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Home » The Best Budget Plate Carrier: What Cheap Plate Carrier Is Worth To Buy?

The Best Budget Plate Carrier: What Cheap Plate Carrier Is Worth To Buy?

It was really hard to find decent plate carriers on the first days of war in Ukraine. Me as many other people were shocked and didn’t realize what’s going on till the last days before invading. Fortunately, Ukrainian Armed Forces were prepared for that. All the clown-ass predictions like “Ukraine could fall in 72 hours”, or “Kyiv to fall to incoming Russian forces within days” have been dispelled. Remember that? I will remember it forever. But how does this intro correlate with the best budget plate carrier?

There were thousands of civilians who decided to protect their country from the first days of war. We had guns, and we had something and someone behind us to protect. However, there was one real problem: we didn’t have military and tactical gear for thousands of yesterday’s civilians. And one of the most crucial points was plate carriers. Since some of us decided to order the gear from other countries, the other part decided to make plate carriers. And there was a huge first months loadshit of China knock-offs, self-made plate carriers, and other crap. Just look at this, for God sake! 

Doesn’t look like Crye or Mayflower plate carriers, huh? Fortunately, we don’t have this problem today. But spending months searching for the cheap and decent (!) plate carriers, I can bet: no one knows better than me about the best budget plate carrier.      

So here’s our brief –  we need cheap plate carrier, but:

  1. This budget plate carrier should be decent quality;
  2. Shouldn’t turns into garbage in a few months of use;
  3. Made of moderate/good quality materials.
  4. Should be under $160.


The Best Budget Plate Carrier: My Personal List of 7 Best Cheap Plate Carriers

Here is the list of the best budget plate carriers: 

  1. Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier – the best overall;
  2. Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0;
  3. Tacticon BattleVest;
  4. Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0;
  5. Yakeda plate carrier;
  6. OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest;
  7. Emerson Tactical MBAV Strandhogg.

Could I find something cheaper? I could. Moreover, I could find something even under $50, but this would be the worst plate carriers you’ve ever seen. So that’s why I decided to show you the cheap plate carriers above.

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier – The Best Budget Plate Carrier

Have you ever heard about Tactical Tailor? Tactical Tailor is a big supplier of gear to military personnel (and the progenitor of the Fight Light line of equipment), and one of the most reputable brands. Grey Ghost Gear is a smaller, “boutique” manufacturer of tactical equipment. What’s common between them? Both companies are Veteran owned, based in the USA, and… they’re working together. So speaking about the quality plate carrier for the low price, it’s hard to find something more appropriate than GGG Minimalist Plate Carrier. 

Redemption Tactical Crusader 2.0

If I don’t mistaken, this small-business company was established in 2022, and back then I saw their plate carrier for the first time. What can I say about it? It’s an awesome and cheap plate carrier. All their plate carriers are made in China, but I am personally familiar with the manufacturer. Moreover – I ordered a batch of the same plate carriers for the military needs. And I was impressed by the quality and durability of these plate carriers. Yes, it may sound quite unusual, but definitely not all the China-made gear is low-quality. Even more – these plate carriers have been tested in the field since August 2022, and I didn’t hear anything bad about it, just courtesy. 

Quick facts: 

  1. Material: 1000D Nylon;
  2. 2M quick-release system;
  3. Triple pouch placard included;
  4. Side pockets for the side plates available;
  5. Fits for standard SAPI plates.

Tacticon BattleVest

best budget plate carrier -- Tacticon

Another Veteran-owned small business from the USA. Again – I personally tested their gear, and should note that all of them are really good. Battle belts, plate carriers, pouches – have nothing bad to say about it. And that’s why I can call the Tacticon BattleVest as one of the best plate carriers for the money. 

Quick facts: 

  1. Heavy Duty Industrial 500D PVC Nylon;
  2. Double-Stitched Molle PALS System and 3D Mesh Liner;
  3. Fits for the standard SAPI plates;
  4. Lifetime warranty.

Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0

This plate carrier is one of the most recommended cheap plate carriers at the Reddit niche communities, like Tactical Gear or Quality Tactical Gear. Shellback recommended itself as a reliable and trusted brand of tactical gear, and the Tactical Rampage 2.0 – is one of the best-selling products.  

Yakeda plate carrier

In the first months of war in Ukraine, this plate carrier has been one of the most popular quality options to buy. It was hard to find reputable and proven brands, but a few weeks after the invasion volunteers started to import these plate carriers for the Territorial Defense Forces, which wasn’t well-equipped. Since that time, many soldiers re-equipped with the more pricey and quality plate carriers, but for many of us Yakeda plate carriers became something like “people’s choice”. 

Quick facts: 

  1. Material: 1000D Nylon;
  2. Quick release system: shoulder fastex buckles;
  3. Mag pouches included;
  4. Weight: 1.87 kg;
  5. Fits for 10×12 plates.

OneTigris Low Profile Tactical Vest

Another cheap Chinese plate carrier. Widely used in airsoft, sometimes I heard about using it in the Territorial Defense. Can’t say a lot about it – it’s a simple budget plate carrier as is, and there’s no reason to write 1000+ words more about it (let be honest, it’s not Crye, AWS or Ferro Concepts). 

Quick facts: 

  1. Material: 500D Nylon;
  2. Adjustable cummerbund with mag cells;
  3. Low-profile, may be used for concealed carry;
  4. Fits for 10×12 plates.

Emerson Tactical MBAV Strandhogg

best budget plate carrier - EmersonTactic

Emerson Gear is a Chinese and the USA manufacturing company which is famous for their replicas of the well-known plate carriers. If you’d like to find the best budget plate carrier which is the same as LBT 6094, First Spear Strandhogg, Crye JPC, Ferro Concepts FCPC V5 or any other, but cheaper than $300, this is your way to go. 

Quick facts: 

  1. Material: 500D Cordura;
  2. Laser cut MOLLE;
  3. Quick-release tube system;
  4. Fits for 10×12 plates.

As you may see, Emerson Tactical MBAV Strandhogg is a brilliant-quality replica of the Strandhögg™ v1 SAPI Cut Plate Carrier, but way more cheaper than $530. 

I am personally familiar with the manufacturer and have spoken a lot with their representative, seen and tested their plate carriers, and I must confess: this plate carrier doesn’t just “look alike” the original Strandhogg. Hard to believe, but it’s ALMOST the same as the original. Widely used in airsoft, as well as in the fields. Outstanding quality materials, original patterns and furniture – it’s just an awesome option to buy. 


What would I choose if I didn’t already have a plate carrier? I’d probably go for any of the options, but speaking about myself, I’d prefer to buy either Grey Ghost Gear, Emerson, Tacticon or Redemption Tactical.