Agilite Tactical is known for some high-quality and well-designed gear. Their Plate Carriers have a reputation for being some of the most comfortable on the market. The Plate Carrier market is a vast one with a ton of companies that make some great offerings. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to test and review so many over the years as a writer. There are so many uses for plate carriers these days, other than the tactical use of them to do what they were primarily used for: to carry armor plates and equipment. They are more practical uses to include physical training as weight vests and tactical competition gear for events like the Tactical Games; some shooting competitions have events that require full kit loadouts as well. The question always pops up on the internet whether one really needs a plate carrier or armor, for that matter. To that, I say, it’s America. Everyone should do whatever they’d like with their money, so as long they’re not criminals, I could care less. I will say that obtaining training and being proficient and physically fit is extremely important, but that should be a given.
Agilite Tactical’s New K-Zero Plate Carrier
Let’s get back on track with that out of the way. Based out of Israel, Agilite Tactical’s gear is heavily used by IDF special operations units. Their products are engineered with a lot of end-user experiences, with most, if not all, of them being battle-tested behind enemy lines. They design and then thoroughly test their gear before they get to market.
Agilite Tactical introduced their first plate carrier, the K5, and it got some excellent reviews. They updated the lineup a few years ago with the K19 Plate Carrier, which is the current line of their Plate Carrier offerings. Both the K5 and K19 are well-known and often described as the most comfortable plate carriers that people own.
The K19 Plate Carrier is scalable, compatible with Placard systems, and equipped with quick detach cummerbunds and shoulder straps. It has held up its reputation from those who have used it over the years. It was meant to be a fully loaded plate carrier to carry heavy loads.
At SHOT Show earlier this year, Agilite Tactical announced a new plate carrier: the K-Zero Plate Carrier. I stopped by their booth to check it out. It looked like a slimmer, slick K19 Plate Carrier. I picked it up off the display rack, and it was nice and light. It just looked comfortable, and I wore it briefly while the representative from Agilite was going over its features. They asked me if I was interested in doing a review of the K-Zero, and I accepted the opportunity to test out their latest piece of kit.
K-Zero Plate Carrier Review
Not long after I got home from SHOT Show, Agilite sent a sample of the K-Zero Plate Carrier along with some accessories to put it through its paces. This is my first time experiencing one of Agilite Tactical’s plate carriers for myself. I have many of their other products, including their helmet covers and exclusive edition Mechanix M-Pact gloves.
Their helmet covers are some of the best available. The Agilite Edition Mechanix M-Pact gloves were designed with maximum dexterity in mind by having the thumb, index and middle fingers exposed, leaving your important fingers, well, fingerless. My experience with their products tracks with what everyone else says about their plate carriers, so I was excited to get some time behind the K-Zero Plate Carrier. The K-Zero is the first product where they got input from both the IDF and US SOF operators.
I asked for my set in Ranger Green. I have way too much gear in FDE or Coyote, so I wanted something different. The K-Zero came with the adjustable cummerbund and a zip lock with some cable management attachments. It differs from the K19 by not having QD attachment points on the shoulder straps and cummerbund. The purpose of the K-Zero is to be lightweight and low profile, as well as modular. From first appearances, the K-Zero looks like a slimmer K19, sharing some features while adding some.
The shoulder straps are very easy to adjust and have markings where they end behind the front plate bag. The shortest setting is 1 and gets bigger as you get up to 3. These settings make it easy to customize the fit for different body types. They are well padded and have slots cut in the cover of each strap to help with cable management, which is very neat, something I’ve never seen on plate carriers that I’ve used.
The K-Zero shoulder straps were set at 1 out of the packaging, and they were perfect for my smaller framed body. This is my biggest issue with most plate carriers. Many are able to get short enough to get the correct plate placement for people of small stature. It’s a big deal, and I am glad the K-Zero has plenty of room for adjustment and gets it right for all of us smaller people.
The front plate bag has velcro and laser cut molle slots on the upper half and slick velcro on the bottom half. The bottom opening has one large flap that keeps the plates in place and does a good job of storing 10×12 SAPI or Swimmers Cut Plates. I tried placing some 8×10-sized plates, but they moved around too much while inside, so they won’t work. Size Large size will take 10.30″ x 13.25″ plates.
The back plate bag has a unique velcro pattern that has a centerline strip that runs almost the entire length, with two lateral strips on the upper half to accommodate large ID panels. There is a mix of laser-cut molle slots to standard molle throughout the entire back, allowing for different placement options. The cummerbunds are permanently attached to the sides of the bottom of the back plate bag. This is unlike the K19, where they are attached with a velcro panel and can be further adjusted. I believe the omissions of that feature and the QD attachment points were due to weight savings and getting rid of some bulk.
The cummerbunds are thin, flexible and rigid. They can be sinched down and loosened easily, and the straps have retention straps of their own so the excess can be rolled up, stowed and out of your way from being snag hazards. The structure of the cummerbunds consists of two molle straps with a 2×2 molle square section in the middle for added stability. At the ends, the attachment point comes standard with velcro panels. It can be easily swapped out with QD tubes. Running the K-Zero slick without a placard, the velcro panels work just fine. When you add a placard, having one side with a QD attachment point makes it that much easier and quicker to don and doff the plate carrier. I recently received a set of First Spear tubes, and they took a bit of effort to get installed. Once they were set, it made it so much faster, easier and, most importantly, quieter to put on and take off the K-Zero.
The Pincer Triple Mag pouch placard is their latest mag pouch design, and it is rather unique. It has a semi-hard, flared magwell top entrance with an elastic sleeve. At SHOT Show, there was a machine on display that was inserting a rifle magazine into a Pincer pouch and pulling it out over and over again. During their testing, the Pincer lasted thousands of repetitions. From my use, I found it easy to insert magazines as well as pull them out. The magazine retention is very strong and stable. It doesn’t allow the magazines to move at all when you are. It is a nice design that works well.
- Inside an Assault Pack AMAP III.
The Six Pack Hangar pouch is a well-thought-out pouch that is just the right size to go under the front plate and doubles as a fanny pack with an included conversion strap. The pouch has a main large compartment that has enough room to store an IFAK and a smaller admin compartment in front that can hold batteries or similar-sized items. It can hold a tourniquet as well as glow sticks or markers at the bottom. There is a velcro panel in front, giving more space for patches. It is easy to use and is a transformer, capable of switching from a hanger pouch to a fanny pack very easily.
As I was setting up the K-Zero, I was constantly impressed with every design aspect I was coming across. Every single piece has a specific purpose and is easy to figure out. They also have setup videos when things like the cable management kit aren’t clicking right away.
The K-Zero is compatible with the AMAP III pack and hydration pack as well. Making it a modular system if you go with Agilite Tactical for those items.
I got in an AMAP III, and it, too, like the K-Zero, is a well-thought-out pack that attaches very easily to the back of the K-Zero by pulling off the center hook and loop cover of the pack and using quick detach clips on the sides that are included. The shoulder straps come off and back on with minimal effort. The AMAP III can be converted and expanded while keeping a compact profile if needed. It can hold a helmet as well. It has become the main daily work pack that I always have with me.
My expectations were really high when it came to comfort due to the reputation that their plate carriers already have established. The K-Zero doesn’t disappoint. I started my review process using the heaviest armor plates that I have: HighCom Armor 4SAS7 Level IV Plates, which weigh over seven pounds apiece. The K-Zero dissipates and distributes the weight so well that I could hardly believe that I had the level IV plates in. I was extremely impressed.
The K-Zero has accomplished something that none of my other plate carriers that I have tested out have done: make it comfortable enough to wear those plates. Especially over a prolonged period. To put it to the test, I ran the K-Zero slick with the level IV plates in and went on a 3-mile walk with my wife (who thought I was crazy). Thankfully, it looks like most weighted vests that are common these days. I was sweating during the walk, but I wasn’t in any pain where most plate carrier straps would have started to dig into my shoulders almost immediately. I definitely could run the level IV plates in the K-Zero full-time. However, I have the lighter Highcom Armor 3S14M Level III plates that weigh about half of what the 4SAS7 plates do, so I swapped them out. With the lighter plates in, it almost feels empty when compared to having the level IVs in. Less weight equals less fatigue over a prolonged amount of time being in full kit.
A common issue with many plate carriers is that the shoulder straps interfere with rifle stocks when they are shouldered in position. They can also get in the way during pistol shooting with both hands. With my experience of all of the plate carriers I’ve had, I would acknowledge these issues, work around them and adapt to them. The K-Zero doesn’t get in the way at all. It works with you and not against you. This makes every type of movement that much easier when you have so many other things to worry about when in full kit.
My K-Zero with the Pincer Triple Mag Placard, Six Pack Hangar pouch, and First Spear tubes on the right side cummerbund loaded with Highcom Armor 3S14M plates is a lightweight, low-profile setup that is fast to put on and quick to take off. It quickly became my go-to plate carrier as I ran it more. It is just so comfortable. Agilite Tactical really got it down in that department.
Agilite is still developing other parts and accessories for the K-Zero. The K-Zero can be scaled up easily with existing Agilite accessories like the hydration pack or AMAP III pack for missions that require more equipment.
If you are in the market for a plate carrier, the Agilite Tactical K-Zero is an excellent choice. I give it my highest praise and recommendation.
- Patented Design
500D CORDURA ® Mil Spec Tactical Nylon
- Proprietary Mil-Spec hardware
- Laser-cut Squadron™ laminate
- Laser-cut Velcro ® MOLLE overlay panels
- Integral closed-cell comfort foam
- Weight: 1.74Lbs (0.79kg)
- Most comfortable low-profile plate carrier on the market
- Proprietary “V” design spreads weight over maximum surface from shoulders to center mass area to avoid pressure points.
- Strategically placed low-profile closed-cell padding gives you an unprecedented amount of comfort without adding bulk.
- One-size-fits-all low-profile cummerbund included, so you can guarantee a perfect fit and allows you to adjust it by yourself on the fly while wearing it.
- Cummerbund allows you to switch between either velcro flaps or quick-release buckles (quick-release buckles not included).
- Rear loop back flap is compatible with the Agilite Warfighter Cummerbund or any other hook and loop-based cummerbund.
- Built-in cable management elements in shoulders and front and rear plate bag.
- Free cable management kit included.
- AMAP III Assault Pack Compatible.
For more information and to order, visit Agilite Gear.
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- More on Plate Carriers
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- SOF Mag’s Agilite Plate Carrier Review
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