I’m no expert on plate carriers. However, I do know what I like and I am a big fan of great design.
I’ve been through a few ‘lite’ PCs – including Crye’s JPC (which I really liked) and S&S’ Plate Frame (which I wasn’t keen on) – but none has impressed me as much as the C2R-MOR Ultralite or Ultra, as I’ll be calling it here.
The Ultra is characterised by its Hypalon construction. Hypalon is an old DuPont trademark, which has passed into common usage to denote a kind of synthetic rubber.
Hypalon has gained a sizeable foothold in the progressive tactical market. It’s flexible, has some stretch and is tough enough to be made into inflatable boats.
The Ultra’s Hypalon is laser cut, so it looks very precise (because it is).
Throughout the PC you can also see slots which are laser cut. These apertures are there instead of PALS channels. Can you feel the weight just lifting from your shoulders, considering all the webbing this removes?
Secondly, discrete doesn’t even begin to describe the Ultra. I wore it under a shirt, with three mags up front and fake plates. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave the house. The Ultra was unnoticeable. It just made me look like I’d been on the weights.
AM Tactical sourced the Ultra for me and had this to say about C2R and the Ultra:
It’s top quality stuff. Over engineered if anything.
Rich’s set up is that favoured by the “old sweats”
– AM Tac
I totally agree with AM Tac. I’ve owned a fair few C2R products over the years and they’ve all been extremely well made, with top quality materials. What’s more, all their kit is made right here in the UK 🇬🇧
My version of the Ultra comes complete with a detachable triple mag panel on the front plate bag (which includes one FastMag) and an integral hydro pouch at the rear.
The only change I made up front was inverting the FastMag, so the mag draws downwards. I find this easier.
One of the interesting features in this area is situated under the mag flaps.
That colour-matched velcro loop also acts as PALS webbing. So, you can tuck the mag flaps into the pouches and attach additional MOLLE items to the front, if required. That’s some really clever expandability; and expandability is key to the Ultra’s design. It’s not a one trick pony.
Each mag pouch will accept a single M4 mag, delivering a capacity of three mags if the FatMag is used. However, the mag panel can be swapped out for other solutions if desired.
The FastMag also detaches from the panel, so you can mount other MOLLE items in its place (equivalent of two PALS channels).
FastMag aside, the front and rear pouches are designed to lay flat when not in use; again, this makes the Ultra particularly high speed and svelte.
As can be seen from the pic directly above, my Ultra is ready for zip-on back panels. That’s another reason why the hydro carrier is cut to lay flat when empty.
a. Shoulder Straps
The Ultra is really easy to adjust. Height adjustment (i.e. how high up the PC sits) is maintained at the shoulders.
However, rather than just velcro keeping front and rear plate bags together, the Ultra incorporates a pair of adjustable webbing straps. These firmly anchor the shoulder straps, which extend from the front plate bag, to the rear plate bag. The webbing is adjusted inside the hydro pouch:
So, you can adjust the PC accordingly using the velcro, then tension the webbing straps to take the full load.
Again, this is so simple to adjust. Lifting the panel at the lower outside face of the plate bag, the cummerbund velcros into position on a large loop field, via it’s elastic mid-section:
The cummerbund’s length is adjusted on either side, using G-hooks:
The cummerbund secures with velcro at the front of the PC, under the lifted mag panel:
Nice Hypalon tab detail.
5. Plate Bags
Unlike most PCs, plates are inserted at the top of each plate bag, under elastic retention:
If you’re using JTAC foam plates like I am here, you’ll need to shorten and re-profile the tops. A five minute job with scissors. However, the width of these medium plates was fine for my medium Ultra.
The rear of the plate bags is padded, and lined with mesh for comfort and breathability:
6. Bib Details
There are a couple of nice details on the bib, which I like.
Next to the velcro loop field there’s an elastic pen holder:
C2R logo on the other side:
C2R is constantly evolving its gear and incorporating hard-use feedback from specialised professionals. However, I think they’ve smashed it with this iteration of the Ultra and there’s nothing I would change.
Even though this PC is of the lite variety, it’s eminently scalable with the ability to zip-on back panels; not something you normally see in PCs of this type.
It also comes bundled with a really useful removeable mag pouch/FastMag front panel. This is well suited to the PC in that it’s low profile and – together with the rear hydro pouch – blends into the carrier when not in use.
Workmanship and materials are top notch. Stitching is straight and true and of course the laser cutting technique makes the whole thing look and feel very precise. This is agile, artisanal tactical gear at its very best. Did I mention it’s made in the UK? 🇬🇧 🙂
I’ll give the last word to AM Tac. Mike and Ash were really patient with me. They got me the PC I really wanted, and I owe those guys a lot. They are very loyal to customers and that also means a lot. They also take the time to develop a clear understanding of user needs.
Something like 60% of the guys from ‘H’ use C2R kit in some form.
C2R are very proud of the kit they make.
– AM Tactical
And so they should be.