I run a commercial copy of esapi plates front and back with 3A soft armor for the cumberbund/side panels. I absolutely cannot stand hard armor side plates and they put the weight over my limit. you put that much weight on and you cant balance much at all. Guess I should weigh my setup. I could be at 28lbs.
While I absolutely would love to carry more, I only carry 4 rifle mags on my vest to keep it light, and a couple pistol. A couple mags can go on my belt as well but most go in bandoleers. Ever see the afghans in a firefight? they are wearing sandals and pajamas but somehow never seem to run out of ammo. Bandoleers is the way. Plus you can hand them off to resupply, stash them under a seat or slung over your back. I always thought they were goofy til my first deployment, when they became invaluable when it was all I had.
While I do have an ACH, Id likely wear a bump helmet just for using some of my NVGs. I also have a loaner set for my woman or a buddy. Hoping to set up another vest or two soon. Id like to have them paired with certain guns. Like one set up to hold RPD belts (m249 SAW boxes) and one to hold 9mm SMG mags for the suppressed 9mm AR.