At times body armor needs to be concealed. Concealable body armor is not limited to law enforcement or military personnel. Anyone that wants the added protection can purchase and wear concealed body armor in the U.S. so long as they are not a convicted felon.
The best concealable bulletproof vest is The BulletSafe Bulletproof Vest. This vest is highly concealable. It comes with a level IIIA+ rating meaning it can protect projectiles up to a .44 caliber as well as stabs and slashes. For the comfort, concealability, protection, and price, the BulletSafe Bulletproof Vest is the best concealable bulletproof vest.
|Specs:||BulletSafe (Best Value)||Safe Life Defense (Best Fit)||SafeGuard (Most Options)|
|Protection Level||Level IIIA+||IIIA||II – IIIA+|
|Sizing||XS-4XL||4XS – 6XL||S – 4XL|
|Colors||Black||Black, White, Desert Sand||Black, White|
|Price||$299||$449||$450 – $800+|
Top three options for concealable body armor
While there are hundreds on concealable vests on the market, the top three from our testing, research, and industry knowledge comes down to the vests below.
The BulletSafe Bulletproof Vest – Level IIIA+
The BulletSafe vest comes in the number one spot on the list due to it’s size, weight, price, protection level, and reputation in the market.
As of the time of this writing, the Level IIIA BulletSafe Vest comes in at $299.97 making it the lowest cost vest on this list. Comparable vests can reach prices in excess of $700 for similar characteristics and protection.
Anyone that wants a concealable vest at a low price point with high protection cannot go wrong with this vest. While it has had a high reputation since 2013 when it was released, they have since upgraded the vest further to provider high comfort and concealability while not sacrificing protection or coverage.
This vest comes with a Level IIIA+ which means it can stop projectiles up to a .44 magnum. Level IIIA can confidently stop all major handgun rounds that account for over 90% of shootings in the US.
While this vest stops short of stopping rifle rounds, it does have front and rear plate pockets allowing you to add armored plates for added protection against rifle rounds. This will add thickness to the vest and make it not as concealable, but is an option for those that need protection from rifle rounds.
The “+” designation after the IIIA is not a recognized protection level by the NIJ, but is commonly used among body armor manufacturers to designate added protection against stabs and slashes. Something not all bulletproof vests are capable of stopping.
This vest comes in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, 2XL, and even 4XL ensuring you can find a vest that fits you properly and provides the proper amount of coverage.
|Size||Weight||Protection Width||Protection Height||Total Protection Area|
|X-Small||4.85 lbs.||15.5″||14.75″||340 sq. inches|
|Small||5.15 lbs.||16.25″||15.75″||390 sq. inches|
|Medium||5.70 lbs.||18″||15.75″||430 sq. inches|
|Large||5.70 lbs.||18″||15.75″||430 sq. inches|
|Extra Large||6.05 lbs.||18.5″||16″||450 sq. inches|
|2XL||6.35 lbs.||19″||17″||490 sq. inches|
|4XL||6.95 lbs.||21″||18″||560 sq. inches|
Concealable Multi-Threat Vest Level IIIA
The Concealable Multi-Threat Level IIIA vest from Safe Life Defense comes in second on this list for its wide variety of sizing allowing the fit to be more tailored to every user. In addition, the proprietary Self Structured soft armor panels in the vest allow for an extremely comfortable and conforming fit allowing you to wear comfortably for the whole day.
Although this vest is called a Level IIIA, it should be called a IIIA+ due to its added ability to prevent stabs and slashes.
The vest material is Kevlar, also called Para-Aramid. This give the vest a thin profile while remaining strong enough to prevent all common handgun rounds.
One unique selling point of the Multi-Threat Vest is the adition of side armor giving you a large and more complete coverage. With the added 10-point adjustability, you can be sure you will get the vest fitting just right for those extended use senarios.
Most vests come in black and black only, but this vest gives you three options. You can choose between the colors Black, Desert Sand, and even White. These colors give a wider range of clothing they can be worn with while remaining concealed. For example, a white dress shirt would probably be best worn with a white vest to prevent the vest from being visible through the shirt.
The front and back of the vest have pockets to accommodate armored plates for added protection against rifle rounds if needed. While these pockets will typically not be used when your goal is to conceal the vest, it is a nice feature to have if the need ever arises.
Another unqiue selling point from all Safe Life Defence products is their “5 Year Incident Guarantee” where you can get a free replacement vest if you ever get shot in your original vest.
Sizing ranges from 4XS all the way to 6XL making it the widest range of sizing of the three concealable vests we recommend. If you accidentally order a size that doesn’t fit the way you want, you have 30 days to get a free exchange for a different size.
SAFEGUARD ARMOR STEALTH CONCEALED BULLET PROOF VEST BODY ARMOR
At number three on the list, the Safeguard Armor Stealth Vest is the most customizable vest by far. The reason it is three instead of one is due to cost. While the standard vest comes in around $450, making it comparable to the other two options, a fully equipped vest can reach upwards of $800.
So, what parts of the vest can be customized?
For starters, you have the choice of two colors: Black or White. Not giving you as many options as the previous vest on the list, but white and black will cover your bases for 90% of the clothing you would be wearing while trying to conceal a vest.
Sizing ranges from Small-4XL. One of the biggest differences comes from the upcharge for larger sizes. Up to size 2XL is included with normal pricing, but 3XL comes with an additional $60 charge and 4XL comes with an additional $120 charge.
|Sizing Chart||S||M||L||XL||XXL||3XL (+$60)||4XL (+$120)|
Length can also be customized across sizes. This is perfect for those that might be shorter and rounder, or taller and skinnier making the “regular” lengths uncormfortable. The three options are Short, Normal, and Long.
Ballistic Level can be customzed to either Level II, or Level IIIA. Level II can stop up to a .357 Magnum while a Level IIIA and stop up to a .44 Magnum. Level II comes standard at the base price, and there is a $115 upcharge for Level IIIA.
Blade protection is another feature that can be added to the vest. As it comes standard, it is not rated against slashes and stabbing. For blade protection, Level 1 can be added for $115 while Level 2 can be added for $181.
Level 1 blade protection and Level 2 blade protection offer slightly different benefits, with Level 2 having more overall stopping power.
|Blade Protection Levels||Level 1||Level 2|
|Velocity||5 m/sec||7.3 m/sec|
|Total Mass||1.9 kg||1.9 kg|
|Maximum Penetration||7 mm||20 mm|
Spike protection is another feature that can be added to the vest. As it comes standard, it is not rated against spike attacks. For spike protection, Level 1 can be added for $115 while Level 2 can be added for $181.
Level 1 spike protection and Level 2 spike protection offer slightly different benefits, with Level 2 having more overall stopping power.
|Spike Protection Levels||Level 1||Level 2|
|Velocity||5 m/sec||7.3 m/sec|
|Total Mass||1.9 kg||1.9 kg|
|Maximum Penetration||7 mm||20 mm|
If customizability is what you are looking for, this is your vest. If you are seeking the best value for the money, this is not the vest for you.
Common Questions About Concealable Body Armor
Soft body armor can be concealed much better than hard body armor due to its flexibility and ability to conform to natural body curves. In addition, soft body armor is normally thinner than it’s hard armor counterpart due to the material in which its made from.
Soft body armor is typically made from a combination of Kevlar and Polyethylene allowing it to be thinner for similar protection capabilities.
Yes, civilians can legally own any level of body armor. Body armor can be purchased either in person or online. The only exception to this rule is that convicted felons cannot purchase body armors due to their criminal pasts. Body armor also must be purchased within the United States to remain legal and not imported from other countries across the border.
Within the United States, it is legal to carry body armor either by wearing it or having it in your possession. One exception to this rule is in airports and airplanes. Body armor cannot be worn within airports or on airplanes. It can, however, legally be carried if stowed in a carry on or checked bag.
Yes, it is legal for civilians to wear body armor within the United States. All levels of body armor are legal to wear. The exception to this rule is for convicted felons, and within Airports and airplanes. Body armor cannot be worn inside an airport or on a flight. It can be stored in a carry-on bag though.
Soft body armor is made of either Kevlar, a para-armid material, Nomex, a meta-armid material, or polythene. All of these materials are flexible and lightweight while still providing an excellent protection against high velocity impacts. Armid (a form of polyamide) gets in strength from having at least 85% of the amide bonds attached to aromatic rings.
Body armor, when worn with the right clothing, can be extremely concealable. Obviously some clothing options will make it more visible than others. Any bulletproof vest, even the lightest weight vests, still have some bulk. Wearing tight t-shirts would not be the best option to conceal a vest, while wearing something like a two-piece suit or large jacket would hide a vest much better.
Concealable body armor has a wide range of cost starting at $150 and going up to $800+ per vest.
Many companies make concealable body armor, but some of the top manufacturers include: Bullet Safe, Safe Life Defense, Body Amor Direct, AR500, and Safe Guard Armor.
Yes, soft body armor is as effective as hard body armor when comparing the same protection levels. Soft body armor has to be tested to the same standard as hard body armor to gain the same protection rating. Hard body armor can go up to Level IV, while soft body armors are normally limited to Level III.
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