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Bulletproof Backpack Armor

What is Backpack Body Armor?

Backpack body armor is a type of personal protective equipment designed to provide ballistic protection in a discreet and convenient way. It is commonly used by students, commuters, and professionals who want to be prepared for unexpected threats.

using bulletproof backpack armor in a running, hiding, or standing position

Are Backpacks Really Bulletproof?

The effectiveness of backpack bulletproof inserts against bullets varies based on its NIJ rating, with varying levels of protection. However, in general, it can greatly improve your chances of surviving a gunshot wound from nearly any kind of bullet. Carrying bulletproof armor is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from gunfire in public. Read our article on what to know about backpack armor if you aren’t sure how a backpack could protect you from a bullet.

Bulletproof Backpack vs Backpack Armor Insert

Bulletproof backpacks (AKA “armored backpacks”) are made with ballistic panels integrated into the backpack itself, while backpack armor inserts can be removed and added to any bag for protection. An armored backpack is an all-in-one solution, while a kevlar backpack insert can be conveniently removed and used for a variety of purposes. Rest assured knowing that Premier Body Armor backpack inserts are designed to offer the best Level IIIA protection possible, using the same ballistic material as our law enforcement vests.

What Does Level 3A Body Armor Stop?

Level IIIA body armor can stop the following rounds:

  • 9mm
  • .40, .45, and .44 magnum
  • 12 gauge (buckshot and slug)
  • Liberty Civil Defense 9mm
  • FN 5.7x28 (SS197SR)

In simple terms, Level 3A stops most handguns, and will protect against the vast majority of threats encountered in everyday situations.

*In 2024, the NIJ will implement new standards. Based on these updated body armor standards, our backpack armor will be rated HG2.

graphic showing nij rating level IIIa stopping power. level 3a stops handgun rounds and 12 gauge shotgun

Level 3A Body Armor vs Level 3 Body Armor

Level 3 body armor is designed to stop rifle rounds, while level 3A body armor is designed to stop handgun rounds up to .44 Magnum. Level 3 armor is typically heavier and less comfortable to wear than level 3A armor, but it offers greater protection against rifle fire.

It's important to choose armor that has been certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to ensure it meets the highest standards of protection. When deciding between level 3 and level IIIA soft armor, consider your threat level and the specific situations in which you'll be using the armor.

NIJ Certification

The NIJ standards are only for vests. No company has an NIJ certified backpack panel/insert. We use the same ballistics in our backpack inserts as we do in our vests, and each item contains a rating based on the materials used.

What are Bulletproof Backpack Panels Made of?

Bulletproof Backpack Insert Materials

Most of our backpack panels are made of high-strength Kevlar® fibers. These materials are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for everyday use. 

We also offer a level III+ backpack plate made with polyethylene. Polyethylene is heavier than aramid fibers, but it is still the lightest material capable of stopping rifle rounds. This makes it an ideal material for an armored backpack, since it gives Level III/RF1 protection. 

Sizes of Backpack Body Armor

Backpack armor comes in various sizes to fit different backpacks. It's essential to choose the right size for your backpack to ensure proper protection. To guarantee a good fit, you can purchase a backpack with body armor bundle that includes a Vertex backpack alongside a corresponding insert that fits perfectly. 

Made in the USA

Everything you buy from Premier Body Armor is made in the USA. By manufacturing our products here in the US, we can ensure high-quality standards and reliable performance. We have taken this a step further by ensuring that all our products are berry compliant, meaning we use domestic supply chains for all of our products. Not only is our body armor manufactured here, but we make sure that all raw materials we use come from suppliers in the US. 

The Lightest Backpack Body Armor

We offer the lightest Level IIIA body armor panels on the market. Every one of of our 3A kevlar inserts weighs less than two pounds, and are less than 6 millimeters thin - thinner than an iPhone. Our popular universal fit backpack insert weighs 1.4 lbs, and measures 10” x 15”. Our enhanced 10” x 16” level III+ backpack insert can stop rifle rounds and only weighs 4 lbs and is less than 18 millimeters thin.

Carrying Backpack Body Armor

When to Carry

The great thing about our bulletproof inserts is that you can use them virtually any time. Bags are a normal item that people take everywhere with them, and a bulletproof bookbag, purse, briefcase, or tote bag does not stand out. These soft body armor inserts are extremely lightweight, so they are barely noticeable.

Due to the level of discreteness, ease of use, and price, a body armor backpack insert is a perfect way to start carrying body armor before buying additional methods of protection.

bulletproof backpack in everyday situations

Where to Carry

A backpack body armor insert is perfect for providing increased protection in schools, public transportation, coffee shops, or anywhere you decide to take your backpack with you. These inserts are TSA approved, so you can safely travel between states with added protection. Many parents feel more comfortable sending their children to school with a kids bulletproof backpack for protection. Backpack armor for kids offers the same level of protection and peace of mind at a smaller size. 

body armor for kids bookbag. lightweight protection from handguns

Alternatives to a Level 3A Backpack Panel

In addition to backpack body armor, there are other personal protective equipment options available, including:

  • Bulletproof laptop case: Ideal for those who don't carry a backpack or bag.
  • Concealable Armor Vest: A wearable body armor option suitable for situations where body armor must be hidden.
  • Bulletproof Pencil Pouch: Ideal for kids in school settings where backpacks aren't allowed in the classroom or at the seat.
  • Everyday Armor T-Shirt: A wearable option suitable for daily use. Designed to protect the front and back cardiac box with Level 3A protection. Ultra-concealable.

Bulletproof Backpack Body Armor FAQs

When it comes to bulletproof backpacks and body armor, there are plenty of questions that come to mind. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers:

How do I find the best bulletproof backpack insert for my bag?

choose the right size backpack body armor for your bookbag

Do bulletproof backpacks work against AR-15?

Most of our inserts are level IIIA which can protect against most common handguns. It is important to remember that no armor can be completely bulletproof. Many of our customers prefer to err on the side of caution and purchase the highest level of protection that they can afford.

Bulletproof backpack inserts with Level III+ protection such as our Stratis Level III+ Enhanced Backpack Insert will stop bullets from AR-15, along with most firearms. If you don’t believe us, watch us test one out.

Is there level 3 soft body armor?

There is no such thing as "Level 3 soft body armor". The highest level of soft body armor is Level 3a soft body armor, which is designed to stop most handgun rounds. Higher levels of protection require hard armor plates, which are heavier and less flexible than soft armor. That being said, we offer the best soft body armor on the market.

How long does soft body armor last?

The lifespan of soft body armor varies depending on several factors, including the manufacturer's specifications, the quality of the materials used, and how often the armor is used. We recommend replacing our soft armor every 5 years.

How much is a bulletproof backpack?

The cost of a bulletproof backpack varies depending on the level of protection and the brand. A bulletproof insert from us starts at just $150, with level IIIA protection.

Are bulletproof backpacks legal?

Yes, you can legally own bulletproof backpacks in all states. Some states have restrictions regarding body armor, so it's important to check the laws in your state before purchasing. 

Is backpack body armor stab proof or knife resistant?

Our backpack body armor is designed to stop bullets, but not stabs or slashes in particular. If you're looking for protection against both ballistic threats and edged weapons, you may want to consider purchasing specialized armor designed to stop knife attacks. 

Our body armor is certainly stab resistant, but there are much better options to protect against knife attacks.