Best Riot Gear 2021 [Buying Guide + Reviews]

On the hunt for the best riot gear in 2021?

Right now, it seems that riots are going off left, right and centre. The state of the economy and the global political situation are only predicting to worsen throughout the year. It seems that many major cities are seeing frequent rioting.

Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Chicago and Portland are just a few major cities to see a rise in rioting, looting and burning of buildings and property. 

The Best Riot Gear to Own:

  1. Riot shields
  2. Face shield
  3. Riot suits
  4. Protective Riot helmet
  5. Riot pads - legs, arms, shoulder 

RiotReady Riot Shield

from: BulletSafe

Best Riot Gear Preview

Reviewing the Best Riot Gear in 2021 - Suits, Shields, Helmets, Pads

To kick off our list of the best riots shields here is a great quality one made by BulletSafe. It comes at a really affordable price of only $100

This riot shield is made from high quality polycarbonate, that is fully clear to enhance your vision and prevent your view being impaired. The shield measures 19.5 by 35.5 inches and is roughly 3.5mm thick. 

It gives you full protection against thrown and swung objects. The shield was designed for right handed use, but can be inverted for left handers.

BulletSafe has strived to make a riot shield that fits all purposes. They are both protective, affordable and durable. In addition, It is also priced at a point that fits everyone's budget. 

Generally these riot shields cost several hundreds if not thousands of dollars but this one is only $99!

Best Riot Gear: Riot Helmet

The RiotReady Riot helmet will give you full head, face and neck protection in this enclosed helmet that still allows you to have full vision and hearing to assess dangers.

It is fitted with a face shield that can be adjusted. It is made from a tough polycarbonate that gives you clear optics and protection against impact. The pivot mechanism that holds the shield to the helmet is strong enough to withstand force too. 

It is also fitted with a removable neck guard with a rear deflector lip. This works to deflect away any object that strikes the person's neck.

A riot helmet offers far more protection and strength than a tactical helmet or motorcycle helmet will give you.

It is designed to suit sizes S to XXL. The internal suspension system that is fully adjustable allows you to fit the helmet to any wearer, in a one-size-fits-all model. In addition, it weighs only 3.9lbs and is priced at only $79!

Best Riot Gear: Riot Pads

This pads set gives you full body limb protection in the form of arm and elbow guards as well as lower leg pads and shoulder pads. The lower leg pads offer you front and rear protection.

Getting a good set of riot pads is important, as it isn’t only about protecting your vital areas as your limbs can often be targeted in a riot.

A regular set of sports pads won’t do the job, so buying riot pads is necessary. This set of pads is double the thickness of sports pads. It gives you protection against thrown and swung objects and still allows you to be fully mobile.

The set is available in one size and can fit anyone of up to 225 lbs. It weighs only 6.5 lbs.

United Shield BS-2 Riot Shield

This United Shields Riot Shield is 20 by 36 inches, weighing 6 lbs with a thickness of 0.15 inches. It is designed to be hand with 2 hands and it can also be reversed for right or left hand use. 

The adjustable nylon arm strap allows the user to fit the shield to size. It has an ID label on the shield that can also be customized.

The handle and strap are also dielectric and can stop electric pass through.

United Shield International ERT Ballistic Riot Shield

We now introduce our first ballistic riot shield on the list. Available in two different sizes, 24 by 36 inches and 24 by 48 inches, the United Shield Ballistic Shield has been crafted with versatility and a lightweight feel whilst still being durable and protective.

The shield is ballistic level IIIA certified with a view port that is 4x10 inches. It has increased head coverage that other ballistic shields do not offer. The arm supports give support and control of the shield and a high impact arm pad.

It is also made for ambidextrous use for right and left handers. The tri support grip allows for a vertical grip too.

In addition, the weapon mount which is integrated allows the user to operate the shield with a single hand. This helps for deploying a weapon without exposing your arm.

United Shield international Kent Ballistic Shield

Another Ballistic shield on our list is the International Kent Shield. This shield is an ultralight weight shield and does not compromise on strength. It is also extremely versatile for the user. The shield is NIJ level IIIA certified and has a multiple hit capacity.

It can be used in many tactical situations such as routine patrol, evacuating casualties as well as forced entries and hostage situations. 

The shield is ambidextrous and can be used with both left and right hands without having to adjust the handle position. It comes with an integrated weapons mount that can be used to single handedly operate the shield. Again you can deploy a weapon without exposing any parts of your body. 

The ballistic shield is size 22.5 by 32 inches and weighs 10 pounds. It has a curved shape which increases the rigid nature and offers the highest protection possible. 

Other additional features include the hook and loop police label and a cushioned arm pad and grip.

In addition, United Shield offers a 5 year warranty on this ballistic shield. 

United Shield Standard III Curved with Viewport shield

Monadnock Upper Body and Shoulder Protection

The Monadnock Upper Body Shoulder Protection is an upper body guard made from a polyethylene shell that has a foam and polyethylene padding on the chest, back and arms of the guard. 

It is covered with a mesh outer covering and is made from a moisture wicking fabric. This works to keeps the wearer cool and ventilated when wearing this guard.

The guard is available for purchase in sizes S to XXL and has commercial level adjustment straps with hook and loop fasteners for a comfortable, individualised fit. It also comes with polypropylene connector straps with hook and loop fasteners. 

Damascus Hard Knee/Shin Guards

These knee and shin guards are made with hard shell polyethylene plates covered in a dull black coating.

This intentionally stops reflection and has non-slip technology to keep them secured in place. They are extremely comfortable with the inner leg support foam padding. The multiple straps made from elastic and velcro allow for a comfortable and secure fit for all leg sizes. 

It also comes with adjustable and removable foot guard plates and you are able to label your pads in the interior name tags. These shin/knee guards are also able to be washed.

The Damascus Hard Knee and Shin Guards can be purchased in M/L and XLarge sizes.

Damascus Gear Elbow Protectors

Finding good elbow protectors is imperative. We have tried and tested many elbow protectors and have found that a lot of them are rigid at the elbow joint. These types can severely hinder your mobility. 

The Damascus Gear Elbow Protectors are extremely comfortable. They are made with a hard outer shell that is tough and rigid to protect you, but still allows for flex at the elbow. It has a shock absorbing foam to reduce the feeling of impact when an object strikes you, and has a mesh lining that supports the breathability aspect.

The elbow protectors are available in sizes medium/large and xlarge/2Xlarge. It can be fitted to your size with the adjustable straps made from a nylon elastic and velcro combination.

Best Riot Face Shields

United Shield Paulson RetroFit Riot Face Shield

The United Shield Paulson RetroFit Riot Face Shield is designed to fit with a ACH/MICH helmet. It can be purchased in a retro fit helmet application.

This face shield comes with a rubber seal that gives us a liquid barrier where the helmet and shield meet. The shield is locked in place in the stowed or deployed position and is able to be released using one hand.

It has a pivot and lock assembly that can be moved to the right or left depending on personal preference. 

The shield itself is made with polycarbonate material and has a thickness of 0.15 inches. It has a length of 8 inches to give you the maximum protection. 

Best Riot Gear: Riot Suits

Damascus Gear FX-1 Flexforce Modular Hard Shell Crowd Control System

Wearing this Damascus Gear suit will provide its wearer with the highest level of protection. Whether they are doing riot controlling, cell extraction or any other domestic disturbance activity you will be protected.

It is designed with the FlexForce model which protects against blunt trauma and is still extremely comfortable and fits really well.

The suit is very lightweight and unlike other riot suits, can be taken on and off really easily. It has hard shell panels on both the front and back of the suit and the flex design suits any shapes and sizes without compromising on mobility. The suit comes with forearm guards which includes elbow coverage and a non-slip covered knee and shin guard that allows for flexibility and to keep you planted. There is also a thigh and groin protector made from a hard shell to keep you fully covered and protected.

Shock absorption foam also covers the back, chest shoulder and upper arm parts of the suit. A mesh lining on the inside, provides the breathability and comfort factor. This allows the suit to be worn for long periods of time.

Bonus features include the ability to attach ID to the front panel of the suit, and the adjustable straps made out of nylon and velcro allow for an individual fit.

The suit can be purchased in sizes ranging from M up to XXX- large.

It is always important to invest in good quality riot gear to ensure that they do their purpose effectively.

In addition, we will only include American made riot gear in our guide, as the quality is guaranteed.

If you happen to catch yourself in one of these riots, preparedness is paramount. Seeing all the SWAT teams and law enforcement decked out in all their riot gear may make you wonder where you can get some of it yourself. Well you are in luck here. Our team has tried and tested a plethora of the best riot gear around. We have included reviews, information and tips in this guide. Hopefully this assists you in choosing the best riot gear around.

Don’t wait to get your hands on some of this epic riot gear. Get prepared now and risk missing out, as these items are flying off the shelves!

Everything You Need to Know about the Best Riot Shields 

Basically riot shields create a barrier between you and any threat. They are commonly made out of strong plastic materials such as polycarbonate. This ensures that you'll be protected against various threats including bricks, projectiles, sticks, rocks and other weapons.

Riot shields are shatterproof, however not all of them are ballistic rated. (We will say if a riot shield on our list is ballistic.) 

They are designed to be lightweight and easy to deploy and use. Average thickness of a riot shield is around 0.2 inches. 

You can also purchase riot shields in different shapes such as convex and concave shields and rounded riot shields. They are big enough to cover a person of average height from the top of their head to around their knees, protecting all the vital areas.

Are riot shields able to be purchased by civilians?

Yes riot shields are fully legal to be purchased by civilians.

Other Must-Have Items When Out in a Riot - Clothing, Medical Supplies, Weapons

We have research and interviewed various different people to find out what items are necessary to have on your person if you are out in a riot. These are not pieces of equipment, but rather everyday items like medical supplies that could come in handy in any situation. We will also recommend what types of clothing is best to wear. 

Our recommendations account for comfort, suitable coverage and personal protection items such as tasers.


Tasers are a great thing to own for your own personal protection and are really user friendly are a good option for a worst case scenario. You can find two types of tasers. A regular taser has a set of electrotrodes that latch onto the victims skin. The downside of this is that it only gives you one electric shock at a time.

Enter the Taser X2. It is a double shot taser to allow you to have dual shots.

Ideal clothing for a riot

Some necessary upper body gear for a riot include a good ballistic helmet (if anticipating on being in the thick of the action), some shatterproof eye protection such as goggles, and some headwear such as a hat or beanie for warmth.

Other gear you could use includes a fume mask (if you don’t have access to a full gas mask which will be far more protective against any crowd control chemicals that are released) and a bandana or scarf that can serve you for warmth as well as protecting your identity.

In terms of clothing, it is recommended you wear multiple layers covered by a waterproof exterior layer. Long sleeves are also ideal as they protect your skin. Gloves in particular heat resistant gloves can also make a good addition to your gear. These can be used to discard thrown canisters (which are very hot when first detonated.)

In addition, Pants that are full length are a must. These will protect your legs against cuts and scratches from thrown objects and guard your skin against chemical burns. They should cover your ankles too, to prevent anything from coming in through the bottom. Knee guards worn over your pants can also come in handy. 

For footwear you must wear boots. Sneakers or any lightweight shoes are not going to offer you the protection you need.

In summary, the boots should ideally be sturdy and tough, yet light enough that you are able to be fully mobile and run with ease.

Other good bag items

In your backpack which we recommend is bulletproof - see our guide for the top bulletproof backpacks here - you should have a certain number of non-negotiable items.

You should keep a separate zipped bag/pocket inside that carries all your personal identification, cash and other personal items. 

In addition, a first aid kit is necessary. The kit should include antibacteiral wipes and cream (and any other wound cleaning agents), dressings and bandages for wounds and ibuprofen and paracetamol at a minimum. Tweezers are another good item to remove splinters and glass shards that may enter under the skin. 

A spray bottle with a mix of equal parts water to maalox is a good way to clean your eyes, mouth and nose if made in contact with chemicals.

Summary on the Best Riot Gear

The aim of this guide is to help educate you on the variety of riot gear available on the market and to help you determine which items you should invest in. 

In conclusion, your best bet for the best riot gear is one of the shields on our list.

Our top 3 riot shields are the:

  1. Riot Ready Riot Shield
  2. United Shield BS-2 Riot Shield
  3. United Shield International ERT Ballistic Riot Shield

Then again you will also want to protect your body with wearable riot gear.

Riot helmets are a trusty choice that offer you far more protection than a tactical helmet. They have neck guards and face shields to protect all areas of your head. Our top choice is the 

In addition, we also recommend that you purchase some padding. Knee, shoulder and elbow pads for added protection are good choices.

Subsequently, if you are ready to kick it up to the best riot gear around level you can purchase yourself a full riot suit.

Happy searching!