With violent crime on the rise, body armor is becoming a necessary piece of equipment not only for law enforcement agents, but for civilians as well. Body armor comes in many shapes and sizes as well as styles and levels of protection. There is a difference in how stab and spike resistant and bulletproof armor works.
While there are 6 levels of protection in ballistic armor, there are two forms of armor platforms: covert, and overt.
Covert body armor is used beneath clothing. For that reason it is slim and lightweight, and designed to end up being undetectable. This kind of body armor is typically made from moisture wicking fabric that will help to keep the person wearing them cool, and are also usually produced in lighter colors than other types of body armor.
Overt body armor is meant to be worn above your clothes, and as a result it tends to be created from tougher fabrics than covert types of body armor. The idea of overt body armor is to be visible to other people, and for this reason standard overt body armor covers are usually black, but there are plenty of other colors available. Frequently overt pieces of body armor will include high visibility strips, or be manufactured entirely from high visibility materials, meaning that the wearer stands out.
Armor effectiveness and comfort are both very important elements in choosing the style and type of vest that best works for you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to body armor. It may seem like a good idea to go by the saying of ‘the more the better’, but this does not apply here. Higher levels of protection are heavier and bulkier, making them a poor choice in certain urban environments or when they need to be worn for hours at a time. Ideally, you want to choose body armor only for the types of threats you expect to face (for example, there is no need to go for additional spike and stab resistance if there won’t be close combat) as this only adds extra weight to your gear. Do some research, learn about your surroundings and make a decision based on your physical qualities and skillset before purchasing body armor for best results.
Generally speaking, armor with more layers of bulletproof material offers greater protection. Soft armor allows for the addition of extra panels that increase protection. One common way to do is by inserting metal or ceramic plates into the pockets on the inside or outside of the vest. When you don’t need as much protection, you can wear the vest as ordinary soft armor by taking the plates out.
A well-constructed vest can offer invaluable protection from a number of threats to police officers, civilians, military and security operatives, bodyguards and urban preppers. Intended to minimize blunt trauma, it comes in different styles and combinations to keep the wearer safe from ballistic, sharp-edged and spike weapons. Modern body armor relies on specifically designed fiber materials that are weaved tightly to resist penetration by a known caliber of given bullet weight traveling at a specified velocity range.
Article and photos courtesy of Safeguard Clothing