This is our comprehensive guide to the Best Body Armor. This article will explore the top-rated body armor options available in the market.
From bulletproof vests to plate carriers, we will provide detailed insights to help you make an informed decision regarding protecting yourself or others in high-risk situations.
Introduction to Body Armor
Like many others my age, I’ve worn body armor almost my entire adult life. Because many have been a military service member or law enforcement, body armor is quite normal for many in their 30s.
But no matter your experience or comfort level, body armor can be for you and is excellent to have in a pinch.
What is Body Armor?
Body armor is a protective armor designed to deflect or absorb physical attacks, namely bullets and ended weapons.
According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), it’s often associated with a ballistic vest, providing crucial ballistic protection to the vital organs in the torso area.
Typically, body armor is worn to stop bullets, but some are also effective at preventing bladed attacks.
Importance of Owning a Body Armor
Owning body armor is important for anyone in risky fields such as law enforcement, security, or the military.
Protection comes first in these jobs. A bulletproof vest or tactical vest can be a lifesaver in situations involving gunfire, knives, or traps.
But it’s not just them – anyone can use a layer of extra protection in today’s sometimes unpredictable world. Be proactive – it’s better to have armor and not need it than need it and not have it!
Top Rated Body Armor
Freedom Concealable Multi-Threat Vest
The Freedom Concealable Multi-Threat Vest stands out, offering superior protection and comfort.
Rated for various threats, it holds strong against multiple rounds from handguns. The coverage on your torso and sides matches military-grade armor, while its compact design makes it super concealable – a great attribute for private security or journalists.
This vest also boasts strike and slash resistance without adding excess width to your frame. But keep in mind this very is soft armor, continue reading to learn more about the differences in soft armor and hard armor.
This vest is Made in the USA and is NIJ certified, so you can buy it confidently.
Mira Safety Tactical Level IV Armor Plate
Finally, the Mira Safety Tactical Level IV Armor Plate.
- Weighing just 5.9 lbs, it’s on par with the lightest level IV plates. That’s quite the achievement!
- It’s designed to stop, get this, armor-piercing ammunition. It withstood multiple armor-piercing battle rifle rounds.
- These plates offer more than just torso protection. It doubles as backpack armor, a bonus point to its versatility!
- Equally robust and affordable, it’s a relief on your back and wallet.
- One tidbit: it carries a 10-year extended guarantee.
We recommend this for anyone needing high-level ballistic protection that’s not too hefty. It serves in all situations, from a carrier vest to your travel backpack. Something you can trust when things go south!
AR500 Armor Level A3
Next up is the AR500 Armor Level 3A.
- Their Hybrid model is light – about 4.6 lbs. Easy to tote around, huh?
- It offers significant protection – fending off almost all pistol calibers up to .44 Magnum. Your safety is their concern.
- It’s customizable with its concealment carrier. Talk about a low-key feel!
- We like how it’s easily concealable. Pair it with a concealment carrier, and you disappear into the crowd.
- Worth every penny, right? Well, it’s affordably priced too! We’re talking about potential lifesaving gear here.
It comes highly recommended for individuals needing concealing, everyday wearable armor. This armor tops the list when tailor-made for safety plus comfort is required!
Spartan Armor Systems Omega Level III
The Spartan Armor Systems Omega Level III is a top-of-the-line body armor option.
Its strike and slash resistance provides excellent protection without sacrificing mobility.
Made in the USA and NIJ certified, this vest is a reliable choice for those seeking reliable ballistic protection.
You can get just the plates or buy them as a package with the plate carrier.
RTS Body Armor
The RTS Body Armor is another exceptional choice for reliable and comfortable body armor.
Offering a high level of protection, this armor ensures safety without compromising mobility.
Manufactured with precision and meet NIJ standards, it guarantees peace of mind regarding ballistic defense. Whether purchasing the plates individually or as part of a package with the plate carrier, the RTS Body Armor is a top contender in the market.
Choosing the Best Body Armor
Choosing the best body armor is crucial when it comes to personal safety. Here are some of the top things to look for before making a purchase.
NIJ Rating and Threat Levels
Understanding the NIJ rating system and threat levels is key when choosing body armor.
NIJ’s standards for body armor products are presented in terms of “threat or protection” levels.
These levels, numbered IIA, II, IIIA, III, and IV, indicate the degree of protection provided against firearm threats.
Levels IIA through IIIA typically denote soft armor designed for handgun protection, while levels III and IV denote hard armor intended for rifle threats.
Determining your personal needs and potential threats is essential to choose the correct armor level.
Body Armor Material Type
The choice of body armor material greatly influences its durability, comfort, and protection capability. Some common types include:
- Kevlar: A go-to for soft armor due to its flexibility, comfort, and robust defense.
- Polyethylene: Popular for its ability to absorb bullets upon impact.
- Steel: The classic choice, still used for ballistic armor plates.
- Ceramic: Lighter than steel and more affordable than polyethylene, suitable for hard armor.
Each material brings its unique set of pros and cons, but the right choice aligns with individual needs and threat assessment.
Remember, the armor’s job is to save your life – quality over cost always!
Sizing and Fitting of Body Armor
Proper fit is essential in body armor. Too loose or too tight may affect movement and comfort.
Importantly, incorrect size may compromise protection.
Manufacturers often offer sizes from small to extra-large, but be sure to check their sizing guide before purchasing.
Plate size is more critical for plate carriers, as it provides the actual protection.
A broad rule of thumb is that body armor should span from the top of your torso to a few inches above your waistline, providing ample protection regardless of your pose.
As in all things, fit for comfort, fit for life!
Body Armor Maintenance
Taking care of your body armor ensures it lasts longer and provides consistent protection.
Certain materials, like ceramic and some soft armor fabrics, demand extra attention. Moisture and extreme heat can disrupt the armor’s protective abilities, so avoid these conditions.
Store your armor properly when not in use. This means laying it flat or hanging it in a room where it’s free from direct sunlight, dirt, and moisture.
Never let it bunch up or roll, or put objects on top of it. When cleaning your carrier, always remove ballistic panels before throwing it into a washing machine.
Air dry is best. A spare armor comes in handy when your primary one is being cleaned. Always stay protected!
Comparing Different Types of Body Armors
Soft Armor vs. Hard Armor
Pondering body armor? You’ll encounter soft and hard types.
- Soft armor is flexible, incredibly strong fabric like Kevlar; negates pistol calibers, knives, and debris. Suited for comfort-seeking individuals, perhaps law enforcement on patrol.
- Hard armor is uncompromising; constructed from steel, ceramic, or polyethylene, it halts serious rifle rounds. More protective, albeit less concealable. Name it the frontline defense for high-threat environments.
Look, there are two basic kinds of body armor: soft armor and hard armor. Your choice must align with the expected threat, desired comfort, job requirement, and overall priorities. Choose wisely!
Advantages and Disadvantages
For body armor types, each method has its perks and downsides.
- Soft Armor:
- Advantages: Lightweight, comfortable, and highly concealable — great for long-wearing use.
- Disadvantages: Limited protection. They guard against lower-velocity bullets and knives, not high-velocity rifle rounds.
- Hard Armor:
- Advantages: Powerful protection! Stops a myriad of threats including high-velocity rifle rounds and armor-piercing ammunition.
- Disadvantages: Bulky and heavy. Not ideal for undercover operations or long-duration wear.
Balance these when selecting your armor. It’s about survival, after all. Always prioritize according to the threat level and requirements.
Tips on Making the Most Out of Your Body Armor
Proper Storage and Care of Body Armor
The longevity of your body armor is highly contingent on how you store and care for it.
- Storage: Always store armor flat or on a hanger in room-temperature conditions. Shield it from direct sunshine, humidity, and corrosives. Avoid setting objects atop it.
- Maintenance: Cleaning’s integral. For instance, most soft armor carriers can be machine-washed once ballistic panels are detached. Wipe the panels with a soap and water concoction.
Attention to these assures armor functionality and durability. Carrying a spare carrier won’t hurt. Switch to the clean one while washing the soiled. This ensures you never go unprotected. The mantra’s pretty straightforward here – care well, and the armor’s there for you.
Maximizing the Lifespan of Your Body Armor
Worried about the armor’s lifespan? They involve wear-and-tear factors, but you can extend them.
- All armor has an expiration date – typically 5 years for soft armor. Always check and abide by this.
- Rotate between two sets if wearing daily. Reduces the wear on one set and may improve overall lifespan.
- Regular inspection for cracks, deformation, frays, or issues with the carrier is a must. Replace if needed.
Remember, your armor protects you. In return, you need to treat it correctly. So, choose well and care better. If not used daily, armor lasts far beyond the ‘expiration’ date. Stay safe by staying vigilant to upkeep.
Final Decision: Picking the Right Body Armor
Encumbered by choices? I hear you. It’s about choosing a life-saving tool. The final decision falls on several variables.
- Understand your potential threats and environments. Is it small arms or high-speed rifles? Plan accordingly.
- Consider comfort, concealability and wear time. Can you bear the weight or prefer lighter, less protective gear?
Start from your mission requirements, your day-to-day needs, and the coexistence of comfort and protection. It’s not an easy decision. But with the information you have now, I have confidence you’ll make a wise one! Your security and comfort tops the priority list. Make sure it is so—every single time.
Keeping Your Confidence High with Body Armor
Body armor doesn’t just protect; it bolsters confidence too. Knowing you’re better equipped to handle danger bolsters self-assurance.
But remember: bulletproof armor doesn’t exist. Even with your armor, exercise extreme caution and vigilance. It doesn’t make you invincible, merely safer. Always remember that!
Body armor can provide an unparalleled level of protection. It keeps you safer and makes you confident. But, your safety shouldn’t be solely reliant on it. Stay aware, stay safe, and believe in your armor! It’s all about balance.
FAQs About Body Armor
Where can I buy body armor?
Reputable companies offer body armor online. If residing in Connecticut, you must buy it in person from a local dealer.
Can I wear body armor in public?
Yes, unless you’re a convicted felon. However, wearing body armor out in public may attract attention, and some businesses may deny you entry.
Who can wear body armor?
Virtually anyone who anticipates the need to defend themselves. This includes law enforcement, security personnel, journalists, hunters, and civilians.
What is the lifespan of body armor?
Depending on the type and care, body armor typically lasts 5-7 years. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How does body armor protect me?
Body armor works by absorbing the impact from bullets or blasts, preventing them from penetrating your body.
Is owning body armor legal?
Yes, in all fifty states across the U.S., body armor is legal for law-abiding citizens.
Are convicted felons allowed to wear body armor?
Federal law prohibits sale of body armor to convicted felons.
Are there any states where purchasing armor has restrictions?
Yes, Connecticut requires face-to-face purchases of body armor, prohibiting direct shipment to civilians.
Does body armor level affect legality?
No. No federal law dictates that certain levels of armor are prohibited for law-abiding citizens.
How heavy is Level IV body armor?
The weight of Level IV body armor varies – depending on the materials and design. But typically, modern plates range from around 4.5 lbs to hefty 8 pounds apiece. It’s the most protection you can get, yet it’s quite bulky. Understand that lighter equals pricey.
So, choose based on comfort, protection, and budget. Heavier isn’t better. If your armor’s too weighty to wear, it’s useless. Make the trade-off that works best for you!
Can civilians wear body armor?
Absolutely, civilians can wear body armor. It’s legal in all 50 US states! In fact, we heartily recommend it for some. The exceptions? Convicted felons can’t own body armor. Or people in Connecticut intending an online purchase. They’ll have to buy in-person. Always remember, while it’s legal now, check your local and state laws periodically. They may evolve. Stay lawful, folks! It’s your right, exercise it!
Purchasing body armor is an investment in personal safety – make your choices wisely.