Body Armor Model

If you take a look at the current body armor market, you will see dozens and even hundreds of different models. Thankfully, once you know where you will be using your vest and for what it becomes much easier to choose a body armor model that will fit your requirements.

There is a clear list of options in descending importance. Your goal is primarily to stay protected and survive anything the situation you find yourself in may throw at you. Next, you will want to be able to complete your mission or task without the armor bothering you and reducing your mobility.

Your choices are:

  • Between soft fabric armor or hard plates
  • If you want to wear your west beneath your clothes
  • Weather you will need to carry additional gear
  • How much versatility you will need from your armor

Finally, you want to have your other gear at the ready and for that gear to be compatible with the body armor of your choice. Staying nimble and prepared is a prerequisite for most jobs, and your equipment should reflect those needs.

Last, and it should be least, are the aesthetics. In some cases, you want to look good while going around, and it might be something requested by the situation or your clients. Thankfully, there are awesome models in all categories, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

What are the Differences when Choosing a Body Armor Model?

There are several ways you can categorize body armor. The most basic way is by their protection levels placed by the National Institute of Justice, or the NIJ.

These levels show the toughness of the armor and what kinds of rounds it can withstand. Lower levels will protect you from most handgun ammunition, while higher protect from Magnum rounds and rifle fire.

Also, there is a question if you need to conceal your armor or not. Multiple police departments require their officers to wear concealed body armor for mostly political reasons. But, even in private situations, some people will fare better by wearing their vest under the shirt.

Finally, you need to know if you want your body armor to do something else besides protecting your life. Here you will need to find something with adjustability and attachments that may house additional gear.

Soft or Hard Armor

There is a lot of emphases online on choosing between hard armor and soft armor. Realistically, the only question here is if you might be endangered by rifle rounds. If there is a chance for someone shooting at you with a 7.62cal, such as from an AR, then a hard plate is necessary to carry around.

But, in all other situations, it is much better to carry around soft armor. Soft armor can protect from even Magnum rounds and is much lighter and easier to carry. Additionally, it will give you increased mobility that might be necessary for your job.

If you are uncertain what type of danger is ahead of you, there is always an option of versatile IIIa armor. These external carriers will often have a pocket where you can slide a hard plate in case things get dicey.

CAT™ Covert Armored T-Shirt

It is easy to conceal your armor when it is wintertime, as you can just place a large jacket over any type of armor. But, when it is the peak of summer, wearing that jacket removes the point of staying inconspicuous.

That is why such a T-shirt is a major advantage for what is highly protective NIJ Level II body armor that doesn’t even look like armor. You will be able to wear this shirt everywhere, without most people even noticing the slight bump in the front.

And, as the whole armor weighs about 2.5lbs, you might even forget you are wearing it.

Any type of location security or personal protection for VIPs and essential personnel will like the fact that they can wear something only as thick as a padded shirt or hoodie while still staying protected at their job.

External or Internal Carriers

There are advantages and downsides for both choices, and you will need to make a judgment call on which one is better for your situation. 

Internal carriers often referred to as concealed body armor, are much lighter and more flexible than external carriers. But, they can't be taken on and off quickly and have no utility features for gear.

If you need to stay incognito without anyone knowing that you are armed and protected, having these covert II and IIa armors will be a great option.

But, if you need to have an NIJ Level III or higher, staying inconspicuous will be out of the question. You will need a good external carrier that will be able to comfortably house a plate of appropriate toughness.

The benefit of the external carrier is that it can also carry gear, and it is much easier to take on and off at a moment’s notice.

When Needing Additional Gear

In this case, there is no point in finding concealed body armor or going with anything under IIIa. You will need a good external carrier with the ability to attach various pouches, holsters, or magazine pockets.

The best option when needing to carry a lot of gear is to have body armor with MOLLE capabilities. This way you will be able to attach everything you need to the vest and not carry it on your hip. Also, it will allow for faster response time when you need your gear, and those parts of a second can be lifesaving.

Staying Versatile

It is always good to know what you will be up against. Sadly, it is not always possible.

If you want to stay versatile you will always want a IIIa body armor with pockets for plates, as well as both Level III and IV plates stashed somewhere at hand. This armor can also have MOLLE capabilities, and all of your gear should be already attached to the vest at all times.

By having a versatile carrier you won't need to overspend on multiple different vests and pack your car and home with the gear you won't be using. Stashing a few plates to be at hand will be enough and the light soft armor won't get you tired from wearing it.


Picking out body armor seems hard for a novice. But, if you know what type of job you want your vest and gear to help with, it becomes much easier.

If you go down the list of requirements and know what you need as a result, you will find it easy to choose a body armor model at UARM that will fit you perfectly. And with that choice, you will stay active and protected regardless of what life has to throw at you.