What is the Best Bullet Proof Vest for Your Job Type?
Bullet proof vests are always one of our most requested and talked about products.
With so much interest, we thought we would dedicate a blog post to give our best advice for choosing the most appropriate vest for your occupation. We’ll also answer the most commonly asked questions about bullet proof vests.
Let’s start with the FAQ’s:
Frequently Asked Questions About Bullet Proof Vests:
- Q – When were bullet proof vests invented?
- A – Kevlar the most common material used in bullet proof vests was invented in 1966 and the vests began production in the 70’s.
- Q – What is the average lifespan of a bullet proof vest?
- A – The average lifespan of a vest is a minimum of 5 years set by NIJ standards however the level of maintenance of the vest can extend or shorten the vest’s life span.
- Q – Does moisture, sweat, and water affect a bullet proof vest?
- A – YES! Unless your bullet proof vest is rated for moisture and water it is very import to avoid moisture as the vest may deteriorate earlier than anticipated.
- Q – Where is the best place to store my bullet proof vest?
- A – Keep your vest in a closet or flat place. The inserts in a bullet proof vest cannot be stretched or bent in any way over a long period of time. This will cause the bulletproof fibers to be pulled apart and thereby they will lose their durability and eventually be ineffective in stopping bullets. Place your vest in a closet or a flat place where it is out of the sun. Please be aware when you get home from work, that you don’t put your sweaty vest on the floor in the corner. The sweat can seep into the fibers and reduce durability.
- Q – What happens if I gain or lose weight?
- A – A vest should fit its owner like a glove, generally the rule is any change of 10% or more to your body weight will require you to be fitted with a new vest that in appropriate for your new body size.
- Q – What level of protection should I get?
- A – There are three major levels that most manufacturers offer. They are level II-A generally ~4 mm thick, level II generally ~5 mm thick, and level III-A generally ~7.5 – 8.5 mm thick. The style and NIJ level of the vests are entirely dependent upon the type of work you are doing with the vest and what possible dangers you may face in the line of duty. See below for an in-depth explanation on NIJ levels and recommendations.
Having answered all the most commonly asked questions about bullet proof vests, let’s explore which style of vest is considered the norm for each occupation that requires protection.
What is the Best Type of Bullet Proof Vest for My Job?
Below are examples of the professions that usually require bullet proof vests in their daily interactions.
Police Officers – Police officers need adequate protection that is also very mobile. The industry standard for most US police is level III-A, this gives strong protection while still allowing the wearer to make rapid movements.
Swat / Tactical Teams – These individuals are often entering extremely dangerous environments or situations and require protection from heavier artillery and unexpected shrapnel. Most tactical groups use III-A vests paired with level 3 armored plates. It is also common for SWAT and tactical members to have additional neck and groin protection.
Military – This will depend on the branch and mission. For members of the Navy it will be necessary that the bullet proof vests be floatable in addition to bullet-resistant. Most military members will be wearing III-A and above, along with armored plates for combative missions.
Private Security – This will be up to the user’s preference, but it is common for private security guards to wear level II or III-A vests to ensure a suitable level of protection without inhibiting the wearers’ maneuverability and concealability.
Civilian Workers – All the jobs mentioned below generally require individuals to wear a level II or III-A vests which will ensure an adequate level of protection without inhibiting the wearer’s maneuverability and concealability.
- Shop Owners and Workers
- Park Rangers
- Bank Employees
Want Help Deciding on a Bullet Proof Vest?
Here at EDI-USA we specialize in manufacturing and selling the best vests for your specific needs. We have a full catalog of products and will happily help you and your team decide which gear will be most appropriate for your missions.
As we are a manufacturer of our own products, we have the unique ability to offer specialized colors (57+), sizes, labels, and materials. If you need something that is personalized, we have the capabilities to do that, don’t hesitate to communicate with us to discuss your needs. We are confident that we can deliver all of your tactical customization requests.