The threats that we need protection from have drastically changed over the course of time. From the heavy, steel plated armor that covered soldiers from head to toe during the Medieval era was iterated upon until we came upon the bulletproof vests that we comfortably use today. We adapt and innovate things when necessary. The main goal of wearing body armor is to maintain the necessary level of protection from firearms while preserving mobility and flexibility.
There are lines of work that require protection to keep yourself safe from injuries that sometimes can be potentially fatal. Thus, you need to have the knowledge on how to choose the best body armor to invest in as it just might be the difference between life and death. Here's some information about body armor and what to consider when purchasing personal protection.
Deciding Which Armor Plates Are For You
When we invest in personal protection, we have several factors to consider. It is essential to think deeply about these decisions as it can mean the difference between life and death. Usually, there are two primary factors to consider; the level of protection you need, and the type of mobility required in your line of work while using the armor.
Soft Level IIIA Armor
The Soft Level IIIA Armor is a soft body armor made of hard materials. It is the universally recommended bulletproof vest. It provides protection from .44 Magnum and Submachine Gun 9mm. Most handgun threats and Type I, Type II, and Type II-A threats are handled well with Soft Level IIIA Armor.
It provides the highest level of protection among concealable body armor suitable for routine wear. Moreover, additional armor plates provide maximum protection to the wearer.
Standard Steel Body Armor
The Standard Steel Body Armor is the cheapest and heaviest. These armor plates are capable of handling multiple hits and it can be struck in the same place twice. It is the kind of steel that is used for shooting targets. Moreover, the steel provides high concealment, as it has a thin layer yet stops rifle threats.
Some cons of the standard steel body armor is its vulnerability to high-velocity guns like M855 or M193. The energy will pass through the steel and into the wearer’s body. When the steel is struck at crucial places, it might break your bones or cause internal bleeding. Moreover, spalling is also a major concern with steel bulletproof vests. Fragmentations might go into your legs, arms, or chin.
Level IV Polyethylene Armor
The Level IV Polyethylene Armor has the most advanced rating for body armor as it provides the highest protection. It is designed to resist “armor piercing” rifles like a 30-06 caliber that impacts 868 m/s or less. Moreover, the armor plates are ceramic providing single-shot protection. With its capacity to resist most rifle strikes, it warrants protection for tactical situations. However, it is bulky and heavy, limiting the mobility of the wearer.
Lightweight Body Armor
The Lightweight Body Armor is made from synthetic fabrics with soft composite armor plates. It has an NIJ safety rate up to threat Level 3 III. This type of body armor has a comparable weight than other armor plates. Thus, it gives the wearer maximum comfort and mobility with Level III protection.
It is necessary to know the comfort, weight, mobility, and protection level of the bulletproof vest we wish to purchase. However, we also take the cost into consideration. Body armors offered at Bulletproof Zone range from $76 to $360. If you have a greater budget, you will have more options in choosing the suitable body armor.
Important Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Body Armor
Sometimes, when we think of purchasing protective gear, we often become complacent. We most likely think that it is safe because it is entirely bulletproof. However, we should understand that it is crucial to consider some specific standards when it comes to choosing the best option for body armor.
Level of protection
You have to assess the threats you face every day. Will you only get cuts? Or will you encounter bullets?
It is a must that you should be honest with yourself that you need protection. More so, you should only trust protective body armor when you have already done testing it for some specific threats. It is unlikely to make assumptions that bulletproof vests or any armor plates will take the cuts and risks for you.
Level of comfort
The level of comfort depends on the weight and mobility the plate can offer to the wearer. More weight does not mean more protection. Polyethylene, a lightweight plate is more efficient than ceramic plates, remember?
Trauma pads that provide the ultimate protection cost more expensive.
Make sure to get a fit, tested, and certified armor. Do not settle for loose armors to make yourself comfortable.
We have to conceal our body armor. Thus, you will need the type of plate armor that suits the weather. You do not want a heavy and thick plate on a hot summer, don't you?
Everything needs care and maintenance, and some need more attention. You have to be careful not to throw or fold your vests. If you notice a curve beginning to form or the seal is punctured, you have to replace it. The cuts and curve on the ballistic materials will inevitably affect its protective performance.
You need to expect that protective gear is expensive. But, investing in these body armors is like buying another day of your life. When you allot enough money for this, you can upgrade the protective coating of your armor.
Best Option for Body Armor
AR500 Body Armor with Spall and Fragmentation Coating
AR500 Armor is one of the best options that you can take for body armor. Their armor plates go through a series of processes that ensures they are incredibly durable and guaranteed to protect you. More so, the texture of the vest grips the plate and hold it in position while you are moving.
It has a base coat and build-up coat upgrade that will make you feel secure on the battlefield, knowing it has mitigation properties. You should remember that the effectiveness of these properties may still vary according to different variables and conditions.
AR500 body armor has a spall and fragmentation coating on its base coat purposely designed to protect the armor and the wearer. It cannot fully contain the impact, but it can absorb and alter the severity of the impact away from the wearer.
Meanwhile, the build-up coat provides an extra-thick layer to the armor plate. It has an additional thickness by approximately half an inch and an extra heaviness of a quarter of a pound. This upgrade provides the ultimate protection from spall and fragmentation. Do not mind the additional size and weight. It surely helps a lot in protecting your body.
Decide What Is Best For Your Needs
There are several types of body armor to choose from, and there are a number of factors to consider in purchasing a bulletproof vest. You have to take into consideration the mobility, protection, cost, and work environment in choosing the best option. Nevertheless, it is your personal decision based on the needs and circumstances you face every day. Thus, carefully consider the factors.