AR 500 Body Armor Plate Carrier

The Best Body Armor – An Essential Guide

Should things get bad, as, in a major disaster strikes and chaos envelopes the streets, you will could be faced with the strong possibility that you and your family are at great risk of being attacked by other people who want the supplies in your home.

This is one reason why it’s imperative to have a home defense plan in place and to consider modifying your home to make it easier to defend (such as improving the entry points like your doors and windows).

It’s also why you should consider making a big investment into body armor to offer some level of physical protection against bullets. While you may believe that body armor is either exp ensive or only available to law enforcement and the military, this is simply not true at all.

The result is that armor is very affordable at around a couple hundred dollars, and it’s also more available and practical than it really ever has before.

The best body armor is also available in a number of different styles, shapes, and protection levels. If you’re interested in owning armor but don’t know anything about it, this article will be a great place to start your research.

We’ll talk about the features you need to have in personal armor, the basic types of body armor there is on the market, and the top four best makes and models of body armor on the market.

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Body Armor – What It Is and Why You Need It

Body armor is hardly a recent invention. On the contrary, it has existed for thousands of years!

As long as humans have been at war at one another with lethal weapons, some level of armor or protection to keep the body shielded from physical attack has existed. Whether that included chain mail, metal armor, leather cowhides, and so on, body armor has always served as a primary armament of armies, peace keeping forces, and ordinary civilians.

,Body armor has evolved into bulletproof vests or ballistic vests to protect the body from being shot

Evolution of Body Armor

Today, body armor has further evolved into bulletproof vests or ballistic vests to protect the body from being shot. In an SHTF or disaster scenario where your home is attacked by multiple attackers who want the supplies they believe you have, having body armor for each member of your family just common sense as a level of protection against the bullets that could come smashing through your doors and windows.

If you would agree that owning body armor is worth the investment for situations such as these, then let’s move onto the next section where we’ll talk about the basic types of body armor.


Basic Types of Body Armor

Manufacturing Bullet Proof Body Armor by hand

Body armor exists today in a few different forms.

Concealed Vests

One form is concealed vests, which is commonly worn by police officers. Concealed vests offer protection against pistol calibers, shards of glass, and knives, but little to no protection against rifle rounds. Since cops are more concerned about criminals with pistols and knives than rifles, they value keeping their vests concealed, it’s why they choose to wear them.

External Combat Plates

Military members, on the other hand, will opt for another type of body armor called ‘external combat plates.’ These combat plates are clearly worn on the outside of the uniform of the soldier, and offer much improved protection against rifle rounds than concealed vests do.

Furthermore, there are different types of external combat plates as well: there are either stand alone plates (or just the plates themselves, sometimes with padding for added comfort), and multi-piece plates, or plates that are combined with other features such as pistol holsters or magazine holders or gear pouches and so on. Between these two, the multi-piece system is favored by the military.

What Type of Body Armor Do You Need?

So what do you need, a concealed vest or an exterior plate? Honestly, for an SHTF disaster scenario, the exterior plate would probably be smarter, because even though it’s not concealable it still offers you superior protection.

And what about between a stand alone plate or a multi-piece product? Either is fine, but a multi-piece product is undoubtedly more versatile because it allows you to attach added gear, such as a med kit, spare magazines, a sidearm, and so on.


Features You Need In Body Armor

There are several features that will be highly desirable if not necessary for body armor. These include:

Man wearing body armor for protection

Protection

This is the whole reason to owning body armor in the first place, right? If your body armor cannot protect you from most bullets or knife attacks, then there’s really no reason to even owning it and wearing it to begin with. Carefully research the protection levels of any makes and models of body armor you are considering.

Comfort

Your body armor needs to be comfortable for one very simple reason: if it’s not comfortable for you to wear, then you won’t wear it!

This is why at the very minimum, your body armor needs to have some level of padding and be fully adjustable to fit your body type wear. Avoid armor without padding or with few or no adjustment levels.

Mobility

Not only must your armor be comfortable, it needs to be mobile as well. While the first and biggest concern for it is for it to protect you from bullets, knives, and other weapons, you also can’t be significantly slowed down by it either.

You need to be able to move with your armor and move fast. Mobility is key to staying alive in any defensive situation.


4 Best Makes and Models of Body Armor Carriers On The Market

Here are four of the best armor plate carriers on the market, presented in alphabetical order:

Product NameWhere to Buy
image of AR Invictus™ Plate CarrierAR Invictus™ Plate CarrierCheck Price
image of Condor Elite Lightweight Plate Carrier VestCondor Elite Lightweight Plate Carrier VestCheck Price
image of Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0 Plate CarrierShellback Tactical Rampage 2.0 Plate CarrierCheck Price
image of National Body Armor EXPRESS T-SHIRT CONCEALABLE MULTI-THREATNational Body Armor EXPRESS T-SHIRT CONCEALABLE MULTI-THREATCheck Price

1. AR Invictus™ Plate Carrier

 

AR Invictus™ Plate Carrier is made for premium protect and mobility

 

image of a button check this price

 

The AR Invictus™ Plate Carrier from AR500 Armor provides you with the following options to customize your own set up:

  • Choose from 4 color options (Black, Coyote, multicam, Olive)
  • Side Plate Cummerbund
  • Swift Clip rig compatible
  • Blunt Force Trauma Pad
  • Double Magazine Pouch For the Multi-Caliber Pistols
  • Quick Release

The plate carrier is constructed out of a 500D nylon material, which is intended to be the perfect combination between protection and lightweight. The shoulders are both padded for comfort and the carrier is fully adjustable to accommodate most body types. The carrier accepts all 10” x 12” plates and is laser-cut from laminated Nylon.

2. Condor Elite Lightweight Plate Carrier Vest (Best Budget Friendly Body Armor)

 

Condor Elite Lightweight Plate Carrier Vest is made from durable 4-way stretch nylon

 

image of a button check this price

 

Condor Elite plate carrier is made from durable 4-way stretch nylon. The lightweight makes it a multi-functional plate carrier. It can be worn as a minimal outer carrier in conjunction with up to level 3A Ballistic Plates, or concealed easily underneath a jacket while using most soft armor in the shooter cut configuration.

It has adjustable straps to fit chest sizes from 34″ to 48″ inches. Plates are sold separately.

3. Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0 Plate Carrier

 

Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0 Plate Carrier holds 10X12 plates. 3D spacer mesh provides ultimate comfort

 

image of a button check this price

 

The Shellback Tactical Rampage 2.0 Plate Carrier holds 10X12 plates. 3D spacer mesh provides ultimate comfort. The laser cut molle and removable front placard allow you to customize whatever loadout you need.

Backed by a lifetime warranty suggests this plate carrier is built to last.

4. National Body Armor EXPRESS T-SHIRT CONCEALABLE MULTI-THREAT

 

EXPRESS T-SHIRT CONCEALABLE MULTI-THREAT is more discreet with your armored protection

 

image of a button check this price

 

As we discussed, sometimes you may want to be more discreet with your armored protection.  Express Concealable Multi-threat T-shirt by National Body Armor is just what you are looking for. The Express t-shirt offers front and back protection. Can easily be worn underneath your clothes. Easy to care for.  Just take out the plates (includes 1 set of Level IIIA plates) and throw the shirt in the washer.

The Level IIIA soft armor will protect you from a .38 special, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 9mm, .357 Magnum, .357 Sig, .44 Magnum.

Features:

  • Multi-threat protection
  • Superior comfort for all day wear
  • Maximum concealment without loss of movement
  • Available in Light, Lighter, or Lightest options
  • Machine Washable
  • Armor weight for sizes Small to XL 3.4 lbs
  • Armor weight for sizes 2XL to 5XL are 4.6 lbs

Best Body Armor – Conclusion

All in all, body armor is definitely something you should consider investing in to keep yourself protected in any disaster or SHTF scenario. Too often, it is overlooked by preppers and anyone else devising a home defense plan for the worst of scenarios.

Protection, comfort, and mobility are the top three features you need to have in your body armor, and any one of the carriers we have gone over offers each of those features to you.

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Alex Joseph

Alex Joseph is an avid bow hunter and father of two boys. Originally from Tacoma, Washington. Alex now resides in California.

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