Low-Vis Like You Mean It: Crye LVS IAV

crye lvs
April 24, 2017  
Categories: Musings

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Low-Vis Like You Mean It: Crye LVS

Dave Merrill

Usually when I hear the terms “low vis” and “concealable” when it comes to body armor I roll my eyes. Invariably what companies really mean is that if you’re sitting in a dark SUV, away from streetlights, at 2am, while wearing a huge jacket, the odds of someone noticing you wearing armor are marginally slimmer.

Yeah, there’s a little bit of hyperbole in that sentence, but it sure rings true if you’ve actually tried to conceal armor. For the day jobs of a street cop or Soldier, overt armor is just part of the game. If you’re in plainclothes it’s a different story altogether.

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Crye thought about this, and did what they do best: Came up with a plan and created a product that actually works.

They made a vest without making a vest. Or rather, Crye made the decision to treat the armor insert as a vest. They call it IAV, and you guessed it, it stands for “Insert As Vest”. So right from the outset we’re ahead of the curve.

Speaking of curves, the Crye LVS does not come flat. It’s pre-contoured to fit your body, and even comes with a carrier/stand to allow it to hold this shape even while in storage. This means coverage can be maximized with no weird wrinkles and unneeded overlapping, further decreasing the profile.



Normally if you want to conceal armor and not be noticed, you might have to dress like this:

Example of three puffy outfits.

With the Crye LVS, it can roll under a t-shirt one size up (ideally patterned or a darker hue), or a button-down that actually fits you normally. The rightmost photo below? Nah, you don’t need that extra layer. The main way someone is going to find out you’re wearing this one is either by touching you, or shooting you and finding out it isn’t effective.

Example of the IAV being concealed under a regular shirt and jacket.

There are two stretch pockets on the sides of the LVS which allows for carriage of spare magazines, radios, and snacks. No, we’re not talking about a super-fast reload here, but I’m not one to turn my nose up at more options.

Close up of the pockets in the Crye LVS IAV

Close up of the pocket capacity

By itself, the Crye LVS is NIJ IIIA rated, which is the highest level of blunt trauma protection regarding pistol rounds – up to .44 magnum. A NIJ IIIA rated vest will stop the vast majority of pistol and shotgun rounds.

But What if You Want Rifle Protection?

If the best part of the Crye LVS is its concealability, the second among equals is the scalability. There’s a plate holder you can add on that will hold slim (under 3/4″) plates. They also have covert and overt covers, with options for integral magazine pouches, and two different sizes of side protection panels.

LVS base vest, plate holder, covert cover, covert cover with mag pouch, overt cover, overt cover with mag pouch, side panels and side carriers.

You can configure the Crye LVS from [actually] concealed and covert to full-on door kicking depending on your mission requirements, making it an incredibly versatile system indeed.

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Conclusions and Loose Rounds

The LVS doesn’t have tails to tuck into your pants. This doesn’t bother me, as I invariably tuck them away or cut them off entirely. Hernandez isn’t a fan, as he noted in his review. Chalk it up to my longer torso or [current] lack of a lower belly, but I have no issues with the Crye LVS riding up provided that I’ve fitted it properly. Aside from that, I’d really like to see an Overt Cover with mag pouches in grey. Because reasons.


[You can visit Crye Precision online here]

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This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965 Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in Vietnam, then in 1970 he was a the squadleader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting in to fight remote wildfires. For about a quarter century after that he was a Border Patrolman, and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters.

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Dave Merrill

Dave Merrill

About the Author

About the Author: A combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Dave "Mad Duo Merrill" is a former urban warfare and foreign weapons instructor for Coalition fighting men. An occasional competitive shooter, he has a strange Kalashnikov fetish the rest of the minions try to ignore. Merrill, who has superb taste in hats, has been published in a number of places, the most awesome of which is, of course, here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He loves tacos, is kind of a dick and married way, way above his pay grade. You can contact him at Merrill(at)BreachBangClear.com and follow him on Instagram here (@dave_fm).


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