by MTG Mike
When Will asked me to review Agilite’s K-Zero plate carrier, I jumped at the opportunity. I‘ve been using the same plate carrier for the past 10 years and while it’s been good for me, the K-Zero was a welcome change. For me, it has been like making the switch from analog to digital and I couldn’t be happier.
The K-Zero is a well thought out product and if you are looking to get the most out of a minimalist plate carrier read further, because there’s a lot to talk about.
The Agilite K-Zero is currently offered in 3 colors – Black, Multicam and Ranger Green. Unlike the one size fits all K19 plate carrier, the K-Zero comes in 2 sizes – medium, which will fit most plates including 10×12, SAPI Medium or smaller plates and large, which will accommodate SAPI large plates or any large plates up to 10.30”x13.25”. I found that this results in a tighter fit around the plates as there is no extra material to accommodate the larger plates and no extra material means less overall weight. Both sizes will fit all plate cuts, including SAPI, ESAPI, Shooters Cut and Swimmers Cut. My single curve Level IV ceramic plates fit into the K-Zero like a glove and took a mere moment to install and secure them.
My previous plate carrier had no padding, and I used to sweat a ton under it because it wasn’t built for comfort. The K-Zero was designed with direct input from both Israeli and U.S. Special Forces to fix all of the comfort and functionality issues with modern plate carriers, and it shows. The front of the K-Zero is split into two sections sewn over a proprietary “V” strap that spreads the carrier’s weight over 8 different suspension points so there are zero hot spots.
The low profile closed cell padding made wearing the K-Zero super comfortable too. The padding did not make the carrier bulky, and it was comfortable for me, even after wearing it non-stop for a few hours. For the record, I even wore it while sitting and writing this review in hopes that it would give me some sort of writer’s osmosis. It didn’t, lol.
Of all the slick plate carriers I have seen, most, if not all of them have had little to no padding on the shoulders. The K-Zero was almost the opposite – the same cell foam padding used in the plate bags extended into the stock weld optimized shoulder straps too, albeit a little lower profile.. When shouldering or firing my rifle, it didn’t give me any problems and never got in the way.
What I really liked most about the K-Zero is the one-size fits all, low profile cummerbund that comes with self-adjustable straps. It’s true to Agilite’s description, guaranteeing you a perfect fit every time you wear it. The Velcro wrap around each strap end, or the part the holds all of the extra strap wrapped neatly together was well thought out – it made it easy to get ahold of each adjustment strap on the fly and adjust the fit if needed and when I wasn’t looking . Similarly, the aluminum hardware on the cummerbund ensures me that it will never break.
It’s incredibly versatile too. The front of it allows the user to switch between the included Velcro flaps or quick release buckles, which can be purchased for an additional charge. For heavier loads, it’s compatible with the Agilite Warfighter Cummerbund, or any other hook and loop based cummerbund.
Compared to the Agilite K19’s 3 vertical Molle columns on the cummerbund, the K-Zero gives the user 5 vertical Molle columns – a big improvement over the K19’s. It’s also compatible with both internal and external side plate carriers. I could even feel that the material had some give/stretch to it when bending over – something I wasn’t expecting but was happy to be able to have. Two thumbs up from me.
The front of the K-Zero plate carrier has two sections, an upper and a lower. Like the K19, both sections are separate and sewn over by a proprietary “V” strap that helps spread the plate and gear weight over the bag and away from the shoulders. I have no way of telling you if it really works, but it’s pretty cool, nonetheless.
The upper section has three rows of laser cut Molle with color/pattern matching Velcro. There are also two vertical Molle sections on each side of the main section – when I get a PTT device, this is where I plan on placing it for easy access.
If I was LEO or MIL, I think that this area would be more than enough space to place my placards and/or identifiers. For me, my Black Sheep Warrior patch and blood type identifier had plenty of real estate to be placed on.
The lower section is all Velcro and does not contain any additional Molle attachment points, it is made this way to accept the included Molle flaps on the cummerbund. A front mag panel is not included with the K-Zero and I really wanted to get one the front of mine, so I took an existing Chase Tactical Triple Velcro Mag Pouch that I had and attached it to the lower section and on top of the cummerbund’s Velcro flaps. It worked like it was made to go intentionally go there – hint, hint, if you need one for your Agilite K-Zero, our sister site, MTGTactical.com, sells them. If you want one for yourself, you can find them here.
The rear back plate bag has a much larger “V” shaped weight distribution strap that spans across the entire plate bag and into the shoulder straps. When you are carrying heavier loads on your back panel, you can clearly see how and where the “V” design helps distribute the weight.
The back panel has six rows of color/pattern matching Molle and the lower five Molle rows are all Velcro loop. There is an additional two columns of Velcro loop that runs center line from the top to the bottom of the panel that can be used as attachment points for additional accessories, placards, or identifiers. On the sides and bottom of the rear plate bag are loops that can be used optionally for attaching the Agilite Modular Assault Pack III, which can be found here.
Agilite really sets itself apart from the competition by including an add on cable management kit. This is typically an afterthought on most plate carriers, whether they are full sized or low profile. This is a great amount of attention to detail that gives you the ability to set up your cables, PTTs and hydration tubes exactly how you want them.
In terms of overall build quality, I don’t have much to say – everything looks good and there are no frays, stretched fabric or any signs of typical quality control issues. With the experience of a company like Agilite, I expect this product to be of the highest quality. Their gear is field tested with both Israeli and U.S. Special Forces – if someone’s going rip it, break it, smash it or ruin it in any fashion, it’s going to be them. Knowing that they trust Agilite’s quality and use their products in the field is good enough for me.
With all of the positive, there naturally has to be some negative. There are a few things about the K-Zero that I didn’t like. None of them were deal breakers for me, and I think that it’s important to hear this type of feedback from your users, so here goes.
The shoulder adjustments are a bit cumbersome. There is an adjustment to a strap attached to the back of the front plate bag, which has an adjustment that requires you to rethread the shoulder strap so it makes it longer or shorter. I really had to pay attention to the sizing video to figure it out This could have been a bit better thought out for quicker, on the fly adjustment. Even my old pate carrier used Velcro to make these adjustments – I’m sure they can do something similar here.
Also, it would have been nice to include an Admin pocket, similar to what is on the K19. It’s a small but extremely helpful feature and, in my opinion, something that can easily be added to increase functionality even more.
Overall, I think that for a low profile plate carrier, the Agilite K-Zero is a rock solid product. I think that the fact that it can be used slick or for a full loadout is a definite game changer in the low profile plate carrier market, something other manufacturers should be paying attention to at Agilite.
For more information on the Agilite K-Zero plate carrier, please visit the product page on Agilite Tactical’s website.
Thanks for reading!