What makes the best body armor?
The “best bulletproof vest” is the one that offers the most protection at the least cost while maintaining a reasonable weight and portability. The vest should be comfortable enough to wear all day, while also ensuring the users safety against the majority of small arms in the world.
The first criteria to consider when selecting a bulletproof vest is to choose the ballistic NIJ rating of the vest that will be capable enough to handle any threats one may encounter. Soft Kevlar armor is good enough for pistol calibers, but they offer no protection against even the most common rifle calibers. Even top of the line Kevlar armor can only be rated up to NIJ IIIA, with the “A” standing for “Almost”. Although vests rated at NIJ IIIA are only capable of stopping pistol calibers, most consider Level IIIA adequate enough and the vast majority of police officers in the US are issued these vests due to their lower price point, but they sacrifice a lot of protection in the process. Graduating to Level III and beyond requires moving to a steel plate. While Level III is capable of stopping some rifle cartridges, typically the larger, slower moving rifle rounds like 7.62x39mm and 30 carbine even Level III is susceptible to common high-speed cartridges like the 5.56x45mm and 5.45x39mm (the rounds fired by the AR-15 and AK-74, respectively). These high speed cartridges focus much more kinetic energy within a smaller impact area on the plate which can induce catastrophic failures with even common loadings. Level III+ on the other hand will stop everything that is not deemed “Anti-Material” or “Armor Piercing”. These rounds are designed to disable trucks and other hard targets like aircraft and tanks. These rounds are exceedingly rare and typically restricted to Special Operations units. Having a Level III+ vest incurs the same footprint and weight as a Level III vest, but is vastly superior in protection against 99.9% of rifle loadings and fills in the gaps left in traditional level III vests.
The second variable to consider is the weight and bulkiness of the vest. While Kevlar vests are lighter than their steel counterparts are, they are bulkier and can restrict movement. While steel ballistic vests are heavier, they lay flatter and closer to the body. This reduces the felt weight of the vest on the user. On the downside, the higher actual weight that comes with steel does make running and walking distances more strenuous. Here you have to decide whether saving the couple of pounds of weight is worth giving up protection against rifles.
The most important consideration however is the price. Having a vest on the market that can stop 50BMG but costs several thousand dollars doesn’t do anyone any good. On the flipside, scrimping by buying a vest that will only stop pocket-pistols could end up being a fatal mistake. With the recent advancements in manufacturing extremely hardened steel alloys, Level III and Level III+ vests are cheaper than they have ever been. Often times, Level III and Level III+ vests can be found for cheaper than their less effective Kevlar counterparts.
The best balance between all of these factors is the “Best Bullet Proof Vest” manufactured by Rhino Body Armor. Certified at NIJ Level III+, it is capable of stopping some of the toughest rifle and pistol calibers around, all while maintaining a reasonable weight and an even more reasonable price tag. Currently on sale for $299 instead of the usual $500, it truly is the “Best Bullet Proof Vest” on the market.
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Anyone who’s taken a hit in a Kevlar vest knows its almost as painful as a bullet. That’s why I only use true solid state body armor like this. I could take multiple hits and keep going
These things are just about impenetrable! You could use a true bulletproof vest like this for target practice all day and still take it into the field without a single worry.
I’ve spent years as a tactical guard for high profile targets and never have I come across a bullet proof vest so durable and well constructed.
This vest saved my life! To my knowledge this is the only affordable multi-hit bulletproof vest available legally anywhere near the united states