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[Review] Spiritus Systems LV-119 Plate Carrier

Once you buy a firearm of any sort, you’ll slowly start to sink into the gradual money pit that is Gucci gear.

It’s inevitable. You can fight it all you want, but you won’t win. But hey, at least you’ll look high speed as hell doing it. 

Spiritus Microfight and Ferro Slickster Glamor Shot
Give us all the gear…

It doesn’t matter if you are using the kit for duty use or for sitting in your mom’s basement eating hot pockets and playing COD.

The beauty of America is that you don’t have to explain to anyone why you have three sets of Level IV body armor and two minty fresh plate carriers. 

murica
F*ck yeah!

One of the most Gucci plate carriers on the market right now is made by Spiritus Systems — the LV-119.

So, today, we’re taking a look at the Spiritus LV-119 setup. I’ll run you through it, let you know what I like and don’t like.

Ultimately, you’ll come out with a better idea of whether this minimalistic plate carrier system is for you.

Table of Contents

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Who is Spiritus?

Spiritus is a company started by veterans with a desire for better equipment. It has a huge following and it’s much deserved.

Spiritus makes everything from modular plate carriers to glow-in-the-dark Nalgene bottles. 

spiritus systems logo

It doesn’t take long for military personnel to find ways to improve their issued gear.

That’s the beauty of companies like Spiritus Systems and other veteran-owned and operated gear companies. The research and development phase is already at least four years underway.

Tell Me More…The LV-119

Let me formally introduce you to Spiritus System’s LV-119

Spiritus LV119 Front View
Spiritus LV-119 Front View

Available in over nine different colors and camo patterns, the LV-119 is suited for whatever environment you operate in.

Operate in the jungle? Tropic is perfect for you.

Expecting to work in the desert? Arid is an excellent option.

Going to the kitchen to grab a PB&J before running another round of Warzone with the squad? Grab whichever color kit hides your sweat spots the best. 

285
at Spiritus Systems

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Completely modular, the Spiritus LV-119 has an array of plate bags, pouches, cummerbunds, and other goodies that you can outfit your kit with.

I am running an overt front plate bag, covert rear plate bag, elastic cummerbunds, and a fanny sack.

Spiritus LV119 Loaded
Spiritus LV119 Loaded

There’s no question that this is an amazing kit.

However, be forewarned, they’re notoriously hard to get. It could take months to piece everything together.

Price markups surpassing 400% have made their way to tacticool trade pages of Facebook and eBay. 

Before you set your mind on Spiritus, keep in mind that it could take weeks, even months, to fully piece your kit together.

As you can see, I am running a Haley Strategic D3CRM Chest Rig because I haven’t been able to acquire a Spiritus Chest Rig. 

thanos
The set is almost complete.

Philosophy of Use

The LV-119 is pretty cutting edge as far as plate carriers go. It is designed for both military and civilian use.

If I’m being totally candid, this is one of my favorite plate carriers of all time.

Spiritus LV119 Superman
Like Superman! They won’t even know it’s there.

As I hinted at earlier, modularity is the future.

The LV-119 allows for your loadout to be scaled down from full battle rattle to chest rig in under a minute. Its modularity also allows for covert and overt options.

Overt is analogous to open carry. Covert is basically concealed.

This makes it perfect for everyone from a concerned citizen to a high-speed low drag super-soldier.

Don’t get me wrong.

Surplus military gear is a great option when it comes to hauling gear around.

If you want to LARP or have a fun range day in those, they’re still a great and inexpensive way to haul gear around. 

surplus carrier
This makes my back ache just looking at it…

HOWEVER…

Being able to scale up or scale down your kit to your mission is all pros and no cons. The LV-119 does just that.

Switching from a placard-style plate carrier to a chest rig is a matter of snapping some buckles into place. 

Note: If you’re confused as to why anyone would ever want to use anything other than military-issued equipment, all I can say is, “okay boomer”.

The military often picks the cheapest that does the job, not the one that does the job best. 

Shrugging_kaomoji

This is much faster than wearing an old OEF plate carrier with FLC on top, I would definitely recommend a plate carrier system over antiquated alternatives any day of the week.

The Spiritus LV-119 offers more maneuverability with just as much protection.

So long as you fit your kit properly.

Carrier comparison
Left or Right, which one seems more comfortable?

Properly Fitting Plates

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, there is one thing that you absolutely must know…

Plates don’t stop you from getting shot. They keep you in the fight.

Like anything else, there are trade-offs to body armor selection. From threat level to size to cuts, body armor is far from one-size-fits-all.

Position of Body Armor Plates
Position of Body Armor Plates

Fitment, however, is pretty easy. The front plate should be level with the top of your sternum while standing.

Your backplate should rest no lower than an inch below your vertebral prominence — that’s the pokey part of your spine at the base of your neck.

The front plate should cover nipple to nipple. The rear plate is optimally one size larger, but running the same size is better than nothing.

If it feels too high, it’s probably right where it needs to be. Still not sure? Here’s a foolproof infographic to help you out.

Plate Carrier Anatomy
Plate Carrier Anatomy

STILL not sure? Check out this invaluable resource!

The Minimalist’s Dilemma

Here’s the problem with minimalist plate carriers.

Even with optimal fitment, they don’t distribute weight very well. After all, they’re really not meant to carry much, to begin with.

bug out bag
“Hhhhhnnnohgodkillmenow…”

I was actually pretty concerned about this with the LV-119.

As a natural skeptic, I began to question whether this plate carrier would be able to distribute the weight. I’d consider six mags, front and rear plates, and medical to be a relatively common load.

So I did what anyone else in my situation would do.

I loaded up my plate carrier and magazines and ran some miles in it. Specifically, I was looking for hot spots, friction spots, or really any discomfort.

Spiritus LV119 1
Boom.

After I clocked a few miles, I felt no hot spots or friction spots.

The elastic wasn’t super amazing to run in because it constricts your breathing a bit. That’s just something you have to accept with any added weight when running.

The only discomfort I felt was from me being slightly out of shape.

Running into woods
It’s okay, we’re a year into a pandemic — I can be a little out of shape!

Duty Loadout

So we know that this plate carrier can be used solely for body armor. Cool.

What about duty use? Just how much can this kit take?

The LV-119 was built with the professional end-user in mind.

If you find yourself running seven mags, a push-to-talk, flashbangs, breacher kit, IFAK, and NVGs, the LV-119 is more than up for the task. 

Mall Ninja
Spiritus has got your back!

There are pouches and panels for everything. Back panels for breaching gear, hydration, and flashbangs. Placards and admin pouches for the front. Side plates for…your sides.

You can buy everything you need for just about any mission.

The only drawback, again, is availability.

Piecing your kit together part by part is the only way to go since things aren’t always in stock.

You might end up paying a quarter of the cost in just shipping fees. What’s the price you’re willing to put on life-saving gear?

money meme
Every time there’s a Spiritus stock drop…

The Run Down

Plate carriers are important for everyone. Even if you’re not a super cool ninja operator, they can prove to be extremely useful. After all, there’s that old saying about “having it and not needing it.” 

Plate carriers are — I would argue — the most important piece of equipment you can own.

You have probably heard the saying, “the best offense is a good defense.” Well, it is true.

Making holes can be all but impossible if you have failed to stop holes. It is that simple. The LV-119 foots the bill and leaves a tip.

Spiritus LV119 Rear View
Hate to see it go, love to watch it leave. 😉

Here’s how it stacks up in my book.

Pros:

  • Scalable and Modular
  • Maneuverable
  • Build quality

Cons:

  • Availability
  • Shipping fees and Price

Lastly, two main factors go into a good body armor setup: the plates and the plate carrier. As far as the latter goes, the Spiritus Systems LV-119 is a great option. It can get the job done.

Which job? Any of them. You just need to pick the loadout that’ll best fit those needs.

Lucky for you, every loadout you can dream of is achievable with Spiritus.

Another great option for both civilian and duty use is made by Ferro Concepts. If you haven’t already, check out our in-depth review!

Conclusion

Like anything that is “the thing” in the gun world, it can be a little hard to get your mitts on Spiritus gear. But, the LV-119 and its accessories are well worth the fight!

With a sleek minimalist design and plenty of room to customize to your liking, the LV-119 won’t disappoint.

285
at Spiritus Systems

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

So, what are your thoughts? Do you own any pieces of Spiritus gear that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out the Best Body Armor, too!

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