For Serious Gun Lovers

Bulletproof Backpacks: Keeping You (and Your Kids) Safe

Bulletproof Backpack ballistic test

Sending your child off to school hasn’t been as carefree for parents as in past years. Because of increasing levels of violence in our society, more and more moms and dads have considered buying a bulletproof backpack for their children.

In addition, some parents opt for placing armor plates in their child’s backpack. In any case, both forms of protection provide a sense of security for all folks involved.

Besides students, many people in the workforce are now carrying backpacks for work and may consider a bulletproof backpack as an option.


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How Much is a Bulletproof Backpack?

On average, backpacks that are bulletproof in design cost in the area of $150 – $200. They’re also very well-made backpacks that are in it for the long haul.

Bullet Proof Protection Ratings

NIJ logo

Any bulletproof products you buy should be NIJ certified. A rule of thumb is to make sure the NIJ certification is displayed on the company’s website from which you are buying. Consider not making the purchase if the company does not have such a certification. Ask before you buy!

Check the caliber levels, as some calibers are more common than others.

A lower level panel may still do its job and block the heavy blow of a bullet that usually would be prevented by a panel with a higher level rating. Please see below for the NIJ Rating system.

The National Institute of Justice Rating System

Threat Level RatingAmmunitionWeight (grains)Weight (grams)Min/Max (meters/sec)Min/Max (feet/sec)Number of shots
Level I.22 long rifle high velocity lead402.6310 +/- 121050 +/- 405
Level I.38 special round nose lead15810.2259 +/- 15850 +/- 505
Level II.357 mag. jacketed soft point15810.2425 +/- 151395 +/- 505
Level II9mm full metal jacket1248.0358 +/- 121175 +/- 405
Level IIA.357 mag. jacketed soft point15810.2381 +/- 151250 +/- 505
Level IIA9mm full metal jacket1248.0332 +/- 121090 +/- 405
Level III7.62mm (.308 Winchester) full metal jacket1509.7838 +/- 152750 +/- 505
Level IIIA.44 mag. lead semi-wadcutter gas checked24015.55426 +/- 151400 +/- 505
Level IIIA9mm full metal jacket1248.0426 +/- 151400 +/- 505
Level IV.30-06 armor piercing16610.8868 +/- 152850 +/- 501
  • Level 1 – This level is noted for the bulletproof technology in its early stages.
  • Level II-A – Will stop.357 Magnum JSP
  • Level 3-A – Offers higher body armor protection. This is typically the type placed in backpacks of an average price.
  • Level 3– Formulated to block .223 ammunition, as used by an AR-15 — comes with minimal protection against powerful rounds.
  • Level 4 – This is the highest degree of prevention available for purchase. Level four is the go-to for SWAT teams and other high-risk jobs.

How Much Does The Bulletproof Plate Weigh?

Level 3 plates average around 1.5lbs. Plates that are ranked highly are made of harder materials and weigh more than Level 3-A can weigh much more. Before you purchase a plate for a young child, always ensure any bag or insert is of a proper weight.

The level 3 plate in a bullet proof backpack weigh around 1.5lbs

Level 3A is suitable for those concerned about commuting by foot in busy urban areas where gun violence is usually the highest.

Level 4 is much heavier than the previous level because it’s made of a tougher substance as opposed to the softer 3-A panels which are lightweight protection.

How Effective Are Armored Plates?

Armor plates are very effective depending on the ballistic stopping level you choose.   In the image below you can see the results of our test of the ballistic inserts.

bulletproof plates ballistic tests

Bulletproof Backpack Buying Tips:

  • Level 3-A is usually the rating for most backpacks. This level won’t block high-velocity rounds.
  • Gunshots can be detrimental without a direct impact. This means while the bullet may not touch you, you’ll still deal with the dramatic increase in weight of the plate and the centrifugal force created in stopping the round.

Plates Or Packs?

For this review, the following list of backpacks offers Level 3-A protection. On the other hand, with Level 3 and 4 protection, it’s best to buy a plate because there are so many at the ready. Manufacturers tend to lean towards this level.

For example, your child may absolutely love their existing backpack. You can simply add a plate insert to get the best of both worlds. They’ll be happy and protected.

Best Bulletproof Backpacks

Most bulletproof backpacks offer plenty of comfort due to their straps. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular packs on the market today …

1. GUARD DOG Security ProShield Smart Tactical Backpack

The GUARD DOG Security ProShield Smart Tactical Backpacks offer gel-type straps

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If you’ve ever watched the Guard Dog YouTube video, you know what I’m talking about. GUARD DOG SECURITY offers the ultimate in comfort. Their packs offer gel-type straps which are perfect for people and students on the go. The styling is basic, but it has all the subdued features that help you to blend in with a crowd.

With the ProShield Smart Tactical Backpack, you’ll get a strong and padded sleeve that fits average laptop size in addition to more than 20 small compartments to keep all of your accessories nice and neat. In addition, Guard Dog performs ballistics tests on all packs before the sale.

Bulletproof Backpack Ballistic Tests

Along with the ballistics tests, Guard Dog also includes test results which are certified in their description photos on Amazon. They stand behind their quality product and guarantee results.

However, this bag is rather small, so it’s a better option for a school student rather than an adult. Aside from that, it’s a solid and reliable form of protection.

Bulletproof Backpack Features

  • Built-in charging bank —  charge your mobile devices from your backpack on the move
  • TSA-approved quick-open back prevents the need to remove laptop and tablet for security screenings
  • Twenty compartments include an ID pocket, 18-inch laptop and tablet sleeves, and a hands-free phone holder on the strap
  • Designed so you can wear it daily with protection for when you least expect it
  • Includes built-in rain poncho!
  • Check the best price on Amazon!

2. Elite Survival Systems Smoke Screen Backpack

The Elite Survival Smokescreen Backpack

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The Elite Survival Systems Smoke Screen Backpack is the perfect pack for daily use or traveling. This backpack combines safety and style. The Elite Survival Systems Smoke Screen also has several designs to choose from. Black/gray, coyote/olive, indigo/brown, and gray/orange are a few of the stylish colors of bulletproof backpacks you can choose from.

This bag is a favorite amongst school-age children as it’s appealing to the eye, with a fun and creative style — you’ll find everything you need in this lightweight pack. For example, this pack includes a spacious main compartment. These include a tablet/laptop sleeve and zippered eyewear pocket with soft lining.

Ergonomic comfort, lightweight, durable 420 denier nylon construction. Fully functional, adjustable, single-strap pack.

Elite Survival System Ballistic Inserts

The ballistic insert (can be sold separately) has a soft, flexible construction that allows the ballistic backpack panel to be easily inserted into bags and packs with sufficient capacity. It is certified threat level type IIIA according to NIJ ratings.

Lastly, the Smoke Screen Backpack with a ballistic insert only weighs a mere 1.5lbs more than the pack alone, and it will keep you protected even during unobtrusive situations. A great choice.


  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Fully-functional, adjustable, single strap tactical pack
  • The shoulder strap incorporates a mesh utility pouch and velcro-strap segments to hold cords, pens, or knives in place.
  • Over 20 pockets and compartments to keep you organized, including tablet/laptop pocket
  • Lightweight and functional

Bulletproof Backpack – Final Thoughts

In today’s society, mass shootings have become more of a reality and it’s never too early to be protected. Bulletproof backpacks provide oneself and the parents of children, a sense of security in the event of an assault fire.

Finally, all proceeds of Guard Dog bulletproof backpacks will benefit families and victims of the Parkland Shooting Via the Broward Education Foundation.

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