foam Plate

IDOGEAR Tactical EVA Foam Plate High Elasticity Soft Shock Plate for Vest Inner Liner Black 2pcs in Medium Size 10x12''

If you're in the market for a budget-friendly plate carrier, the IDOGEAR Tactical EVA Foam Plate is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The high-quality soft elastic EVA material offers reliable impact resistance and added comfort and durability.
  • The tactical form SAPI shock plate is designed to fit seamlessly into compatible vests, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.
  • The liner is crafted from high-quality materials, making it both durable and lightweight, keeping you agile and comfortable during outdoor activities.
Cons:
  • The plate is only available in medium size, which may not fit all users.
  • Some users have reported that the plate is not as rigid as they expected.
  • The price may be higher than some other budget plate carriers on the market.
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In our experience, the IDOGEAR Tactical EVA Foam Plate provides versatile and reliable protection for a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Whether you’re engaging in tactical operations or simply enjoying outdoor adventures, this plate is an essential piece of equipment designed to fit perfectly in tactical vests.

The plate is easy to install and provides enhanced protection during hunting, airsoft games, and personal defense activities. We found that the soft elastic EVA material offers reliable impact resistance, and the added comfort and durability make it a great choice for extended wear.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that offers reliable protection and comfort, the IDOGEAR Tactical EVA Foam Plate is definitely worth considering.

Tacticon BattleVest Lite | Tactical Vest | Combat Veteran Owned Company | Fully Adjustable & Lightweight Coyote Brown

Tacticon BattleVest Lite | Tactical Vest | Combat Veteran Owned Company | Fully Adjustable & Lightweight

If you're looking for a budget-friendly plate carrier that's lightweight and versatile, the Tacticon BattleVest Lite is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The vest is incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for extended wear.
  • The laser cut molle system is durable and easy to use.
  • The vest is fully adjustable, making it easy to get a comfortable fit.
Cons:
  • Some users have reported loose threads or other minor quality issues.
  • The vest may not be as breathable as some other options.
  • The shoulder straps may dig in a bit if you're carrying heavy plates.
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We were impressed with the Tacticon BattleVest Lite’s lightweight design and durable construction. The laser cut molle system is easy to use and allows you to attach a variety of gear, while the adjustable straps make it easy to get a comfortable fit.

That being said, some users have reported minor quality issues such as loose threads or stitching. Additionally, the vest may not be as breathable as some other options, which could be an issue if you’re wearing it for extended periods of time.

Overall, we think the Tacticon BattleVest Lite is a solid budget option for anyone in need of a lightweight and versatile plate carrier.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best budget plate carrier, there are several features that you should consider to ensure that you get the right product for your needs. Here are some of the factors that you should look at:

Material

The material used to make the plate carrier is an essential factor to consider. You want to ensure that the carrier is made from durable material that can withstand wear and tear. Some of the common materials used to make plate carriers include nylon, polyester, and Cordura. Look for a carrier made from high-quality materials that can withstand harsh conditions.

Size and Fit

The size and fit of the plate carrier are crucial to ensure that you are comfortable when wearing it. The carrier should fit snugly on your body without being too tight or too loose. Most plate carriers come in different sizes, so be sure to measure yourself to get the right size. Additionally, look for carriers with adjustable straps that can help you achieve a comfortable fit.

Weight

The weight of the plate carrier is another essential factor to consider. You want a carrier that is lightweight and does not add too much weight to your overall gear. Look for carriers made from lightweight materials that do not compromise on durability.

MOLLE Compatibility

MOLLE compatibility is crucial if you want to customize your carrier to fit your specific needs. Look for carriers with MOLLE webbing that allows you to attach additional pouches and accessories to your carrier.

Price

Finally, the price is an essential factor to consider when looking for the best budget plate carrier. Look for carriers that offer good value for money without compromising on quality. Compare prices from different brands to get the best deal.

In summary, when looking for the best budget plate carrier, consider the material, size and fit, weight, MOLLE compatibility, and price. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and get a carrier that meets your needs.

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I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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