For the last few months I have been building a relationship with the Agilite K19 Plate Carrier (3.0).
Why a relationship might you ask?
Well, for 14 years I’ve been donning plate carriers and either climbing mountains, dodging cholla in desert valleys or breaching doors in urban jungles. While it’s hard to point at one piece of gear that is truly “the most important”, I have to admit that plate carriers have always been my most intimate piece of kit over the years.
The relationship starts the moment you open the packaging and pull the freshly sewn cordura nylon from the bag, it isn’t unlike the first handshake with a new team member, you quickly know, this is going to be really good or really bad…….
Long and short, this Agilite K19 3.0 Plate Carrier has been really good and so far I’m pretty impressed. But enough about that, let’s dig into the K19 plate carrier’s build and features before I give my pros and cons below.
Agilite Tactical K19 3.0 Plate Carrier Features:
The K19 plate carrier is a lightweight 2.5lbs, (not super duper laser cut light weight), plate carrier that was clearly designed for special operators.
It is a one size fits all plate carrier that actually works well with all sizes of build. Quick release buckles and interoperability with the AMAP III Assault Pack make this a well thought out plate carrier from the ground up.
The K19 plate carrier is made in Israel and was designed with extensive special operations feedback.
Here Are Some Quick Build Specs:
- 1000D CORDURA® Mil Spec Tactical Nylon.
- Mil Spec polymer buckles and hardware (they won’t sun rot).
- Egress™ Quick-release system and proprietary Fast-Adjust™ Cummerbund.
- Laser cut Velcro MOLLE overlay panels.
- Fits any size S, M or L SAPI/ESAPI plates up to 1.5” thick.
- Fits all 10″X12″ plates.
- Hook and loop chest pannel dimensions: 25cm * 9cm (9.8″ x 3.5”).
- Laser-engraved Mil Spec Polymer cord pulls.
- Weight: 2.5lbs (1.1kg).
K19 Plate Carrier Color Options:
- Multicam Black
- Ranger Green (ahhh a true classic)
- Wolf Grey
- Gun Show Coyote Brown
K19 Plate Carrier Comfort:
One thing I’ve learned about plate carrier comfort is that it can be pretty subjective. So, the best way to describe the K19’s comfort is that it has a substantial, triple layer of closed cell foam on the back of the plate bags and the shoulder straps also have closed cell foam padding as well. It is enough yet not too much in my opinion.
What even determines the most comfortable plate carrier anyways?
Well, it has a lot to do with body composition and fitness levels. I’ve always personally preferred low profile shoulder straps without padding as padded straps tend to compete for load bearing space on the shoulder. However, with the Agilite K19’s ability to integrate with Agilite’s AMP III Assault Pack, you remove duplicate shoulder straps and with the extra weight I’m sure I would appreciate a little padding.
I also appreciate the plate bag padding now more than ever as I have a Medtronic LINQ loop recorder implanted in my chest and it doesn’t take kindly to non-padded plate bags. But that’s another story for another time.
On a final note regarding comfort, I did appreciate that the Agilite K19 quick release buckles AKA “Egress Quick-release system” buckles feature a small backing flap to avoid chafing on your sides. It’s a nice detail that could have been easily overlooked (more on that below).
Agilite K19 Fast-Adjust Cummerbund:
Plate carrier cummerbunds have traditionally been my pet peeve. I personally really like the skeletonized cummerbund from the JPC and its licensed cousin the TAG Vanguard (read the review here). What I really like about the K19 3.0 Fast-Adjust cummerbund is that it is skeletonized which allows air flow, but is genuinely unique and not a knock off of the JPC. Additionally, it doesn’t require velcro ripping to make adjustments.
The K19 Fast-adjust cummerbund is also just that, it adjusts quickly and with one hand on the fly.
The K19’s Fast-Adjust cummerbund is compatible with Agilite’s Retractor Side Plate Pouches here.
The K19’s cummerbund is a one size fits all and “major” first time adjustments are made using molle adjustment points/hooks on the rear plate bag. The cummerbund also has a slight amount of elastic give for when you kneel or need to have a pinch of breathing room and that isn’t something you will find on a lot of plate carriers these days.
On a downside, the K-19’s cummerbund doesn’t feature a ton of molle real estate compared to previously reviewed plate carriers, and it may have something to do with its one size fits all approach and or adjustability.
I’m also aware that it’s probably not, first and foremost, designed for my 6’4” build either as all the videos I saw seemed to feature small toned ninja dudes.
Finally, the Agilite fast attach cummerbund features the proprietary Egress Quick Release System, which I have found to be super useful when donning the plate carrier in a vehicle or tight spaces. On that note, my prior plate carrier, utilized a velcro flap style of securing and adjusting the cummerbund which is much louder and I now prefer the Egress system.
The K19 cummerbund not only doesn’t use any loud velcro, but allows the user to make size adjustments on the fly with a simple, quiet tug on each side of the cummerbund.
The K19 Front Plate Bag Features:
First impressions are everything, but the K19 still has some surprises that I discover as I’m using it.
Front Plate Bag (Upper Section)
The front plate bag is really well designed. I mean, let’s just admit it, whoever put this together either had some solid feedback or personally knew what its like to carry modern day tactical gear.
The front of the K19 plate carrier has two sections, an upper and a lower. Both sections are separate but are sewn over a proprietary V strap that spreads the plate and gear weight over the bag and away from the shoulders.
Look, I’m not a rocket scientist and I have no idea if this is legit or not as all the weight ends up on my shoulders anyways but hey that’s what they say and it does look nice!
The top of the front plate bag features a front zippered admin pouch (under the upper section) which is large enough for a modern iPhone or android phone or even a small tablet.
By the way, when you get your plate carrier, there will be some buckles in the admin pouch and the video below shows how to use them.)
The upper section features four rows of laser cut molle with color/pattern matching Velcro loop. on each side of the section, are two vertical molle sections that I used for snapping my radio PTT but are most likely designed to mount included nexus buckles for multi mission placard panels of which I haven’t had a chance to review.
The velcro is substantial sized to place large agency/unit identifiers as well as badges and flags. As a LEO, this is a pet peeve of mine as I was always struggling to fit the required Border Patrol/Police identifiers on many of the plate carriers out there currently.
The Front Plate Bag (Lower Section)
The lower section, is also covered in laser cut (5 rows) molle that is also covered in color/pattern matching velcro loop.
My last plate carrier, had a 7.62/5.56 triple mag panel built in (not optimal), and so I actually found myself in a bit of a bind actually finding a mag pouch to use. A quick look on our sister site, MTGTactical.com, netted a slick Blue Force Gear Ten Speed Triple M4 Mag Pouch in Multicam. The Blue Force Gear Ten Speed series is awesome but requires a laborious molle installation so if you need to swap out quickly consider the Chase Tactical Triple Velcro Mag Pouch here. You can also check out all of Agilite Tactical’s plate carrier accessories here.
It is also important to mention that the Agilite Egress Quick Release System attaches to the sides of this section and they were careful to include a small wing of nylon to protect the wearer from chaffing. It’s a nice touch and shows the detail and thought put into the whole system.
The back of the plate carrier’s front plate bag is pretty basic with a substantial amount of padding covered in breathable mesh material. It also features velcro loop points for adjusting the shoulder straps.
The Back Plate Bag:
The back plate bag features the same V shaped weight distribution strap under two sections of molle webbing.
The main difference on the back plate is that while the upper molle section has ample color/pattern matching velcro loop, the zippered admin pouch is replaced by a low profile, yet substantial, drag handle.
The drag handle is kept out of the way utilizing velcro which seems to be a pretty common way of dealing with drag handles on higher end plate carriers these days.
What is not common, is once again, Agilite Tactical decided to apply a massive amount of velcro for rear identifiers. This is great and we should encourage this as it opens the market to a law enforcement who are required to attache large placards!
The lower section of the rear plate bag is also covered in molle but its purpose geared towards cummerbund adjustment than mounting items. It does have a horizontal rectangular section of velcro that for the first time in my career I don’t know what to use it for.
On the sides and bottom of the rear bag are loops that can be used for attaching the optional yet recommended Agilite Modular Assault Pack III which you can check out here.
K19 Plate Sizes:
The K 19 plate bags feature an internal adjustment to allow for all common sized SAPI, S,M or Large (mine) plates. Agilite has a sizing tab you can reference here to make sure your plates fit.
K19 Shoulder Straps:
The K19 shoulder straps are as mentioned above, padded. I think that Agilite found a nice balance between padding and bulk and while I typically don’t appreciate padding on shoulder straps (I don’t like slings, plate carriers and packs fighting for real estate), I think that this set up works well specially if combined with the AMAP III pack.
I personally never found that my sling and plate carrier were fighting for space but I have to note that I didn’t test the K19 with an assault pack.
Finally, as with the cummerbund, the K19 shoulder straps are one size fit all and the included quick release buckles are replaceable with low profile loops. Additionally, the quick release option is placed higher up on the strap which left it out of the way of my M4 butt stock the majority of the time.
There isn’t much to say here, other than everything is perfectly stitched where it needs to be and that comes from experience. Quality companies know how and where to stitch and they know the balance. For instance, you can stitch to the point that it looks super durable but in reality you have weakened he underlying fabric by making too many needle passes.
Agilite just makes quality gear and I’m not a fanboy, just stating a fact.
So, there are a couple of things that I didn’t care for and they may or may not be a deal breaker for you.
- The body side of the plate bags are made from a mesh material and in my experience, this material, while breathable, will trap odors. Furthermore, there are no large ventilation channels which you see on some of the other plate carriers. This isn’t really a deal breaker for me but worth noting.
- It would be nice if the shoulder padding was removable based off mission set or preference. The ability to swap out the quick release buckles for low profile loops was a really nice touch.
- The cummerbund has a lot of open unusable space for my body type. However, I’m a really big guy at 6’4” 230lbs. and the way its set up fits the smaller spec ops ninjas who are the main focus of this set up. I would have liked one or two more vertical rows for what I used to carry. Now days it’s kinda a moot point for me at least.
All in all, this is a plate carrier that I would recommend to pretty much anyone who’s mission justifies the expense. There are some small things that I didn’t like but nothing that annoyed me to the point that I wouldn’t keep using it as my primary plate carrier.
I also appreciate that this plate carrier was not just randomly thrown together like something you would see hanging up at a surplus store. It was designed to fill a requirement and I imagine that whoever requested it is pretty happy.
Even though I haven’t personally tried it out yet, the AMAP III pack looks super well made as well and I highly recommend that you spring the cash for it at the same time. It has a lot of features that are pretty desirable when considering a modern assault pack.
So, it looks like the Agilite K19 Plate Carrier and I are going to be friends! I can still remember that awesome feeling I got while pulling it out of the packaging the first time……and unlike that new guy on the team that just won’t shut up, it doesn’t annoy me.
Where To Get It:
It is important to note that while Agilite provided the K19 to me to review, I did not receive any monetary compensation from them for this review or sales that may or may not stem from it. That being said, here is the product page on Agilite Tactical’s website.
They ship internationally (probably not Iran just saying lol) and my plate carrier shipped to me within a few days of ordering and I believe it was from a USA warehouse.
Once you get your Agilite K19, you can set it up via their tutorial video below.
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