Choosing the correct body armour vest

Selecting the best vest for your body armour is a decision not to be taken lightly. After all, body armour is a life saving investment and can be expensive depending on your preferences, so getting it right first time is top priority.

Discretion or Not

Overt Body Armour is worn on top of clothing
Covert Body Armour is worn underneath clothing
Covert or Overt, two terms common with body armour. If you want to be discreet and wear your armour under clothing then covert body armour is for you.

Generally covert armour is made from soft materials like Kevlar and offers small arms protection. The benefit is that covert armour generally covers your entire torso as the material is flexible and can be wrapped around you.

Overt Body Armour is worn on top of clothing[/caption]Overt Body Armour is worn on top of clothing[/caption]If you’d prefer for your armour to be seen, or for it to be used as a holster for other tactical items, then overt armour is for you. Overt armour is generally made from hard, non flexible materials like ballistic steel and protects against larger threats. Most military personnel wear overt armour in tactical carriers which can be used for holding other items like a radio. Furthermore tactical carriers sometimes have a rear pull cord for dragging an injured party away quickly.

Combination Vests

Covert Body Armour is worn underneath clothing
Covert Body Armour is worn underneath clothing
Covert vests can be worn overtly and vice versa. Just because the armour comes in a particular style or with a particular carrier doesn’t mean you cannot wear it how you wish. Some individuals want higher protection and so opt for hard armour but wear it covertly under a shift. The choice is yours, as long as you’re staying safe!

Nowadays some companies offer combination vests, with front and rear protection using both hard and soft armour to cover the vital organs but side protection made from only soft armour for flexibility. These combination body armour packages are typically the most expensive and can be the heaviest as they’re two types of armour in one.

Your Job…

Bar or Nightclub Security

Drunks can be happy, but they can also be irrational and aggressive. In most countries the most dangerous weapon used against private security is glassware or possible a knife. Our first recommendation would be to opt for body armour with knife protection. However, gun crime in particular areas is on the rise and it may be worthwhile upgrading to body armour that can sustain small arms fire.

Maritime Security

Armed personnel on vessels have increased over the past decade with the increasing number of threats from heavily armed pirate groups who often demand ransoms for the release and return of the ship and crew. Without a doubt it is imperative that you have body armour that can sustain larger arms fire as evidence has suggested the most common weapon used is an AK47.

Police and Prison Officers

Most government personnel are given body armour but some opt to wear their own underneath for additional protection. Usually the armour given will stop knife and spike threats as they are common however nowadays the police are generally equipped with ballistic protection from small arms fire. We’d recommend a vest that offers stab, spike and ballistic protection for these roles.


Military grade body armour is generally the safest and most advanced available due to the high threat level faced by armed soldiers. We would recommend body armour that can sustain high caliber arms fire, such as those from assault rifles.