What is the difference between CORDURA® and polyurea and how does that difference impact the performance of rifle plates?

We consistently hear buyers and dealers ask some form of this question and so we decided to clear the confusion in the video below.

What is CORDURA® ballistic fabric?

We at ShotStop® selected CORDURA ballistic fabrics over many other options strictly based on performance and trust they have in the ballistics market. CORDURA is constructed using high tenacity fiber technologies and is exceptionally durable. After examining the situations our body armor buyers face, we believe CORDURA fabric best compliments the technology and protects our customers.

What is Polyurea?

Polyurea is an advanced spray-applied polymer that is fast curing with exceptional physical properties such as flexibility, durability, and chemical resistance. For ballistic armor, polyurea is applied by specialty equipment at 250 degrees Fahrenheit in a high-pressure environment to ensure the integrity of the ballistic materials inside the plate. Polyurea’s fast reactivity moisture insensitivity makes it useful for coatings for our advanced body armor plates. Polyurea can reach strengths of 6000psi (40MPa) tensile and more than 500 percent elongation, making it an extremely tough coating. So much so, we’re confident enough in the material to double the product warranty when coated with polyurea.

So should you select a plate with CORDURA or Polyurea?


  • How important is price?
  • How important is buoyancy?
  • How important is doubling the product life?
  • How often will the plates be removed and inserted into carriers?

Align your answers to the above questions, with the below differences to determine which rifle plate covering material you should choose.


  • CORDURA is approximately 0.25 lb. lighter
  • CORDURA saves 15% of the price
  • CORDURA increases buoyancy properties
  • CORDURA is used on both rigid and soft armor
  • Warranty is standard 5 years


  • Polyurea is approximately 0.25 lb. heavier
  • Polyurea better protects the plate from weathering conditions. (Specifically chemicals and inserting/removing the plate)
  • Polyurea is 15% more expensive
  • Polyurea is used on mostly rigid body armor
  • Polyurea doubles the warranty to 10 years, effectively cutting the overall cost of plates in half
  • Zero performance differences

There are zero performance differences, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide what’s best for your particular needs and budget. Both CORDURA and polyurea are strong, durable ballistic coverings. If you are still debating which might be the right choice, give us a call at 800-986-0795 or contact us here. We’d love to talk through your questions.*

*This article is courtesy of ShotStop

**Photo courtesy of @scott_witner