What is a Bulletproof Vest?
A bulletproof vest, also known as a ballistic vest, kevlar vest, or bullet proof body vest, is a popular type of body armor. It provides ballistic protection by absorbing the impact of bullets or projectiles to protect the body.
While body armor covers a wide range of ballistic protection equipment, bullet proof vests typically only covers the torso. It is specifically designed to distribute the bullet’s energy and to decrease the chances of blunt force trauma through the deformation of the slug.
The most common type of bulletproof vest incorporates the use of soft armor ballistic panels in the front and back with NIJ level II, level IIA, or level IIIA protection and is primarily used by law enforcement, security guards, and private citizens.
Those who are frequently exposed to threats from rifle rounds or armor piercing bullets like active shooter rescue teams or special mission units on the other hand use bullet proof vests or Plate Carriers in conjunction with hard body armor plates that have an NIJ Level III (level 3) to Level IV (level 4) protection level.
Are they really bullet proof?
While ballistic vests provide substantial protection from projectiles, it's better to think of them as bullet resistant rather than bullet proof. Bullet proof vests can come in various quality and protection levels to fit every need and price.
Their level of protection also depends on the material of the ballistic panels and the type of combat it is designed for. While the most popular type is a Kevlar vest that usually offers protection from level IIA to Level IIIA threats, you can also find bullet proof vests with additional pockets that can be inserted with hard armor made of ceramic or steel ballistic panels for protection similar to a plate carrier.
Before purchasing a bullet proof vest, much like any other body armor equipment, you should consider who will be using it, and for what situations.
Who uses bulletproof vests?
A bullet proof vest is the core piece of body armor equipment for any tactical loadout and is utilized by various professionals such as:
- Active military
- Law enforcement officers / Police Officers
- Private Security
- Security Guards
Is it legal to own a bulletproof vest?
In most places in the United States, it is also legal for civilians to own and wear body armor and bullet proof vests.
They are now extremely popular amongst enthusiasts, preppers and survivalists, even average people worried about active shooter situations as they can provide the most basic ballistic protection not only in life threatening situations but also for every day use.
What can bullet proof vests protect me from?
Body armor protection levels are rated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), with level III (3) and level IIIA (3A) ballistic armor panels, most often soft body armor, being some of the most popular for their versatility and level of protection.
Note that the higher the protection level, the heavier the armor plate usually becomes. Some people may opt for as low as NIJ level II (2) protection if they only expect handgun rounds and knives as a threat.
Keep in mind the caliber or the weapon you might face though. While NIJ level II (2) may do fine against a 9mm handgun, it is much less effective against higher caliber ones such as a .44 magnum that Level IIIA soft armor offers. Also, keep in mind that not all bullet proof vests or kevlar vest are stab proof or spike proof.
Most body armor manufacturers include additional armor plate pockets so that the wearer can add hard body armor plates up to a level IV to his bullet proof vest to increase the ballistic protection level as well as stab proof capabilities similar to how plate carriers function.
Bullet proof vests are most often associated with Kevlar, and a Kevlar vest is one of the more popular types you can find. Nowadays you can find bullet proof vests made from a variety of materials. From kevlar vests, to ceramic body armor, and hard steel armor, there are many different choices to fit your threat level requirements.
Choosing the best bulletproof vest for your needs
Here at Bulletproof Zone, we want to make sure that every purchase you make with us is a wise investment in you and your family's security. Hence, we've put together a comprehensive guide on how to find the best bulletproof vest which will undoubtedly come in handy, especially in a life-or-death situation.
We partnered with top quality brands for body armor like BulletSafe, Protection Group Denmark, SafeGuard Armor, Spartan Armor Systems, and AR500 Armor to ensure you have access to only the highest quality Bullet Proof Vests and other Ballistic Body Armor. Invest in your safety with our Body Armor Packages for law enforcement, military, and civilians who need protection against higher-level threats.