T3 Gear LC Plate Carrier: A New Look, With New Materials

In February of 2022, T3 Gear released its new line of laminate nylon products to include the new T3 Tomahawk LC Plate Carrier. The T3 LC carrier brings together some of the market’s newest, lightweight nylon fabrics, with the precision of machine-laser cut designs.

Offered as a variant on T3’s Tomahawk series of plate carriers, the Laminate Cut (LC) carrier is made predominantly of laminate (that is half the thickness of a dime with four times the abrasion resistance of 1,000D Cordura) and elastic nylon. The LC carrier itself is laser cut to create MOLLE compatible fields that reduces weight, complexity, and potential failure points over traditional carriers. It also uses TEX 70 bonded nylon thread throughout to ensure all stress points maintain their durability.

Both the front and rear carriers are designed to accommodate up to 10” x 12” plates or Medium SAPI plates.

The front carrier features a 4×4 MOLLE compatible field with hook-and-loop (female) material on the exterior for attaching compatible admin pouches, or morale/identification patches and panels. Behind which is a sleeve pocket secured via hook-and-loop for storing identification cards or other flat items. Adjacent on both sides of the MOLLE field are polymer slide-release buckles, that work in conjunction with the front carrier’s lower hook-and-loop (female) field and corresponding cummerbund hook-and-loop (female) field, to attach items like T3’s new laminate placard, or with its recently released Range Day Rig.

On the rear carrier is a full-length field of 10×6 laser-cut MOLLE slots for attaching back panels, pouches, or packs (sold separately), with an additional lower two slots for larger backpacks (also sold separately) as needed. At the top of the rear carrier is an extendable drag handle made from Type 13 nylon webbing and anchored into the carrier’s rear panel itself.

The interior of both the front and rear carriers feature elastic nylon tweave sides to accommodate a variety of ballistic plate sizes and designs. Down the middle interior of each carrier is a nylon mesh panel for added breathability and heat dissipation, while two 1.5” bands of hook-and-loop (female) fabric parallel the nylon mesh for attaching plate carrier padding (sold separately).

Plates are secured inside the front and rear carriers via a tuckable panel (secured via hook-and-loop). Additionally, a 2” wide nylon plate-adjustment strap is anchored to the interior of the carriers that ensures any ballistic plate is kept high and properly in place.

The minimalist shoulder straps themselves are removable, with a polymer slide-release buckle on the front left strap to aid in rapid donning/doffing, and slide-adjustment buckles on the rear. Both shoulder straps include tweave sleeves for threading hydration tubes or communication cables through.

The elastic cummerbund itself is secured to the front and rear carriers via corresponding hook-and-loop (male) fields, and include elastic slots for three rifle magazines and one pistol magazine on each side.

The T3 Tomahawk LC Plate Carrier is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, and Multicam Black.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): With its MSRP of $195.99 the LC carrier represents some of the more advanced nylons currently available on the market for tactical gear and accessories. The improved abrasion resistance of the laminate, at a fraction of the weight translates to some of the more advanced carriers on the market today. In contrast, other carriers utilizing the same laminate nylon materials and design include the PLATE-6 ($299.95) from Blue Force Gear, the SMC Plate Carrier ($322) from Grey Ghost Gear, the Spitfire Mk II (1.5 pounds) by Direct Action, and the CORE ($132) by HSGI. All of these alternatives highlight that the LC Carrier by T3 Gear is at a good price point amid the market and for the leading materials available.
  • Comfort – Average (3/5): From a comfort aspect, adjustments to the shoulder straps allowed the LC to be appropriately fitted into position so that the plates were always positioned correctly. However, there was no padding to the shoulder straps and interior of the front/rear carriers, so almost immediately the weight and fatigue to the upper torso/shoulders began and became more pronounced with time (2+ hours) and during dynamic movements. The laminate-only shoulder pads did mitigate overall bulk, and allowed for proper shouldering of the rifle into the pocket without interference from the carrier or shoulder straps. All throughout evaluation, the slide-release buckle, supportive hardware, and hook-and-loop cummerbund held the weight of the carrier (fully-loaded with nine rifle magazines and two pistol magazines) without any accidental slippage and kept the overall carrier secure.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The durability of laminate nylon as one of the latest fabrics, often rank the fabric with an abrasion rating often at/above 1000D and greater than many other more traditional nylons. This translated to a carrier that was stronger, more durable, and more pliable than traditional nylon products. Added into that as the base material for the plate carrier, extensive use of bartack throughout the cummerbund and X-pattern reinforcement in the shoulder stitching, all gave the plate carrier a high degree of long-term durability. Despite all this, during evaluation one of the smaller hook-and-loop (female) panels used to secure the plate carrier flap inside the rear carrier suffered a compromised bartack stitch. This was likely the result of continually inserting/removing plates and wear on the hook-and-loop panel. Upon closer examination these hook-and-loop (female) panels only have a single bartack stich down the middle whereas they should be box or X-pattern style reinforcement threading. Lastly, the plastic slide-release buckle on the shoulder strap proved durable, despite numerous attempts at donning/doffing the carrier and always retained a solid lock.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, as a stand-alone plate carrier, the LC plate carrier did a good job at carrying full-sized plates, magazines, ammo, and various other pouches while still retaining an extremely light overall weight. Many design aspects for the carrier, such as its elastic cummerbund (slotted for rifle and pistol magazines), minimalist shoulder straps, and tweave/nylon mesh interior liner helped ensure heat dissipation so as to not fatigue the user. The plate adjustment strap on the interior of the front and rear carriers did a good job of adding functionality to its overall design and ensured proper fitment of any ballistic plates regardless of brand or design. As noted above, the minimalist shoulder straps did not have any padding and a point of recommendation for T3 would be to include a set with future LC plate carrier versions or to offer a separate set of shoulder pads to work in conjunction with other T3 carriers.
  • Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at just 1.3 pounds (empty) the LC owes a large portion of its light overall weight to the characteristics of the laminate nylon itself to save mass on material while retaining overall strength in the design. In contrast, the PLATE-6 (1.7 pounds) from Blue Force Gear, the SMC Plate Carrier (1.5 pounds) from Grey Ghost Gear, the Spitfire Mk II (1.5 pounds) by Direct Action, and the CORE (1 pound) by HSGI all illustrate the lightweight characteristics of laminate nylon in plate carriers and how the LC carrier is a good overall weight (if by mere ounces) to its competitors of similar materials and design.

Overall Rating – Above Average (17/25)

Product Link: https://www.t3gear.com/t3-tomahawk-lc-plate-carrier/

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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