Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Soldiers wearing plate carriers

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier [Review]

It’s nice to be able to tailor your gears to your own needs. If you’re looking for configurable gears, Spiritus Systems could be on the top of your list. In simple terms, Spiritus Systems is known as the most user-configurable modular system on the market. They specialize in designing and manufacturing high-quality American-made military and law enforcement gear. 

In this review, we’ll look at the LV-119 plate carrier system. We’ll also cover how it works, and the other Spiritus components available. 

Before we go any further, let’s have a look at the LV-119’s advantages and pitfalls:

  • Low profile minimalist design makes it comfortable
  • Hidden wire system for easy radio and wiring system
  • Easily fits thicker plates
  • High-quality build
  • Completely modular
  • The soft-shell structure is quite comfortable
  • You can’t mix and match with other brands’ components
  • Expensive to complete the whole configuration you desire
  • May take too long to acquire and put pieces together
Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier (left); With gun, gears and other accessories.
Image by Justin Moody of  Flickr

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Spiritus Systems Brief History

Spiritus Systems, in Aberdeen, is one of the many rising nylon manufacturers. They specialize in making nylon tactical gear for military agencies around the US. The business was started by life-long friends and former soldiers Zane Vogel, and Adam Holroyd, along with Adam’s wife, Nichole.

While both Zane and Adam were on tour in Afghanistan in 2014, they came up with the idea of Spiritus Systems. It’s based on their own personal experiences with part creation. During their military service, they did not have access to high-quality, effective gear. They proceeded to incorporate the problems they experienced before into their products. Their website now has over 70 distinct products and sells thousands of units each year.

The LV119 is their best-selling modular system configurable to the user’s preferences. Spiritus Systems plate carriers are also flexible and offer a great fit to the users. This is why they are popular among law enforcement and civilians alike. 

Quick Take on Plate Carriers

A plate carrier is a sort of body armor that is worn as a lightweight vest and is commonly worn by soldiers.

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Soldiers wearing plate carriers
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Plate carriers serve two purposes. They defend your life and they transport the gear you want to have on hand for war, survival, or home security. It also has pockets that allow the wearer to carry plates of varying levels of protection. The plates come in a variety of materials, allowing the wearer to select between a lighter option and a higher level of safety. It all depends on the level of risk in a certain location.

For plate carriers, it would be the quality, cost, and versatility that you’re looking for. But, the best carriers are those that can survive prolonged use and are customizable in many ways. Also, plate carriers built of long-lasting materials are definitely worth the money.

Why Get a Plate Carrier?

Let’s talk about the benefits of owning a plate carrier, aside from the fact that it’s a military need.

Civilians who have spent decades on the firing line understood the need for a plate carrier. First, it shields the torso and serves as a deterrent to potential threats. Second, the added compartments give you as many options as possible for holding stuff. Lastly, it can make shooting more convenient.

Moreover, the plate carrier is adjustable to meet your needs in any scenario. They are more versatile than other forms of ballistic vests, but they are also heavy. Still, plate carriers are a popular and widely used option. Plus, the integrated molle systems provide wearers with flexibility without losing protection.

When buying a plate carrier, choose the most comfortable, low price, and meet your demands. Some persons may not even desire a plate carrier, preferring instead to use a chest rig.

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier A photographed plate carrier on a hardwood floor
Image by Blacksaigon01 of Flickr

Why Go with the Spiritus LV-119 Plate Carrier?

Spiritus designed the LV119 system to allow users, particularly military personnel, to select the configuration that best suits their mission needs. It also offers a slew of other cutting-edge design elements and bold innovations.

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier A complete Spiritus Systems LV119 configuration
 Image by Black_Rifle of Flickr

Since LV119 is modular, it also allows for Overt and Covert options. The term covert refers to something ‘hidden.’ Thus, you can wear the covert plate carriers underneath clothing. It is usually a slick setup with the least imprint when worn undergarments. The covert is also lighter in color, so they will not be visible through the wearer’s clothing. On the other hand, you can wear the overt plate on top of the garment. These carriers are thicker and are darker in color, making them more visible to onlookers.

Another nice touch of LV-119 is its low-profile minimalistic design. And that makes it one of the most comfortable plate carriers on the market. There are also hidden pockets on it where you can hook up your radio system and wiring and all that stuff. Thus, it makes it very neat and so the wire doesn’t interfere and doesn’t make you uncomfortable. What’s good about the LV-119 is that you can also fit any thicker plate inside. Whether it be standard Hesco 441 or LA Police Gear Level 4 Plates, it will fit well to the LV-119.

How does the System Work?

The LV119 Plate Carrier System is an adaptable and scalable plate carrier system. Users can mix and match accessories for most cases according to their liking. It is possible to customize a covert plate carrier with your choice of cummerbands and hooks. You don’t buy an entire plate carrier; instead, you choose what you need from the website. 

For example, to build an LV-119 Overt Plate Carrier, you must select its components. Get the overt plate bag front and rear. Then, add an elastic or strap cummerbund where you put your standard AR-556 Mags. These cummerbunds will also adjust to a variety of objects, both regular and unusual in shape.

Spiritus is very hands-on as well with how to attach and use their products. To make your life easier, follow the Spiritus attachment guidelines if you’re not a pro. Lastly, you’ll also need a shoulder cover trifold and ITW clips for placard attachments. But then, it is up to you how you go about doing it and what components you will use for your own setup. 

As we’ve discussed, the modular features of the LV-119 allow you to use it as both overt and covert. All in all, the LV-119 plate carrier comes with everything you’ll need to get going. You can add side plate bags for even extra protection as you wish. But one drawback is availability. Because products aren’t always in stock, you’ll have to put your kit together piece by piece. The parts that you need for a particular setup are extremely difficult to get. The process of putting everything together may also take several months. 

Who is this For?

Vogel and Holroyd both had faced equipment failure during their military days. They had issues with the quality of their gears. It varied from chest rigs to duffle bags that were either given to them or bought. Thus, Spiritus is a firm that makes no compromises. Its market is individuals looking for practical gear for shooting or military use. 

Moreover, soldiers make up the majority of Spiritus’ customers. The company is also extending its government contracts. But plate carriers are becoming more and more common. As a result, civilians can now wear it if the situation requires it or if they simply want to look cool. 

You can order the components directly from the manufacturer’s website. You may also contact their customer care staff to find out how long a specific element will be available.

Spiritus Systems LV-119 Components

The Spiritus LV-119 is undoubtedly a well-known plate carrier in the firearms business. It is a collection of products that work together to allow the users to scale their equipment to meet their needs. There are different components to the system. The following are some of the LV-119’s basic components:

LV-119 Rear Overt Plate Bag

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier LV-119 Rear Overt Plate Bag
Photo from the official site

The LV-119 Rear Overt Plate Bag costs $109.95. This Overt Rear Plate bag was designed for those who need a modular vest that can be worn in a variety of situations. It features a recovery handle that is fully integrated into the backplate bag. The back bag has basic MOLLE webbing and zippers for future integration as well.

Recovery Handle IntegrationAn improved drag handle that connects directly to the MOLLE compatible vest.
Back Panel SupportThe rear bag has MOLLE webbing and zippers, for integration with the zip-on panels.
Communication Cable RoutingThe overt has open shoulders to make routing cables easier.
Cummerbund AttachmentThe cummerbund attaches within the plate bag, creating a sleek profile.

LV-119 Front Overt Plate Bag

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier LV-119 LV-119 Front Overt Plate Bag
Photo from the official site

To complete your setup, you’ll need to purchase the Spiritus front overt plate bag, which costs $104.95. Of course, efficient operation of this front rare bag necessitates the use of a rear bag and a cummerbund. The overt front bag features a MOLLE field that doubles as a 6” x 3” Velcro Field.  End-User Devices (EUDs), such as those made by Kagwerks or Juggernaut Defense, can also be attached.

Placard and Chest Rig IntegrationRemovable 1 Inch ITW NEXUS Buckles allow for placard and chest rig integration.
Push To Talk SupportA PTT/ Porkchop Loop is standard on both sides of each overt front plate bag.
Communication Cable RoutingThe 1 Inch ITW NEXUS buckles on the chest provide modest routing points, to make PTT routing simple.

LV-119 Rear Covert Plate Bag

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier LV-119 Rear Covert Plate Bag
Photo from the official site

For those who need to wear hard plates, the Covert Rear Plate Bag offers a low-profile option. You also need a front bag and cummerbund for proper operation. There are no placards, shoulder covers, or other accessories included. The LV-119 rear covert plate bag costs $79.95 and comes in medium, large, and extra-large sizes.

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Elastic Velcro Cummerbund

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Elastic Velcro Cummerbund
Photo from the official site

This cummerbund allows the user to access other gears while remaining low-profile. The 3″ wide elastic cells in this cummerbund are made to cater to standard 5.56 magazines like the PMAGs. The benefit of an elastic cummerbund is that it reduces user fatigue when worn for long periods of time. The Elastic Velcro Cummerbund cost $74.95.

Single Strap Velcro Cummerbund

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Single Strap Velcro Cummerbund
Photo from the official site

A 1-inch strap is an option to fasten your plate carrier. You can use it when you don’t need to carry any more equipment in your cummerbund. This single strap cummerband is great when used in conjunction with a chest rig. It’s also low profile and offers superior ventilation. The Single Strap Velcro Cummerband costs $29.95.

MOLLE Velcro Cummerbund

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier MOLLE Velcro Cummerbund
Photo from the official site

The MOLLE webbing on both sides of this cummerbund allows you to connect to other pieces of gear. The cummerbund uses the widely used MOLLE system to provide limitless mission configurations. This cummerband is composed of high-quality materials for maximum adjustability and stability. This one costs $63.95 and is obviously more expensive than the single strap cummerband.  

Spiritus Systems offers a wide choice of gears to suit every need. Thus, users have a variety of accessories to choose from. Aside from the items listed above, they also sell placards, hooks, Senco belts, and pouches. All these components range in price from $8 to $200 on their website.

Quality and Construction

The company invests in state-of-the-art technology to increase efficiency and precision. Spiritus is one of the first producers in the state to use the Juki line of intelligent sewing machines. It is an automated cutting machine that helps in precision and gets the job done easier. The company also incorporates American-made materials to follow a federal mandate.

These plate carriers also come in a camouflage pattern. This pattern type should be appropriate for the environments in which you intend to wear it. For instance, the LV-119 Rear Overt Plate Bags come in Black, Coyote Brown, Multicam, Multicam arid, Multicam Black, Multicam Tropic, Ranger Green, Wolf Grey, and Woodland (M81). It’s evident that they put a lot of effort into providing a wide range of color selections. The plate bags are also available in Medium, Large, and Extra-Large sizes.

The LV-119 is quite comfortable. The nylon materials are strong and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Because of its lightweight design, you will not feel any unpleasant bulk. Thus, LV-119 is a wonderful alternative if you’re seeking a comfy plate carrier. 

How to Fit your Spiritus LV-119

This plate carrier isn’t a one-size-fits-all armor. But, the carrier was made to accommodate US Standard Issue SAPI cut plates, but it can work with other cuts as well. The bags can hold thicker plates, but they will not fit plates that do not meet the specifications:

 Measurement (Inches)
Medium10" x 12.5"
Large10.25" x 13.25"
Extra Large11" x 14.00"
ThicknessMax of 1.20"
Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier A Ballistic Level 4 Plate
A Ballistic Level 4 Plate from LA Police Gear

Putting on the carrier is easy. While standing, the front plate should be level with the top of your sternum. The backplate ideally sits an inch below your vertebral prominence. If you’re using the tube’s cummerband, simply insert the tube’s connection into the plate carrier’s front and you’re done. Pulling the tab on the side of the tube to release the cummerband is all it takes to remove the carrier. The shoulder strap, however, is lacking QDs.

The entire system works well with whatever firearm you have. When firing with your rifle, the LV-119 does not interfere with the cheek weld. When moving outward, the tiny shoulder pad does not interfere with your shoulder. And this plate carrier is exceptionally comfortable when lying prone. The basic nylon design is light and airy, making it appear as though there is nothing inside.

LV-119 Installation

Assembly is simple. To begin, join the front and rear bags with the greasy shoulder strap. Then, one by one, secure your shoulder straps and attach the cummerbund with the bungees. That, right there, is the difficult part. But, you can watch the video below to learn how to properly install it. Finally, once the cummerband is in place, all you have to do now is add your MK2 pouches and you’re ready to go.

Ease of Use

The LV-119 was built solely with the professional end-user in mind. It means that anyone who uses this plate carrier should be able to put an end to all of their gear problems. Spiritus is on your side! 

The Spiritus LV-119 Overt Plate Carrier is a simple option that is very slick. It comes with some ergonomic and cable management features. It includes a very simple Velcro closure system and it works quite well. Due to its MOLLE Velcro, the front plate bag has more choices than covert for you to insert whatever you desire in it. If you use an elastic cummerband, it comes with pouches already attached. So you don’t have to purchase them separately to make your system work. The backplate bag is also simple in design. It also has zippers for Spiritus back panel system attachment. 

The LV-119 performs admirably in terms of ease of use. I never claim that this is the best plate carrier, but it is quite functional when it comes to using. There are many less-priced alternatives, but the LV-119 is a safe bet. The modularity of this one is what you’re paying for. Besides, the structure is excellent. So it doesn’t matter if you’re going to use it for work or for fun. It will not disappoint you.

What Else on the Market that Competes?

You have many choices that might compete with Spiritus. First is the Ferro Concepts FCPC V5. It is a Ferro feature-rich type carrier. It is more comfortable than Spiritus due to the pivot, but it is also a more complex plate carrier. The FCPC V5 is a base system that includes a front and rear plate bag with MOLLE webbing and Velcro panels. Unlike the LV-119, it already has a base to which cummerband and other equipment can be attached. Its price is $267, which is a little bit higher than the Spiritus. The LV-119 plate carrier system is only around $214 with its overt rear and front bag combined. But, if you’re looking for a more slick option, the Spiritus would be a better choice for that function.​

Spiritus Systems LV119 Plate Carrier Ferro Concepts FCPC V5
 Image by Coolflat GunCarrier of Flickr

The Defense Mechanisms Mission Essential Plate Carrier is the next in line (MEPC). It’s a very slick set up and the construction is nice and simple. It features the same Velcro shoulder straps as the Spiritus. The Spiritus has a more canted outwards strap, which is also comfortable. Other features include zippered admin pocket, a MOLLE loop, and a 3D mesh liner for added comfort. Any Velcro cummerband available on the market is also compatible with the MEPC. This plate carrier is less expensive than the Spiritus, costing only $150 for the same base.

Is It Worth the Price?

As you add the components to finish your LV-119, the total configuration cost may rise up. The price range is $600-$800 depending on the way you set it up. The LV-119 plain set-up with gears, kits, and pouches already cost more than $700, placards not yet added. It isn’t the cheapest option and the price range is comparable to Ferro which is around $800. But compared to Crye Precision’s, the Spiritus Systems LV-119 is way more expensive.

Also, keep in mind that they are the only place to get the majority of the items you’ll need to finish your setup. Sadly, they designed the system in such a way that other brands’ components may not fit.  So, if you ask me, is it worth the money? You are, after all, paying for modularity and high build quality. I’d say that’s exactly what you’re getting.

To Sum Up

Plate carriers are one of the most crucial pieces of gear you can have. They can be highly beneficial in many situations. The LV-119 and its accessories are well worth the money! With its clean minimalist design and numerous customization options, the LV-119 will not disappoint.

What do you say about the Spiritus gears? Please let us know in the comments section below!

Also, check out the following articles on gear, clothes, and armor:

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