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Review: Warrior Trail ESAPI Training Plates

I’m sure by now you’re pretty familiar with the saying, “Train like you fight.” For police, military, preppers, and soon to be first responders, in some areas that is going to include the use of plates in the near future. Your movement with plates changes based upon where they sit, what carrier you are using, and what you have either attached or over them. Your activity can either hindered by just the weight addition or due to the lack of mobility. Regardless of your challenges, if you’re not training with them, you’re just cheating your body. When it comes time to do your deed, you will be ill-equipped due only to your own failures in training. That being said, whenever possible, I train in plates. This was the main reason I was so excited to find the Warrior Trail Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) Training Plates ($65 – $170).


Warrior Trail ESAPI Training Plates come in three sizes.

Our issued plates in the military are made of a ceramic material and can be fractured, broken, or shattered. I remember after my IED incident, they required my plates to be sent back and X-rayed. Thankfully they just issued me a new set so I didn’t have to accompany them to the rear. The cost of these plates is high as you would expect for something that saves your life under direct incoming fire. The problem with that is simple. You want to save them for when you need them, not just bounce them off the concrete for fun. So how do you train like you fight, but not risk breaking your plates? You head over to Warrior Trail and grab a set of ESAPI Training Plates that not only save your bank account, but also your kit.

warrior trail esapi training plates

Note the large disclaimer sticker and hole in center mass denoting these are for training purposes only.

Warrior Trail has engineered their ESAPI Training Plates to replicate the size, shape, weight, and rigidity of real ballistic ESAPI plates. The small ESAPI Training Plates are light blue, the medium are white, and the large plates are grey. Each plate has a whole drilled through the center of mass to clearly mark the plates for “Training Use Only.” The colors are infused throughout the product allowing sizes to be visually sorted for ease of cleaning, storage, and accountability.

Plan and train for the worst, but hope for the best. I have had a set of the Warrior Trail ESAPI Training Plates in my workout kit for a few years now and they have yet to give me any issues. They hold their shape (and weight thankfully!) and fit just like my issued plates. This allows me to keep a sanitized set of kit in my weight room. So when the mood hits, I can toss them on and go. On top of that, keeping a sanitized set allows me to run in public without scaring the tar out of the neighbors. To date I’ve gotten soaked in them, gotten cold in them, and got them more than covered in sweat with zero issues. So if you want to train like you fight, head over to Warrior Trail and get yourself some!

Written by

Logan Rogue, of <a href="http://roguedynamics.com">Rogue Dynamics</a>, has served in the US Army for nearly two decades and is an avid adventurer and outdoorsman. He’s plied his trade and craft in Africa, Southeast Asia, and in most backwoods across the United States. When not enjoying getting lost on purpose, he is probably out at the range trying out the latest optics, finding the perfect coffee blend, or drinking any number of beverages from a Viking horn. He is the living embodiment of “the beaten path is for beaten people” and beyond the adventures, testing gear, or designing patches and shirts, Logan can be found in quieter times talking comics & philosophy of Athena, “letting the children be free and see what the world may be.”

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