Designed by CRYE Precision, the CPC (CAGE Plate Carrier) has become one of the most valued plate carriers of the moment, even surpassing the execelent LBT6094 according to some.
Features that provided it this high esteem among users from all around the world aren’t negible: provides a good amount of protection and load capacity without sacrifying its comfort.
Because of th big popularity, demand and Crye Precision‘s limited production makes this vest difficult to obtain, leaving us the two options: paying inflated prics on eBa or wait for months until thre’s new stock.
In this post we’ll be reviewing the NCPC (Navy CAGE Plate Carrier) an alternative version manufactured to fulfill DevGru requisites. It has some differences like the Airlite cummerbund.
You can read CPC user manual on this link.
First thing we note is the lightness. For an armor-style plate carrier weight is very even to FLYYE 6094 (with dummy SAPIs, 6094K front panel and two pouches). Fabric is the same on both vests: Cordura 500D.
Another significant difference with FLYYE are the velcros. Semapo velcro is softer and less rigid, detaching it is easier and quieter.
Cummerbund velcro is attached at the bottom of the front panel, under the kangaroo pouch like in most of modern vests.
Unlike LBT, NCPC kangaroo has the minimal amount of velcro to keep it closed if we don’t need it. I’m unsure of why Crye (and by extension their replicas) puts the knot of the elastic cords over the opening, that way mags get caught on them sometimes.
Crye NCPC advantage over LBT 6094 is not having to buy aditional pouches but internal dividers limits us to only use 5’56 STANAG mags (unless modified).
The kangaroo in this NCPC front panel isn’t sewn directly at the end of the velcro but a bit igher instead. That way you can easily open it without removing mags from kangaroo inserts.
This is a feature tat I really appreciate and the reason I’m running a 6094K front panel with my FLYYE 6094.
On the upper half of the front panel we see the first difference with standard CPC: it has two horizontal molle rows at each side of the velcro (to attach PTTs) while normal CPC has on vertical and horizontal strap. U94 PTT is one of th most common PTTs among DevGru members and fits perfectly on the horizontal molle. Normal webbing provides a better compatibility with different types of PTT clamps.
In this part we also have velcro combined with MOLLE, identical to LBT 6094. Under the molle there’s an administrative pouch with elastic loops inside. It’s almost as wide as the panel, being quite large.
-A molle row, to attach groin protection (I figure).
-Velcro to choose in wich side we want the shoulder buckle, manufactured by ITW Nexus. This buckle makes it easier to equip and unequip the vest, especially when wearing a helmet.
-Two webbing loops for the stabilizing tabs.
Tabs have an inner face of velcro. That way we can get one closed over the loop and leave it that way so we don’t have to adjust the harness each time we wear the NCPC.
In this picture we see the spandex fabric on the SAPI pouches to provide a better fit for diverse plates. I’m using Toy Soldier dummy plates, ize M which fit perfectly. We also can see the zipper for Crye’s Zip-n system.
I liked the shoulder pads design: there’s no need to remove them to adjust the length and include two velcro loops for a better securing of tubes and wires.
On the shoulder straps we have the emergency doffing cords. Pulling one cord away we’ll get the Semapo NCPC off in a matter of seconds. Pulling both cables away the NCPC comes off faster (as I do in the video) but rear platedetachs from harness complitely and we’ll need a few minutes to mount the vest again.
On the negative side shoulder pads are a little difficult to adjust because it has two straps, each attached to one of the panels. Metal rings on the rear panel are engraved with “Semapo” where real CPC says Crye Precision.
Zippers are manufactured by YKK and provide a quick way to change between different configurations. While Semapo doesn’t offer Zip-On panels, Semapo NCPC is fully compatible with Crye Precision real panels and obviousl compatible clones. There are 3 different options: MOLLE, 40MM + utility and backpack.
As I said, these Zip-On panels are a confortable option but costly and add some extra wight.
Backpanel also has a difference with the normal CPC: the lack of velcro for IFF patches.
We have yet to see the harness and cummerbund.
Vest is held together by the harness. It features two integrated radio pouches in wich i managed to fit a Z-Tactical PRC-152. This dummy is bigger than any other PRC-148 or PRC-152 replicas so any radio will fit without problem. We can use thi pouches to cary two STANAG mags, a pistol or even the “pirate cannon” version of M79 grenade launcher.
On the harness and close to the back panel we see this knobs for Crye’s Precision StKSS system, designed to transfer part of vest’s weight to a waist belt. We also find some molle to attach the Airlite cummerbund. If we decided not tu s it a small pouch will fit into it (single mag or grenade pouches).
Semapo NCPC includes two spandex mag pouches. They’re really light but the fabric isn’t elastic like Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed pouches. PMAGs are the best option because of its surface. Flat mags are loose.
Spandex mags attach via velcro straps to the inner side of the harness. While these pouches have some velcro it isn’t doesn´t reach the minimum to be mounted on te Airlite cummerbund.Once ready we put the pads back into the velcro over the poches straps. Pads use micro-velcro and are firmly hooked. Over the backpanel both halves of the harness are tied by an elastic cord which we can tight or loose to adjust harness waist size.
Unlike Crye AVS platform NCPC can’t be used without the harness because shoulder straps attach to it and not to the back panel.
Most noticeable difference ith standard CPC is the Airlite cummerbund, just like JPC. This “skeletonized” cummerbund is basically composed of three molle rows providing a better ventilation. When tightened the cummerbnd will pres against harness improving the retention on harness pouches.
Semapo NCPC front panel overlying FLYYE 6094. This NCPC is size M (it’s available in L too) and it’s smaller. Flyye labels 6094 as M but they actually fit L plates.
Here we have an AOR1 pattern comparison. Flyye is on th left with reddish colours . Semapo on the right uses real AOR1 500D Cordura. Webbing seams are at par with Flyye’s.
We reached a difficult point in the review. The problem with small gear brands is they often don’t own the heavy machinery that allows them to sew with the adequate strength for the hobby. Just out of the box I’ve seen some frayd seams. Reinforced seams on stress points like webbing look good.
On the field
I’vr used NCPC for first time on a CQB and comfort as been more than proven. The pasive cooling channels work great too, I get warm easily (and sweat a lot with my 6094) but with this NCPC my body temperature was at a perfect level all game long.
Mags in the kangaroo are covered by the pouch almost completely so I decided to use Magpuls, but I recomend putting some foam inside the kangaro to raise mags an inch or so.
Like I said, Semapo used original materials (UTX, ITW, YKK, Cordura) to provide increased durability and a more accuratte replica of Crye Precision CPC. Fabric and webbinng are original AOR1.
Semapo has done a great job replicating all Crye’s features: it’s comfortable, light, airy and with a big load capacity. My only complain are the weak seams I’ve found in some points.
Priced around 350$ for this AOR1 pattern the price is adeqate. Real NCPC is almost impossible to get, hitting 5000$ on last auctions. We are paying for something built with original materials and excluiveness of not wearing a 6094 like everyone else.
VGC sells the only other NCPC replica with real AOR1 but for 430$ and with a non-existing stock. Other brands like SolidFox and Flyye produce the CPC version with prices between 190$ and 270$.
I will recommend this vest to anyone wanting a comfortable plate carrier, an alternative to 6094 for an APR1 loadout or people who can¡t fford real CPC.