Review: ULV Plates & LVAC


A few posts ago we talked about “the low-profile madness” that we encounter these days. Today we will talk about two products that deserve the name “low vis” or “low profile” because they really do something to reduce the wearers silhouette. The Velocity Systems Ultra-Low-Vis Plates and the Velocity Systems Low Vis Assault Plate Carrier.

We are doing this in turn of a combined review, because both products depend on each other. It makes no sense to use the Low Vis Assault Carrier without the ULV plates and vice versa because the platecarrier was tailored around those plates and their unique properties, you can in fact use the LVAC with SAPI plates, but we don’t recommend this.

The ULV Plates

When you first look at the ULV plates you see the unique shape, that Velocity Systems decided to use, especially the back plate seems to offer less protective surface around the wearers upper back. The slim cut around the back is owed to the fact that on a regular SAPI plate the upper edges tend stand out when you wear the platecarrier under a shirt.

In fact, you are able to wear the ULV plate under a dress shirt. Either by using Velocity Systems “Chameleon” platecarrier-shirt or by simply using the slick low vis plate carrier.

The next thing you will recognize, once you picked both plates up, is the enormous weight of each plate, as they are made of steel, this weight of approx 4 kg per plate (size large) is what you have to pay for the plates being less than 5mm thin!

Frontplate (L) and backplate feature a unique cut.

Despite their super thin profile, the ULV plates are rated for multiple 7.62×39 MSC hits! There are rumors out there saying that those plates are able to defeat even 7.62×54 (non AP) but I would rely on facts rather than on rumors, especially when its about my life and health.

The plates are less than 5mm thick

The two most common versions (VS-PULV & B-VEL) are made out of steel, the first being coated simply with coyote brown protective coating, while the latter features a black, rubber like anti-spall coating that. I think that the addition of the anti-spall coating is a great asset despite it making the plate around 1mm thicker, especially when you don’t wear the carrier under heavy clothing. There is also a super lightweight titanium version out there, that I have never seen or even handled in person.

B-VEL plate with anti spall Coating.

As said before, the ULV plates are heavy as f**k, but if you are looking for something that is really low-vis and protects you from rifle class threats, the Velocity Systems Ultra-Low-Vis Plates are an unique and useful piece of kit.

The Low-Vis Assault Carrier

The LVAC (note that plates are inserted!)

As I said before we would also like to show you one of the carrier solutions that Velocity Systems offers. The Low-Vis Assault Carrier is the most overt carrier in Velocity Systems ULV range of products. Aside from accepting ULV front and side plates it greatly resembles a classic MOLLE Plate Carrier.

The inside of our sample isnt padded, but has comms loops and a flap for plate access.

Plates are inserted from the bottom of the carrier and are held in place by a velcro harness. The Front features a kangaroo flap which has six columns of velcro PALS webbing on top of it. The Kangaroo pouch accepts most of the industry standard velcro inserts available from many manufacturer, so it is possible to add three AR15 magazines really quick. Above the kangaroo flap youll find vertical webbing that will accept SwiftClips. The SwiftClips give you the ability to add a placard pretty quick, which is especially useful when going from covert to overt or switching loadouts.

Admin- and Kangaroopouch

Between the rows of webbing you’ll find a big field of velcro with an integrated stash-style admin pouch. This admin pouch is capable to hold a sharpie and some field notes or your occasional can of dip.

The back of Velocity Systems Low-Vis Assault Carrier is completely covered with PALS webbing, which turns to a square of Velcro-PALS under the users neck. You’ll also find two plastic glides on the top of the backpanel to adjust the length of the webbing shoulder straps, which are covered with padded tweave sleeves giving some additional comfort.

On the bodyside of each platebag you’ll find five elastic loops for discrete comms routing. The version we used has no mesh or other padding, the newer versions out there however feature a slight comfort padding, done with spacer mesh. We had no issues with the platecarrier being non padded.

Cummerbund inside and outside feature PALS and elastic pouches, also note the pull tabs for opening the cummerbunds internal pouch.

The cummerbund is a simple affair, you can adjust the length with a daisy chain, while some V-shaped elastic webbing keeps everything under tension. The Low-Vis Assault Carriers cummerbund features PALS on the outside, a kangaroo pocket for softarmor and three elastic, AR15 mag sized pouches on the inwards facing side. The kangaroo pocket will also accept many other velcro inserts that are widely available for such applications. Closing the cummerbund is either achieved by Lifting up the velcro flap or by simply velcroing the cummerbund on top of the flap. I would love the flap to be removeable, but it is sewn on.

Tightening is done by elastics and simple cordage.

Many will ask: Whats the sense behind combining features of an assault plate carrier with the features of a low-vis plate? The answer is easy, as you can reduce the profile of your full kit even more and you are able to hide a full assault plate carrier under a thick shirt or jacket, so if your mission becomes more critical you can switch from your chameleon shirt over to a slick plate carrier up to the assaulters variant, while using the same plates  all the time.

view of the three magpouches inside the cummerbund.

This can become very critical in high risk close protection where parts of the team have to arrange the full kitted counter assault team, or provide armed reconnaissance that is mostly vehicle based, while others do suit and tie work for the principal. All members of the team are able to use the same plate and same protection level in different kits and roles – I’m talking logistics and flight luggage fee here. The thin profile of the ULV also makes it a lot easier when you spend a long time in civilian vehicles, as sitting in regular car seats becomes much more comfortable.

Using the internal, elastic pouches really reduces the signature.


The LVAC, used with SAPI Plates, on the range. Note, we used a Wolf Grey Version with optional elastic cummerbund and spacer mesh here.

This isn’t your protective system when you are an assaulter or simply a regular guy. The Velocity ULC concepts is for users that do a lot of covered work but still want to be protected when shit hits the fan. Velocity Systems ULV plates are kind of a unicorn piece of equipment and are now part of their shadow works range, so they are very hard to get for non-professional customers. But I think its good to know that there is more out there than SAPI and swimmers cut.

You can find some used ULV plates for sale. If you are allowed to porcure them, you can get them directly from VelSys

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