Group Forums >> THAT DAMN VEST ! >> Body Armor / Vest - what level?

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Body Armor / Vest - what level?

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Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

Obviously, the more protection the better, but wondered what was most common in this group - IIA, II, IIIA?


In particular, I was wondering how much worse (comfort-wise) level II is over IIA.  My use would be mostly event detail and occasional patrol (Midwest - Chicago burbs).

S3600022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I wear level IIIA........I hate the vest my department bought from Galls.   My department measured us and of course did not know what they were doing because they have never measured anyone for a vest before and they jacked it all up!  The vest is to long and bunches up at the bottom making the uniform look like trash.  Gonna buy my onw this year and not a Galls brand.


 


Be safe and have fun out there!


Jason

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I wear a vest of  BSST. Its a good vest but ist only very heavy, nearly 3,5 kg. It protected you also against needles.


Visit the webpage  www.bsst.nl


Be and stay safe


Greetings Leon

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I've got a IIIa.  Most of my department (due to previous administration) has level II.  I just ordered two IIIa level vests from Gall's for my cadets.  They both like them really well.  One has prior LE experience and said it fits better than his old vest did.  I will replace the level II's with IIIa's as they need to be replaced.

Tlusa_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I have a IIa that I bought for myself....all I could afford......it'll stop my duty weapon. 


Somewhere a true believer is training with one goal in mind...to kill you...will you be ready when you meet?

The comments in this statement in no way reflect to opinions or official standing of any agency, person, or entity other than the person who posted it. In other words mind your own business.

On_the_job_002_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I use a level IIA.It is a second chance monarch model.It's heavy and hot.

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Thx for the feedback.  Always a balance between protection-comfort.  Hopefully I'll err on the side of 'protection' when it comes time to put money on the table. 

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I wear a IIIA vest, I highly recommend everyone be in this level.  One area to keep the cost down and still get a good vest go with a Galls Lite Extended level IIIA  It is made by point blank so you get good quality with a affordable price.  As all vests they are not made to be comfortable, but rather wearable.  This is the one I have and wear.

4276294557_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I wore a Monarch level 2 by second chance and won the battle with a .357. I would stand by it always.

The_wall_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

For most of my 30 years I wore a level llA, for the last 10 it was a level lllA, more protection, no good vest is designed for absolute comfort, just protection.


PL Mentoring Team Member
Honor The Fallen, Strive never to have your name put on the wall
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan USN

Jpd_new_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

rsmith6322 says ...



I have a IIa that I bought for myself....all I could afford......it'll stop my duty weapon



This is how you can decide what level you need.  Always wear something that will stop your duty weapon.  Some Officer involved shootings involve being shot with their own weapon.  Stay safe.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

PL Mentoring Team Member

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

PETE114 says ...



rsmith6322 says ...



I have a IIa that I bought for myself....all I could afford......it'll stop my duty weapon



This is how you can decide what level you need.  Always wear something that will stop your duty weapon.  Some Officer involved shootings involve being shot with their own weapon.  Stay safe.



Good baseline minimum.  Thanks to all for the great feedback.

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Comfort wise you will get more comfort with more money. The better material lining and better material on the carriers equates to better breathing of the vest helping keep it as cool as possible and also the more you pay you can get lighter as well. On average there is only giong to be a couple pounds difference between "light" vests and "heavy" vests due to the weights shown are per square foot of material and there is not that many square feet of material in a vest.  Level IIA should be slightly lighter than a Level IIIA due to less balistic material.  Myself personally I don't mind the weight of the less expensive heavier vests, but that may be due to the fact that I am 6'-5" 250lbs and any of the concealable vests is lighter than the Flack Jackets and gear we wore in the Marines.  I would say best bet is find a local vendor that carries different ones in stock you can try on and see what feels most comfortable for you.  Like they say a good vest is only good if you wear it, and if it is that uncomfortable to wear you won't be likely to wear it.  I also saw someone posted about the vest being to long and measuring issues.  There should be about a 2 finger gap between the top of your duty belt and the bottom of the ballistic panels when standing or if you have access the best way is to try the vest on with your gear and sit in your car to see if it is going to bunch up or not.  Sorry for such a long post I am a bit of a gear head.

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

bbennettdcfc says ...



Comfort wise you will get more comfort with more money. The better material lining and better material on the carriers equates to better breathing of the vest helping keep it as cool as possible and also the more you pay you can get lighter as well. On average there is only giong to be a couple pounds difference between "light" vests and "heavy" vests due to the weights shown are per square foot of material and there is not that many square feet of material in a vest.  Level IIA should be slightly lighter than a Level IIIA due to less balistic material.  Myself personally I don't mind the weight of the less expensive heavier vests, but that may be due to the fact that I am 6'-5" 250lbs and any of the concealable vests is lighter than the Flack Jackets and gear we wore in the Marines.  I would say best bet is find a local vendor that carries different ones in stock you can try on and see what feels most comfortable for you.  Like they say a good vest is only good if you wear it, and if it is that uncomfortable to wear you won't be likely to wear it.  I also saw someone posted about the vest being to long and measuring issues.  There should be about a 2 finger gap between the top of your duty belt and the bottom of the ballistic panels when standing or if you have access the best way is to try the vest on with your gear and sit in your car to see if it is going to bunch up or not.  Sorry for such a long post I am a bit of a gear head.



The more info the better.   Yes, I need to make sure it will still fit when sitting down with gear - good reminder.

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I have the luxury of my second job being paid to research and be trained by the vendors to sell there products.  I am not going to pitch any sales on this site, and sure anyone I have worked with thru this company that is on here (I know of at least one I work with now) can vouch for me that even if it means losing a sale I will give you the info that is best for you not for my sale. I would be more than happy to help point in the direction for some good research or help answer any questions I can about any product I have knowlege with.  If I don't know the answer I will make calls to the contacts we have at the vendors if I need to that way I can make sure I don't mis lead anyone.  I know our company on this only sales Level IIA and IIIA in concealable vests and there is talk we are going to start offering only the IIIA. 

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I just got my new one from Safariland, level lllA. i also got the soft and the hard plate. Both plates go in front but my question is which one should I put next to my body. The hard plate is the IMPACT s.t. and it is in front of the soft one. Am I goofing up by doing this. The reason is an idiot sitting in car shooting up at a slant I keep thinging about it glancing off and taking my neck out. Hello out there what can some of you pro,s tell me. I am serious as a heart attack.

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

The hard plates do pose a chance of a glancing blow.  However the chance is slim.  Also did you check to see if there is a pocket on the back as well I do believe, at least my vest is this way, there is a pocket in the front and back for plates. In this case I would put the soft in the front, easier movement, and the hard in the back.  They do not use both in the same pocket.

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Just read about the Le Mas SPLP/SRAP ammo (adopted by Coral Gables PD) in American Cop Magazine.  The .45 ACP HANDGUN round defeats III-A and leaves a fist size entry wound - yes I said hangun.


I'm glad it's a LE/Military-only cartridge (.40 & .45), but some will probably end up in the wrong hands.  Not good.


Anyone else read about it?

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

That sounds like the 5.56 handgun ammo labeled as the "COP KILLER ROUND"  that was military issue only and has been showing up on the streets.  There will unfortuanetly always be someone with something that will penetrate anything we wear we just have to wear what is inteneded to protect us from the standard and pray we never run into the extreme.  Thanks for the info though I am going to look up that story and pass it along to fellow officers I work with.

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

You can see the article on Page 46-47 of the online version of the mag.   (I recommend subscribing to the paper version - easier in the john)


http://fmgpublications.ipaperus.com/FMGPublications/AmericanCop/ACJA09/

Rememberance_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Thank you I appreciate the link and I am sure the wife will appreciate the paper copy

Dscf0003_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

PT Armor level IIA


Department measured us and custom fitted them.

Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I decided to go with the Point Blank C-series Goldflex IIIA.  It's a good compromise between $$ and thickness, and of course it's still a IIIA.  Point Blank has a good Reserve/Auxiliary program, which makes it much more affordable.


Graduation is less than two weeks away .... finally.

Newpatch_sq90_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

Level IIa is good and light .  It is also more comfortable to wear.  A level III offers a little more protection, but is not as comfortable.  I switched from a IIIa to a IIa.


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Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I'll be using it in an exterior vest carrrier, which should help make it a little more tolerable....I hope.


Dino