PURCHASING BODY ARMOUR GUIDE
There are certain things that you must take into consideration before purchasing body armour in order to ensure that you choose the best possible armour for your individual requirements. We have put together the following list in order to help you think about what body armour will be best for you:
- Determine the possible threats you may encounter. Are you more likely to face ballistic (bullet) threats? Is there a possibility you could come into contact with individuals wielding sharp weapons, and therefore need additional stab/spike resistant protection? Remember, a ballistic vest may not necessarily be stab and spike resistant and vice versa. Threat level is a crucial aspect that you need to consider in order to ensure that the body armour you purchase offers the right level of protection to suit your needs.
- Establish how your armour will be worn. Do you want to wear your body armour discreetly under your clothes (covert) or over the top of your clothing (overt)? Do you need pockets in your armour? How would you like it to fasten? You also need to consider if you need the body armour to be hi visibility or waterproof.
- Order the correct vest for your gender. Gender is extremely important when ordering a vest – women should not always wear the same vest as males, and should when possible specifically order a female vest. These vests have been made with the female body in mind, and will always be a better and safer option for a female.
- Keep your height in mind. It is very important that your vest is properly fitted for your height and is not too short or too long. To ensure a proper fit, a vest should reach your navel. Many people assume that protective armour should reach your waist, which is untrue and could be detrimental – a vest that is too long can make it difficult to partake in daily activities such as sitting, bending and reaching. We recommend that anybody between the height of 5ft8 and 6ft orders a standard length of measurement. A male shorter than 5ft8 should purchase a vest in the ‘short’ size range, while one over 6ft tall should choose a vest in the ‘long’ size range. Wearing the right size vest is essential for optimal protection.
- Be realistic. It is not always necessary to order the vest with the highest possible protection rating. Vests offering higher levels of protection are heavier and more cumbersome than those with lower levels of protection, which can lead to the wearer becoming uncomfortable and removing their vest. If you are going to be wearing body armour on a regular basis, your comfort is paramount. Only order the protection that you will realistically need.