Which body armor is best for you?

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If you’ve spent any time in the infantry, you’ve been issued a flak jacket with steel SAPI (Small Arms Protective Inserts) plates. They’re super useful in combat, and may have saved your life before. But did you ever want your own body armor when you were not on the battlefield?

Body armor used to be something that was only available to military and paramilitary careers, because of its high cost. Now, high-quality body armor is becoming more affordable. Keep reading to learn about finding the modern body armor that’s the best fit for your interests and your budget.

Who needs body armor?

While you were active duty, you may have used your flak every time you went to the range. Some people wear it as a weighted vest while working out. But that’s issued gear that you won’t be able to take with you when you change duty stations or leave the military. Now that companies are producing high-quality gear at more affordable costs, you no longer have to rely on the military-issued gear for hobbies and practice. And after you get out of the military, there are a variety of high-quality body armor options if you go into a security job.

Many veterans subscribe to the philosophy that “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” When you own your body armor, you can choose something that is comfortable, effective, and just right for your needs. Many people keep body armor with their grab and go gear in case of an active shooter or use their vest during training classes.

Why body armor quality matters

Military body armor is designed to keep you alive in combat, but it doesn’t focus on your comfort. You’ve probably experienced that painful dig in the shoulders when you’re carrying a full kit or struggled to protect all your valuable parts if you have a taller build. When you purchase body armor, you can choose something that is designed for your needs and body type.

You don’t have to worry about getting lowest-bidder quality when you go to a body armor retailer. There are a variety of styles and materials that deliver different levels of protection. Do you need lightweight, concealable protection that offers you good mobility while stopping handgun rounds? Then you’ll want a set of level IIIA soft body armor panels, weighing only about one pound per panel. Maybe you’re considering a full plate for a security job and you need protection from most rifle rounds. In that case you’ll want plates made from AR500 or AR550 ballistic steel. The highest quality ballistic steel on the market is typically used by the military, armored car companies, and by body armor manufacturers such as Spartan Armor Systems.

There’s a thrill in knowing you’re wearing the highest quality armor on the market. When it comes to ballistics, the type of steel matters, and the manufacturing process is equally important. Research your options or talk to a customer service representative to get the right balance of strength and maneuverability. Simply put, higher quality body armor gives you higher reassurance that you can do your job while you are wearing it.

Your body armor budget

Let’s be real, getting military-grade body armor for personal use comes with a price tag. The quality of the materials matter, so it’s definitely a product where you get what you pay for. Ultimately, the price will depend on the materials and the manufacturing process, so do your research first. Focus on the materials you need for your job, then determine which company offers those materials at the best rate.

Thankfully, retailers now have high-quality kits to fit any budget. If you visit Spartan Armor Systems™, you’ll find several steel choices. Spartan Armor Systems offers Spartan™ Omega AR500 (level III), AR550 armor (level III+), and a full line of composite/ceramic armor ranging from level IIIA up to level IV body armor which is designed to stop 30-06 M2 AP armor piercing rounds. Each body armor platform is designed to deliver the best quality for different scenarios. Want more comfortable steel plates? Checkout their ATC Advanced Triple Curve™ patented design. Want protection from spall/fragmentation? Go with their full coat of Encapsaloc™ fragmentation mitigation coating.

If you’re working for a security company or taking a class with required specs, then the customer service department of a good company should be able to offer you several options that will meet the requirements and let you get the job done wearing the right equipment. If you’re getting the armor for work, you can speak to your employer and see if they cover some of the cost. If it’s for personal use, consider the durability of the materials, and how long one set will last you.

Always ask if a company offers discounts for military or first responders. If you need body armor for your team or crew, then you can also inquire about bulk order prices. For example, Spartan Armor Systems offers a 10% discount on everything in their store for military or first responder customers. They also have bulk rates for law enforcement and first responder sales.

Finding the right body armor for your budget is a unique process for each individual. But with research and the right customer service advice, you can find high-quality armor that is perfectly suited to your needs.

This article is sponsored by Spartan Armor Systems.