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Bullet Proof Vest Innovations: The Covert Bullet Proof Vest

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In the past, body armor was heavy, bulky, and absolutely cumbersome: from the suits of armor we recognize from Medieval knights to impractical vests worn in WWII, soldiers faced a physical struggle in many forms of protection. As technology and testing capabilities have evolved, manufacturers have become much better-equipped to create protective clothing that favors flexibility, light weight, and form-fitting design.

While bullet proof vests play a major role in the modern military, it’s also pivotal in the law-enforcement sector: police officers, SWAT teams, federal agents, and more all depend on the protection armor provides in extreme situations. While many wear vests over their uniforms, in some cases, discretion is key – cover armor is designed for wear underneath other layers, providing ballistic defense without drawing attention.

Covert vests are continually undergoing research and development, to keep officers equipped with the most practical, high-performance armor available.

Comfort and Function – Hand in Hand

With undercover officers having to maintain a low profile for hours at a time – days, even, if infiltrating a group – covert bullet proof vests need to provide the highest level of comfort: over prolonged wear, some armor may lead to overheating and frustration, distracting the officer from the task at hand. With concentration and focus vital at all times, officers cannot afford to become confused or disoriented from overheating or irritation.

Today’s covert vests are incredibly lightweight, with even the toughest design able to sit comfortably underneath other layers without causing annoyance during long periods of wear. Manufacturers have begun fitting these vests with various temperature-controlling fabrics, which maximize comfort and keep the wearer cool for hours on end.

One of these materials is CoolMAX®, a breathable high-performance fabric which absorbs moisture from the skin and passes it through to the vest’s exterior for faster evaporation. This helps to prevent sweat building up on the body or in the armor, reducing the dangers of skin irritation – if an officer needs to keep their clothing on for a long time, without having a chance to remove their protective vest, they can become very uncomfortable.

Upgradable Protection

To stay as safe as possible in all situations – from close-combat scuffles to the most extreme gunfights – police officers need access to the strongest protection available. While covert bullet proof vests need to be lightweight and thin, they can now also accommodate ballistic plates to defend against the most high-velocity rounds.

With five levels of ballistic protection produced by manufacturers (based around the testing performed by the National Institute of Justice), covert vests are available in numerous styles and designs. Kevlar is the base material in most: this synthetic fiber has decades of proven success, and absorbs a bullet’s energy on impact, distributing this throughout the rest of the vest to slow the round to a halt. Of the five levels of protection available, the first three (IIA, II, IIIA) stop such handgun bullets as 9mm and .44 Magnum, but this will be inadequate in some cases; when fire from rifles is a real threat, officers will need to wear armor at levels III or IV, which feature ballistic plates of steel or ceramics. While covert vests would once only provide up to level IIIA defense, certain types can now carry these plates in the front, rear, or sides without becoming too heavy. This ensures officers can enjoy maximum personal protection without becoming uncomfortable or drawing attention to themselves while working undercover.

About SafeGuard ARMOR:

SafeGuard ARMOR is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of body armor, with more than seven years’ experience supplying to domestic and business customers across the globe. Today, SafeGuard ARMOR manufactures body armor in the United States and Europe, shipping to over 100 countries. Their range features protective vests at all NIJ levels, providing complete safety solutions against ballistic, edged blade, and spiked-weapon threats.