Bulletproof Vests, Shirts, Backpacks and other Protective Gear

bulletproof vests
Learn how bulletproof vest protect from gunfire and shrapnel.

What are bulletproof vests?

Bulletproof vests are like sleeveless shirts worn on the body’s upper portion (torso). The protective bulletproof vests serve as personal armor that helps absorb the impact of bullets, projectiles, and shrapnel from explosions. The ultimate purpose is to protect your vital organs.

How are Bulletproof Vests made and used?

Soft bulletproof vests are made from many layers of woven or laminated fibers. Metal or ceramic plates (often called trauma plates) can be used with a soft vest to provide additional protection. This helps protect you from higher caliber gunshots, such as those from rifles or automatic weapons. The plates are usually sewn into the fabric in key locations to shield your vital organs,

The vests can protect the wearer from small-caliber handgun fire, shotgun projectiles, and small fragments from explosives such as grenades.

In addition to protecting from gunfire and small explosion fragments, metallic components or tightly woven fiber layers can give soft armor additional resistance to protect against stab attacks from knives or swords.

Full Body Armor

A full-body approach to body armor combines a ballistic vest with other items of protective clothing. Examples include a combat helmet, steel-toe boots, and Kevlar gloves. Vests used by police officers, tactical units, and military personnel may also include ballistic shoulder and side protection armor components. This helps prevent bullets from entering through openings.

How Safe Will You Be?

Persons who wear such devices should not feel completely safe and invulnerable. A person wearing such protective gear may still be injured or even killed. It is always possible that a bullet or other type of projectile may hit the person’s body in an area that is not covered. Also, the shot or blast may occur at such close range that it is impossible to provide adequate protection.

The wearer will still feel the impact when a bullet or shrapnel hits a protected area. The impact alone may cause serious bodily damage, such as broken ribs, bruising, and other ailments. Many officers report being knocked to the ground and having their “wind knocked out” after being shot.

Many standard, battle-ready uniforms have protective gear built directly into the suit. Meaning they are sewn into the fabric. In some cases, the metal portions are removable.

Note: You may see other names such as bullet-resistant jackets, Kevlar, safety gear, and life vests. These are all part of the same general family of products.

Who Needs Bulletproof Vests?

  • Military personnel, especially combat personnel
  • Police officers, mainly those who serve on the streets
  • Police detectives
  • Police tactical units such as SWAT teams
  • Hostage rescue teams
  • Security guards
  • Bodyguards and personal protection specialists
  • Private investigators and detectives (mainly when entering a dangerous or unknown area where they may be particularly vulnerable)

Where to buy Bulletproof Equipment and Supplies

The Home Security Superstore has a wide variety of bulletproof equipment, supplies, and accessories. For example:

  • Backpacks and tote bags for men and women. The wearer can turn the pack around and wear it as a vest on the front of the body.
  • Ballistic hard plates
  • Body armor and plate carrier
  • T-shirts with ballistic plate carriers

Bulletproof Shirts

Introducing the Streetwise™ Safe-T-Shirt, a cutting-edge compression shirt that combines comfort with discreet protection. Designed for high breathability and moisture-wicking in warm conditions, it features pockets for soft ballistic plates (sold separately) in the front and back, safeguarding vital areas without the bulk. Equipped with ambidextrous holsters and magazine pockets, it supports concealed carry of most handguns and TASERs, making it an ideal choice for military, law enforcement, or civilian use. Constructed from a durable blend of 15% spandex and 85% polyester, this shirt offers a snug fit for hidden protection, UV resistance, and is available in sizes L to 2XL, accommodating chest sizes from 16″ to 17″. Note: Ballistic plate not included.

Bulletproof Backpacks

Bulletproof backpacks, also known as ballistic backpacks, have gained popularity recently as a safety precaution in uncertain times. These backpacks offer several benefits that can provide individuals, especially students, with an added sense of security. Here is a list of potential benefits of bulletproof backpacks:

  • Personal Protection: The primary benefit of a bulletproof backpack is its ability to provide personal protection. These backpacks are designed with ballistic materials capable of stopping or mitigating the impact of bullets, providing a layer of defense in an active shooter situation or other firearm-related incidents.
  • Enhanced Safety for Students: Bulletproof backpacks can offer an additional layer of safety for students, who may be particularly vulnerable in emergencies. A bullet-resistant backpack gives students peace of mind and makes them feel safer while attending school or traveling to and from educational institutions.
  • Portable Protection: Bulletproof backpacks’ portability is a significant advantage. They are lightweight and designed to fit seamlessly into a student’s daily routine, allowing them to carry essential items while having access to personal protection in an emergency.
  • Versatility: Bulletproof backpacks are often designed to serve multiple purposes. They typically feature various compartments, pockets, and organizational options, making them versatile for everyday use. Students can carry their books, laptops, tablets, and other personal belongings while benefiting from the added protection provided by the ballistic materials.
  • Concealable: Bulletproof backpacks do not appear distinctively different from regular backpacks, enabling individuals to carry them discreetly. This feature can be valuable in situations where drawing attention to personal protection may not be desirable, maintaining a sense of normalcy while having an additional layer of security.
  • Increased Preparedness: Owning a bulletproof backpack can help individuals develop a mindset of preparedness and awareness, which can be valuable in emergencies. This heightened preparedness can improve response times, decision-making, and safety awareness.
  • Additional Protection for Essential Items: In addition to personal safety, bulletproof backpacks protect valuable or essential items such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and important documents. The ballistic materials can help safeguard these belongings from damage in various scenarios, including accidental drops or impacts.
  • Peace of Mind: The knowledge that one can access a bulletproof backpack can provide a significant psychological benefit. In uncertain times, having an additional layer of protection can help alleviate anxiety and fear, allowing individuals to focus more on their daily tasks and activities.

It is important to note that while bulletproof backpacks can provide certain benefits, they are not foolproof solutions and should not replace comprehensive safety measures. They should be considered part of a broader personal safety approach, including awareness, emergency preparedness, and proactive security measures.

With school shootings reaching an epidemic level, some companies are developing tactical gear for students. Amazon has a variety of bulletproof backpacks for sale. Also known as “tactical backpacks,” the backpacks can also be used by the military, law enforcement, and outdoor enthusiasts. 

The backpacks are made of 100% 500D Cordura fabric and are lightweight and durable.

The backpacks look like normal backpacks. But, since they are made of protective material, they can provide critical protection in an active shooter situation. Parents, if you’re concerned about your children’s safety, I recommend investing in a product like this. It could make all the difference.

Additional Information and Resources

Bulletproof Body Armor Headquarters  – This website provides an extensive selection of protective gear and body armor designed with the lightest, highest quality, and most comfortable materials. The armor and accessories have been rigorously tested to meet or exceed the highest levels or standards required by the NIJ for certification.

What do private investigators need to know?

As a private investigator, you would rarely need to wear one. However, it is important to understand their function and use.

Depending on the case, private investigators may find themselves in dangerous situations. Following a suspect, serving a warrant, or performing surveillance could become dangerous. In addition, an investigator may provide personal protection, security, or bodyguard service to their client.

An investigator may wear a protective vest to protect themselves or clients from being shot or stabbed. In some situations, they may encourage their client to wear a vest as an added layer of security.


Buyers must be at least 18 years of age to purchase bulletproof products. Also, purchasing protective vests, protective body armor, or other ballistic products is considered illegal and unlawful if you have been previously convicted of a felony crime, have a criminal record, or are currently a fugitive from the law.

The unlawful purchase and possession of such materials can lead to criminal prosecution. Please check your state and local laws before making a purchase.

Spy Gear Products & Surveillance Equipment – Check out our other spy equipment and electronic gadgets for law enforcement and private detectives.


    • Vests that are available to the general public generally run from around $200 to over $1000. The more expensive vests generally offer more protection.


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