30 Jan Templar’s Gear Crusader Plate Carrier ROC – Before You Buy
Templar’s Gear Crusader Plate Carrier ROC – Before You Buy
In this blog we’re going to have a close look at the Templar’s Gear Crusader Plate Carrier ROC Set.
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To start off with, yes this is Viper’s new personal plate carrier and all the questions behind why he needed a new one will be covered in our Reconbrothers Plate Carrier Setup of 2020. But that aside, let’s jump right into the specs of this carrier.
Design & Weight
The first thing that immediately pops out in all the products of the Polish Templar’s Gear brand is its laser cut designs. And we mean not a few products, but nearly as good as everything is laser cut. And obviously that’s also the case for this plate carrier, which makes it very lightweight and slim in its design. The carrier on its own weighs only 870 grams or 30.7 ounces.
If we take a closer look, you can clearly see the time and effort that has gone into the making of this product. And that counts for more than just this carrier. Templar’s Gear their products don’t only look really cool in our eyes, but they also put a lot of thought into them as well and that is for example translated in the almost extreme modularity of this plate carrier. We’ll get into the details of that later in this blog.
The materials used for the construction of this carrier are 500 den Cordura and Cordura laminate which are strong enough for any tactical usage. The materials they use are also IRR treated which is important for that night time operational advantage and the stitching on this carrier is done very neatly as well.
The Crusader ROC is made for SAPI or ESAPI sized ballistic or training plates in either sizes M or L depending on your body size. These can easily be inserted or taken out with a simple Velcro flap.
Rapid Open Connectors
As mentioned in the name, the “ROC” stands for “Rapid Open Connectors”. These are positioned on both sides of the shoulders and the cummerbunds that allow for a quick and silent removal off the plate carrier. These are made of a strong and durable plastic with a quite short, but long enough paracord attached to them, to pull them off. Important is to use these connectors in a correct way and as long as you do so, you won’t run into any trouble with them.
Available Colors & Patterns
Besides these features, Templar’s Gear is certainly interesting for the many colors and patterns their products are available in. They basically make 95% of all their products in all the 11 colors they offer.
This goes from Ranger Green, Black, Tempest Grey and Coyote Brown like the one shown, but also patterns like Multicam, Multicam Tropic, WZ 93, ATACS Foliage Green and Pencott Greenzone are a possibility. And recently they’ve also added 2 new patterns called ATACS Ghost and ATACS IX to that list as well. Which brings it currently to a total of 11.
The front panel contains a lower main 7 by 6 MOLLE panel and a smaller 4 by 4 MOLLE panel on top. Beside the 4 by 4 MOLLE panel there’s a buckle underneath each of the 2 elastic materials.
Also these are made of a durable plastic and are meant for interchangeable front panel usage. But if you don’t want to use them for that, they’re removable. In order to remove them, you push out the entire buckle through the top of the elastic and remove it by pushing the top bar down and pulling on the side lip that has a cut in it. After that you can remove the buckle from its loop.
Something that is immediately noticeable about this carrier is the amount of Velcro on this entire panel. These Velcro pads are found on the chest for Identification like most manufacturers do, but on the lower big MOLLE panel there’s also a large amount of Velcro.
Interchangeable Front Panel
This together with the buckles creates a very quick and easy interchangeable system for custom or preset CPC front panels which can be bought separately. Just click a front panel into the buckles, stick it on the Velcro and you’re ready to go.
Next, there are also Velcro cable and tube managers on each side of the front panel. These are located on more spots around the carrier and we’ll mention them later, but in our eyes this is certainly one of those details that other companies tend to miss in their designs. Little things like these make the organization of your setup way easier and it gives a neat and professional look as well.
The back panel contains a main 11 by 6 MOLLE panel and a smaller 1 by 4 MOLLE row on top.
A thing that kind of looks odd at first sight, but that is actually very clever designed when you think about it, are the 2 zippers placed on the back. Now, why the hell would you even need zippers on the back? Well, they’re there for the exact same reason as why there are buckles on the front panel.
Interchangeable Back Panel
These zippers allow for a quick interchangeable back panel system. This again allows you to create custom presets of back panels without the need of attaching and detaching all your pouches over and over again. This way you can for example have a back with a hydration system and another one with extra grenades or magazines for your team or when you need to carry a backpack you can take the entire back easily off.
What’s also quite noticeable is the large Velcro pad on the back panel. This is of course also for identification like for example police forces do.
Furthermore, on top of the back you can find a handle for easy grabbing when you need to drag a teammate to cover for example. But the good thing about this handle is that it is still accessible even when some sort of pouch is attached on top of the back. This is also a plus since other brands tend to just forget about this when it comes to designing and keeping everything in mind.
Another clever design feature worth mentioning is the way the cummerbunds are adjustable. In order to adjust these, you just have to lift a flap piece on the center bottom of the back panel and you have immediate easy access to the cummerbund adjustment system.
These are also very easy to work with, because it’s just a replacement of Velcro pieces. And in our experience this is the most simple cummerbund adjustment design we’ve seen thus far which is certainly a plus. Since most other designs require quite an amount of work and mostly need to be done by someone else while you’re wearing the carrier.
Above that, just as on the front panel you here have a Velcro cable and tube manager on each side.
At last, the padding of both the front and back panel are made from a foam laminated with a Coolmax material. The first thing that can be said is that it sits comfortable and feels durable when compared to 3D mesh padding that are more commonly used these days.
The part that we were a bit worried about was the ventilation of this material when doing physical efforts compared to 3D mesh padding. But it doesn’t look like that is the case here.
Also, what might even be more important than good ventilation is cleaning. And for people that use plate carriers with 3D mesh padding highly probably know what a hassle it can be to clean such padding. Things like sand, dirt and other stuff get in between the air canals and might even start to rot when the carrier has been exposed to extreme environments like mud for example.
Templar’s Gear seems to have gotten rid of these issues with the materials they use which is easy to clean and that is certainly also a big plus in our eyes.
The cummerbunds contain a 6 by 5 laser cut MOLLE panel both on the out-and the inside. Which is ideal for if you like to place certain pouches on the inside against your body and it allows for a double use of the MOLLE to some extend of course. In between these 2 panels there’s a sheet of plastic sandwiched for a rigid and flexible cummerbund.
Using The ROC System
Due to this being the ROC plate carrier these cummerbunds are both attached on the front panel using the quick release buckles. Good to know is that these are opened by pulling up instead of down. Just saying because some other companies have attached them to be used the other way around.
Elastic Pieces On Cummerbunds
Another sign of Templar’s Gear really putting effort into their designs are the elastic pieces placed on the back of the cummerbunds. This is especially important for when you’ve set the sides to your sizing and for some reason you have to carry more upper body layers like a jacket for example. With these you don’t need to readjust the sizing again. Although adjusting this would still be easy with this plate carrier its design, with other carriers that’s not necessarily the case.
The shoulders, believe it or not, also have laser cut MOLLE on them. It’s a seven by one row of MOLLE and these can certainly come in handy as well. The shoulders also have 2 Velcro cable and tube managers on each side and feature a 3D mesh backing on the inside for comfort and good breathability on the shoulders.
Furthermore, the shoulder length adjustment system is very easy to use since it’s just a replacement of two Velcro sides. Now, due to how this is designed it does allow the replacement of the shoulder padding itself, since they’re loose parts, but thus far I haven’t got any issue with that yet.
Viper’s Final thoughts
In overall I’m personally impressed with this plate carrier its ease of use and the implemented organization options are quite neat. I’m fan of the laser cut design and think it’s perfect for a low profile setup that is both lightweight and leaves lots of custom options open thanks to its very modular features.
I love to use the ROC system and I think it’s definitely one of those big general improvements that companies are jumping on, since it’s very easy, quick and silent in use compared to Velcro. I also think it’s cool Templar’s Gear produced the carrier with the infrared spectrum in mind and I’m curious of how it will compare to other equipment at dark.
I’m already convinced by what Templar’s Gear has delivered with this product and I think they deliver much more compared to plate carriers produced by other brands that sell for the same price tag. So guys, if you’re looking for this plate carrier and many more products of Templar’s Gear, you can find them at our online store shop.reconbrothers.com.