24 Jun Templar’s Gear Multi-curved Training Plates – Before You Buy
Templar’s Gear Training Plates – Before You Buy
Very recently Templar’s Gear released their very own non-ballistic training plates for plate carriers on the market. We were one of the first who got their hands on these and have been testing them ever since. So, in this blog we’ll have a closer look at them and we’ll also compare their build and use to actual ballistic plates.
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Templar’s Gear Brand
For those of you that don’t know, Templar’s Gear is a company that makes high quality advanced laser-cut tactical equipment. And here they mainly focus on functionality, ergonomics and durability while keeping the weight as low as possible.
Aside that, their innovation reaches further than just textiles and an example of this are their new training plates which we have right here.
These are multi-curved non-ballistic plates intended for military, law enforcement and civilian use.
The idea behind them is to allow training to be as realistic as possible without the risk of damaging your life-saving and expensive ballistic plates. Think about force-on-force shooting lessons, rappelling or parachuting in full equipment or even going for a run with some extra weight. So, the possibilities are quite broad.
For this they made 2 versions. One is a so called “standard” version which weighs 2,5 kilogram per plate and the other is a “lightweight” version which weighs 1,5 kilogram. These both replicate the weight, shape, curvature and thickness of 25 by 30 centimeter sized ballistic plates as closely as possible.
Why this specific size, well pretty simple because it is the most common used plate size in the world.
An important thing we want to mention in between, is the fact that we got quite an amount of questions of whether these plates fit people their specific plate carriers. A thing you have to be aware of, is that you buy a plate carrier according to the size of the plates you need, which is based on your body measurements, and not the other way around. So, logically the plate size should be the very first thing you need to know even before you get yourself a plate carrier.
Comparison with ballistic plates
To give you an idea of how close these come to actual multi-curved ballistic plates, we here also have a plate from Protection Group Danmark. This is their NIJ3+ stand-alone multi-curved ballistic plate of 25 by 30 centimeters. And as can be seen at first sight, the training plates come really close to the ballistic one.
The things where they differ a bit however, are their thicknesses and weight. As for thickness the 2,5 kilogram version measures 25 millimeters while the 1,5 kilogram version measures 20 millimeters.
To compare this to the ballistic one, this one measures 30 millimeters. So, the standard training plate only differs 0,5 a centimeter while the lightweight one differs a full centimeter. And that’s pretty close actually.
What’s more important however are their weights. These level 3 ballistic ones weigh 1,5 kilogram per plate which is as good as exactly the same as the lightweight version.
Above that, we recently also got the opportunity to have a look at Protection Group Denmark their NIJ level 4 plates and those weighed 3 kilograms per plate.
So, as for the 2,5 kilogram training plate version, we can say that weight-wise they fall somewhere in between a level 3 and 4 ballistic plate. Which is not exact, but still pretty decent. It of course also depends on what type of ballistic plates you compare it to, because also they are not all the same.
Now that we covered this, an additional important feature of these training plates comes from the fact that they are made of an extremely durable high density rubber. Here the lightweight ones are only rubber and the standard versions have a steel core for that extra weight.
The advantage of this rubber, is that these training plates won’t crack or break when hit, dropped or impacted. So, there’s no fear of damaging them.
Downside of rubber
A downside due to them being made out of this rubber however, is that they may be pretty difficult to insert into the plate bags of your carrier. We have tested this on a few different carriers and for most this was indeed the case.
So, if you have to do it once in a while, it’s not a big issue. But if you have to switch plates often, it might become annoying.
Now, we asked Templar’s Gear about this and they mentioned a trick whereas you could use a plastic bag to insert the plate and pull the bag out after insertion. We’ve put this to the test and indeed inserting it was easy, but getting that bag out didn’t go very well. Our result was that we basically ripped the bag we used and some pieces were left inside the carrier.
We do have to say though, this was a bag with pretty thin plastic, but we didn’t have any other laying around for another test. So, it might work with bags made of stronger plastic.
That said, we have been using training plates for a couple of years already and these are definitely amongst the best we’ve come across. We mainly used versions made by companies in the UK in the past, but with the recent BREXIT things have only gotten more expensive.
Advantages of these plates
So, an advantage of these compared to the versions from the UK, is that they’re being made in Europe and thus they’re cheaper in the end.
But aside that, there is a feature that Templar’s Gear has somewhat nailed compared to the others. And that is the fact that these are multi-curved instead of having a standard single curve. This makes them far more comfortable to use.
Now as for actually using them, my brother already ran with these on the last airsoft event we attended. And on top, for the purpose of this blog, we recently ran some tests whereas we did some physical exercises while wearing a plate carrier. We ran the same exercises twice, but each time with the ballistic and training versions. For this we used the 1,5 kilogram training versions to see how closely they represented our ballistic plates.
From these tests we can say that the difference between the training and the ballistic ones is very minor. Only thing we noticed was their slight difference in thickness and this might require you to make minor adjustments to your cummerbunds. But for the rest, they felt exactly the same in shape and weight. In fact, even so that I was able to fool my brother with it. Because the first test he did was with the ballistic ones, while he thought he was using the training plates.
So having that covered, as for our final thoughts on them, we can say that these plates very closely replicate ballistic plates. In fact they’re the closest we’ve seen thus far when it comes to shape, weight and feel. And especially the 1,5 kilogram version comes extremely close to the level 3 ballistic plate, just the thickness differs a tiny bit.
The only downside we came across was them being pretty difficult to insert in certain plate carriers due to their material. So a possible improvement for these plates, might be to provide them with some sort of fabric wrap like that’s the case with these ballistic ones. If something like that’s added, they will be perfect in our eyes and far more practical for some people out there.
2,5 kg version
Despite the two and a half kilogram version being interesting as well, we have chosen to not offer this one on our shop. And the reason for that lays in the combination of the rubbery material and them being thicker. Because when we tried to use those in our carriers, it was very difficult to insert them and since the plastic bag trick didn’t really work on our end, we simply decided to leave those out. So, we only offer the lightweight versions at the moment.
Anyway, in overall we’re pretty impressed with what Templar’s Gear has brought to the market with these. And important as well, they’re offered for a very good price. We personally already use them for everything that doesn’t require ballistic protection and we’re a fan of them.
So, if you want a set of these, you don’t have to go very far, simply visit our store shop.reconbrothers.com and you’ll find them there.
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“Templar’s Gear Training Plates – Before You Buy”
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