Where to Buy Body Armor
They say the best defense is a good offense. There’s a lot of truth in that, especially when it comes to firearms, but there’s nothing wrong with having a great defense too. Of all the things in your gun safe, the bulletproof vest could be the one that saves your life.
Remember, without body armor, then a bulletproof suit (yeah, we’ll get to those), even John Wick would be dead.
Where to Buy Body Armor?
It’s not actually that easy to find good body armor and you’re quite often reduced to ugly plate holder systems that work fine on the outside of combat fatigues and yet really aren’t that well suited to the real world.
We have highlighted our favorites down below, but we have two suppliers who will fix you right up with fitted body armor that you can wear under your clothes, or over.
Those are plate and carrier packages, but you can also find plate carriers on Amazon and they have some interesting options.
While you can get the plate carriers on Amazon, the tech giant is staying away from actual armor plating. Don’t buy cheap stuff, really don’t. Get the very best you can afford, buy once and keep it until you get shot repeatedly and need to dust yourself off and order a few more.
These are the best body armor plates we have seen on the web, we trust them and we think you will too. There’s a helpful introduction to the various levels of body armor, too, and just what they will protect you from.
Is Body Armor Legal?
There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the web and one of the big ones is if a bulletproof vest is illegal.
Basically there’s Federal law in place saying felons cannot buy or own body armor, but if you’re in the clear to buy firearms then you should have no legal issues with body armor laws.
It can be an aggravating factor if you wear the bulletproof vest when you commit a crime in some States. North Carolina in particular is keen to point out they will double screw you if you put on body armor and then rob a bank.
So yeah, be aware of that we guess…
Also, we have to cover our own ass and tell you that you can’t rely on us or hold us responsible. This is not legal advice. We could never be lawyers. We don’t have those skills.
So don’t hold this up as gospel truth and make sure you check your local state laws on body armor if you’re in any doubt.
How Much Does Body Armor Cost?
You can have body armor for just $100, complete.
That’s a package of the plate carrier set-up and a proper hard plate that could make the difference between life and death…
You can spend much more, of course, if you want a full Desert Storm-style tactical set of pouches and storage units on the outside.
But if you want a traditional bulletproof vest that can slip under your clothes, then as little as $89 could be all it takes to give you the Man of Steel bulletproof effect.
We have come up with a few options for you, but you can check for yourself with our partners and see if there’s something that works better for you. The Body Armor on Sale pops up first, too, so you might be able to save a few bucks.
Best Body Armor for Sale in 2018
1. AR500 Gen II Concealment Plate Carrier
- Price: $280 (With Plates, On Sale)
- Armor: Type IIIA soft armor through to Type IV
- Plate Size: 10×12″/ 11×14″
The AR500 Concealment Plate Carrier is specifically designed to avoid printing, which can be handy if you don’t want other people to know you’re wearing body armor. I can see that being a tactical advantage to be fair…
It’s designed to work specifically with the AR500 Level III Armor Curved Advanced Shooters Body Armor, but it will take any 10×12″ or 11×14″ plate. Opt for the Type IV body armor plates and you’ve got rifle protection under a polo shirt. That’s really not bad.
This is the body armor that John Wick used, or close enough, and the concealment factor is certainly a big deal. If you walk round in visible body armor, it’s fair to say you’ve given away the element of surprise. It may be legal, but the cops will probably want to have a word with you at some point as well.
Side plate protection is an optional extra and this bulletproof vest really does give you a lot of coverage under your clothes.It doesn’t just come with the side plates. It has a cummerbund that helps keep your plate carrier firmly in place and comfortable.
If you’ve angered the mob, or you’re sleeping with a Texan’s wife, then you might want to get one of these right now.
2. AR Freeman Plate Carrier
- Price: $89.99 (25% Off Pre-Order)
- Armor: Type III Multi-Coated NIJ 0101.06 standard
- Size of plate: 9×9 inch front and rear
- Weight: 12lb Fully Loaded
You can pre-order this now for January and it looks to be the perfect compromise of light weight and slim form, without sacrificing protection.
Now the Freeman carrier doesn’t give complete protection, unless you cover your sides with optional extra pads, but then it does cover everything important. The octagonal plates are designed to cover your major organs and you can add a plate to the rear, too.
That’s a neat touch, because sometimes people get shot in the back.
It costs $162.75 fully loaded with multi-coated plates that should stand the test of time, as well as bullets.
It was designed from the outset to be lightweight and a simpler alternative for round the house wear for those that wear heavier body armor to the office and need round the clock protection.
Who are those people? I don’t ask too many questions, it’s better that way…
The octagonal plates protect your vital organs without restricting movement. It’s not total protection, but it’s a lot of protection and complete freedom of movement. That can be useful too.
There’s a MOLLE system that means you can attach three magazine pouches, you get adjustable side buckles that are impact resistant and stretching Hypalon shoulders. The plate carrier is laser-cut Cordura Nylon.
It’s a great little system that has found favor with competitive shooters who have to wear body armor due to the regulations, as well as private security teams. If you want body armor that leaves you free to move, this is the one.
This way, your great defense won’t get in the way of your awesome offense.
3. ATG Expert Tactical Vest MOLLE and PALS Law Enforcement Tactical Vest
- Maximum Plate Size: 11×14″ front and back, 6×8 sides.
This is a simple system, but it actually really works.. It’s snug fitting, so although the material isn’t quite as advanced as some of the leading lights here, your own body provides a good deal of the structure. Well that and the armor plates that give you complete coverage, including side panels.
That means the material is seriously lightweight and without the plates you won’t even notice it. When they’re in, you really will feel the difference.
You could invest in advanced plates that are completely bulletproof, even against larger caliber rifles.
You could wear a baggy shirt over this and just about get away with it, or strap it over a T-shirt and take advantage of the MOLLE and PALS attachment systems for mags and whatever else you want to hang off it.
Law Enforcement use these vests all the time and they’re a great compromise between flexibility and protection. You can slip the side and rear plate out in seconds to suit your threat level and it’s lightweight, so apart from the actual armor plating then you can wear this all day without really noticing it.
It isn’t that much cheaper than the best body armor for sale in 2018, though, and that’s something you really should think about. But the best and it will last for years, buy cheap and you might seriously regret it one day. But only for a minute or two…
4. Crye Precision JPC 1.0
- Plate size: 11×14 front and back.
This is a slick system that is about as expensive as you’ll find on Amazon. The drawstring at the rear means this is sort of a fitted plate carrier, too. It’s somewhere between a bulletproof vest and a corset…
You also get specific sizes from Crye Precision, rather than a one size fits all approach. Logically, that should make a difference and the sizes are 41-44 inch and the like, so they should roughly fit you before you get to the adjustments and velcro straps.
This is a slightly more expensive vest, but the fit and finish are near perfect and those shoulder straps have plenty of give in them. This is comfortable body armor you can wear all day and simply slot the plates in as required.
More than a few soldiers spend their own money on Crye Precision gear. So if you want the ultimate tactical vest, well this is close.
5. Gloryfire Tactical Vest
Maximum Plate Size: 5.7×6.8″
This is one of the most popular tactical vests and body armor for sale on Amazon, but I guess that goes to show that just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s the one to go for.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a functional tactical vest that does have space for a 5.7 x 6.8″ plate. But that’s not much. That’s the vital organs protected, providing it’s a clean hit from the right angle.
It has more storage, and options for clever add-ons. So if you’re looking for a tactical vest for sale first, and a plate carrier second, this might work.
The padded mesh on the interior gives you some breathying space, too, which is a good thing if you need to keep it on. That’s kind of the point of body armor…
It’s just so far behind in terms of the coverage and also the fit and finish, though, that we couldn’t recommend this over the AR500 options.
I just don’t see why you’d take this over the Freeman Plate Carrier if you’re going for a smaller plate. The price difference just isn’t enough to justify the difference in quality here.
The cheaper slimline vest above actually looks useful. But steer clear of this kind of carrier unless you need a bulletproof vest for one time use, or you want a costume for a party, or you’re really only keeping it there just in case.
If you intend to use it, spend a little more and get body armor you can rely on.