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Body Armor Direct

COVID-19 Impact On Our Shipping Time

COVID-19 Impact On Our Shipping Time

Body Armor Direct is an essential business and continues to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The only impact to our business is the time to manufacture soft armor vests is taking longer and we now ship all orders within 30 days. As an American owned and operated small business we sincerely appreciate your support. We make a great high quality products that are worth the wait. 

What Is a Soft Armor Insert? What Is a Plate?

What Is a Soft Armor Insert? What Is a Plate?

Wearing a tactical vest is one thing. But it’s important to understand not only that your body armor is protecting you, but just how it is protecting you. This will ensure that you are purchasing the right armor for your unique circumstances.


In order to fully understand how your life safety equipment is doing its job, you need to know the difference between the protective components in both hard and soft armor. Today, we’re focusing on the differences between soft armor inserts and hard armor plates.

Plates vs. Inserts

Whether or not your armor utilizes a plate or an insert depends on the type of armor you have purchased. As the name suggests, soft armor inserts are materials inside of your soft armor vest, while armor plates fit in plate pockets. Read a little more about each protective component below.

What are Hard Armor Plates?

Hard body armor uses layers of firm, durable materials, such as steel, ceramics, ceramic composites, polyethylene,  bullet-resistant fibers, and occasionally, materials like Kevlar. The vest carriers themselves are typically made from fabrics such as nylon.


Although manufacturers have put a lot of effort into making hard armor plates as lightweight as possible, the amount of protection they offer requires that they weigh more than soft armor inserts. In short, the plates resist high-powered rifle ammunition, which necessitates using heavier, sturdier materials.

What are Soft Armor Inserts?

Soft body armor inserts are made of incredibly strong Kevlar and Para-aramid materials. These inserts are placed in the front and back of vests and are made of protective ballistic material, which is held inside of a carrier. 


These vests (as well as their inserts) are usually manufactured with the end user’s size in mind, which ensures maximum comfort and body coverage. This means the end user has greater mobility. The materials for these inserts are woven together and work to spread the impact energy of bullets and other projectiles.

Benefits of Each Type of Body Armor

As we mentioned, both hard and soft armor exists to accomplish the same task (i.e., to protect you), but the ways in which it does so, as well as the effectiveness of each type, may vary depending on the situation.

Benefits of Hard Armor Plates

Hard armor plates offer a high level of protection from rifle threats. Because of their sturdiness, they may be constructed to protect specific parts of your anatomy, rather than molding to your body shape.

Benefits of Soft Armor Inserts

Soft armor inserts are lightweight, and easy to conceal under your clothing. This makes them ideal in professions like airport security and law enforcement, which may require a large range of motion. Of course, the relative ease of movement and the way in which these inserts mold to the body means that they may cover lower threat levels than hard armor plates. Be sure to check on the product specifications with the manufacturer.

Other Factors to Consider Before Choosing Body Armor

Although your armor’s level of protection is perhaps the most significant thing to consider during your decision-making process, it’s not the only factor that will influence your choice. Variables such as cost and product quality play a huge role in your purchase, as well.

Cost

Unsurprisingly, soft armor inserts and hard armor plates both come at different costs. What might come as a surprise is that, while more lightweight, soft armor inserts can run more in price than hard armor plates. This is because soft armor vests are often sold as one piece, while hard armor plates are usually sold separately.


For example, soft inserts may run from anywhere from $400-$1,200, but this would only require the one purchase. A hard armor plate may be around $150-$300 and you will most likely need two.

Quality

Are you looking for lightweight, breathable soft armor? Or perhaps hard steel armor plates to protect a specific body part? Are you shopping for products certified by the National Institute of Justice, or are you willing to settle for merely compliant plates and inserts? Be sure that you have a full understanding of your ballistic safety product needs before making your purchase.

How Body Armor Direct Can Help

Body Armor Direct manufactures and ships both plates for hard armor and soft armor inserts for soft armor. Our vests have passed rigorous NIJ testing and are stamped with a certification, which ensures that buyers are getting the protection they need and have come to expect.


We do what we can to keep costs low, and we’re pleased to offer both a lump sum and a number of partial payment plans. After all, a high level of protection shouldn’t necessarily mean a high price tag!


If you have any questions for us, we’re happy to help. Until then, we encourage you to take a look at our variety of safety products. You’ll find a variety of hard armor, soft armor, soft inserts, hard plates, and more.

Body Armor Direct Payment Plans

Body Armor Direct Payment Plans

There’s no denying it—body armor can be expensive. Our mission is to save lives and we want you to get the body armor you need.


At Body Armor Direct, you’ll pay affordable prices for high-quality, NIJ government certified life protection equipment. But we recognize that not all of our customers are able to pay the full cost for their armor right up front. With this in mind, we’ve developed a number of convenient payment plans to make this a smooth and seamless process for our valued customers.

Selecting the Body Armor Payment Option That’s Right for You

Whether you want to pay for your armor upfront or need to spread the cost out over several payments, we’ve got you covered. Check out both our partial payment and lump sum payment plans below.

Partial Payment Options

We recently partnered with Quadpay to offer our customers greater flexibility in how they choose to pay for their life safety equipment. When you select Quadpay as a payment option at checkout, you’ll be able to put 25% down on a credit card, and then we’ll ship the product to you. Quadpay has 0% interest and absolutely no credit checks. Better yet, 92% of those who apply for this option get approved!


We’ve also partnered with PayPal Credit to offer you 6 months with 0% interest. When you log in to your PayPal account, make sure that your setting for PayPal Credit is on. When you checkout from our site, you will select “PayPal,” and then “PayPal Credit.” You’ll be able to pay over time, and again, we’ll ship the product right to you.

Lump Sum Payments

Rather than choosing a payment plan for body armor, some of our customers prefer to pay for their life safety gear in one lump sum. If you are one of those people, that’s just fine by us! 


We sell directly to the customer (rather than going through a distributor), which is a huge part of what makes our armored vests so affordable. This also allows more and more customers to opt for the lump sum payment plan.

Return Policy

We are confident in the quality of our products, and we’re committed to meeting rigorous quality standards with every armored vest that we manufacture. However, in the event that you change your mind at any time during this process, Body Armor Direct has a 30-day, 100% money back guarantee on all its products. If we fail to meet your expectations for any reason, you may return your purchase in its original condition, and we’ll provide a refund. We’ll also gladly provide exchanges in the event that you need a different size or product.

Ready to Purchase Your Body Armor?

With a variety of payment options available, high-quality body armor is within your reach. We encourage you to review our selection of NIJ government certified body armor in order to find the best product for your needs. Whether you’re looking for hard or soft armor, we’re confident that we can provide exactly what you’re looking for! Feel free to reach out with any questions about our products, payment plans, or guarantee.

How Does Soft and Hard Body Armor Work?

How Does Soft and Hard Body Armor Work?

“Do bulletproof vests actually work?” is a hugely popular question amongst first-time body armor customers, and with good reason. When your very life is on the line, it’s not enough to be “pretty sure” that you will be safe and protected—you need to know it. It also pays to understand exactly which weapons your armor is capable of protecting you from. For example, you might wonder whether a vest that stops ballistics will be as effective in protecting you from a sharp knife. 


In order to have a better understanding of how your body armor protects you, it will first be helpful to know the principles of how this armor functions. Let’s take a look at both soft and hard body armor.

Body Armor: Principles and Physics

Life safety products, including soft and hard body armor vests, are designed to minimize blunt force trauma by dispersing the energy of a round. Both soft and hard body armor is capable of stopping bullets and ballistic strikes, but the ways in which they both do so vary.

What are Hard Armor Plates?

Hard body armor uses layers of firm, durable materials, such as steel, ceramics, ceramic composites, polyethylene,  bullet-resistant fibers, and occasionally, materials like Kevlar. The vest carriers themselves are typically made from fabrics such as nylon.


Although manufacturers have put a lot of effort into making hard armor plates as lightweight as possible, the amount of protection they offer requires that they weigh more than soft armor inserts. In short, the plates resist high-powered rifle ammunition, which necessitates using heavier, sturdier materials.

What are Soft Armor Inserts?

Soft body armor inserts are made of incredibly strong Kevlar and Para-aramid materials. These inserts are placed in the front and back of vests and are made of protective ballistic material, which is held inside of a carrier. 


These vests (as well as their inserts) are usually manufactured with the end user’s size in mind, which ensures maximum comfort and body coverage. This means the end user has greater mobility. The materials for these inserts are woven together and work to spread the impact energy of bullets and other projectiles.

Do Bulletproof Vests Stop Knives?

Another frequently-asked (and relevant) question for first-time buyers is whether or not body armor is stab-resistant. According to the National Institute of Justice, the answer is not necessarily. But it is possible, depending on the product. While both of these types of armor are designed to keep something from passing through and harming the body, the ways in which they do so are different.

What is Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor?

As we mentioned earlier, both hard and soft body armor disperse a projectile’s kinetic energy through a strong, net-like material.. In some cases, the hardened panels may even be strong enough to redirect the projectile’s energy.

What is Stab-Resistant Body Armor?

This type of body armor essentially catches the weapon as it strikes, rather than dispersing its energy. The edged weapon being used is caught inside several layers of strong material before it can make a cut, while the metal element of the armor damages the blade itself, further lowering its efficiency. Simply put, while the weapon in this case may penetrate the vest’s material, it also nestles there, preventing harm to the wearer.

Pick the Right Body Armor for Your Situation

Stab-resistant body armor is not your best bet for stopping bullets, as it allows for penetration of bullets. The reverse is also true—ballistic-resistant body armor is not designed to trap the edge of a weapon in its fibers. Both of these vests are likely to offer some level of protection in cases involving either ballistics or edged weapons, but you should always use the vest specifically designed for the expected threat level of a situation.

Where Does Body Armor Direct Come In?

The short answer, then, to “do bulletproof vests actually work?” is yes. And now that you have a better idea of how the various types actually protect the wearer, you’ll be able to select the armor that is right for your needs.


Body Armor Direct specializes in both hard and soft body armor that protects users from bullets and other ballistic strikes. However, we pride ourselves on designing a variety of multi-threat vests as well, such as our Concealable Multi-Threat Level 3a vest, which protects from knife slashes. Take a look at our site for a selection of multi-threat, NIJ-certified life safety products, including ballistic-level helmets, EMS vests, concealable t-shirts, and ballistic police blankets. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

How Long Does Body Armor Last?

How Long Does Body Armor Last?

You may wear your tactical vest for work every day—or you might keep a vest easily accessible in your home in case of an emergency. Whether or not you wear these safety products daily, they will eventually degrade. Believe it or not, body armor is manufactured with an expiration date, which is usually around 5 years after a vest is produced. While expired vests may still offer considerable protection, they aren’t nearly as reliable or consistent as a vest that is not expired. Let’s take a closer look at some factors that can cause body armor to break down.

Does Body Armor Actually Expire?

You might have thought that expiration dates are limited to items like food and medicine, but body armor and other similar safety products also have a shelf life. This is because the chemical compounds that make up a vest, such as industrial fiber or Kevlar, degrade over time. A number of other factors can speed up the degradation process, too.

What Can Cause Body Armor to Expire?

Humidity

If you’re working in a moist, damp environment, your safety gear is much more likely to expire at an earlier time than the estimated 5-year cutoff. This also means that storing your vest in a humid location can quicken the degradation process.

UV Light

Using your vest in environments with high exposure to ultraviolet radiation can also shorten shelf life. Commonly, body armor vests are exposed to UV rays when worn out in the sunlight for extended periods.

Hard vs. Soft Armor

The type of body armor you’re using also makes a difference—for example, soft armor expires much more quickly than hard armor, as it is more vulnerable to hot, wet environments. 

Weight Loss or Gain

Even something as simple as a change in your weight can diminish the protective quality of your gear. If a vest presses too snuggly (or not snuggly enough) against your body, stress may be put on the ballistic panels as they move around inside the carrier.

Internal Damage

A vest may not appear to be expired to the casual observer, or even to the person who is wearing it most frequently. Your product may look pristine on the outside, but on the inside it could be warped, cracked, or bent from use.

    What Is the Risk of Using an Expired Vest?

    It doesn’t take much imagination to think of all the problems an expired vest could cause for its wearer. To put it bluntly, using an old, worn-out vest could lead to serious bodily injury by a bullet. At worst, such bodily harm could result in death. This is why it’s essential to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations and stated expiration date.

    How Often Should Body Armor Be Replaced?

    We recommend that you have your body armor checked regularly for signs of both external and internal damage by an expert in your field. In the case that your gear has, in fact, degraded, it is encouraged that you replace your armor with a more recently-manufactured model. 


    The key thing to remember here is that you may need to replace your vest even before it has truly expired—it all depends on your individual circumstances. After all, don’t want to find yourself in a dangerous situation with damaged or underperforming body equipment.

    Where Can I Buy High-Quality Body Armor?

    At Body Armor Direct, we value each and every one of our customers, which means we don’t want you to risk using an expired or damaged vest if you can help it. When you’re ready to replace a vest (expired or otherwise), we hope you’ll reach out to our ballistic safety experts.

    We Provide a Warranty

    Body Armor Direct’s ballistic safety products are all backed by a warranty. This states that for a period of 5 years, your vest’s panels will conform to the minimum requirements of the NIJ protocol for ballistic intervention during an actual confrontation at the stated threat level.

    We’re Based in the United States

    All of our soft armor products are manufactured at a Florida facility, and we pride ourselves on using the highest-quality materials in our development process. In terms of fine-tuning our products, we wanted to make sure that our customers would get the most out of their armor; that’s why every vest is designed with the goal of lasting for the expected 5-year period.

    We’re NIJ-Certified

    Body Armor Direct vests are certified by the National Institute of Justice, meaning that all of our products have been sent to an independent, government-approved laboratory and have been tested to ensure they meet the standard requirements for government use. If your armor is not NIJ-certified, it may have been tested at one point in time to a portion of the NIJ standard.

    Body Armor Direct Is Always Here to Help

    If you have any questions about whether or not you’re due for a replacement vest, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll match you with reliable, consistent, potentially life-saving gear and provide you with the insights you need to use body armor successfully in your line of work.