Although I am very biased towards the LBT 6094 as my “do everything” carrier, I realize that sometimes there is a need for a much lighter carrier. Last year I was issued a Crye Precision LV-MBAV and it fit the bill perfectly. It is an extremely lightweight carrier. This carrier was made famous by pictures that surfaced of MARSOC guys using it. The LV-MBAV has trickled in and gained popularity elsewhere within SOCOM, but still is not available to the civilian market through standard channels.
The shoulder straps are similar to that of the Crye Precision JPC, being made of Hypalon. That is where the similarities seem to end. The LV-MBAV’s external materials are a stretchy plate bag type material that lacks MOLLE to help keep weight to a minimum. It can be customized with a variety of cummerbunds, including the Crye Precision Skeletal cummerbund, or with one that accepts side plates and has radio pockets, such as the one I am utilizing. The cummerbund connects internal to the back plate pocket utilizing Velcro and is somewhat of an ordeal to get fitted correctly.
Inserting the plates also takes some effort, but once everything is situated, it makes for a nice tight fit. These come standard with a Crye Precision Airlite detachable chest rig, but I ditched it in exchange for an LBT kangaroo pouch mag insert that I customized with some Velcro. The Airlite chest rig tends to sag when it is under a heavier load. Being that I was using the LV MBAV for a short duration DA setup, the loads I was using were too heavy for the chest rig that was included. The only molle that comes fixed on the kit is on the cummerbund, which is fine given the carriers intended purpose.
When it comes to plate carriers fitting close to the body, Crye Precision knocked it out of the park. The carrier really conforms itself to the user and that leads to comfort over sustained usage. It seems to have elasticity in all the right spots and moves with you very well.
Of all of the Crye Precision plate carriers I have tried over the years, this one is really a cut above the rest. It is extremely modular and can serve in a multitude of scenarios from low-vis surveillance missions, to short duration DA missions. Over the past year I have put it through a good amount of abuse and it has held up very well. I am not sure when these will be available on the civilian market, but if you are looking to lighten your load and if you can get your hands on one of these, you might want to check it out.
Author – Tim M. is an Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and is currently a K9 handler for ARSOF. In his free time he enjoys shooting, working out and hitting the trails with the dog.