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The Difference Between an IOTV and Plate Carrier

IOTV and Plate Carrier

When you’re in the market for tactical gear, it’s important to know the difference between the various types of gear available. Two common types of tactical gear are the IOTV (Improved Outer Tactical Vest) and the plate carrier.

While both provide protection, they each have different features that make them better suited for different purposes. Here’s a quick overview of the difference between an IOTV and a plate carrier.

IOTV: The IOTV is the standard-issue vest for soldiers in the U.S. Army. It provides protection against small-arms fire and shrapnel, and can be fitted with Kevlar plates for additional protection.

The IOTV also has a variety of pockets and compartments for storing equipment, making it ideal for soldiers who need to carry a lot of gear with them into battle.

Plate Carrier: A plate carrier is a lighter and more versatile alternative to the IOTV. It is designed to hold Kevlar plates in place, but does not have all of the same compartments and pockets as the IOTV.

This makes it ideal for special operations forces who need to move quickly and quietly without being bogged down by unnecessary equipment. Plate carriers can also be fitted with a variety of other pieces of tactical gear, such as medical kits and communications equipment.

The Pros and Cons of Wearing an Iotv Versus a Plate Carrier

An Iotv is essentially a bulletproof vest that offers protection against small arms fire and shrapnel. It’s made up of Kevlar panels that are held together by webbing and secured with Velcro or snaps. An Iotv typically has side plates as well, which offer additional protection.

The main advantage of an Iotv is that it’s lightweight and comfortable to wear, which makes it ideal for use in hot weather conditions. Additionally, Iotvs typically offer more coverage than plate carriers, so they offer more protection overall.

The main downside of an Iotv is that because the Kevlar panels are not as thick as steel plates, they will not offer as much protection against high-caliber rounds. Additionally, Iotvs can be more expensive than plate carriers.

Plate carriers, on the other hand, are designed to hold steel plates in place so that they can offer additional protection against high-caliber rounds. Plate carriers typically have less coverage than Iotvs, but they make up for it in weight and price—plate carriers are usually cheaper than Iotvs.

The main disadvantage of plate carriers is that they’re much heavier than Iotvs, which can make them uncomfortable to wear in hot weather conditions. Additionally, because they don’t have as much coverage as Iotvs, you may want to consider wearing additional armor if you decide to go with a plate carrier.


When choosing between an IOTV and plate carrier, it’s important to consider what your needs are. If you need a vest that can carry a lot of equipment, then the IOTV is likely the better choice.

However, if you’re looking for something that’s lighter and more versatile, then a plate carrier might be a better option. Whichever type of tactical gear you choose, make sure it’s suited for your specific needs.