If you find yourself in situations and environments around weapons that are capable of firing larger bullets at a higher force, you may need to buy hard ballistic plates to stay protected. For example, if you work in a war zone you may be at risk of fire from large machine guns and armor-piercing rifles may be common.
To protect yourself from these kinds of threats, you may be interested in purchasing an NIJ Level III plate or a Level IV ceramic plate. These plates fit into the front and back pockets of many plate carriers and body armor, including our Cordura with SAPU Plate Pocket vests.
Deciding what plates to buy
Before purchasing plates, it is recommended that you consider if and when you are going to need them. For most everyday situations, hard armor plates are not necessary. However, if you are going into an area of serious conflict you should consider how long you will wear the plates and if maneuverability is a critical factor. These considerations will allow you to assess exactly which kind of armor, and plate, is suitable.
If you are a smaller person or need a greater degree of flexibility, lightweight plates may be the most suitable plate type for you. Some lightweight plates offer the same level of protection as some heavier plates but may be more comfortable for you to wear. As two of these plates only weigh around 2.4kgs they can offer you a greater degree of flexibility however, due to the technology they may be more expensive.
If you are a stronger individual and are unlikely to have to move quickly. Ceramic plates may also be an option if you only need to wear the plates for a short period.
Composite plates offer a compromise between weight and price and may be suitable for those seeking something between ceramic and lightweight plates. Two of these plates weigh around 3.6kgs.
We recommend that you take the time to wear and test these plates in a safe environment if possible. By taking the time to understand the plates you will become aware of any limitations or adjustments that impose. Once you understand this, you will be more aware of what you can do to keep yourself safe when wearing hard ballistic plates.
If you are struck by a weapon when wearing these plates, please check the plates for damage once you are in a safe environment. If the plate becomes damaged, it may no longer offer you the same levels of protection.