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  1. #1
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    Anyone wear an External Vest Carrier?

    Some guys at my department are thinking of wearing External Vest Carriers in the hot weather. Does anyone have any Pro's of Con's of these? I have seen alot of Chicago PD officers wearing them. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Not the best photos but I LOVE my outer vest carrier, especially in hot weather.

    I have a clean outer one as well without all the pockets.

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  3. #3
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    Have you tried doing a "search" on past topics yet. This is getting talked more about. I have worn one all my career (11 years) outside and have for a handful of days not worn it externally, but underneath to see if I preferred it. I did not, outside is the way to go for me. Go to the JG Uniforms website to get an idea of your options:

    Pro's:
    -More comfortable to wear
    -Can have added external pockets/poches added
    -More durable than shirt material
    -Can easily take it off when inside PD

    Con's:
    (These are not my con's, but what others claim)
    -Can have an area for an offender to grab
    -If offender sees the vest, he will go for head shot (I think that's BS)
    -Offers less protection because it is less tight to the body (this is possible if the Officer gets it fitted poorly
    -Some think it looks less professional (I don't)

    For me the Pro's far outweight the Con's

  4. #4
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    I've been wearing one for the past four years and love it. I'll never go back to an internal vest.
    "My give a damn's busted"

  5. #5
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    I'm with everyone else so far. The extra pockets are helpful. External carriers are more comfortable. When we process our prisoners in the station, we take off our vests to stay cool, which you can't do with an internal carrier. I rarely have to wear my vest inside my shirt and kind of dread when I do. There is a reason most of CPD wear them these days.

    JG does make a very good carrier and have lots of options available.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogcop View Post
    Pro's:
    -More comfortable to wear
    -Can have added external pockets/poches added
    -More durable than shirt material
    -Can easily take it off when inside PD
    -Quicker and easier to put on.
    -Don't get nearly as sweaty or over-heated.
    -Vest doesn't stick to the chest b/c of sweat, so you don't feel like constantly peeling it away.


    Con's:
    (These are not my con's, but what others claim)
    -Can have an area for an offender to grab
    -If offender sees the vest, he will go for head shot (I think that's BS)
    -Offers less protection because it is less tight to the body (this is possible if the Officer gets it fitted poorly (If you get the vest fitted properly for under the shirt wearing, when you put it into an external carrier, it's too small. So if you plan on getting an external carrier, have it ordered a bit larger.)
    -Some think it looks less professional (I don't) (I actually think it looks more professional. Some guys wear some pretty ragged shirts. Plus, because the outer vest material is thicker and more durable it last longer and looks better.)

    For me the Pro's far outweight the Con's

  7. #7
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    Love my outer carrier. I'm a skinny guy and this gives me more storage options when my belt has no room.

  8. #8
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    I live in Arizona where it gets pretty damn hot and having a tact vest is the best thing. It is not as hot then the concealable vest and it free up a lost of room from your belt. I have my OC, Flashlight, expandable, digital voice recorder, two pair of hand cuffs. If your agency would allow you to use one you should.

  9. #9
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    This is the one I have. I think it looks better then the one in the above pictures.









    .

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies... The vests we will get will have to be as much Class A as possible, as the boss man is super strict on that... no six pocket pants. The one HEDP wears looks like a nice one. Did you get it from Streichers? That is were we got ours vests so I'm assuming they would still have our vest measurments and thus get a good fitting carrier.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewy15 View Post
    Thanks for the replies... The vests we will get will have to be as much Class A as possible, as the boss man is super strict on that... no six pocket pants. The one HEDP wears looks like a nice one. Did you get it from Streichers? That is were we got ours vests so I'm assuming they would still have our vest measurments and thus get a good fitting carrier.



    Got it from Keeprs. It's actually ABA not the above brand, but they look exactly alike.

    Got to say, not impressed with ABA's quality control. Mine was very large, had to be cut down, and mine has 4 pockets just like the one in the picture. I was lucky. My friend's only has 2 pockets (missing the two lower pockets, which are really nice to have) and was missing the interior pouch for his trauma plates. Consistency in manufacturing isn't good from this company, at least their Outer Vest Carriers. Their regular vests seem to be fine.

    Perhaps the JG ones would be better. I also believe that Streichers may have had a better priced vest "package".

    .

  12. #12
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    I sent JG one of my uniform shirts to use in making the outer part of my carrier so it matches my uniform exactly. Their quality is excellent and their customer service top notch - at least my experiencewith them was.
    "I think it takes a particular coward to criticize procedures that you don't understand; particularly when they apply to places that you don't have the bravery to go" - Battalion Chief John Sullivan, FDNY

    "Keep your booger hook off the bang switch!" - Rev1

    "If you reload like old people f@ck, then you need to be behind something that stops bullets." - Blackdog F4i


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    The only problem with using a uniform shirt as the vest cover is it will not be nearly as durable as the material they use.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogcop View Post
    The only problem with using a uniform shirt as the vest cover is it will not be nearly as durable as the material they use.


    Yeah. That's a nice thing about the Outer Vest Carriers, they are a very tough material, so they are very durable and always look nice and pressed. Which makes you look sharper.


    People who wear vests under their Uniform shirts, you can see the wear and tear the shirts take and eventually get holes in them.

    .

  15. #15
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    My favorite thing about an external carrier is the ability to carry more junk.
    Tennessean, Marine, and Border Patrol Agent.

  16. #16
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    I knew that my shirt would be a lighter weight fabric than what was normally used to make the carrier but I wanted / needed mine to match my uniform exactly. I wear BDUs in a rip-stop fabric so no one had a good off-the-shelf match. I've had it for about four months now and it works well for my needs, shows no signs of wear, and was an all around good choice.

    The most important thing in a carrier, concealed or external, it to WEAR IT!! Be safe all...
    "I think it takes a particular coward to criticize procedures that you don't understand; particularly when they apply to places that you don't have the bravery to go" - Battalion Chief John Sullivan, FDNY

    "Keep your booger hook off the bang switch!" - Rev1

    "If you reload like old people f@ck, then you need to be behind something that stops bullets." - Blackdog F4i


    IGNORE = since9, justme001, opencarry, bsd13, asullivan, okjoe, Patrick Sander, CJ616

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  18. #18
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    I have been wearing soft body armour since late 1980 or early 1981 - at the time, my Force did NOT issue, nor even authorize us to wear, SBA. Several of my partners and I, in reaction to an unrecalled officer-shooting, ordered Second Chance, which offered a t-shirt type concealed / undershirt style of vest. I wore this for a couple of years until my Force finally authorized and issued SBA, about 1984.

    Our first issue SBA was concealed / undershirt style, with elasticized shoulder and torso straps, but we had the option of front-only with x-type back strap (STOP LAUGHING - do you know what it took me to even own up to this stupidity? I am still in therapy!)

    While SBA was AUTHORIZED and ISSUED (gratis), it was NOT **required** to be worn. Many of my partners would NOT wear SBA, claiming it to be hot, uncomfortable and restrictive of movements. Eventually, an external carrier was authorized and issued (again, gratis) (circa 1990 ?) but STILL not required. The external carrier DID, however, increase the wear rate. Requirement to wear only came in 2002, after a fatal officer-shooting.

    Here's the thing with our external carriers - our general duty / traffic uniform shirts are a khaki grey, pants are a dark navy blue and our jackets are a range of shades of dark blue, but our carriers are dark blue cloth front with khaki grey back panels, making the carrier REALLY noticeable. These also initially came with dark blue or black hard plastic pieces sewn onto the lower edges (one on either side of the front centre zipper, and one centred on the back) that NO ONE knew what they were for. We GUESSED that they were SUPPOSED to some how anchor our duty belts to our vests, but we were never issued any such connectors. Eventually, these plastic pieces were removed.

    I try to wear my SBA concealed / undershirt style, preferring to NOT emphasize to "clients" (suspected of being / committing, intending to be / committ or actually being / committing actively resistant or assaultive, or grievous bodily harm or death, towards / upon anyone, or not) that I am wearing SBA. I will, however, wear the external carrier if I do not have any clean concealed / undershirt carriers, OR I am going to be operating a two-pedestal patrol vehicle for the shift, OR I am attending a course where I have no concern about attacks (other than verbal by other attendees - which is a given, along with my retaliation-in-kind, of course!)

    Either way, JUST WEAR THE DAMNED ARMOUR!
    Just callin' 'em as I sees 'em! PM full - e-mail me.

  19. #19
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    I've been wearing an external vest for a couple of months now. It is heaven compared to wearing it underneath the shirt. Pure heaven.

  20. #20
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    Does anyone know the address for the website to order an external vest carrier from ABA?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPDCjock View Post
    Does anyone know the address for the website to order an external vest carrier from ABA?
    I need one also.

  22. #22
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    http://www.jguniforms.com


    Makes good ones too. I think they have a few more options then ABA, which is nice.


    Although I do wear an ABA. I got my ABA ordered through Keeprs. I got my vest and carriers thru them as a package.

    .

  23. #23
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    Also be sure to look into Nate's Leather in Chicago. They are the company that makes most of the vests for the CPD officers. I got mine from there and they did a great job of custom making the carrier for me.

    http://www.natesleather.com/
    Last edited by firebirdconv92; 06-11-2009 at 02:41 PM.

  24. #24
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    Got both my vests from JG Uniforms while I was working. One had the embroidery the other was just a back up in case I had to send my primary to the dry cleaner, get altered, etc.

    Was able to hold my polystinger, taser, spare magazine, voice recorder/cellphone/M3 light. Behind the cellphone was a pocket for either spare cuffs or a place to keep perps IDs. Im a skinny guy. All those extra pockets came in handy.

    ((dont minde the belt on the bottom of the vest. Behind the actual vest is a tactical airsoft vest))


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEDP View Post
    Got it from Keeprs. It's actually ABA not the above brand, but they look exactly alike.

    Got to say, not impressed with ABA's quality control. Mine was very large, had to be cut down, and mine has 4 pockets just like the one in the picture. I was lucky. My friend's only has 2 pockets (missing the two lower pockets, which are really nice to have) and was missing the interior pouch for his trauma plates. Consistency in manufacturing isn't good from this company, at least their Outer Vest Carriers. Their regular vests seem to be fine.

    Perhaps the JG ones would be better. I also believe that Streichers may have had a better priced vest "package".

    .

    I have a concealable ABA vest which is a piece of garbage. It feels like I'm wearing an entirely square piece of plywood.

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