The size of your hard armor is essential. Most manufacturers sell their hard armor systems in separate parts, like plates and containing systems. By using these two separate parts, you’ll get the best protection for your needs. You can then choose the sizing that’s right for your body and budget. But keep in mind that the right size might not be as effective as you’d like, as the sizing chart may have changed.
Body armor comes in different covers. Some are made from cotton, while others are made of manufacturer-specific materials. For example, CoolMAX body armor is made with Cordura and Gore-Tex material, while most polyethylene vests are lightweight. There are also different thicknesses of ballistic panels, so you should choose carefully. In general, the thicker the armor is, the more comfortable it is. However, this does not necessarily mean that thicker is better.
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To resist bigger threats, you’ll need to wear hard armor plates. The NIJ has standardized tests for different types of hard armor. They test each type in detail using large sample sizes and rigorous physical conditioning. A standard test consists of 24 subjects wearing the armor for 10 days. If you’re not comfortable with the NIJ’s standard tests, you can use the DEA and FBI’s protocol. In both cases, they use a single projectile type, a 9mm 124-grain bullet traveling between 1,375-1,450 fps. In some cases, they use current service rounds, such as the 9mm Winchester SXT 127-grain +P.