The Crye JPC is near ubiquitous in many operating environments since it’s inception. It’s a fantastic lightweight carrier that leverages many modern materials to save weight. The Crye JPC is cut tight and because of this it is extremely light weight and low profile. However it does have some issues with premature wear. A medium Crye JPC barely fits medium ESAPI’s with plate backers. The gentlemen at MOS Tactical have dealt with repairing damaged Crye JPC’s quite a bit. They’ve seen the deficiencies and they decided to step up and create a similar plate carrier that would last the test of time. Or at least multiple deployments.
The MOS Tactical SPAV-W (Special Purpose Armor Vest — Warfare model) is a robust vest made of durable 1000D Codura. Much like other military plate carriers it was designed to hold SAPI and ESAPI sized plates. The vest is designed to withstand harsh non-permissive environments and be as comfortable as possible. For me the SPAV-W feels like a hybrid between the Crye JPC, Mayflower APC, and LBT 6094. Many of the good qualities of each of these carriers came together to make the SPAV-W an excellent carrier.
Perhaps the best part about the SPAV-W is the shoulder straps. The SPAV-W comes with thick shoulder pads but being used to running non padded straps I removed them as they got in the way. With the shoulder pads removed the SPAV-W is the easiest plate carrier to shoulder a rifle with that I’ve used. I believe this in large part due to the angle of the straps. The down side is that the shoulder straps are close to the neck, however with a collared shirt (Crye Combat top) I’ve noticed no problems with chafing over long periods of time. The shoulder straps themselves are easily adjusted and make use of velcro in order to keep them in place. The velcro is incredibly secure and I’ve yet to have any problems.
An interesting design feature implemented by MOS tactical is the kangeroo pouch for magazines. One option when ordering the plate carrier is to have the pouch for magazines much lower. This allows more magazine to be exposed and makes grasping and retrieving them easier. The plate carrier comes with the necessary bungees to secure the magazines. I found that I liked the system and it made for a simple setup that was slick and easy to use. The carrier also features multiple velcro tabs to hold wires, cable or drinking tubes in place. It may seem excessive but I can tell you that when running radios and other equipment that the velcro tabs are sorely needed and a welcome addition to the plate carrier.
The sides of the carrier have a variety of options. I chose the skeletonized version but there are also solid, elastic and webbing options available. Sizing was simple and robust. It was easy to size the plate carrier appropriately to my body, this helped with comfort over the long-term as it was easier to fine tune. Simple features like these are often overlooked when reviewing plate carriers. However over time, not being able to properly adjust a plate carrier to your body will prove painful.
I’ve had the opportunity to test this plate carrier in a variety of environments all over the world. I’ve jumped from C-130’s, C-17’s and UH-1N’s with this plate carrier a total of 12 times. It performed well in every regard. The 1000D Codura withstands the daily abuse of military life exceptionally well. In the 6 months that I’ve been using this plate carrier I’ve been very impressed by the features, robustness, and simplicity of the design. If you’re looking for a plate carrier that boasts a lifetime guarantee and in my experience, will likely last you just as long, look no further. The SPAV-W retails for 375 bucks and will likely be the last plate carrier you’ll buy for a very long time. I would definitely recommend the MOS Tactical SPAV-W