What Makes the Best Body Armor?
Best Body Armor
Body armor has been around in some capacity for centuries. Whether the phrase brings about thoughts of bulletproof vests, police body armor or ballistic vests, most will agree that the ultimate goal of body armor is personal protection. As experts in the body armor and vehicle armor spaces, we’ve outlined a few key reasons of what makes the “Best Body Armor” on the market.
Before diving into the best body armor specifics, it’s important to understand the differences in soft concealable body armor (this article’s focus) compared to other variations of bulletproof vests.
Concealable body armor is generally soft with pockets that allow Law Enforcement Officers and specialized teams to insert additional ballistic plates to increase their individual levels of protection. This body armor is generally worn under a layer of clothing. However, these soft ballistic vests without trauma plates still provide NIJ-level protection with built-in bullet-resistant material. Other types of vests for police and military include overt vests and external carriers that are typically heavier, thicker and have higher visibility compared to soft armor vests.
Angel Armor’s RISE & Truth SNAP Plates
Angel Armor, while somewhat new to the body armor space, brings revolutionary technology and a deep understanding of ballistic science to the industry. As one of the best brands for body armor as described by our customers, our products include RISE, a lightweight concealable vest and Truth SNAP, trauma plates made for insertion into Angel Armor’s RISE vest. The ballistic vest and magnetic plate inserts together offer NIJ IIIA and NIJ III special threat protection.
NIJ Standards of Protection
A basic, yet critical, criteria for the top body armor products is NIJ certifications. NIJ, National Institute of Justice, began setting levels of body armor protection about 45 years ago. NIJ Standards are the “nationally accepted standard for the body armor worn by law enforcement and corrections officers. The NIJ ballistic resistance standard classifies body armor by levels of ballistic performance. For any performance level, NIJ’s test protocol requires that the bullet does not perforate the vest and that the vest protects against blunt trauma.”
For body armor specifically, NIJ defines 5 levels of protection, ranging from Level II to Level IV. Each level carries increased protection against special threats from .22 to .30 caliber rifle ammunition. While NIJ levels are extremely important in the industry, they are not the only standards that define the importance of body armor. Officers often compare NIJ standards against other specifications including comfort and mobility.
What Defines the Best Body Armor
When evaluating the best body armor on the market (assuming a certified NIJ protection rating is a given), it’s important to look at other top components which include comfort, mobility and versatility.
Body Armor Comfort
Comfort in body armor is an important buying factor in law enforcement. Officers are consistently on the move and need something lightweight, comfortable and easy to get on. Angel Armor’s RISE vest comes specially made for both males and females for a custom fit. The QuadCore Attachment System™ offers six points of adjustment for a truly tailored fit. In addition to comfort, the RISE body armor vest is available is various ballistic package options that are certified to NIJ-level II and IIIA protection levels.
Body Armor Mobility and Versatility
The ability to transition to varying levels of protection brings the versatility needed by law enforcement; it is more important than ever to be able to armor up or armor down depending on the situation and threat level. The RISE vest allow officers to easily add Truth SNAP body armor plates in order to achieve three tiers of protection from rounds like the AK-47, 5.56 and .308. Thin, lightweight and protective, RISE and Truth SNAP allow a law enforcement official to get fully armored in a matter of minutes.
In conclusion, every Law Enforcement Officer or department will have individual specifications and varying needs for their body armor. That being said, what sets the best body armor products apart from the rest is their ability to provide comfort, versatility and the level of protection needed to keep Police Officers feeling safe while on the job.