Low-Vis Like You Mean It: Crye LVS
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
Breach-Bang & CLEAR!
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.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.