Bulletproof Clothing

Increased gun violence occurring in the United States has translated to bulletproof clothing becoming more common. These articles of clothing absorb the impact and stop the penetration of certain bullets. They are also stab-proof against sharp objects like knives and razors.

Bulletproof clothing is common and highly recommended for people frequently in high-risk or potentially high-risk situations of violence. These include security guards, gas station attendants, and hunters. However, anyone who feels that they may be at risk of violence can purchase, except for those with felony convictions.

To determine a product’s level of protection, the items of clothing are tested against various firearms to determine the force they can take while keeping you safe. Different products offer different levels of protection, but most are bulletproof against anything from a BB gun to a .44 Magnum.

Bulletproof vests offer standard protection from the upper chest to the lower abdomen on the front, the sides, and the back. Some designs provide additional protection to the groin, shoulders, and collar. All of these provide the highest level of protection for soft body armor at a level IIIA (3A). This means they can protect against handgun rounds up to .44 Magnum which covers most handgun rounds used in shooting incidents. With that being said, level IIIA vests do not protect against heavy rifle fire alone. If this additional security is desired, additional ballistic plates can be added to front, rear, and side vest pockets for all sizes except for X-Small vests as they do not have the space for additional storage.

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Sizing

In regard to size and weight, most vests are available in X-Small to 4XL, but certain designs are limited to Medium to 2XL. For standard vests, their weight and total protection area in regards to the vest size are as follows:

X-Small:

4.85 pounds with a total protection area of 340 square inches

Small:

5.15 pounds with a total protection area of 390 square inches

Medium:

5.70 pounds with a total protection area of 430 square inches

Large:

5.70 pounds with a total protection area of 430 square inches

Extra Large:

6.05 pounds with a total protection area of 450 square inches

2XL:

6.35 pounds with a total protection area of 490 square inches

4XL:

6.95 pounds with a total protection area of 560 square inches

For vests that provide additional protection to the groin, shoulders, and collar, their weight and total protection area are as follows:

Medium:

12.7 pounds with a total protection area of 890 square inches

Large:

13.6 pounds with a total protection area of 910 square inches

Extra Large:

14.5 pounds with a total protection area of 930 square inches

2XL:

16.3 pounds with a total protection area of 1050 square inches

All vests should fit securely around the abdomen area. Use your height and weight to determine the appropriate size based on a bulletproof vest size chart. Because vests have adjustable straps, the length of the vest in comparison to your abdomen length is not as crucial as how well the vest securely covers the width of your midsection. If you are in between sizes and have a larger midsection, go for the larger size. If you have a smaller midsection, go for the smaller size.

Protection for shoulders, arms, and lower legs from the knees down to the ankles are offered by pads. They are ideal for thrown or swung objects and they absorb the impact of bullets. These paddings are designed to be durable yet flexible for full-range mobility. Shoulder, arm, and leg pads come in one size for people up to 225 pounds. In regards to weight, a set of all three pads cumulatively weighs about 6.5 pounds.

Bulletproof baseball caps offer level IIA protection from .22LR to .45ACP rounds. The cap is meant for everyday wear so they only offer coverage to the front third of the skull to maintain comfort and discretion as an everyday accessory.

The caps come in a size Small, Medium, and Large. To determine your size, measure the circumference of the widest part of your head, around the middle of your forehead to the outermost part of the back of your head.

Small:

less than 21 inches in circumference

Medium:

21-23 inches in circumference

Large:

23 - 24 inches in circumference

Bulletproof helmets offer full protection around the head, face, and neck. It includes a face shield that is impact resistant while maintaining optical visibility. This product also includes a neck guard to deflect thrown or swung objects toward the neck region. The helmet is available in a size Small to XXL and weighs an average of 3.9 pounds.

The bandana offers level IIIA protection to the upper chest, neck, and lower face region from bullets. They can absorb the impact of handguns and up to .44 Magnum rounds. This bulletproof accessory is available in one size and weighs 1.8 pounds.

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