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Bulletproof Vests

What is a Bulletproof Vest?

A bulletproof vest, also known as a tactical vest, or ballistic vest, is a type of body armor that protects from bullets and other projectiles. 

The vest includes layers of materials that absorb and distribute the impact of a bullet. They are frequently soft body armor vests but can include pockets for rifle plate protection.

Are Bulletproof Vests Really Bullet Proof?

Ballistic vests vary and not all can prevent penetration by all types of bullets. Ballistics are designed to resist and slow down bullets. People wearing ballistic vests should think of them as bullet-resistant, depending on the rating of the vest. A bullet proof vest that is NIJ level IIIA will provide ballistic protection against nearly all handgun rounds, while a vest with level IV plates can protect against nearly all rifle rounds.

How Much Does a Bullet proof Vest Weigh?

Bulletproof vests typically weigh around 3-7 lbs based on their size, material, and rating. Our standard Hybrid Tactical Vest weighs 4 pounds as a small size, and 7 pounds as a 2XL. Soft, flexible body armor typically weighs less than harder plates, so a Level IIIA soft armor vest would weigh less than one with Level 3 or 4 hard plates inserted.

Bulletproof Vest Categories

Bulletproof vest ratings refer to the level of protection provided by a vest. These ratings are determined by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which sets standards for body armor used by law enforcement agencies in the United States. The NIJ has established five levels of protection, each corresponding to different types of ammunition.

A bulletproof vest NIJ level 3 can stop several types of rifle rounds but is heavier than a level 2 vest, which only stops certain handgun rounds. We have put together an in-depth look at the different levels of body armor to help you decide what is most suitable for your needs.

Most people choose Level 3A vests, as they offer a good balance of protection and comfort. This type of vest is usually a more affordable bulletproof vest that can protect against common bullet calibers while remaining lightweight and comfortable. 

Many can easily be concealed under clothing, like the Everyday Armor T-Shirt, making them suitable for everyday wear.

Level 3 body armor vests are also popular, providing protection against rifle rounds.

Types of Bulletproof Vests

Kevlar Vest vs Bulletproof Vest

Kevlar vests are a type of bulletproof vest made from the synthetic fiber Kevlar®. Bulletproof vests can be made from a variety of materials.

Bulletproof vests made from Kevlar are typically lighter and more flexible than vests made from other materials, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods. 

Body Armor vs Bullet Proof Vest

A bulletproof vest is a specific type of body armor that is specially designed to protect against bullets. 

Body armor is a general term that can refer to any type of personal protective equipment that is worn on the body. This includes items such as helmets, bag or backpack inserts, ballistic plates, and plate carriers, which offer a greater level of adaptability than a traditional bulletproof vest. 

Female Body Armor Bulletproof Vest

Female body armor bulletproof vests are rare, and designed to fit the female body. These vests feature a contoured design that accommodates the shape of the female torso and chest. Our Female Concealable Armor Vestis the first female vest available to civilians. The new FemaleFlex armor material allows the ballistic package to hug female curves without confining cup sizes. 

Concealed Bulletproof Vests 

Concealed bullet proof vests offer added protection without drawing attention. 

This vest is a common choice among professionals such as journalists, undercover cops, humanitarian aid workers, business executives, celebrities, and security guards that must maintain a welcoming appearance. 

soft armor vest for women and men. level 3a protection for edc


Is it Legal to Own a Bulletproof Vest? 

In most states in the US, it is perfectly legal to own a bulletproof vest. There are, however, a few states and municipalities that have restrictions on the shipping/wearing of body armor. 

Can You Buy Ballistic Vests as a Convicted Felon?

Some states have laws prohibiting convicted felons from owning/wearing body armor. It is important to check the legality of body armor in your state before making a purchase. 


When & Where to Wear a Ballistic Vest

Bulletproof vests should always be worn while in possession of a firearm for full protection. Bulletproof vests are also a smart form of protection available in places where you cannot carry a firearm.

Who Wears a Bulletproof Vest? 

People that wear bulletproof vests include:

  • Law enforcement
  • Military personnel
  • Security
  • Hunters
  • Shooting hobbyists
  • Collectors
  • Gun/body armor enthusiasts
  • Preppers/survivalists
  • High-status individuals
  • Government officials

As a civilian, there are a few reasons to consider purchasing body armor. If you are concerned about your safety at home, work, or while traveling, body armor can provide you with peace of mind and an added level of protection. 

In recent years, a growing number of parents have become worried for their children’s safety at school. Several companies have stepped in to help develop bulletproof school items that protect students in case of an active shooter situation at school or in public.

At Premier body armor, you can get the same level of protection as top-level officials and military personnel.


Can a Bulletproof Vest Stop a Knife?

Bulletproof vests protect against bullets traveling at extremely high speeds, so can a knife cut through a bulletproof vest? 

Bulletproof vests are not typically designed to protect against knives, which can cut through materials like kevlar. A knife's point of impact is much smaller and can slip through the gaps in the vest's material. Body armor can be naturally knife resistant, but for full stab protection, we recommend finding protections designed specifically for knife threats.

Choosing the Right Bulletproof Vest

We offer a wide range of body armor to accommodate different needs. We know you may be overwhelmed by the number of options, so we have created a how to buy bulletproof vest guide to ease the process.