Here at My BulletProof Gear, we believe that there is no better investment than that in yourself and your loved ones safety.
Bulletproof vests can be used by the everyday person and are becoming a popular item to own for personal protection.
They are also used at crime scenes, during terror attacks and as well as protecting law enforcement officers, bomb squads, security guards, special forces and obviously for the army and military.
Preview of our Top 3 Best Bulletproof Vests
- 1 Preview of our Top 3 Best Bulletproof Vests
- 2 Our Top 11 Best Bulletproof Vest on the Market (2021)
- 2.1 1. The Bulletsafe Tactical Bulletproof Vest
- 2.2 2. The BulletSafe Level IIIA Bulletproof Vest
- 2.3 3. Premier Body Armor Discreet Executive Vest Level IIIA
- 2.4 4. Tru-Spec Concealed Armor Shirt Level IIIA Armor Inserts
- 2.5 5. Premier Body Armor Eagle Tactical Vest (with Level IIIA Bulletproof Panels)
- 2.6 6. Spartan Armor Systems Flex Fused Core IIIA Armor and Plate Carrier
- 2.7 7. Contact Armor Hybrid Cool Carrier with IIIA Plates
- 2.8 8. Spartan Armor System Tactical Level IIIA Wrap Around Bulletproof Vest
- 2.9 9. Wolfbite Tactical Helix Plate Carrier with Spartan Armor IIIA Flex Fused Core
- 2.10 10. Spartan Armor Systems Concealable IIIA Wraparound Vest
- 2.11 11. Protection Group Denmark Level IIIA Alpha Concealable Bullet and Stab Proof Vest
- 3 Best Bulletproof Vest Buyer's Guide
- 4 Important Considerations You Should Make Before Purchasing Your Bulletproof Vest
- 4.1 Other US Legalities and International Laws
- 4.2 Price
- 4.3 Comfort and Fit
- 4.4 Should I Purchase a Concealable Bulletproof Vest?
- 4.5 Weight
- 4.6 What are Bullet Proof Vests Made From?
- 4.7 How do Bulletproof Vests Work?!
- 4.8 Bulletproof Vest Protection Levels
- 4.9 How Long Should The Warranty be on my Bulletproof Vest?
- 4.10 FAQ's
- 4.11 Which Bullet Proof Vest Grade do You Recommend?
- 4.12 How Should I Clean and Take Care of my Bulletproof Vest?
- 4.13 How Long will my Bulletproof Vest Last?
- 4.14 Can my Bulletproof Vest be Worn whilst Swimming?
- 4.15 Conclusion
Our Top 11 Best Bulletproof Vest on the Market (2021)
In a time of unrest, there has never been a better moment to purchase Bullet proof vests for you and your loved ones. Our picks ensure you get the best vests around at the best price. Check out some of the best bullet proof vests below.
Another Bulletproof Vest from bulletsafe is the BulletSafe Tactical Bulletproof Vest which is a 2-in-1 vest that is both a tactical and concealable bulletproof vest.
It offers NJS level IIIA+ (which is level IIIA and has stab protection) and comes with an additional front cover that includes a MOLLE system for tactical use. This versatile vest allows you to switch between concealable use and tactical duties.
The BulletSafe Tactical Bulletproof Vest comes with BulletSafe’s standard concealable bulletproof vest as well as the tactical front carrier. The MOLLE system is a universal system where you can attach various attachments such as pouches and holders from all different manufacturers. Such attachments include: flashlights, holsters, radio carriers and ammunition holders.
At just $348 this vest is a no-brainer.
Again, the BulletSafe Tactical Bulletproof Vest offers sizing from XS up to 4XL so is a great choice for all sizes. Check out that same check we included above to find your ideal size.
BulletSafe recommends that between 2 sizes and are typically viewed as fit order the lower of the 2.
The vest is 0.48 inches wide in most areas on your vest which is very thin and great for concealment.
You can yet again still add ballistic plates to your vest in the front and rear plate pockets to boost its protection qualities. You can check out our guide on ballistic plates here and view some of BulletSafe’s ballistic plates.
This bulletproof vest made by Bulletzone is one of our favorite bulletproof vests on the market and it comes at a really great price. The IIIA protection grade vest comes at under $300 and offers a great combination of comfort and protection.
BulletSafe is a trusted manufacturer by many national security organisations and has worked to develop a modernized vest that is lightweight and concealable. Check out the photos below that show how concealable the BulletSafe vest is.
IIIA is the greatest level of protection offered for soft armor bulletproof vests and protects its wearers from anything from a .44 magnum down to a BB gun.
BulletSafe has actually designated the unofficially known III A+ grade to it's Bulletsafe vest. This means that it also protects its wearer from stabbing, slashing, razorblade and shanks.
Not all bulletproof vests on the market offer this, which is one of the best unique features of the BulletSafe bulletproof vest.
The BulletSafe vest offers sizes from XS all the way up to 4XL, so it is a fantastic choice for anyone. Check out the sizing guide below to find out your ideal size for this vest. There are adjustable straps as well as a liner that makes it very comfortable.
The vest does not protect against heavy rifle fire, but with the front and rear pockets that come in the Bulletsafe vest it is possible to add ballistic plates to increase the levels of protection.
This is the perfect bulletproof vest for you if you are looking to be protected whilst maintaining a sleek and discrete image. This vest is equipped to stop handgun rounds such as 9mm, .40, .45 and .44 magnum and is special threat tested against 12 gauge, FN 5.7x28 and 9mm liberty civil defense.
It is also stab proof and slash resistant. This is a serious must have bulletproof vest!
It is popular amongst those looking to maintain a regular silhouette of one who is not wearing a vest, whilst having the peace of mind that you are protected against most pistol shots.
This vest is composed of a polyester and spandex mix that has a moisture wicking mesh. The NIJ certified IIIA panels feature on the front and back as well as the 5x8 inch trauma plate that protects the users vital organs.
The size zippers allow for a close fit to ensure the vest is well fitted to your body to offer the utmost protection. When wearing this, I found that it stays put on your body and doesn’t move around like other bulletproof vests do.
When buying this vest it is advisable to choose the size you would choose when buying a snug fitting t-shirt as the spandex allows for a bit of stretch.
This is a fantastic bulletproof vest for daily use and is great for unisex wear. I’ve ordered some for my whole family and in both colors! Don’t wait to purchase this great made in the USA bulletproof vest!
Premier Body Armor also offer a law enforcement, emergency services and military discount and has a 5 year warranty and incident replacement.
This Tru-Spec Concealed Armor Shirt is great for those who want the protection of a bulletproof vest but don’t want to have to go out of their way to have it. Who these days wants to wear a bulky uncomfortable vest?
This IIIA grade protection armor shirt gives you all the protection you need in a minimalistic looking, barely noticeable shirt.
It really is the protection of a vest in the comfort of a t-shirt and we found this a great option for those looking for a long wear concealment armor without the need to change your daily routine.
It is made from TRU-DUI which is a moisture wicking compression material that is composed of a polyester and spandex mix, for a moveable yet still fitted feel.
The front and rear armor pockets allow for any inserts of up to 10x12 inch plates that do not exceed 3 pounds.
These pockets are bordered by foam and mesh which keeps the plates in plate, and offers support and comfort. It also has flat seams that prevent chafing and reduce friction so you can move freely without discomfort.
This vest truly is one of the thinnest, most concealable vests you can purchase at only 0.22 inches thin! It is also TSA approved.
For those looking for the minimal look whilst still having IIIA protection we couldn’t recommend the True-Spec Concealed Armor Shirt any more! Get your hands on this great purchase now.
The Eagle Tactical Vest bundle is the ultimate set for those looking for a tactical body armor system.
All-in-one the bundle comes with the Eagle Tactical Vest and NIJ certified level IIIA panels for protection. This set is versatile and will fulfil both your functional and protective needs.
The Eagle vest has both front and back pockets with other features such as MOLLE strips on the front and back for customisation and an adjustable cummerbund.
Other handy features include fully adjustable shoulder straps and an adjustable inner cummerbund.
Overall, the vest is light and comfortable, well made with 600D Polyester and fits really well. It is easy to move freely in, and delivery is efficient and fast.
6. Spartan Armor Systems Flex Fused Core IIIA Armor and Plate Carrier
Flex Fused Core Armor and Plate Carrier
Spartan Armor Systems is one of the most popular personal protection brands and produces some of the best bulletproof vests out there. Spartan Armor Systems are highly reliable and a very popular choice amongst police departments.
The Spartan Armor Flex Fused Core can stop up to a .44 magnum semi jacketed hollow point (MG SJHP) bullet as well as special threat rated to stop .357 SIG FMJ bullets.
It is also a great concealable choice.
We have included their Flex Fused Core IIIA Armor and Plate Carrier on our list as it provides quality and protection at a great price. At under $300, you are able to choose between a variety of colors: black, white, camo, green and tan. The vest is adjustable and is able to fit chest sizes from 38” to 48”, which is suitable for most people and is great for both males and females.
This vest is extremely comfortable and is made in Tucson, Arizona from the best quality American made materials.
This vest is unfortunately not stab proof.
The bulletproof vest comes with 2x IIIA panels (that weigh 1.14lbs each) as well as the plate carrier. The sized plates that it can fit are those that are 10” x 12”, so you can swap them out for plates you already own. It unfortunately can not carry side plates though.
In accordance with our guide, the Flex Fused Core vest has a 5 year warranty.
7. Contact Armor Hybrid Cool Carrier with IIIA Plates
Contact Armor Carrier with IIIA Plates
For this everyday wear bulletproof vest, Spartan Armor Systems have joined forces with Contact Armor to produce this versatile bulletproof vest that can be worn anywhere from the gym to wherever you deem necessary.
This bulletproof vest is made from American made materials and assembled at a warehouse in Tucson, Arizona.
It is able to stop .44 MG SJHP as well as .357 SIG FMJ. The bulletproof vest itself comes with 10”x12” front and back panels and 5”x7” side panels. At only 0.35 inches wide, it is one of the most concealable bulletproof garments you can buy!
This bulletproof vest is slightly different from others on our list as instead of a vest garment it is a t-shirt. We were a little apprehensive at first, however we found it extremely comfortable, easy to move and didn’t have any mobility or restrictive issues at all.
The Contact Armor Hybrid Carrier is able to be ordered in M, L and XL sizes which fits 38” to 48” sized chests. You are able to wear this on its own to give you IIIA protection, or together with a hard armor system.
Don’t wait to get your hands on this top of the range bulletproof vest as this price won’t last!
8. Spartan Armor System Tactical Level IIIA Wrap Around Bulletproof Vest
Spartan Armor Level IIIA Wrap Around Vests
Now we move onto the tactical grade bulletproof vests! Spartan Armor has come out with this really great IIIA certified bulletproof vest. You are able to use this Tactical bulletproof vest as a IIIA grade protector or you can insert a ballistic insert to the size of a 10x12 plate.
The vest is able to be adjusted through the shoulders and has side closures. You can choose sizing options from small up to XX large, and Spartan Armour Systems also offers custom sizing which is available through emailing their sales department.
It is made from a 1000 denier material which makes it highly durable whilst maintaining a focus of the comfort for the wearer.
The tactical aspect of the vest means that it has a modular system from which you can add additional accessories. The vest also has front and rear pockets where you can add steel or ceramic/composite plates to the size of 10x12.
Yet again the IIIA NIJ grading means that it is graded to stop .44 MAG SJHP and .357 SIG FMJ. Unfortunately this is not stab resistant.
This is one of our favorite American made tactical bulletproof vests! These vests are very popular so don’t wait to get one for yourself now.
9. Wolfbite Tactical Helix Plate Carrier with Spartan Armor IIIA Flex Fused Core
Wolfbite Plate Carrier with Spartan Armor IIIA Plate
The Wolf Bite Tactical Helix Plate Carrier is a USA made,top quality plate carrier that has been tried and tested to produce this excellent bulletproof vest.
It is made from 500D Genuine Cordura brand fabric and comes with premium grade shoulder pads which are removable.
A great feature which we particularly liked in this bulletproof west is the cummerbund which is able to fit 15x6 inch soft armor side plates. The front and rear of the vest is able to be fitted with up to 10x12 inch armor plates but unfortunately will not accommodate 11x14 inch plates.
It is an ergonomic design which allows for an easy external wear, but can also be concealed. It is a lightweight option at a mere 2lbs 3oz and is low profile when worn underneath your clothes. We tested it under a light shirt and found that it concealed very well. I wore the vest on a long trek and found that it was really comfortable over long periods and didn’t slow me down.
You are able to purchase this bulletproof west in 4 color options: black, green, camo and coyote.
When you purchase, you will receive the plate carrier in the color of your choice as well as a set of 10x12 IIIA grade soft armor as well a set of 6x8 IIIA soft armor.
10. Spartan Armor Systems Concealable IIIA Wraparound Vest
Spartan Armor Concealable Wraparound Vest
This Spartan Armor Systems vest is one of the best bulletproof vests that we have tried!
The IIIA NIJ certification protects from a .44 MAJ SJHP shot and a .357 SIG FMJ shot. It is equipped with a 5x8 inch trauma plate as well as dual 6x8 inch and 7x9 inch front plate inserts.
This concealable IIIA grade wraparound vest is a very light and discrete bulletproof vest that has great ventilation and is breathable. It is also water repellant. The antimicrobial lining helps to draw moisture from the body which helps with the ventilation and cools you down.
Whilst certain bulletproof vests are not customizable in that they don’t have adjustable straps, this Spartan Armor Systems vest has a 4 point adjustable strap system that is designed for quick and easy adjustment to give a comfortable fit.
We found this vest so comfortable, we forgot that we were even wearing it! The vest comes in sizes from small to XX-large, so is a great choice for any sizes and genders.
The Spartan Armor Systems IIIA concealable vest is a proudly American made vest, that is a must have in your personal protection collection and our personal favorite on the market!
11. Protection Group Denmark Level IIIA Alpha Concealable Bullet and Stab Proof Vest
Protection Group Bullet and Stab Proof Vest
The Alpha Level IIIA vest is an extremely popular bulletproof vest which offers bulletproof and stab proof qualities which maintains comfort and a full range of mobility for its users.
Wearing this vest you are protected from .40 s&w, .357 magnum, 9mm and .357 SIG. The vest also stops knives of up to 20 joules.
The vest is made using a hybrid UHMWPE which gives an ultralight and thin vest that weighs a mere 2.92 lbs and is only 6mm thick. It is designed to be fitted with front and rear 8x10 inch plates
Some of the other innovative features of this vest includes Outlast PCM technology which acts as a heat regulator. It can hold and then ventilate heat to adjust to your body temperature so you don’t overheat whilst wearing it.It is also water and sweat resistant through the sealed PU cover.
Sizes are offered from small to XXX large, and is a great unisex bulletproof vest.
Best Bulletproof Vest Buyer's Guide
As we were saying, they are becoming more and more popular for civilians to own for comfort and peace of mind. Also if you are an avid shooter or hunter on an outdoor range, it is a good piece of personal protection to add to your collection.
We find the old saying that it is better to own it and not have the need to use it, then need it and not own it.
We have tried and tested many different bulletproof vests over the years and have created this guide so you can learn all the ins-and-outs of the best bulletproof vests on the market in 2020.
What is a Bulletproof Vest and are there different types?
Bulletproof vests are a plate carrier that is fitted with ballistic panels (the bulletproof aspect.)
They can either be purchased together or separately. All the bulletproof vests in our guide, review the best bulletproof vests that come preassembled. That way you know that you have all the necessary protective parts.
If you buy a plate carrier itself, this is just the 'vest' part and you'll still need to buy the plates. The benefit of this is that you can use plates you already own or purchase your own.
Check our out guide on the best plate carriers to find the best available on the market.
Why Would I Need a Bulletproof Vest?
Perhaps it is a common misconception that bulletproof vests are strictly reserved for those in the front lines.
However, it is completely legal for any US citizen to purchase a bulletproof vest.
You are able to purchase bulletproof vests either online or in person in almost all the states. However in the state of Connecticut you must make the purchase in person.
It is useful for a whole range of civilian purposes.
Such purposes are:
- When out hunting in the wild
- Home defense and self protection
- Doing active shooting drills or out at the shooting range
- Prepping for when SHTF
Other Occupations that require bulletproof vests are:
- Security and bodyguards
- High net worth and high profile individuals
- Emergency workers
- Public servants
And a whole range of other occupations with the list continually growing...
Will I Become Fully Bulletproof when Wearing a Bulletproof Vest?
Bulletproof vests are technically not bulletproof but rather bullet resistant. The vest won’t be able to protect the wearer from every threat.
It all comes down to what is being shot and how many rounds.
The little anecdote in this source answers the question of 'how effective are bullet proof vests' perfectly.
Internal injuries such as bruising, bleeding and broken ribs may still happen depending on the distance, velocity and the round that is shot.
However, it is very rare that the vest won’t be able to protect the wearer from the bullet and velocity that it is supposed to protect them from.
Nonetheless, owning a bulletproof vest is a fantastic addition to your self protection gear.
Features You Can Expect from the Best Bulletproof Vests
When purchasing one of the best bulletproof vest and reading about the ones we have reviewed below, you can expect your vest to have the following:
- State-of-the-art and innovative materials
- Lightweight feel
- concealed bulletproof vests and externally worn vests
- Flexible material that you can move around freely in
- Can counter different types of bullets
Just bear in mind that these vests can not counteract heavy gunfire. If you are interested in heavy gunfire protection you can read our guide on ballistic body armor here.
Important Considerations You Should Make Before Purchasing Your Bulletproof Vest
Other US Legalities and International Laws
"Is it illegal to wear a bulletproof vest?" Is a common question that many people ask. In short, no it is not, they are perfectly legal to own and wear. However there are still certain notable legalities to be aware of when purchasing your bulletproof vest.
It is illegal to purchase a bulletproof vest overseas and get it shipped into the US. This is a law that is mandated by the International Traffic in Arms regulations.
Further, if you have been convicted of a felon you will be unable to purchase a bulletproof vest in the United States.
Also if you are planning on traveling overseas with your bulletproof vest in tow, you must check whether you can take it on a plane as many countries ban this.
Internationally, the UK has similar laws to the USA. In Canada, some provinces require the customer to have a security license for purchasing. Other European countries have much stricter laws.
In Australia the purchase of these are pretty much banned.
Today, bulletproof vests are being produced in greater and greater quantities. Regular civilians will no longer only have the option to buy the expensive military-grade equipment. You will now find many good options at affordable prices.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the pricing range of bulletproof vests before purchase. Obviously prices are different and increase as the level of protection increases. Also the quality and lifetime of the vest increases with price too.
Buying a good bulletproof vest is important. Not only are you investing in your safety (you can’t put a price on life!) but the quality is higher. You are less likely to experience damage or wear and tear and then eventually just have to buy a new one.
Don’t necessarily choose the cheapest option as you may find that it doesn’t fit the purpose that you need it for. Do your necessary due diligence so you can be confident when wearing your vest and not experience buyers remorse!
It is also possible to buy bulletproof vests with add-ons suited to your needs. These add-ons can be in the form of extra protection such as shoulder and neck padding and extra storage pockets.
In our guide, we have included bulletproof vests at all price ranges to cater to all our readers.
**Also if you are in the military, are a veteran or an emergency worker, many bulletproof vest providers will offer discounts on your vest so check this first!**
Comfort and Fit
The comfort and fit of your bulletproof vest is paramount. Not only for the ability to move around without being restricted but it also ensures that it is providing the intended level of protection.
You will most likely be wearing it for long periods of time, so you will want to be sure that you will be comfortable in it.
Some of our personal tips that will maximize comfort whilst wearing your vest include wearing clothing underneath. A t-shirt or vest underneath will wick sweat and stop perspiration from seeping into your vest for a longer lasting fresh feel.
It will also reduce friction. Bulletproof vests especially those made from nylon can cause abrasion and chafing to your skin and notable levels of discomfort when worn without clothing.
How it Should Fit
The intended fit is to be snug so it fully covers and fits well whilst still allowing you to move nimbly. If your vest is too large, it will not be effective in protecting you properly. It might not cover and protect all your vital organs sufficiently.
Bulletproof vests should comfortably allow for a large range of movements and allow ease of rotation of your torso and a full range of mobility of your arms.
Length is also something that should be considered. You don’t want the vest to be too short as it may not cover certain areas. A vest that is too long can cause interference when moving around. Bending down in a large vest can cause it to press against your throat. A long vest will also interfere with other gear that you are wearing such as tactical belts.
Before purchasing we definitely recommend reading the bulletproof vests sizing fineprint as often different brands have different fits.
It can sometimes be possible to have a vest made to your exact measurements however this really isn’t necessary unless the sizes that are supplied do not fit.
Should I Purchase a Concealable Bulletproof Vest?
Whether your bulletproof vest should be concealed or not all comes down to personal preference and the situation that you could see yourself in.
Often bulletproof vests that are able to be concealed and worn under shirts have less protection than those worn on the outside of your clothes. This is because bulletproof vests that are intended for external wear are more bulky and can have pockets and storage.
In order for your bulletproof vest to be concealable, it has to be thin so that it is not noticeable that you are wearing it. Therefore the maximum levels of protection are often forgone. Often you will find that a concealable bulletproof vest can be worn externally too.
Bulletproof vests have gone through significant evolution and innovation over time. They are now lighter than ever and are made from materials that are effective, yet comfortable and easy to wear. Keep reading to find out the most popular material choices.
What are Bullet Proof Vests Made From?
Typical materials that bulletproof vests are made from in 2020 include:
These 4 bulletproof vest materials are what soft body armor is made of.
Kevlar is the most commonly used bulletproof vest material. It is a light plastic fabric that has a high tensile strength which means that it takes a lot of force to stretch the fibres. This makes it ideal for personal protection equipment being strong yet light.
The kevlar is layered many times inside a bulletproof vest. When a bullet strikes a kevlar bulletproof vest, the fibres are bound so tightly together that the bullet is unable to penetrate.
Kevlar is also resistant to heat, fireproof and waterproof which further makes it ideal for bulletproof vests.
Kevlar is also used for other bulletproof equipment such as X,Y,Z and stabbing protection.
Dyneema is a fabric which is widely known as being one of the strongest fibres you can find. It is what the most expensive and most effective bulletproof vests are made from. It is said to be tougher, stronger and lighter than kevlar.
Spectra is another very strong fabric, but is manufactured differently to kevlar.
Fibres are not woven and stacked on top of each other like kevlar. Instead they are arranged adjacent to each other and held together by a resin to form a solid layer. A further layer of spectra is laid perpendicular to the first bound yet again by the resin.
This creates a practically impenetrable material that is subsequently used in bulletproof vests.
Twaron is another popular choice for being lightweight and very strong and durable. It also has great thermal stability, chemical resistance, is not flammable and also has a long lifetime.
How do Bulletproof Vests Work?!
Bulletproof vests act to stop bullets very similarly to how a volleyball net stops a ball. It absorbs the impact and turns the bullet, slowing it down and the panels absorbs the energy.
The fibres are woven so tightly and have such a high strength to weight ratio that they effectively ‘catch’ the bullet when it hits the vest. The ability of the layers of the vest to have little give. This means that the energy is absorbed by and dispersed around the consecutive layers until the bullet is ‘stopped’ which leads to a deformed bullet.
Check out this video to see a bullet proof vest in action for a great explanation on the science behind these vests...
Bulletproof Vest Protection Levels
Bulletproof vests are ranked based on their protection using 1 of 5 levels that were created by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). These levels are II-A, II, III-A, III and IIII.
Check out our diagram below for a quick visualization of the different NIJ levels of bulletproof vests.
It is vital that you familiarize yourself with the different levels as they all offer different levels of protection. The rankings are created to differentiate the force that the bulletproof vests can withstand. They are graded by their capacity to stop different rounds shot as certain velocities.
*I: This was formerly used to protect against low velocity rounds however is no longer recognized by NIJ.
II-A: This is the level that is given to soft body armor such as that made of kevlar, twaron, spectra and dyneema. This is the best level for light bulletproof vests that are easily concealable. At this level it can stop a .9mm FMJ round at velocity of 1165 feet per second.
II: This is also the level common in soft body armor and can stop a round of .9mm FMJ at approximately 1245 feet per second. It also is lightweight, easily concealable and has significant flexibility. However, it provides far more protection against the blunt force of a round striking the vest.
Level IIIA (Most Common)
III-A: The purpose of this level is to protect against .357 Sig FMJ FN round at a velocity of 1470 feet per second as well as a round of .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point traveling at 1430 feet per second. Level III-A is soft armor but can also be found in hard armor.
III: At level III, we encounter the ballistic level grades also referred to as hard armor. They have the ability to block 6 spaced hits of 7.62x51mm NATO FMJ traveling at a velocity of approximately 2780 feet per second. This bears a resemblance to the .308 Winchester that is common in hunting. Level III bullet proof vests can vary in price depending on the material and weight of the vest. At the lower price points you will find those made of steel which are around 10 lbs. At a higher price range you will find vests made from polyethylene which are lighter at around 3 lbs.
IV: These are the highest level grade bulletproof vests you can buy via NIJ standards. However buying a level 4 bulletproof vest can be hard as they aren't commonly sold.
These vests are designed to protect against a single hit from a armor piercing rifle such as 7.62mm AP bullets traveling at 2880 feet per second. Bear in mind that a level 4 bulletproof vest may not be as effective as a level III plate. Level IV plates are only tested against 1 shot whereas level III is tested against 6 shots.
No Level V!
Despite the internet telling you otherwise, there is no level V body armor.
These rankings do not account for stabbing and knife protections. They do not test for slashing motions. Stab proof gear are separate speciality equipment. They are also different to spike protective gear which protects from screwdrivers, needles and
How Long Should The Warranty be on my Bulletproof Vest?
As a general rule of thumb, you will want your bulletproof vest to have quite a lengthy warranty period especially as they are sizable investments. You will find that most manufacturers offer between 5-7 years warranty on their vests. We do not advise choosing a vest that has a warranty period of any less than this.
Having a warranty of this length on your bulletproof vest will ensure that you are covered and will give you peace of mind.
How Much Does a Bullet Proof Vest Cost?
The price of a good quality bulletproof vest can range from $200-$400 for a USA made vest. We would strongly advise against China made vests as they may not pass NIJ standards.
Which Bullet Proof Vest Grade do You Recommend?
If you don’t have any particular requirements in mind, we recommend looking at the level III-A grade vests. III-A are typically the most recommended around and are not too expensive.
They offer a whole lot more protection and are a significantly large step up from the II as well.
Look at getting a III-A if you are looking for a concealable vest. Such groups of people who typically use these are those on undercover operations and high profile and net worth individuals.
II is another good option as it has a good combination of flexibility, manoeuvrability whilst wearing it, strength and can still be concealed too.
How Should I Clean and Take Care of my Bulletproof Vest?
It is definitely important to be aware of how best to take care of your bulletproof vest. This ensures it has a long lifetime and you can get your money’s worth.
When washing it, it is advisable to refrain from using harsh and strong chemicals. It is sufficient to just use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild soap.
Less is more when cleaning your bulletproof vest, and it ensures that there is no damage to the fabric. If you are unsure, check the product description and it will provide an exact method for you to clean your vest. We have also included a bonus resource from the NIJ which is a good place to start if you are ever stuck.
Just be mindful that bulletproof vests are not able to handle the following: harsh cleaning chemicals, bar soaps and household detergents (liquid or solid). Refrain from using dry cleaning agents or bleaches too!
The easiest and most effective way to clean bulletproof vests is to remove the panels and wipe them with a soapy cloth. Dry them by standing them upright or laying it down. DO NOT machine wash, tumble dry or iron.
How Long will my Bulletproof Vest Last?
The NJS have requisite that bulletproof vests must have a 5 year life span. Factors such as continuous wear, exposure to direct sunlight and moisture as well as incorrectly caring for it can all reduce the life of your vest.
Every so often it is important to check your vest for signs of wear including burns, tears, deterioration.
Over time, the bulletproof vests lose their ability to absorb kinetic energy of bullets and their abilities of deflection. So it is vital that you keep track of when the 5 year period has elapsed.
You can still use your bulletproof vest past this period if you are planning on wearing it for more casual purposes. However we strongly advise against using it past its expiration date if going into conflict or combat or any instance where you are putting yourself in direct exposure to bullets.
Can my Bulletproof Vest be Worn whilst Swimming?
This is not a one answer fits all. Some bulletproof vests are not waterproof and therefore should NOT be worn in water as it will lose its bulletproof ability. Other vests are designed to be immersed in water.
Make sure you check this before purchasing if you are intending to get yours wet.
Want to Learn more about Bulletproof Vests? Check out our 30 Must-Know Facts about Bullet proof Vests here
Now you have reached the end of our guide and we hope you have learned a thing or two about the bulletproof vests.
If you can take anything away from our buyers guide, it would be that it doesn’t matter how protective the vest is, if it doesn’t fit right it won’t serve the purpose. So make sure you read each individual sizing guide before purchase.
For each vest we have reviewed in our top 10 best bulletproof vests, they will have it on their site.
A second key takeaway is that your optimal choice for a bulletproof vest is a IIIA grade vest. If you don’t have any specific needs for your bulletproof vest you will find that a IIIA will provide all the protection you need.
In terms of choosing the best bulletproof vest, any of our top 10 options will do just the trick. We have included a variety of vest and t-shirt options for individual preferences. Our guide has vests of different thicknesses, as well as those that are your optimal concealable bulletproof vests. We include those that are intended for external wear too.
We have also included some tactical bulletproof vests for versatility for those who want the added features of adding modifications.
To wrap up, there is a bulletproof vest for anyone and everyone.