Mayflower Research & Consulting Low Profile Armor Carrier

Like many who’ve been in the military, I’ve spent long periods of time wearing armor. It’s hot, uncomfortable, and tiring – though you eventually get used to it.

While deployed, I wore ye olde Interceptor OTV, as well as the Eagle CIRAS-Maritime, and, occasionally, just a TAG plate carrier. The latter was the most comfortable, even if it was still intended to be used as an “external” plate carrier. I found it easier to sleep in, although the lack of soft armor did mean that my E-SAPI plates dug in here and there.

All of those armor carriers were well built and ready to handle long, daily use for months or years at a time. The unwelcome side effect of such durability is that the carrier itself is bulky, heavy, and interferes with the wearer’s ability to perform normal tasks.

With no acute need for the constant use of heavy and restrictive armor, I acquired, in late 2009, a Mayflower R&C Low Profile Armor Carrier, and have been using it fairly often since. It is not, I believe, intended for daily external use on a long deployment – rather, it is intended to be worn for more brief activities requiring less turtle-like movement. I see it as armor that allows the wearer to change how they perform whatever tasks may be required of them.

For example, the Mayflower LPAC may be worn under a uniform blouse, and will probably remain undetected at range, even with plates in the carrier. I recently spoke with a LEO who was surprised to find that I was wearing Level IV armor – and having a much easier time going up and down the banks of washes (dry river/creek beds) than he was with a more overt armor system. To be fair, I only had about 50lbs of gear, while he had a good bit more.

Unlike other armor carriers which use Interceptor or BALCS/SPEAR cut soft armor, the Mayflower carrier is intended for concealment cut armor – which can vary in size and dimensions, so you should speak with them before purchasing it. In addition, it uses 500D Cordura, not 1000D – the result is a carrier that weighs just over 1lb empty. The result is that, when putting on the Mayflower carrier, I don’t have the usual “Oh, crap, this armor is so heavy/restrictive/sucky” feeling that I do when putting on an OTV/MTV. In addition, it doesn’t interfere with shooting to even a fraction of the amount that, say, an OTV does.

Since I have had, and used, the carrier for over a year, I feel fairly qualified to speak about its durability – which has been excellent. Again, it is not intended as a 16-hours-a-day, 365-days-per-year armor system. I am seeing very slight amounts of wear in the elastic “belly bands” – the amount of which I am comfortable with. I am sure that Mayflower carriers have been subjected to far more grueling use than mine has seen, and are still in service. Frankly, the quality of these elastic bands seems to surpass the quality of other items I have used that relied on elastic bands for attachment purposes. To me, the carrier still looks new, which may be because I’ve almost exclusively worn it under a blouse – but the quality of its construction certainly plays a role as well.

If you have a need for a lightweight, high quality, concealable armor carrier, I highly recommend the Mayflower R&C product.

Best of Luck…

Steve at TheFirearmBlog has driven a significant amount of traffic to my blog, for which I am very thankful. I had the chance to thank him in person at SHOT, where we had dinner and an informal meet and greet, along with other gun bloggers, thanks to an industry sponsor. He’s a really nice guy – and pretty interesting to talk to as well.

He’s sold ownership of his blog, but will remain in charge as editor-in-chief. I wish him the best of luck with this pretty exciting endeavour.

SHOT 2011: Multitasker Ultralight (Gen 2)

Not sure what to call it – Gen 2, Version 2, Series 2, Pro…Anyway, this is the prototype for the second Ultralight.

After using the Ultralight for a little while, I commented to Shane at Multitasker that the Ultralight could really benefit from a knife blade, and he said, “Way ahead of you.”

My upcoming review will be of the original Ultralight, but with consideration given to the changes in the new version.

Multitasker Tube

I really like the Mulititasker Series 2, as you can see in this review. There were a few things I wasn’t enamored with, but overall, it’s a very high quality and useful tool. The Tube is a reduced form factor AR-specific tool, which I review here. I am not really sold on many of the Tube’s tool attachments, or its large case, but do think it would be nice to have in certain situations. If I had to pick just one of the Multitasker tools to buy, though, it would not be the Tube.