How to Choose the Best Base Layer for Wearing Armor

How Body Armor Can be the Best Base Layer

In order to get the most comfortable experience wearing body armor, it’s all about starting at the foundation. An uncomfortable, moist, insulative bulletproof vest is enough to make anyone go ballistic. Your base layer should at least meet these two criteria:

  • Lightweight 
  • Moisture wicking

These are the qualities of a great foundational base layer that will help you enjoy your body armor system all day and perform your best! We’ll walk you through how to pick the most breathable fabrics, why it's important to be particular about your base layer, and give our recommendations for the best clothing to keep close. 

Image of a soft armor vest you can wear under clothing.

What’s the Point of Wearing a Base Layer?

This article of clothing should help regulate your core temperature, dissipate your sweat, and be versatile enough to help you perform a wide range of activities. A base layer or undershirt should feel like a second skin throughout your day. It should keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather. 

A Lightweight Base Layer

Anyone that’s familiar with using a bulletproof vest knows that the pounds add up pretty quick. Excessive weight can feel smothering and add stress to the body. In performance-minded environments, every ounce matters. 

Heavy cotton or wool shirts can restrain the body from excelling. Overtime wearing cotton can cause wrinkles in the material which can then lead to heat rashes or skin irritation. These shirts can also feel constricting and not flexible enough to move with your body.

Body armor is already insulative, so your base layer should be light and breathable. Wearing a soft armor vest close to your skin can often hold in heat and moisture. It is important to have a base layer that combats insulative armor.

A lightweight base layer of synthetic fiber is thin.A brand we highly recommend is 1Enemy. We love their shirts because they’re soft, sweat-wicking fabric, but most of all, they breathe and move with you. These shirts are so awesome that we use them as the foundation of our Everyday Armor T-Shirts

image of bulletproof t-shirt that is concealable under a button up shirt.

Moisture Wicking

Imagine being stuck inside a sticky, sweaty, stinky shirt all day. That’s what happens when you don’t take advantage of adaptive technologies like a moisture wicking base layer. 

Moisture wicking fabrics use a process called capillary action. The process pulls sweat away from the skin, onto the fabric. Then, the moisture within the fabric quickly evaporates. A great side effect is that these shirts also eliminate odor! 

Cotton takes in at least 7% of its weight in moisture and cannot dissipate sweat. With moisture wicking fabrics, every fiber works to regulate body temperature, by moving moisture away from the body. The results are a soft, light, base layer that has a dry, non-sticky feel, making it the ideal fabric to help you excel in any environment!  


PBA Vests: Designed to Keep You Cool and Comfortable

All of our concealed body armor products have been created with intentionality. We consider the above factors when designing our ballistic vests to enhance your performance. Our bulletproof vest options are: 

  • The Everyday Armor T-Shirt
  • The Concealable Armor Vest
  • The Discreet Executive Vest
  • The Elite Executive Vest

    The Everyday Armor T-Shirt

    This soft armor option gives the protection of a bulletproof vest, but also uniquely provides the benefits of a base layer. This lightweight, moisture-wicking shirt has two armor pockets, one in the front and one in the rear, designed to hold Premier Body Armor’s level IIIA vital protection ballistic panels. Each shirt fits close to, and moves with, the body. These bulletproof t-shirt options are intentionally long to allow the shirt to be tucked in for additional concealability. While they fit true to size, we do recommend sizing down for a fit closer to your body, without the extra room your normal tshirt may provide.

    Image of white moisture wicking undershirt that holds ballistic panels.

    The Concealable Armor Vest

    A great feature about this vest is that it is so compatible with your base layer. This vest offers comfort tech fabric that is soft to the touch, breathable, water repellant, and has a finish that eliminates odors. This is one of the most versatile ballistic vests to hit the market in years. With six points of adjustability, it can easily form to your body like a second skin. 

    Image of a ballistic vest that can be worn internally or externally.

    The Discreet Executive Vest

    Weighing only 4 lbs, this vest is phenomenal for a low profile discreet armor option for high profile outings. This soft armor vest can be worn under a button up, business suit, collared shirt, nearly anything! The moisture-wicking, antimicrobial carrier will work with your base layer to help keep you comfortable all day long. 

    Image of bulletproof level iiia vest that stays hidden under clothes.

    The Elite Executive Vest

    This ballistic vest is called elite for a reason. It is extremely flexible and features our HOVERLIGHT ballistics- the thinnest and lightest wearable armor available to civilians. Even more concealable than before, and includes the same carrier properties as our Discreet Executive Vest. Truly the thinnest, lightest, most comfortable, soft armor vest. 

    Our elite executive vest, the lightest bulletproof vest that is ultra concealable.

    Want to Take Your Armor Wearing Experience to the Next Level?

    Body armor is insulative and can limit the body’s natural ability to self-regulate skin temperature. We are proud to be the only distributor of Eclipsys cooling technologyin the armor industry. This space-age technology providesadaptive cooling, which means as moisture increases around the body, Eclipsys funnels heat away from the body and cools you down. 

    How our cooling technology pulls heat away from body armor vests.

    The combination of a moisture-wicking base layer in all of our vests along with Eclipsys technology is unmatched in comfort! As the moisture-wicking base layer pulls moisture away from the body, the Eclipsys technology recognizes this increase of moisture and works harder to keep you cool and refreshed. Name a better duo! 

    Eclipsys is compatible with our Concealable Armor vest, Executive vestsplates, and Everyday armor t-shirt.This perpetual cooling combination works when you need it, for as long as you need it. 

    So, don’t settle for a smothering, moist base layer. Invest in a base layer that also gives you the protection and peace of mind you deserve. 

    To get the best experience wearing your body armor, consider these tips when buying your next base layer. Take advantage of adaptive technologies like Eclipsys and choose Premier Body Armor!

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