Words and Pics: Milsimminded

Introduction

For me, the JPC and CPC are pretty much at opposite ends of the plate carrier spectrum:

  • Less is more with the JPC; it should not be heavily laden
  • The CPC, on the other hand, distributes weight excellently but adds bulk

I have been running both the JPC and the CPC in multiple configurations for a long time, so I feel comfortable making comparisons between the two.

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I use ceramic multicurve plates in both carriers, weighing 2.4kg per plate.

As for pouch configuration, I like to stay as close to reference pics as possible. However, my timescale for reference in this context is quite wide. It follows then that I don’t like to clone one specific person’s setup, but draw from multiple sources and engineer my own interpretation.

It should also be noted that MOLLE gives you the opportunity – not an obligation – to mount a pouch.

This is especially true of the JPC.

JPC (Jumpable Plate Carrier)

I use the JPC for pretty much what it was designed for: a minimalist loadout.

Whilst I don’t jump from aircraft (the ‘Jumpable’ part) I never overload the cummerbund with pouches that do not serve a purpose.

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If you need more than the bare minimum kit on your body, the JPC is not that plate carrier.

This is why I think the JPC is the best option for CQB scenarios, or short strike op-themed events.

Comfort

The JPC is a light plate carrier that is not best suited to weight distribution. Many guys say it’s uncomfortable. However, it’s important set it up correctly before making a judgement call.

In the past I had my fitment all wrong. I only knew about it because it was pointed out to me. The plates ride directly on your body with the JPC. Because of this, plate height is key to how it carries.

My recommendation through trial and error is to get both plates up high. For frame of reference, that means the top edge of the front plate needs to be approximately level with your jugular notch (see diagram below).

In the real world this placement protects your vital organs: Organs.png

Source: SKD

After you accept that the jugular notch is a solid benchmark, you’ll notice a lot of instances where people run their plates that bit lower. I was one of them – but it’s all about learning. Sure, for milsim it’s not life or death – but there is the realism aspect and, more importantly, comfort.

As for the shoulder straps, the JPC’s Hypalon structures are a thing I miss on every other plate carrier. It seems like they are not even there, never hindering me when I shoulder my rifle.

Important to note: it is crucial to balance both sides of the JPC, if you are carrying bigger/heavier items. If you were to load it asymmetrically, you would really feel it more in one shoulder than the other.

Also notable is that if you add side plates, the weight of the carrier will be better distributed over your chest – rather then only on your shoulders.

Current Setup

I added a Paraclete placard in front of my JPC – inspired by a recent picture of CAG in Syria. You can read about the install on The Reptile House, here.

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I like this more than the inbuilt JPC kangaroo pouch, since more of the mag’s surface area is exposed, upon which to grab.

I added a Paraclete triple banger pouch on my back. Like the placard, I weaved this on with paracord – so that it sits vertically. It saves space and is handier for a buddy to operate.

My basic setup that never changes:

  • 2 radio wing pouches
  • 2 6×6 side plate pouches
  • Skeletal cummerbund
  • 148 radio on the left side
  • S&S Precision pull tabs

All other pouches vary, depending on the event.

The radio setup is, in my eyes, ideal in combination with the wing pouches.

This is something I wish to point out as a huge pro. With the JPC you can run your entire radio setup on your front plate bag, under the cummerbund, removing the need to undo radio cables or re-fit an antenna on your shoulder pads.

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This is a huge deal if you need to don and doff your carrier regularly.

Lately I run the antenna on the shoulder covers, but In the future I will be ordering an antenna relocation kit, and run the antenna under my front plate bag, to the right side of the backplate. This is in order to make a setup that is inspired by the CAG “Mali” pictures.

JPC Pros

  • As low profile as it is, it still provides adequate protection
  • Best plate carrier shoulder straps ever designed in my opinion; they never interfere with your rifle, while being handy for cable management
  • Softshell backed plate bags give the form of multicurve plates a chance to fit your body
  • The cummerbund design is easily adjustable and grips tight to your body, without too much constriction when breathing deeply. It stays on your body without shifting, even when in unconventional positions
  • Low profile back panel makes it perfect for vehicle ops, or when using an assault pack: it doesn’t make it more comfortable, but it limits the profile and snag hazard
  • Wing pouches added to the front plate bag make it fast and easy to doff and don. No need to fiddle with cables for your comms
  • Relatively cheap for a high end plate carrier – especially with Crye’s recent price drop
  • Easy to transport when not worn; packable

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JPC Cons

  • One of the biggest cons of the JPC is that there is no ventilation for the platebags. It really does not breathe when the plates are pressed against your chest
  • It is beginning to become outdated. The JPC 2.0 added all the little things missed on the JPC 1.0, that bring it up to the most modern standard (I really miss the back panel zips and interchangeable flaps)
  • No emergency doffing
  • Unforgiving on account of unbalanced loads and fitment

CPC (CAGE Plate Carrier)

The CPC is designed to distribute the weight of the plate carrier itself, its plates and all its contents over the entire upper torso. It can be used in conjunction with the STKSS system, matched with an appropriate belt, to further distribute the weight to your hips.

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Comfort

The CPC is a lot more forgiving in terms of fitment and load balance, when compared to the JPC; it needs little thought setting up. This means it can be loaded up to its maximum – and unconventional configurations explored – without compromising comfort.

However, the trade off for this is bulk. Even without a full side plate set, you will notice that it adds deep profile under the arms. While the JPC feels like its not there in profile, the CPC feels a lot lighter when worn than it actually is.

In the hand, I am often amazed at the sheer weight of the CPC when it is fully kitted out. However, when you set up the harness correctly, the weight just vanishes! You will feel it in your muscles the next day though, believe me 🙂

It’s Like a Big Hug in the Shape of a Plate Carrier

One of the key features of the CPC compared to the JPC is its semi-stiff frame sheets.

These are situated in the front plate bag and the harness which encloses the rest of the wearer’s body – over the shoulders and around the chest. They are much like the kind of structures internal to good quality back packs – and create a kind of exo-skeleton – allowing greater weight to be carried more comfortably.

The CPC also comes complete with pads. Again, these are much like miniature versions of a back pack’s 3D formed ventilated back panel. In combination with the pads – and the elastic weave at the rear of the CPC’s harness – the frame sheets press tightly around your entire upper torso.

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It sounds bone crushing but it’s actually quite pleasant. It feels more like a big hug than a chokehold.

The genius here is the way the CPC – while hugging the torso – moves with you and adapts to your breathing. Whereas it’s possible to restrict your breathing by wearing a JPC too tightly, the CPC can be worn more conformally – since the elastic weave at the rear makes it dynamic. The weave extends up the full length of the back and the rear plate bag sits on top of it – not next to the wearer like the JPC.

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The CPC is also heavily ventilated when compared to the JPC. The pads create vents which improve passive air flow. I actually use PIG Pontoons instead of the supplied Crye pads inside my CPC (and AVS), as I find them more comfortable.

Equally, the gap in the rear of the CPC’s harness covered by the elastic weave is useful, as it allows for further cooling.

However, in hard sun and heat, I always want to hit myself in the head for wearing the CPC; wishing that I had less stuff on me and choosing the lightly-adorned JPC instead.

Current Setup

My basic setup that never changes:

  • Side plates with soft armour (training dummies)
  • 148 radio on the left side in the integral radio pouch inside the cummerbund
  • S&S Precision pull tabs
  • M4 shingle on the support side
  • 2-3l hydration bladder

All other pouches vary, depending on the event.

On this vest, I can add more real estate without being penalised – unlike the JPC.

I often run a double M4 mag pouch on my right hand side, just in case I need more mags.

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I used to run an IFAK on my left side too. However, this has now been handed off to my first line.

I use a zip-on MOLLE panel – or an assault panel – at the rear, depending on my needs.

I run the front without the addition of extra pouches. This is in line with my school of thought as to how to set up a plate carrier. A slick front means a lower profile, prone to the ground. Emergency reloads should be done from your first line, the second line is for re-supplying the first line, when you have the chance.

Pros

  • Extremely forgiving on loads and fitment. It will stay comfortable for the duration – whatever that is. Carries more, in comfort
  • Massive amount of functionality and built-in features
  • Back plate stands-off from the wearer’s body, adding comfort and ventilation to the rear
  • Massive amount of usable PALS
  • The shoulder pads are top class in terms of comfort
  • Like a big hug – wear it as tight as you like, the dynamic harness configuration means that it moves with you and allows you to breath easily; even during exertion
  • Emergency doff feature

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Cons

  • Bulky
  • Heavy to transport when not worn and isn’t packable
  • Limited modularity on account of the harness and construction
  • The integrated radio pouches sit in the cummerbund. This is a smaller deal, but when you carry a radio setup with wiring or the antenna on the shoulder strap, you will need to disconnect all that prior of doffing the carrier
  • Donning is time relatively time consuming
  • Expensive

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For an in depth review of the JPC 2.0, click here.

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