The history of body armour and plate carriers is a testament to mankind’s unrelenting pursuit of safety and protection. From the earliest forms of armour to the cutting-edge plate carriers of today, this journey has been marked by innovation and adaptation. Derk Wisman, CEO at MSS Defence, who has first-hand experience with armoured steel and Kevlar body armour, shares his insights:
“As someone who has used and tested body armour plates in the field, I understand the critical importance of protective gear.”
The roots of body armour and plate carriers can be traced back to antiquity. Early civilisations recognised the need for protection in battle and began using materials like leather, animal hides, and wooden shields. These early attempts laid the foundation for future advancements.
Derk Wisman emphasises, “In ancient times, body armour and shields were rudimentary but a crucial means of defence. It was a time of trial and error, as warriors sought to enhance their protection on the battlefield.”
The Age of Metal
The Bronze Age ushered in a new era of body armour with the development of metal-based protection. Bronze cuirasses and helmets offered improved defence, albeit at the cost of mobility due to their weight.
“Metal armour was a significant leap forward,” notes Derk Wisman. “It highlighted the importance of durability and protection, even as warriors grappled with its weight.”
The Middle Ages witnessed the pinnacle of plate armour, where knights clad in steel suits became iconic figures. These suits of armour provided unparalleled protection and showcased the artistry of craftsmanship.
“Medieval plate armour was a work of art, blending form and function seamlessly,” says Derk Wisman. “It demonstrated the dedication to personal safety and the evolving nature of body armour.”
Renaissance and Firearms
The Renaissance period brought forth new challenges as firearms emerged. Body armour had to adapt, leading to the creation of early bulletproof vests in the 16th century. During this period they emphasised the need for armour to evolve alongside the changing face of warfare.
“Renaissance-era armour underscored the necessity of innovation,” Derk Wisman explains. “It marked the beginning of the race to develop armour capable of withstanding firearm threats.”
Today, body armour and plate carrier evolution has reached extraordinary heights. Materials like Kevlar, ceramic plates, and advanced composites provide lightweight yet robust protection against various threats.
“As someone who has tested plates from various manufacturers, I’ve witnessed firsthand the remarkable advancements in body armour technology,” Derk Wisman states. “We’ve come a long way, but innovation remains our best defence.”
The Pinnacle of Plate Carriers
Today, the K-19 and K-Zero Plate Carriers from Agilite are shining examples of cutting-edge protective gear. These plate carriers offer unmatched versatility, comfort, and modularity, setting modern protection standards.
Agilite Plate Carrier
“Agilite’s K-19 and K-Zero Plate Carriers are at the forefront of innovation,” Derk Wisman praises. “They exemplify the culmination of centuries of development and represent the pinnacle of protection in today’s world.”
The history of body armour and plate carriers is a narrative of adaptation and relentless innovation. From ancient times to the present day, these advancements in protective gear have played a pivotal role in safeguarding lives. With innovations like the K-19 and K-Zero Plate Carriers from Agilite leading the way, the journey of body armour and plate carriers continues, ensuring that safety and protection remain at the forefront of our concerns in an ever-changing world.