Level 2 Body Armor

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There is a misconception that NIJ Level II armor is somehow bad or obsolete, just because it stands on the lower end of the protection spectrum. But, if we know that an overwhelming majority (~70%) of gun crimes are committed using rounds that can be stopped by this armor, it becomes a much better option. Additionally, this armor is very light, and can even be installed inside regular clothes so create covert armored clothes. Unlike heavier armor that can be worn only for a few hours at a time, soft armor can be worn around the clock with no issues. Some of the armored clothes are even comfortable enough to sleep in. There are several places where you might find soft ballistic panels that have the NIJ Level II standard:
  • Soft bulletproof vests
  • Covert armored clothes
  • Ballistic pads for backpacks and briefcases
  • Soft ballistic side armor
Also, because of the mixture of low weight and high flexibility, it is possible to cover a lot more area with soft Level 2 armor than something heavier. Those looking to buy such soft armor will have a lot of options for sale, depending on their needs. The price of such armor varies from model to model but is fairly affordable short of some designer shirts with such materials used.

What is Level II Body Armor?

This designation stands for the National Institute of Justice ballistic protection level capable of stopping rounds up to 9mm FMJ RN fired from an automatic. New Level II armor is under the NIJ 0101.06 marking the lightest and most durable panels yet. Although there isn’t any requirement for the design and firmness on Level II armor, it will almost always be made from ballistic fibers capable of catching the bullet and dissipating its force as to prevent penetration. The NIJ standard refers only to the United States, and there are other comparable standards for other countries. But, when sold, it will usually also state the US standard to remove any confusion.

NIJ Level II Specs & Materials

Even though the NIJ standard only came about in the early ‘70s, the idea behind soft ballistic armor is much older. In the past, it used to be made with layers upon layers of folded cotton and linen cloth and was first introduced in the 19th century in Korea. Modern soft armor options use composite ballistic fibers made from synthetic polymers. Most such materials bare the names of their respective manufacturers, such as Kevlar® or Twaron®. When it comes to weight, Level II armor has a density of less than 1 pound per square foot of coverage, making it very light and easy to carry. The thickness of the ballistic fiber itself is around 5mm or ~1/5th of an inch.

NIJ Level II Stopping Power

Soft ballistic armor works so that it catches the round and spreads the force of impact to a much wider area. From a 9mm round that is going more than a thousand feet per second, slicing through soft materials, it turns into a wide punch. Take note that the ballistic material is not there to deflect the bullet, nor would you want that. Ricochet from a bullet to the chest may go upward or downward, both places housing vital organs and arteries. Soft body armor should catch the round and absorb as much as the force and possible while dissipating the rest. Some of the force of the round will end up on the other side, but this would be more akin to a good punch than a bullet. Bruising, or even cracked ribs can be expected if you have the misfortune of getting hit. But, no lasting injuries will be present, which wouldn’t be the case without the armor. By standard, NIJ Level II will stop at least four rounds from a 9mm full metal jacket, or a Smith & Wesson .40cal same as a Level IIa but also will protect from automatic pistols and Uzi fire, going over 1250 feet per second. Although most modern Level II armors will prevent a larger round, such as a .357 Magnum, from penetrating, the exiting force might be enough to cause major harm. For such attacks, you will need to go with Level IIIa.

Level II vs. Level IIa

Compared to NIJ Level IIa, the full level II is one millimeter thicker and about 15% heavier. But, this armor will stop faster sidearm round and is just as flexible as IIa. There are situations where you might want to have that extra lightness, especially when it comes to covert armored clothing. But, in most cases, the differences in utility will be negligible and you will want to use NIJ Level II.
F.A.Q

What is level 2 body armor?

NIJ Level II refers to the thin and soft body ballistic body armor meant to protect from common handgun rounds. It is usually less than 1/6th of an inch thick.

What caliber will a level 2 vest stop?

NIJ Level II is certified to stop handgun rounds up to .40 S&W, as well as 9mm rounds fired from automatic pistols with speed up to 1245 feet per second.

What is the difference between Level II and Level IIIa body armor?

Due to the difference in thickness, NIJ Level IIIa is certified to safely protect from high-caliber handgun, like the .44 Magnum or .357 SIG Full Metal Jackets.

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BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-49 inches
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BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.5'
5.6' - 5.9'
6.0' - 6.5'
6.6' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your chest and neck circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 22-39 inches
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Canine Body Armor size
S
M
L
XL
CHEST (INCHES)
22 - 25
26 - 30
31 - 34
35 - 39
Neck (INCHES)
14 17
18 - 21
22 - 25
26 - 29
How to find your perfect fit?
Take the measure of your head as shown on the picture. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: head size should be in the range: 20-25 inches
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Size
M
L
Head circumference, inches
20-23
24-25
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Take the measure of your chest as shown on the picture. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
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Belt size
S-L
XL-3XL
Chest, inches
33-43
44-53
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
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Plate Size
S
M
L
XL
Plate Size (Inches)
8.7" х 11.7"
9.5" х 12.5"
10.3" х 13.2"
11" х 14"
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
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Panel Size
S
M
L
XL
Panel Size (Inches)
8.7" х 11.7"
9.5" х 12.5"
10.3" х 13.2"
11" х 14"
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure the length of your foot. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: foot size should be in the range: 10.1-12.2 inches
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Boot size, US
8.5
9.5
10.5
11.5
12
13
14
15
16
Foot length, inches
10.1
10.4
10.6
10.9
11.2
11.4
11.7
12
12.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
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BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
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No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 23-37 inches
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BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
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No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6.3 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.5-52.8 inches
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Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
2XL/S
2XL/L
3XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.8' - 6.3'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.5 - 33.4
33.5 - 34.9
35 - 37
35 - 37
37.1 - 40.5
37.1 - 40.5
40.6 - 43.6
40.6 - 43.6
43.7 - 46.8
43.7 - 46.8
46.9 - 49.5
46.9 - 49.5
49.6 - 52.8
WAIST (INCHES)
26.8 - 28.5
28.6 - 30.0
30.1 - 31.5
30.1 - 31.5
31.6 - 34.9
31.6 - 34.9
35 - 38
35 - 38
38.1 - 41.1
38.1 - 41.1
41.2 - 44.4
41.2 - 44.4
44.5 - 47.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.1-40.2 inches
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Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.1 - 32.4
32.5 - 33.9
34 - 35.6
34 - 35.6
35.7 - 37.2
35.7 - 37.2
37.3 - 38.8
37.3 - 38.8
38.9 - 40.2
38.9 - 40.2
WAIST (INCHES)
22.8 - 24.2
24.3 - 25.8
25.9 - 27.4
25.9 - 27.4
27.5 - 28.9
27.5 - 28.9
29 - 30.5
29 - 30.5
30.6 - 31.9
30.6 - 31.9
How to find your perfect fit?
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Invalid value: length size should be in the range: 13-15 foots
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Invalid value: thickness size should be in the range: 0.6-1 inches
No suitable size found
Laptop Case
13"
15"
17"
Length (Inches)
13
14
15
Width (INCHES)
9
10
11
Thickness (INCHES)
0.6
0.9
1.0