Worth its weight in kevlar


Submitted by Eric Daniel

When I deployed to Iraq this last go around, I was issued the Interceptor vest and SAPI plates.  While I never had an opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of the vest’s armor, thank God, I did have ample opportunity to evaluate the carrier the armor came in.

Long story short, the Interceptor carrier sucks.  My biggest beef with it is the fact that ergonomically, it’s very inefficient, and like many pieces of Army equipment, it doesn’t take a good idea far enough.  The idea of putting MOLLE straps on the vest is a good idea; this allows you to tailor your combat load to meet your personal preferences and mission requirements. 

Unfortunately, by virtue of the fact that the Interceptor vest is a front opening system, the biggest load-bearing surface on the vest, your chest and abdomen, is wasted.  MOLLE loops should go all the way across the front, but on the Interceptor, you have them only on the sides.  Moreover, there isn’t a single panel across the sides for MOLLE webbing, rather the front and back panels of the vest overlap.  Again, another opportunity for additional storage is lost.

One carrier I did have the opportunity to check out while deployed though was from Eagle Industries.  These vests were issued to the local ODA team working our area and they were most impressive.  The Eagle vest is a side-entry vest with fully strapped front and side panels; you can hang everything but the kitchen sink on one of these suckers.  In addition, in the event you ever need to ditch the vest in a hurry (you fall in a blue feature or you take a penetrating wound to the chest, for example) there’s a single pull cable incorporated into the vest that will cause the vest to fall away when pulled.

However, excellence doesn’t come cheap.  These vest run $580 a shot, and I doubt your food chain will buy off on purchasing them simply because they’re a brilliant piece of kit, but I figured I’d throw it out there for that very reason – it is a brilliant piece of kit.  Next time I deploy though, I am going to take a long, serious look at picking one of these up.

Buy one here

  • Steven

    Check into this but I was under the impression that the Army will reimbursed you if you save the receipts. Make sure you get copies for your self also. That way you can have the best with out wiping out your bank account

  • Looks like they listened to you…..

  • SGT K

    Military will not reimburse for body armor.

  • Everyone seems to like Paraclete’s vests better…at least that’s what we’re told.

  • Elmer Dobson

    Hey, I am a Disabled Army Veteran, Damn Proud to say so, My son is in the Army now and is preparing to deploy soon. My wife and I live on a fixed income and I will find a way to get him one of these vests. MY point I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO. We are HARD LINE CONSERVATIVES, EX-DEMS. You know the ones who voted for us to go to war and have been back pedaling ever sence. My vote is to take away their abortion dollars and buy our Soldiers the best, Free speach? with out our Soldiers they would have to ask a SADAM type if they could open their LiBERAL mouths, They just can’t handel the truth, the best defence is a GREAT OFFENCE, We are FREE do to the blood of many great soldiers, TIME WE START THINKING THAT WAY AGAIN. GOD BLESS ALL OF OUR TROOPS!!!!!

  • SGT K

    Elmer. If I were you, I would not waste your money on buying this vest. First, it offers no more protection than the current IBA (which I wore for a year in Iraq with no issues)
    Second, he will not be able to wear it. The Army and Marine Corps do not allow non-issue protective items or weapons.
    I can tell you this. The IBA is a very good vest. Like I stated earlier, I wore and had no issues. I was a turret gunner in an Infantry Squad. I was not sitting on base, I have real experience with this.
    No piece of equipment is perfect.

  • sundaymoney

    I just have one question about the personel that are defending our “Freedom” Why wont the government isue “Dragon Scale?”i realize its expensive, and verymuch dependableif not paid by the government ATLEAST make an offer for to pay a percentage and family pay the rest?But come on DONT TELL THEM THEY “CANT BUY THER OWN” WHO CAN AFFORD IT .If i am tottally wrong about this please let me know .I am probably right off track in my way of thinking!

  • SGT K

    From what I have read and SEEN, Dragon Scale is decent body armor. But it is not so great that it justifies changing what the troops are now wearing. That is a cost of MILLIONS of dollars to laterally change a piece of equipment that may or may not offer better protection.

    There is nothing wrong with the IBA. Too much focus has been put on Body Armor by the media and civilians who don’t know any better.

  • jerome”Jerry&qu

    I believe we should spend what ever on R&D,” with oversite”, concerning our troops. we should beg borrow or steal any technology too keep the edge. troops should be fully funded right dawn too quality shoe laces or whatever.
    If put too a vote, I’ll bet it would pass quicky.
    One thing I would do is too have a farmer or logger on the oversite committee, someone with basic common sense. Jerry

  • DDP

    Dragonskin doesn’t come close to matching the current IBA in DOD tests, it has nothing to do with costs.

    If Dragonskin was better than the current issue vest you would see REMFs wearing them at liberty.

  • DF

    Dragon SKIN made by Pinnacle Armor. Pinnacle Armor is on the the list of companies that are not allowed to sell to Department of Defense.

  • BucketHead

    I may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but I’m one hell of a long way from the dumbest!! The comments that I was following were about body armor, that’s what I’m interested in & that’s how the comments started. Then for some reason at Charles Houston, (who had a three part comment entirely about Afghanistan?? The following replies were about the same thing!! I’m interested about that issue also but not under comments concerning armor!! To armor; I have the issued Interceptor & it is not even close to what the contributor spoke about, even the old Interceptor had Molle attach points all over it, front, sides & back. The Improved Interceptor took away most bad problems such as the fold over front. The newest issue Interceptor is in MultiCam, it also has Molle attach points all over it, feels great, has full coverage soft Armor & well reinforced pockets for hard plates. The Interceptor also has the cable you pull to drop the entire vest away & clear, I tried it prior to using it & it does work as required. The Eagle armor he shows is everything he states, I find that it is a fine piece of armor. However, the model he shows has a bad problem, the soft armor does not come up anywhere near as it should to cover the shoulder/collar bone area, the Interceptor does. In the same line of armor from Eagle, the CIRAS, does connect in the front but it does, as does the Interceptor, have Molle attach points all over it, including the flap you pull up to attach the left & right side cummerbund sections, which are covered with Molle attach points.