Best Entry Level LBE

Looking into setting up a plate carrier and/or a battle belt. I’m trying for the $500 mark or below on either. Reccomendations for brands (and levels/styles of rifle plate)? Or even better gear/accessories to steer clear from for one reason or another? Pic’s appreciated!


I’ve had stuff my Tactical Tailor and HSGI. I even spent $450 on their battle belt setup with the TACO mag pouches and stuff. I just recently spent $35 and purchased the Condor Rapid Assault Vest:

I have not received it yet, but it has gotten good reviews on-line. My advice would be not to get something that is too bulky, not to put too much “Stuff” on it, and keep it trim and light. Don’t stack two or three pouches deep.

That’s my advice at least.


Yeah I hear you loud and clear on the bulk factor, played a lot of airsoft as a kid and there’s nothing worse than constantly snagging on stuff and getting hung up on your own gear.

Apply that to a situation with a real threat, and that problem compounds exponentially; as I understand. (civilian background, so I can’t realy speak from experience)

High Threat Concealment makes one of the absolute best low-vis battle bets on the market, in my opinion. The belt was designed to be concealed underneath of a suit coat with minimal printing.

It’s pricy, but completely worth it if you can afford it.

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If you want to keep a carrier AND belt set up under $500 you’ll be stuck with steel plates. Two level IV composite plates alone will eat up your budget. I’m currently running a Grey Ghost Gear minimalist plate carrier($115), their Level IV stand alone ceramic plates($210x2) and a VTAC BROKOS/Cobra belt combo($119+$79). That totals out to $745. Switching to AR500 steel plates would knock that down to your $500 budget. Don’t forget, that is without magazine/gear pouches or a holster.

If you don’t mind the weight, steel plates may work for you. Be sure to get ones with the anti-spall coating or you need to run them in with some form of Kevlar/nylon cover. Personally, I’ll be switching to Polyethylene (UHMWPE) plates when budget allows.Spartan has them for $610 for a pair. They are neutrally buoyant and are half the weight of even my ceramic plates.

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I was thinking sub $500 for just the plates and carrier (and mag pouches etc) not necessarily belt and carrier setup but thats also something to consider for sure.

I was thinking level III+ with coating, the weight isn’t ideal but it’s probably what best fits my budget right now as I’m also trying to get some training and spend more time on the range.

What’s your thinking behind having level IV plates?

If you were looking at $500 just for the plates and carriers, you might be able to do composite plates for that price. There are several sub $100 carriers out there. Just understand that cheaper carriers tend to be heavier, negating any gains from lighter plates. The stitching, buckles and fit are usually not as good either.

The level IV plates were stand alone(no need for backers or spall guards), in my price range and a bit lighter than steel. With 2 knees that have seen better days every ounce counts. That’s why I’ll be switching to Poly plates when I can.

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I second Jestik’s recommendations. That is some solid gear. Keep everything simple and basic indeed. Remember less is more!

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I really like the UW Gear stuff. It’s simple, quiet (no velcro) and doesn’t use bungie cords (I hate those as they’re horrible snag points especially with AK’s).

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You weren’t kiding, I really like those Minuteman chest rigs. Very simple and very fair prices from the look of it.

Do you want a traditional cummerbund?
Mission spec has the EOC which is a very quality USA made item with a great price.

If you want to spend a bit more the Mayflower APC is a hell of a rig, my only complaint is no drag handle.

Pouches, do you want something like tacos? Gcode makes a taco style pouch and is cheaper.

Emdom and esstac are some quality brands with a reasonable price.
Skdtactical is where I primarily shop/window shop for gear and gear ideas.

Belt lines first spear and ats are very reasonably priced and very durable gear.

I’m no fan of steel plates, the weight is just to much to justify.

I always have a cart of items and then I wait for discounts, sign up to the newsletter to keep up on discounts.

I actually bought much of the gear I mentioned here, I bought my taco pouches from an airsoft site called Evike, they periodically have discounts up to 25℅ off and I got my tacos for a very good price.

After Xmas I got a Mayflower APC on sale, got it and a ferro concepts wallet for 204$.

Good luck and keep an eye out for them deals.

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I got my Condor Tactical rig in, and for what I paid for it, it compares nicely to my Tactical Tailor Battle Belt. It is small, lightweight, simple, and not too bulky. It can hold six STANAG magazines, and I am happy with that.

Had a lot of good luck with Shellback Tactical products “link below”:

Grab one when they go one sale. Snagged mine for under $120 at one time in the past.

I use a HIgh speed gear battle belt and it’s great. I also like their mag pouches because they fit any magazine.
G-code also has great pouches that are very similar.

Cheap plate carrier is condor. They have a releasable for $100. I have one. it is good quality even tho its made in
China. I personally don’t like the way it fits me. So I am
Going to try the mayflower or banshee next.

The condor may fit you fine.
I have a large chest and small waist. So it just ain’t comfy for me

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