By Charles Bausman and Liza Sarychev
Gear to be Tested: New products offered by Crye Precision and Mystery Ranch claim to redistribute the weight of a combat loaded plate carrier from the shoulder and low back to the hips. A reinforced stiff hip belt with attachments to the plate carrier is advertised to hold the plate carrier more comfortably for the user, similar to that of a ruck/pack.
Purpose: Determine if weight is redistributed as advertised. If so, compare against one another for best system available to consumers.
Method: Plate carriers will be tested across three domains of tactical performance
- Long range patrolling
- Speed and Agility
Each physical test will be conducted three times. This includes the Plate Carrier with no hip belt, plate carrier with Crye hip belt, and plate carrier with Mystery Ranch hip belt.
We will test the redistribution of weight with punctured gel packs secured beneath each shoulder strap of the plate carrier. The weight of the gel pack will be measured before and after each physical testing. The gel substance that is forced out of the container indicates the more poundage being placed on the shoulders and traps of the wearer.
Static wear: Lab Rat will don the plate carrier while in the standing position, with punctured gel packs beneath each shoulder strap and on the hips. Each model will be worn for sixty seconds.
One Mile Run: Lab Rat will don the plate carrier with punctured gel pack beneath each shoulder strap. The Lab Rat will run one mile on a track at a 8:00min/mile pace.
Two Mile Hike: Lab Rat will don the plate carrier with punctured gel pack beneath each shoulder strap. Lab Rat will conduct a five-mile hike over varied terrain (same route).
300m Shuttle Run: Lab Rat will don the plate carrier with punctured gel pack beneath each shoulder strap and on the hips. Lab Rat will conduct a 300m shuttle runs.
Marksmanship: Lab Rat will conduct a course of fire. This will include engaging targets from various shooting positions, as well as moving from cover to cover by sprinting, high crawling, and low crawling. The shooter will provide feedback on comfort of moving and shooting, ability to shoulder weapon, time to complete course, and hit rates.
Questions? Comments. Email Charles@militaryathlete.com.