first published on December 5, 2019 by Josh Brooks[mashshare]
There are hundreds of options in the plate carrier space. Many of them are great. Some of them are horrendous. The Advanced Slickster Plate Carrier from RE Factor Tactical and Ferro Concepts is an entry into this space that absolutely rocks it. If you were on the fence, we’re going to help you get off of it.
Here’s our review of one of the most well constructed and purpose built tactical vests on the market.
Let’s start this off by stating the obvious. You need your plate carrier to effectively and efficiently carry plates. It doesn’t matter if those plates are SAPI, or steel. A plate carrier or tactical vest that cannot carry life saving body armor without falling apart is an absolute waste of space in your collection of tactical equipment. Why do I say that? Because there are plate carriers on the market from some shady companies that simply do not get the job done. Buyer beware on those Chinese knock-offs. You get what you pay for.
Aside from the obvious though, your plate carrier is generally going to be the location where most of your kit lives. Magazine pouches, individual first-aid kits, tactical admin pouches, and communications equipment will all live here. When selecting your plate carrier, do so with this in mind if you are not a fan of loading your equipment onto your belt.
If you’ve just entered this space, be prepared for this set-up to change often. When it comes to your plate carrier, you need to understand that this will be an ever evolving piece of kit. You’ll put things on your vest one day, head out to the range, and then immediately strip things that were ineffective. This is the nature of the beast that is the plate carrier. Some things will work, others simply won’t. If your plate carrier is the piece of kit that doesn’t work, you need to replace it as soon as possible.
The Advanced Slickster Plate Carrier from RE Factor Tactical and Ferro Concepts was designed for operators, by operators. In the field, there’s a number of massive complaints that always come back. “I have nowhere for my comm wires,” “I can’t conceal this thing worth a damn,” and straight up “This thing sucks to wear all day.” The Advanced Slickster solves all of those problems.
Before we get into my thoughts on this particular piece of kit, here’s an introduction to it from RE Factor Tactical.
I’m going to be dead honest with you. I didn’t hit any objectives or take down any Taliban fighters while wearing this vest. For a fact, I do know that this plate carrier has been used in austere conditions overseas with great success. So, while I can’t personally vouch for the fact that this thing will hold up to the rigors of combat, it is one of the few plate carriers out there that has the backing of individuals who have been down-range against foreign enemies.
What I personally used this vest for was range training, and a little force on force training with a local group.
On the range, I was able to quickly adapt to the system. If your plan is to only use this vest out on the range for competition shooting or training, then without a shadow of doubt in my mind I can tell you that the Advanced Slickster Plate Carrier will accomplish the mission you have set in front of it. During force on force training, I had similar results.
The one thing I would like to note is the comfort this carrier brings with it. I’ve worn a number of different carriers and tactical vests throughout my time in the GWoT. Those range from the old school OTV, to the Scalable SAPI Plate Carrier, and even that “Modular Tactical Vest” the Marine Corps thought was a good idea. The Advanced Slickster has every single one of them beat, hands down. Wearing this thing all day was one of the best plate carrier experiences that I have personally ever had. If you wanna strap 30 pounds of equipment on your chest, this is the carrier you need.
There is an old saying in the world of tactical training that states: “Train like you fight, and you’ll fight how you’ve trained.”
What this means is that if you intend on fighting with a particular piece of equipment, you need to train with it. Regardless if you’re the type of person who is frequently working in a high-threat environment, or if you’re the type of person who is just preparing themselves physically and mentally in order to be ready for a world without the rule of law. Body armor will literally save your life, and you need to know how to fight in it if you intend to use it.
On top of that, the way you place your equipment on your vest will dictate your muscle memory in a true fight or die scenario. If you’re training to fight without a tactical vest or plate carrier, you are training to fight without a serious level of protection. The Advanced Slickster Plate Carrier is our new go-to choice for both training, and real-world operations.
We also highly recommend that if you’re in this space, you look to SHOTSTOP body armor plates for your ballistic protection needs.
After having spent a couple of weeks with this thing, I can confidently say that I like it. This will be a subjective viewpoint for most people. Many individuals have set tactical vests and plate carriers that they have been using for years. If you’re not absolutely sold on a specific product already however, we recommend that you start and end your search with the advanced version of the Slickster. If you’re on a budget, they have a basic version that is a bit more slimmed down.
I have found that this product fills the gap in my personal plate carrier needs. It’s highly modular, and has the ability to be very low profile. This is just one reviewers independent opinion though. Let us know down in the comments section if you’ve had a different experience with this specific tactical vest. For me, a plate carrier is a big investment. For most people I imagine it would be the same. If enough other people have a different experience than me, I’ll revisit this review.