First Look: Paraclete's Origin Armor is Ready for Any Mission

Paraclete’s new Origin tactical armor line lets operators scale up or scale down their protection based on mission demands.

David Griffith 2017 Headshot

Paraclete’s new Origin system allows officers to create a variety of tactical armor options, including a low-visibility vest, a plate carrier, and a full-protection tactical vest. (Photo: Point Blank Enterprises)Paraclete’s new Origin system allows officers to create a variety of tactical armor options, including a low-visibility vest, a plate carrier, and a full-protection tactical vest. (Photo: Point Blank Enterprises)

Back about 20 years ago during the aftermath of 9/11 and the beginnings of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Paraclete Armor rose to prominence as makers of state-of-the-art tactical body armor for military and law enforcement special units. Today, Paraclete is the tactical armor brand of Point Blank Enterprises (PBE), and Point Blank’s developers and designers are building a new kind of tactical armor concept that the company has trademarked as Origin.

Michael Haynes, director of product and brand development for PBE, says the new tactical armor line was called “Origin” because it takes Paraclete back to its roots of making innovative tactical armor. “We wanted to position Paraclete back on the leading edge of tactical armor,” Haynes says.

The Origin product line grew out of a request from the military for Paraclete to produce a ballistic mantle, the shoulder pad-looking piece that surrounds the neck and protects the upper torso, and biceps. That mantle is now the hub of the Origin tactical armor system. “It can be worn under virtually any plate rack,” Haynes says. “Different iterations of the Origin system can be added to the mantle based on mission needs.”

Operators can make three types of tactical armor carriers using the Origin system’s mantle as a foundation. They can build a low-visibility vest for undercover or task force operations; an external plate carrier for warrant service applications; and a full coverage tactical vest for breaching, standoffs, and hostage situations. “SWAT team commanders can now get one platform that can scale up or down to meet mission demands,” Haynes says.

The Origin system includes the following components: ballistic mantle, telescopic bicep deltoid, reversible ID panels, laser cut MOLLE-compatible panels, adjustable cummerbund, belt system, arterial groin protection, three-part thigh protection, and posterior protection.

Each of the components has features to help tactical officers operate more safely, execute their missions more effectively, and move more naturally. For example, the ballistic mantle features a storage pocket that gives officers access to throat protection, even if they choose not to wear it. “Some teams love throat protection, but some teams hate it. They often leave the throats in their vehicles,” Haynes says. “Our throat is actually integrated into the mantle. And if you don’t want it for whatever reason, you can stow it in the pocket on the back of the mantle. That way if you need it you have it.”

Origin’s design innovations are not limited to the features of the components. It’s actually constructed differently than other tactical armor. “If you look at the Origin platform, you’re not going to see the stitching everywhere that you would see it on a normal tactical vest. Instead, you’ll see reinforcing rivets that are stronger than top stitching or even double stitching in the high stress areas,” Haynes says.

Paraclete Origin debuted at this year’s Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. And even though the show’s attendance was reduced by pandemic concerns, Haynes says interest from SWAT operators and commanders was high at the show and is increasing.

Economics is one reason why some agencies are interested in the Origin, according to Haynes. One SWAT team lieutenant who consulted on the project inquired about the cost and Haynes did not yet have an answer. “The SWAT commander replied, ‘OK. Does it cost less than three vests because this is going to replace three different vests that my guys have to have now,’” Haynes says.

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