A few months ago I received a Marz Tactical Gear Plate Carrier and I will start this off by saying that I enjoyed using this plate carrier and I enjoyed dealing with their command staff in order to make sure I got all the specs right for this review. Marz Tactical Gear makes a full line of nylon kit that is produced right here in the USA.
Marz constructs their carrier from 1000D Cordura Nylon and bonded Mil-Spec thread. Their carrier is available in Medium, Large, and Extra Large. The medium carrier handles medium ESAPI plates, the large carriers accept large ESAPI plates and the Extra Large carrier accepts the extra large ESAPI plates - go figure, simple sizing works. Medium carriers also have an internal harness for use with Small ESAPI plates if need be.
The most obvious thing you’ll notice about the Marz Tactical Plate Carrier is that you receive two cummerbunds. One is elastic and the other is MOLLE. Both have hidden, adjustable lacing in the rear and they can be used together or separately. The elastic cummerbund has two pockets stitched in to each side that can be used to store rifle mags, radios, etc. When using the elastic cummerbund by itself, you have a more streamlined package that allows an operator to more easily conceal the carrier if the mission requires. The MOLLE cummerbund offers 3 rows of MOLLE, built in side SAPI plate pockets and built in soft armor pockets. The side plate pockets will accept 6”x6” or 6”x8” plates. I never had a problem with the MOLLE cummerbund sagging but, if you do, Marz offers a semi-rigid insert to prevent that. The MOLLE cummerbund also has pull cords attached to provide better dexterity when donning or removing the plate carrier.
Unlike a lot of carriers on the market, Marz includes with theirs, substantial shoulder pads. Believe it or not, you need to purchase separate shoulder pads with plate carriers from some other companies or the padding they offer is not very good. The shoulder pads that Marz uses do an excellent job of distributing the weight evenly and allowing the operator to wear it for long periods of time without fatiguing to quickly. The shoulder pads are secured on the under side of the shoulder straps with hook and loop so they do not slide back and forth which is usually what happens when using supplemental shoulder pads.
During the time that I evaluated the Marz Tactical Plate Carrier, it wore very well with no separation of any seams. Some of the seams that are subjected to more abuse than others are covered in color matched binding. The shoulder straps are woven through tri-glides and never came loose once adjusted. The backing of the carrier is padded Dri-Lex. That lining allows you to wear the carrier without adding supplemental padding or soft armor and is very comfortable. The drag handle on the back is box and cross stitched making it very secure and able to stand up to substantial abuse in case you need to move a casualty. There’s also hook and loop tabs on the front left and right for routing tubes from your preferred hydration system or communications wires.
Marz is an agency friendly company and will customize some features of the plate carriers on request with a minimum order required. Identification placards can also be ordered through Marz as well as custom ordered badges in IR or glow in the dark. For those looking to outfit officers with a standardized rig, Marz can assist with developing a package deal to include the plate carrier and any combination of pouches they might need.
The Marz Tactical Plate Carrier with cummerbund has an MSRP of $299.99 and is available in Black, MultiCam, Digital Woodland, Army Digital, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green, andDigitalDesertby special order. All MOLLE webbing is color matched.
As one would expect from a company offering quality equipment, Marz Tactical Gear has a lifetime warranty on everything in their product line.
Visit the Marz Tactical Gear webpage at: www.marztg.com