How to Find the Right Bulletproof Vest

How to Find the Right Bulletproof Vest 

The Overall Goal for Best Fitting Body Armor

When choosing a concealable armor vest, the goal is a combination of maximum coverage for your vital organs and comfort. Less coverage means less protection, less comfort means less human performance - a balance of both is critical.

Initially, a ballistic vest can be awkward and maybe even seem bulky, but like a pair of shoes, you have to break your vest in. The more you wear your vest, the more the ballistic panels in the front and back will begin to form to your body. 

A helpful tip is to roll up your concealable vest vertically and horizontally when you receive it. Rolling your vest will allow the body armor panels to bend and become softer. 

How to Achieve the Perfect Fit

Typically when helping either a civilian or law enforcement officer find the right size for their bulletproof vest, our experts lead with someone’s shirt size. This is a rough starting point, not the final determining factor. Then we follow up with the question if their weight fluctuates more than 15 pounds or so annually. 

Here are the basic measurements needed for determining your vest size

  • Midsection Measurement 
  • Torso Length
  • Chest Measurement
sizing guide for soft armor vests

Midsection Measurement

To get an accurate measurement around the waist, you need to find your stomach circumference. This measurement can be found by measuring around the abdomen at the belly button line. 

measurement of midsection for body armor vest

Torso Length

For this measurement, we’re talking more about the height of where the bottom of the vest falls. If the bottom of the vest touches your belt, it is too long. If the bottom of the vest is 1” higher than your belly button, the vest is too short. The perfect height is typically an inch or two past the belly button. Measure from the center of the clavicle to bottom of the vest.

torso length measurement example

Chest Measurement

For a measurement around the chest, you measure similar to the process of the waist measurement. You want to measure at the maximum or bust of your chest. Wrap a soft measuring tape around your chest at pectoral height. If you don’t have a soft measuring tape, use a string, then measure the length of the string to a ruler. 

chest measurement for bulletproof vest

How Your Body Armor Vest Should Fit

The perfect sized bulletproof vest should be formed to your body, but also breathable. If you find that your vest is riding up when you sit down, chances are your vest is too long for your torso or too large for your body. 

If you find that often the zippers are falling down while wearing your vest, more than likely the vest is too tight and it is worth considering exchanging your vest for a larger size. Remember, the goal is not just maximum coverage, but also maximum comfort. 

How to Decide Which Level IIIA Soft Armor Vest Meets Your Needs

All of our discreet, concealable vests are NIJ certified Level IIIA armor. Statistics show that the most common weapons used in shootings are handguns. Our Level IIIA vests are designed to protect against all common handgun rounds and 12 gauge shotguns. Any of our bulletproof vest selections come with a 5” x 8” trauma pad for added protection.

While our vests are not rated through the NIJ for slash and stab threats, the soft armor panels have a natural stab and slash resistance to it. These ballistic panels are made of many interwoven fibers that are hard to penetrate with pocket knives and fixed blades. 

The Concealable Armor Vest 

Our Concealable Armor Vest has body armor plates in the front and back. The exceptional part of this vest is that it has multiple points of adjustability. There are velcro straps in the shoulders and cummerbund to ensure a tight fit for your soft armor vest. This is a great option if you find yourself in between sizes on our Discreet Executive Vest. 

This bulletproof vest can be worn internally and disappear under clothing, or it is sleek enough to be worn as an external vest, you decide! The carrier for this vest is water-resistant and comes with concealed zippers to be able to remove the soft plates and wash your carrier. 

You won’t have to wash this vest too often though as it is created with a wicking antimicrobial liner. This liner helps to create a moisture management system for your vest. This is the most versatile level IIIA vest to hit the market in years!

picture of versatile level 3a vest

The Discreet Executive Vest

This discreet armor vest option is the perfect concealable body armor solution for low profile protection in high profile outings. The Discreet Executive Vest was designed with input from leading executive protection professionals and is built to be comfortable and concealable. Under dress shirts or business suits, this concealable vest option disappears. 

Similar to the Concealable Armor Vest, the Executive Vest has a zipper on the inside enabling access to the ballistic panels. These panels can be removed in order to wash your antimicrobial carrier. A totally breathable armor option for any international business traveler, politician, or concerned individual. 

image of most concealable bulletproof vest level that is level iiia soft armor.

Nervous to Bite the Bullet?

We’re commonly asked about our exchange policy before buying a vest. As a company, we want to ensure that you have the best fitting level iiia vest for your armored protection. That’s why at Premier we have a very simple exchange policy. If you receive your vest and are not satisfied with the size, simply click Returns on our website, or call 704-214-9951. 

We will assign an RMA exchange number and instructions to ship your vest back to us. Once your vest is received in a like new condition, we will process your exchange for the desired size and ship it back to you! For more information, check out our returns & exchanges policy page

Customer Satisfaction is Our Goal

Ultimately we want to ensure that our customers are satisfied with the comfort and coverage of all of our products. We will work diligently with you to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase!

1 Response


October 31, 2022

very good sizing info

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