Plate carriers are pretty stock standard these days, right?
Use some high-quality materials, stitch up a body-shaped design made to accommodate some form of soft or hard armor. Slap on some MOLLE webbing for gear, and call it a day.
Well, lots of companies do that, and while there’s nothing wrong with it, we’d never see innovation if every company followed that principle.
Luckily, there are companies willing to innovate and one such gear maker is 5.11 Tactical.
Coming in with what, I think, is one of the most unique plate carrier systems I’ve seen, the All Missions Plate Carrier changes the game significantly.
5.11 Tactical has always been rather revolutionary in the realm of tactical gear, producing high-quality gear for rock climbers, police, military members, first responders, and the average Joe for decades.
These were the guys behind those tactical cargo pants that everyone wore in 2005.
Since, they’ve moved beyond cargo pants into the realm of other apparel (including a women’s line) as well as tactical gear like backpacks, slings, holsters, knives, car kits, and, as mentioned…plate carriers.
The All Mission Plate Carrier provides a combination of a high-quality plate carrier with the Hexgrid attachment system.
Designed for military, police, and civilian use, the system even makes an appearance in Netflix’s Space Force as the choice of Space Force security forces.
So, you know we had to try this system out for ourselves! Keep reading to see how the AMP did and what we loved about it.
Table of Contents
All About the Hexgrid
Hexgrid comes from the 2020 lineup of 5.11 Tactical’s gear.
This webbing system provides you an alternative to MOLLE webbing, acting as another option to hang all your gear.
As the name implies, Hexgrid utilizes hexagonal-shaped webbing points. Because it’s not just webbing and using hexagonal slots, you can position gear at a wide variety of angles.
Normal MOLLE limits you to mounting gear in whatever direction the gear tabs go. So, if they run up and down, you can mount the pouch vertically, and that’s it.
With Hexgrid, the user can mount the pouch vertically, horizontally, or even at an angle of their choosing.
All Mission Plate carriers and Hexgrid patterns allow shooters to place their gear exactly how and where they want, delivering an extreme degree of customization.
You may ask, “What exactly is the point of mounting a piece of gear in a weird direction?” After all, mag pouches oriented vertically just makes sense.
Why mess with perfection?!
Admittedly, maybe you wouldn’t change how you mounted an AR pouch. But what about a shotgun placard?
Running it vertically or horizontally makes sense, depending on your setup.
5.11 Tactical calls it a “multi-angle load-bearing platform” — a very apt description of how the Hexgrid works.
It seems silly, but strapping on various pieces of gear at different angles makes things a little more comfortable and much easier to access.
On my AMP, I strapped a compact IFAK horizontally to the Hexgrid cummerbund. (Normally, it runs horizontally.)
This attachment kept the IFAK conveniently placed for easy access. Not to mention, it allows the rest of my plate carrier to remain free for other goodies.
On the opposite side, I tossed a knife at a diagonal angle for the easiest of access.
It’s in a cross-draw position, placed for a fast and easy draw with my right hand or with an ice pick grip with my left hand.
So, I run the bandoliers and the VTAC pouch at a slight angle to the left to make it easier to retrieve the shells with my reloading hand.
Parts, Pieces, and Customization
The All Mission Plate Carrier comes out of the box as a big ol’ full-sized plate carrier ready to strap on a dozen magazines, an IFAK, and more useless pouches than you can handle.
We got a cumberbund, a front flap, and an integral cumberbund — everything you need to start building out the carrier kit of your dreams!
The front flap comes with a kangaroo pouch containing three magazine slots — complete with retention straps.
As for the internal cumberbund, it offers two magazine pouches on each side, complete with retention straps and one large pocket ready for a side plate.
The external cumberbund is another layer of that awesome Hexgrid for mounting your gear.
It’s a big plate carrier and I know a lot of us prefer the minimalist setup, but guess what?
You can strip the AMP down to nothing more than a slick plate carrier with zero Hexgrid and plenty of hook and loop attachments.
Users can pick and choose each and every component they want strapped to the AMP. Build it up and break it down to whatever you want or need.
Dropping the cumberbund alone takes off a lot of bulk while still allowing you to utilize the Hexgrid front panel and kangaroo pouch.
Above the panel sits a series of traditional MOLLE straps that are also coated with hook and loop for additional whatevers.
Gotta have somewhere to slap all those morale patches, amirite?
When stripped down to a “slick” carrier, still you have lots of hook and loop for goodies.
Fit and Comfort
The first plate carrier I ever used was an Eagle carrier issued to me second hand in Afghanistan.
That thing destroyed shoulders when loaded down with plates and ammo.
My fellow Marines and I cut up our isomats and duct-taped the sections of isomat to the shoulder straps to increase comfort.
The inside rubbed and scrubbed the body, forcing most of us to toughen up or to double up our shirts. Thank God plate carriers have come such a long way in comfort and fit.
The AMP is a thoroughly modern design that ensures I don’t have to cut up my sleeping mat for comfort.
Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
The shoulder straps are super freakin’ wide, measuring 2.75-inches wide and made from Hypalon.
What does this do for the wearer? It brings soft, fitted, and thick pads that are also removable.
Honestly, I have not removed them because I find them to be a must-have for comfort. They contort and comfort my shoulders like a Swiss masseuse.
Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I freaking love them.
Inside the AMP, body pads sit for both comfort and better fit.
The pads keep things tight and take a little weight off of your shoulders by pressing the carrier against the body.
You might not think it makes much of a difference but trust me — it so, so does.
Users can adjust the AMP to fit the body in various ways.
This includes around the body and lots of adjustments for the shoulder straps. This level of adjustment helps you place the plates perfect for a high degree of protection.
Once I had my AMP properly adjusted, I felt nothing but comfort.
And I don’t just mean the comfort of sitting around and LARPing while I play Call of Duty Warzone…I mean when I’m moving.
Running, changing positions, and getting in and out of the prone never felt restrictive. I move quite freely and quite comfortably.
One thing I learned about plate carrier fit is to make sure you put it through its paces fully loaded. The extra weight and a good bit of movement will show a lot of fit flaws.
I did just that with the AMP Carrier, running it through some basic drills.
One of my favorites requires changing positions rapidly.
Start in the standing, fire two rounds, go to kneeling and fire two rounds, go prone and fire two rounds. Then back to kneeling and standing, firing two rounds in each position.
I did sprints to cover with an engagement and a reload. Here I did find the kangaroo magazine pouches to be plenty fast, but the cumberbund pockets were slower for mag changes.
The AMP gives me plenty of freedom to move, get behind cover, and commit to reloads.
With my shotgun setup, I can easily access all of my ammunition with ease. That slight left lean of my ammo pouch makes it easy to keep my tube-fed gun eating.
The thin shoulder straps also offer plenty of easy shouldering of long guns. You can get your stock in nice and deep into your shoulder without the plate carrier creating an awkward situation.
I also did sprints and a few box jumps. Not too many because I like my knees working and not in pain, but enough to see how the AMP handled.
The whole time the setup felt comfortable and well-fitted.
I made slight adjustments as needed.
I will say, the shoulder adjustments are a real hassle — they’re seriously tough to do with hook and loop and the pads in place.
It’s way too much hassle to make a half-inch adjustment, which is a downside. But, if you have a buddy handy to help, it might not be so bad.
The setup ends up being extremely comfortable overall — however, getting there will take some time and might cause some frustration.
By the Numbers
The padded interior and adjustable design allows for lots of comfort. You can see what works and adjust as necessary. I’m knocking a star off because it’s tough to adjust.
The velcro, armor pockets, and Hexgrid haven’t let me down. I can run, jump, and move without worrying about anything giving out and dropping my plates, gear, or coming undone.
I’ve worn and trained with the 5.11 AMP for well over a year now and none of the fabric has frayed or broken, none of the webbing portions have broken either.
Hexgrid is still somewhat proprietary and stuff like Malice clips don’t seem to work well. Normal MOLLE webbing works perfectly fine, but polymer slick stick style attachments aren’t so friendly. That said, strip down or jock up the carrier in a wide variety of ways for what works best for you.
The 5.11 AMP retails for more than a Crye JPC 2.0. It’s not a cheap plate carrier by any means. However, it does offer a full setup for that price. Buy once, cry once, and plug and play.
The 5.11 Tactical All Missions Plate Carrier provides users a very unique system in the form of Hexgrid webbing, allowing you to mount gear at any angle you desire. Beyond a gimmick, the 5.11 AMP provides a robust and durable plate carrier with plenty of customization options.
The 5.11 Tactical AMP provides a very versatile and modern setup that offers the ultra-awesome Hexgrid system for diverse attachment setups.
Add in the comfort and ability to scale the plate carrier to the task at hand, and you have a nice setup for whatever task you might have to deal with.
A good plate carrier goes a long way — useful as a home defense item, a practical prep, and a bit of tactical fun to LARP as an operator. And the 5.11 Tactical AMP meets any job head-on.
It’s an awesome setup that sports a little innovation in a very crowded market.
Have you tried out the AMP carrier or any of 5.11’s Hexgrid offerings? Let us know in the comments! Since we’re talking plates and carriers, why not check out the best ceramic and UHMWPE body armor that we tested…by shooting it.