With several new body armor styles and outer carriers available today, you might not even know where to start. Here are two steps/priorities in directing you to purchase the right body armor and carrier for you.
#1 – Safety is the number one thing when deciding which body armor to purchase. First off there are different levels of protection rated by the NIJ (National Institute of Justice) when it comes to body armor, with the latest standard being armor rated NIJ 06. NIJ 05 standard body armor still meets the standards required by NIJ, new standards are conducted to make sure armor is continually maintaining safety.
“Just because they’ve come out with a new standard doesn’t invalidate the current standard,” Matt Davis, President and CEO ofArmor Express says. “The reason they came out with an updated standard is to ensure that the law enforcement community is adequately protected from the threats they face. As the threats constantly change, so does the need to have newer standards for body armor.”
Moving on, there are different ratings that NIJ labels body armor. From lowest protection to highest, these are the ratings (Level 2A, 2, 3A, 3, and level 4) Soft body armor currently is only offered in levels 2A, 2, and 3A which will stop standard hand gun rounds. Soft armor is used in concealable vests and outer carriers as the main defense against hand gun threats. While level 3 is hard armor (rifle plates, shields,) that will stop standard, non-high powered rifle rounds. Level 4 is rated to stop special threat armor piercing rounds from hight powered rifles (rifle plates, and shields).
#2 Comfort is the second priority when talking about body armor. First off, when body armor is rated an NIJ standard, it MUST meet the certain requirements to qualify. For example, say you want to buy a level 3A concealable body armor. One company, like Armor Express offers several different level 3A armor systems. The Seraph 3A is a higher end level 3A armor which is thinner, lighter, and more flexible than say the Quantum 3A. They both will stop the same rounds, however with the Seraph, your paying a higher price for COMFORT (lightness, thinness, and flexibility). So, if you are planning on wearing your armor everyday, comfort may play a huge factor in which armor you decide to purchase. If you are wearing this every once in a while, maybe go with the less expensive (less comfortable) vest that still offers the same great protection.
Another point when talking about comfort is how will you be wearing your body armor. The two options are wearing the armor concealed (under your clothing) with an inner carrier, or you can wear your armor with an outer carrier (over your clothing). There are advantages to both wear styles. Wearing your armor concealed helps hide the fact you have a vest on, and can make you look more professional or casual depending on your situation. Wearing an outer carrier allows the vest to be worn outside the clothing, offering more comfort in many cases, with added benefit of more storage. An outer carrier not only can hold you armor, it can have pockets on it to hold gear like flashlights, ammo mags, handcuffs, O/C spray, taser, etc… Some outer carriers also allow for rifle plates to be accommodated inside. Standard rifle plate sizes are either 8″ x 10″ or 10″ x 12″ Both concealable and outer carriers both allow a trauma plate to be carried. A trauma plate is different than a rifle plate, in that it reduces the trauma inherited by being struck by a bullet with body armor on. When soft body armor is struck by a bullet, its job is to stop penetration into your body. However, the bullets massive force and speed still pushes into the armor, pushing then into your body with great force, while still stopping penetration. The trauma plate helps to reduce the affects of trauma if you are shot, and trauma can severely injure a victim.
I hope now that you have a better understanding of body armor and the different carrier systems. This information should help guide you in the right direction when making your decision.
Please visit http://www.mypolicestore.com/Armor-Armor-Express/ to find more information on body armor and outer carrier systems, and to view the different options available.