So I want you all to take a moment with me and think a little bit different about the way we've all been approaching attaching the armor to the vest. I know there's been about a half a dozen ways to do this, but I've always thought that there has to be another way that might be a little easier and less time consuming...so of course I thought - MAGNETS
I know, I know you're probably thinking "How in the heck can you make that work?" Well, let me now show you
I went online and found some really strong (probably even too strong) magnets that will fit right inside the armor.
(Here are the two websites I use mainly, but I'm sure there are a lot others -
http://apexmagnets.com/ and http://www.magnet4less.com/)
These are 12-16 pounders if I remember correctly, but after doing this I can honestly say that you'll easily get away with using 5-7 pounders if you decide to go this route...
After that, I attached 5 to each chest plate and 6 to the ab....with the corresponding pieces, that comes to a total of 22 magnets!
I used some trusty Devcon plastic welder and they're not comin' off! (or your adhesive of choice)
Sanded down the areas first of course
After that was done, all I had to do was line it up on the vest and throw the magnets on the back of it. The best part is that if it's not lined up, you can just move them around a little to exactly where you need them and you're not having to mangle the vest or sew anything or punch holes or anything! (vest courtesy of LSFU). Also, if you want to wash your vest, you just need to take them off. Now there is one catch though, I won't be able to do the collar this way because of the way it likes to pull back towards your throat and the magnets won't prevent that, they'll just slide (note - I haven't actually tried that with magnets, just assuming here)...that piece will have to be done with either snaps or, in this case, I'll be doing mine with bolts. Pics below
I did run into some issues with the magnets that I didn't think through enough (which is why I'm showing you here so you don't have the same problem) but I got that part figured out. They were actually SO strong that they were pulling the armor over itself. I thought I was really screwed until I came up with a rather simple solution...just cut out some pieces of thin metal to stabilize the magnets between the plates and keep them from grabbing onto each other.
Here's what I did for the collar seeing as how magnets would likely just slide and not keep the collar from pulling back choking me
Now for the pros and cons of doing it this way -
The bad news, these were EXPENSIVE, running me right around just under $100 with shipping (Note - you can probably save quite a few bucks by going with a lower pull strength as magnets seemed to be priced depending on that. I went overkill on these pull strengths (10lbs). 5-7lbs [and 2-4 for the diamond] in smaller sizes should be more than enough to hold the armor on the vest)
The good news, you will only ever do this one time and they won't EVER wear out and you won't have to do anything to the vest itself, keeping it in better shape for a longer period of time. Plus it took me only about 20 minutes to do this.