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Mar 04

Plate Carrier Review: Condor MOPC vs Tactical Tailor TTRAC

For those of you who might be interested in acquiring a plate carrier in the near future, I give you a review / head to head competition of two popular brands.  This post will be heavy on pictures (click to enlarge), bullet points and rather lengthy.  Before I continue there are a few questions I should answer right up front.

Why did you choose Condor and Tactical Tailor?

That’s an easy one, because I own both models.  The Condor MOPC is a very popular plate carrier and can be found for around $60 online.  I paid a premium for mine, a little over $100 because I wanted the Multicam pattern.  I also own quite a bit of Tactical Tailor gear which has always been of very high quality, and thus when I was in the market for a plate carrier (with quick release) I purchased a Tactical Tailor TTRAC.  These are quite a bit more expensive than the Condor, they can be found online for around $290.

Condor Vs Tactical Tailor Plate Carrier Review

Why would anyone need a plate carrier, especially to carry body armor?

If you have to ask that question I guess you should also ask why anyone needs an AR15, or a 600hp Corvette, or a 5 bedroom McMansion, or a sailboat, or a 60 inch HDTV.  People buy plate carriers and body armor because they can, as law abiding citizens it falls well within our rights to go out and purchase these items.  There are practical purposes for plate carriers beyond that of the battlefield.  Maybe you enjoy shooting on your local range while wearing it or need it to attend a tactical rifle course.  Maybe you exercise while wearing it, play airsoft in it or maybe you have it “just in case” civil unrest breaks out.

What plates did you use to conduct the test?

Level 4 Rifle Plates from BulletProofMe.com.  The 10×12 Front and Back plates can withstand multiple hits from .3006 AP rounds, and the 6×6 side plates can withstand one hit from a .3006 AP round.

BulletProofMe Level 4 Rifle Plates

How did you conduct the test?  Did you climb mountains in Afghanistan and get into firefights while wearing them?

I did none of the above while wearing either plate carrier.  Although there are brave men and women serving in that capacity right now and facing real danger while I type this out, for that we should all be thankful.  As far as the actual testing goes I did some flat range fire just to check general comfort while wearing a rig (I wear a chest rig over top of the carrier, I do not attach gear to the carrier itself).  I also completed some physical training while wearing both.  While wearing the Tactical Tailor TTRAC with all 4 plates inserted I ran a little more than a mile (you’ll find out later why I didn’t run further) and did some calisthenics.   While wearing the Condor MOPC with all 4 plates inserted I completed “The Murph“, a pretty intense workout which had me wondering why I voluntarily torture myself.

The Tactical Tailor TTRAC

The Tactical Tailor TTRAC is built with great attention to detail, the MOLLE webbing and stitching are MILSPEC if not better.  As a bonus, the “hook and loop” area (where you can put morale patches) also doubles as MOLLE webbing.

Tactical Tailor TTRAC MOLLE Webbing

The interior of the TTRAC is pretty Spartan which surprised me given the price point.  There is no additional padding or breathable mesh material which would help with comfort or moisture wicking.  If you’ll notice in this picture, the side plate pockets are huge.

Tactical Tailor TTRAC Inside

It’s obvious that the side plates carriers were designed for a larger plate than my 6×6, but still I doubt a 6×8 would fill up the pocket completely.  There are no additional hook and loop restraining straps inside the pocket, and so the plate kind of bounces around inside.

Tactical Tailor TTRAC Side Plate

For some reason my 10×12 plates did not fit perfectly either.  If you’ll notice the material of the TTRAC shows some strain, as if the plate was a bit too small and the material around it wrinkled up because of it.  There was absolutely no integrity issues with the material or the stitching and I had each plate fully secured inside the pocket.  Just something I thought was worth noting.

Tactical Tailor TTRAC Stretch

The TTRAC does have a very nice quick release system, which is absolutely essential if medical personnel need access to a wounded area.  The addition of this system is probably why the TTRAC costs a bit more than the Condor.

Tactical Tailor TTRAC Quick Release

The Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier

While the Multicam pattern is spot on, the MOPC clearly is not a match for the TTRAC when it comes to the MOLLE webbing on the carrier itself.  While it is still useful, not all of the slots are symmetrical and the material is not as nice as what is on the TTRAC.

Condor MOPC MOLLE

The interior of the MOPC is a winner.  There is a padded mesh material stitched to the inside of the carrier which helps with comfort and moisture wicking.  There are also side straps which use plastic fasteners to assist in keeping the MOPC close to the body.  I found them unnecessary but some people might like them.  They do not dig into your side while the carrier is being worn.

Condor MOPC Interior

The side plate carrier holds my 6×6 plate perfectly.  You can see that the plate (when laid on top) is a near perfect match for the size of the pocket.  In this picture you can also see a close up of the plastic fastener and the interior mesh.

Condor MOPC Side Plate

The front of the MOPC also has a map pocket which opens up after a little bit of effort is used to fight the hook and loop closure.  In the picture I’m just demonstrating by using a knife, you could also put some shears in there or maybe…a map.

Condor MOPC Map Pocket

Overall Pros and Cons

Tactical Tailor TTRAC

Pros

+ Extremely high quality when it comes to stitching and materials used

+ Quick release device is a great feature

+ If you like to strap gear directly to your carrier, there is plenty of room to do so

Cons

– Side pockets for plate carrier could be smaller and have internal strap to secure plate

– Interior is very Spartan, no mesh lining

– Does not fit me well.  This is why I couldn’t run further in the carrier while testing.  I’m an average guy with an athletic build, figure 5′ 11″ with a 46 inch chest and 33 inch waist.  Even with the plates in I could not get the carrier to fit tightly (and I adjusted the side straps to the maximum tightness in the back of the carrier under the flap).  While I was running I had to place my hand on the carrier under my neck and pull down, to keep the thing from bouncing around all over the place.

Condor MOPC

Pros

+ Very cost effective

+ Fits extremely well, I ran 2 miles in this carrier with no chafing or hot spots

+ Side pockets are spot on, mesh interior is great

Cons

– MOLLE webbing tolerances leave something to be desired

– Side buckles seem unnecessary

– No quick release feature

And the Winner Is….

Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier

You guessed correctly, the Condor MOPC, seen here with all 4 plates installed.  This vest could use a quick release and a bit more refinement but at a price point of $100 ($60 for non Multicam colors) it really is tough to beat.  Don’t get me wrong, the Tactical Tailor TTRAC is a great piece of equipment and I’m sure it has served many people very well.  Yet for me it just does not work out as well as I’d hoped.  Not to mention you can pick up three or four Condor MOPC’s for the price of one TTRAC.  If you are in the market for a decent plate carrier to use on the range, depend on for SHTF, play airsoft in or simply fulfill all of your Call of Duty Modern Warfare dreams look no further than the Condor MOPC.

Disclaimer:  If you are wondering if it is legal to own body armor in your state or local area, make sure to do your own research before attempting to buy anything.  There are laws out there that prohibit certain individuals from purchasing/owning body armor and I have no idea if you fall into that category or not.  Check out this website for some more detail on owning body armor, as well as the FAQ page on BulletProofMe.com.  

 

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17 comments

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  1. Marcus

    While I haven’t used the Condor MOPC carrier I can say I don’t like the TTRAC. Before even 3 months of use, the velcro was already almost useless and the stitching was coming undone. It is uncomfortable and I’ve found the pull cables are nearly useless if you have to secure them in the back to keep them from sticking out. The lightweight is a pro but that’s about the only pro I can say for it. For the price they ask for it you can get something better. I’m just glad my unit payed for this so I didn’t waste my own money.

    1. PJ

      Marcus, thanks for the real world input on the TTRAC.

  2. Jeremy

    Quick question for you. I have been looking at the Condor bc AR500.com sells this carrier with AR500 plates. Does the cummerbund come off? I liked the look of this carrier, but I want something where I can leave one side not buckled and then just grab it and slip it on in the event of a “bump in the night.” Looks like the Condor will do it, but I was just wondering if that cummerbund can be removed or will I have to just make due with it. Thanks!! Great review by the way.

    1. PJ

      Jeremy,

      In looking at the Condor setup, it could be removed but it would be a pain to do so as the back flap which covers it does not have a velcro flap. The good news is you could easily make due and configure the carrier to do what you describe, leaving one side connected and one side open which would facilitate sliding it on quickly.

      1. Jeremy

        Thanks for the reply. A setup like this would be great for bump-in-the-night security. That’s more or less what I’m worried about. I can add on to the system as needed.

  3. Graeme

    Good review, thanks for the effort. However, the problem with this (and most) reviews, is that you haven’t tested it wearing it 16 hours a day, 6 days a week for 6 months. That does change things a bit….

    1. PJ

      Great point! I’m not sure what my wife would think if I did that around the house, nor would I want to. The good news is that I have worn body armor similar to these (with full kit added) for 16 hours a day, 6 days a week for more than 6 months at a time so that lends to some decent perspective when writing the review.

      I agree there is no real way to test durability unless they are actually put out in the field, but for the audience who might purchase these (guys who might wear them 3 to 4 times a year) I think the review works. Thanks for the comment.

  4. RB

    I don’t know how you can compare condor air soft grade Chinese shit to tactical tailor. If your velcro goes bad, you are swapping out your cool guy patches too often. It should only take a touch to be able to tell the difference in gear.

    1. PJ

      I have some TT gear in addition to these plate carriers and it’s high quality stuff. I’m sure that climbing the mountains of Afghanistan for months would showcase a difference in the longevity/quality of the components but…

      I gotta tell you when worn back to back and especially after tossing the ceramic plates in, the Condor proved to be the better option for “casual use.” Additionally you are correct, just by the touch I immediately felt the Condor was the better option.

  5. Robert

    Good review, thank you.
    Times have changed and fewer troops are wearing their gear 16 hours a day, 6 days a week for 6 months straight than 4-5 years ago. Same as no one is humping through Fallujah on foot doing house to house in full interceptor anymore, most are now working in/out of vehicles in rapid response mode. The lighter 500 denier is now more popular than 1000 denier for much the same reason, the lighter weight is seen as more beneficial than the extra toughness. Thus, buying kit with the expectation of living in for a tour seems increasingly unreasonable, and bang for the buck is increasingly important.

    1. PJ

      Glad you enjoyed the review Robert, thanks for adding your comment.

  6. Jay

    Great review. I am the exact audience you targeted when you wrote this review .When I was in the Infantry we had no body armor except Flak jackets, and we never wore em. Now I like to go to the range, maybe take a few carbine courses, As well as have it for a possible SHTF sitch. Your review helped me greatly in my research. Thanks.

    1. PJ

      Jay

      Glad you appreciate the review. I remember the old school flak jacket…and not fondly! 🙂

  7. NR

    Thanks for the review, I recently order this carrier and have been trying to find bad reviews. So far I have only found one. I’ve been spending hours reading reviews and watching videos on this. I know exactly what I’m going to do to fix all the problems with the Condor, hopefully it will last me a few years. Would I have purchased this if I had more money? No. I’m broke so I take what I can get and upgrade later.

  8. Darryl

    Nice review. I have the Condor and for quite some time; still debating on type and size of armor to purchase as I am small framed guy and the shoulder straps are at their smallest adjustment. Perhaps 8×10 breast plate and 10×12 back plate? The Velcro loopy things on the shoulder straps and one on each side of the breast area, what are they for? I think maybe for securing wrist straps, maybe drink tube from water reservoir mounted on the back, tourniquet, cordage?

    1. PJ

      Darryl

      Have you seen this review that I completed?

      http://www.prepper-resources.com/infidel-body-armor-review-with-bellator-plate-carrier/

      I’d go with the Bellator gear if possible. Much more streamlined and well fitting. As far as the velcro you are referring to, in the shoulders it covers the adjustment portion but could also be used to loop things through I suppose. The front covers the side panel attachment points.

  9. Bronchitis

    @PJ

    Excellent Review. My experience in country started off with the Flak Vest and then changed over to the Interceptor Vest with the front and back plates. As you are probably very familiar with, the IBA single breast design was not user friendly.

    Being commissioned and having to purchase all of my own TA-50 in the new multicam color scheme, this review was a blessing comparing two of the more prominent options on the market. Thanks and keep it up!

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