What’s the purpose of tactical body armor? You might think that’s a stupid question, but it’s one that should be thought about in order to avoid some of these mistakes that get made all too often: You can get yourself into trouble…

...if it’s a poor fit:
A poorly fitting piece of body armor can protect the wrong areas, get in the way, or make it so uncomfortable that you take it off at the wrong time. If it’s not properly fit, it can actually do more harm than good, giving an opponent more grappling advantage during hand-to-hand combat.

Improper initial fitting is the most common reason armor doesn’t fit, but it can also happen if you bulk up too much or slim down after you purchase.

...if it won’t stop the gun you’re carrying.

The gun you’re most likely to be shot with will probably be your own. Yes, we’re talking about accidental discharge, but it’s just as likely that someone without a gun will go for yours. So make sure your tactical body armor can protect from your own firearm.

...if it’s seen too much action.

Some body armors have expiration dates, but the real test is how much it’s been used. Humidity, sweat, and constant bending can cause it to suffer unseen stress tears that could cause a failure. If you wear it every day, consider replacements more often.

Also, don’t test your vest. The location where the bullet hit is not the only weak point now, as the ballistic energy was dispersed throughout the panel.


Avoid these common mistakes and live to fight the next fight.