The Target Man has developed the AR500 Omega Armor Trauma Plates to fill a low cost but effective niche. The plates are made of steel and have a Rhino Liner coating which weigh in at about 7lbs. a piece. With dimensions of 10"x12" at 1/2" thick they meet NIJ 06 Level III standards but have not yet been certified. At only $150 a set this makes armor attainable for even the most cash strapped amongst us. But having the armor is just one half of the equation; you need to be able to wear them.
Beez Combat Systems has developed a special plate carrier to accommodate the Steel AR500 Omega Armor Trauma Plates. Using a bottom load design with padded shoulder straps and 2" webbing and hardware on the waist straps; their new PC will offer a low profile and molle variant. Knowing how the guys at BCS roll I'm sure several other variations on color/setup are in the works. The new plate carrier will be available soon.