January 11, 2021
Bulletproof armored clothing is one of the best things to happen to civilian protection in ages. Obviously, it is still only bullet-resistant, and only against handgun rounds unless fitted with a plate, but excels in civilian protection and plausible domestic situations. Unlike covert armor that requires some expertise in handling and is not always perfectly comfortable, armored clothing is as close to regular apparel you can get while being able to stop a bullet. Currently, there are three types of industries where armored clothing is getting increasingly popular:
  1. Venue and VIP security
  2. High-risk civilian jobs
  3. Undercover law enforcement
But, that doesn’t mean that regular civilians or even plain-clothes law enforcement can’t wear this type of body armor. The added comfort of ballistic panels being directly installed in the fabric means that it is as easy to wear as regular clothes. The weight of these models is greater than regular fabric, but with novel types of ballistic fiber, it is not as significant to become uncomfortable, even with the wide protection area. Even larger models like the armored hoodie or jacket are only as heavy as a winter parka and can be worn for the entire day with no health or fatigue concerns.

Armored Clothing vs. Covert Armor

Although there are a lot of similarities between cancelable and covert armor and armored clothing, they are very far from each other in both uses and capabilities. Namely, while covert armor should be able to become overt, armored clothing is specifically for civilian-like uses. But, this also means that it is much more discreet than any type of ballistic vest that you may be able to wear under your shirt or jacket. For some models, it would be hard to notice that you are wearing a vest even upon closer inspection.

Completely Inconspicuous

Both when it comes to economic benefits and uses and for personal security the biggest advantage of such clothing is discretion. Denying your attackers the information about your tactical capabilities allows for a huge advantage in any type of dicey situation. For instance, when you are providing venue security for a popular location, it is a good thing for the guests and patrons not to see any type of tactical wear. Apart from events where wearing tactical clothing is the point, such apparel might induce stress with the public. Similarly, most clients prefer to keep appearances that there is no chance of something bad happening. Such is the case with VIP security where it is perfect to have something akin to plain clothes.

Increased Comfort

Unlike regular tactical body armor, armored clothing predicts that you won’t be able to know when an attack will happen. For some jobs, you will need to keep it on for the entire eight-hour shift, which most people spend on their feet. This is why armored clothing is made to be as comfortable and as light as possible. The ballistic inserts are very close to the body and ideally distributed by default. This allows the wearer to keep them on virtually indefinitely, at least when it comes to weight. The outer fabric is also made to be soft and not irritate the skin at all, which is never the case with professional meshes such as Cordura that are very durable but not best for skin contact.

Lowered Mobility

The only objective disadvantage of armored clothing is slightly diminished maneuverability compared to dedicated combat or tactical body armor. Because it is not as tight-fitting on the skin, armored clothing does suffer from a bit of inertia. This issue isn’t something anyone would experience from regular use, but if you were to try to jump, climb, and twist quickly you would find out that it is not as ideal as tight-fitting plate carriers. Also, this means that any auxiliary gear that you would wear needs to be on your belt. For a concealed carry handgun and maybe one or two mags on the inner side of the belt this is not an issue, but wearing something like a chest rig would defeat the purpose of armored clothing. Thankfully we don’t often have such requirements and it is much better for our daily grind to stay inconspicuous and covert, using the element of surprise against the assailant, than to try to wear battlefield armor every day when going grocery shopping.

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