The process of purchasing body armor is not one to be taken lightly. There are a lot of elements to take into consideration: price, levels and type of protection, and comfort (which is commonly overlooked). The average cost for quality armor that offers N.I.J. (National Institute of Justice) level III ballistic, level 1 edged blade, and level 1 spike protection is between $475 and $650 online. While it is widely understood that cost equals quality and the confidence in protection, it also keeps it out of reach for some. While looking for a solution to the cost issue, there is one option that seems to fit the protection qualities (as previously listed) as well as not break the bank – SafeGuard’s CoolMax covert vest.

SafeGuard Clothing is a renowned manufacturer of a variety of Covert and Overt models well suited for military and law enforcement operatives, firefighters, journalists, security agents, EMS personnel and even civilians. Their innovative CoolMax technology works well with the covert style vest, offering: level 2 ballistic, level 1 edge blade, and level 1 spike protection. Since the circumstances of donning armor are unknown, the option for both under and over clothing wear is a key point in this product’s design. Protection is provided by numerous layers of Kevlar for ballistics, chainmaille for edged weapons, and platelets with laminated Kevlar for spiked (non-edged) weapons. This gives the wearer a well-rounded vest that will handle a variety of threats. The carrier system’s exterior is made of a protective Cordura that resists abrasions, wear and tear, weather, and sweat. The interior is the CoolMax liner, that provides a comfortable wear over or under the clothing. The carrier encapsulates the upper torso (covering critical organ systems), and overlaps the obliques as the hook-and-loop attachment points are secured in the front.

SafeGuard’s CoolMax covert vest has a number of attributes and an excellent comfort level. Wearing it around while running errands and completing other tasks is not an issue, and it stays in place even during rigorous activity. The vest remains comfortable across a wide temperature range between 10 and 88 degrees (F), with different humidity levels. The poly-cotton mesh netting helps with breathability and thus the evaporation of sweat, keeping the wearer cool when in a warm environment. Being worn concealed, this vest fits well (slightly) under a size large shirt, and concealment is excellent. The overt wearing option gives the wearer to quickly don this armor, without the bulk of a full tactical style carrier system.

The CoolMax IIIA Bullet and Stab Proof Vest is designed to be affordable and attainable by the average civilian. The internal Kevlar armor panels are refurbished, which is how SafeGuard is able to sell them at a reduced price. The real benefits that the CoolMax IIIA vest are multiple. Starting with protection, the panels of this vest are ballistically rated by the NIJ (National Institute of Justice) to protect against most pistol calibers up to 44 magnum. This includes 380ACP, 9MM, 45ACP, 40SW, 38SPL, and 22LR/SHORT. The panels also have an edged weapon rating of Level 1, which is a baseline level for knife resistance and spike protection. Basically, it is rated for an object with a mass of 1.9 kg traveling a maximum of 5 m/s, and totaling 24 joules of energy. This is the E1 figure, which like I said is the baseline for edge weapons, and there are higher levels of protection in better armor, especially if it’s designed for stab protection and not ballistic protection as well.

The CoolMax Ballistic Vest is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an affordable, no-frills level of protection to add to their everyday carry system, or as a first response vest to keep in your vehicle or place of work. These vests are extremely affordable and functional, providing protection in a variety of scenarios.