Stay Protected without Sacrificing Comfort | The Best Lightweight Body Armor

Stay Protected without Sacrificing Comfort | The Best Lightweight Body Armor

It’s been clear to us that most of our customers are looking for lightweight level 3 body armor that is NIJ-compliant and can be worn in public places.

Even though we are actively trying to bring in new customers from law enforcement organizations and the military, Shotstop® body armor is for everyone. 

What are the Lightest Level 3 Plates?

Our competitors, such as Armor Republic (AR) have some great options for armor but remain a step behind us in lightweight body armor.

Duritium® Level III + PA vs. AR500 Level III Armor

The Duritium® Level 3 plates come in 5 different sizes with 2 separate plate cuts to accommodate any body type, size, and mission.

The AR500 P2 series may be lightweight relative to their steel armor, but with 1 size option and still 3.5 lbs. make for a very limited armor plate.

Relative to the full-ceramic armor I wore during my time in OIF (2008-2009), 1” thick is great, but it’s not great for modern polyethylene armor. In fact, AR states a con for polyethylene armor is it’s too thick.

ShotStop takes pride in creating the lowest profile of any lightweight body armor with a 0.7” thickness to a Level III+ plate.

As much research as I could conduct, I couldn’t find any product number and noticed that the armor label on the back of the plate doesn’t have the NIJ seal of approval.

This means AR can’t claim they have multi-hit lightweight NIJ-Listed Level III armor without providing an independent test from an NIJ-Listed Laboratory.

Does AR500 Have Any Advantage on the Duritium® Level III + PA Plate?

Yes, if you look at the MSRP, AR armor is roughly $300 less than the Duritium® plate. However, after taxes and the trauma pads, you’ll around spend $500 per plate.

Not only is our Level III+PA plate a stand-alone plate, but it also features a 10-year longer warranty than Armor Republic.

This means that you can buy a set of Duritium® Level III + PA plates once and give you confidence and protection 3x longer than the AR500 polyethylene plate.

So, yes, they have an advantage on the front end, but our 3x longer warranty gives us the advantage over your lifetime.

Duritium Level 3+ PA

AR500 P2 Series


2.7 pounds

3.5 pounds


0.7 inches



6+ hits






8” x 10”

8.75” x 11.75”

9.5” x 12.5”

10” x 12”

11” x 14”

9.5” x 12.5”

Stand Alone



Plate Cut Options


Shooters Cut


Shooters Cut

NIJ Listed




15 years

5 years




How is Duritium® Better Than Steel-Core Armor?

We know Spartan Armor is a good, ethical brand, but we also share the hardships of getting body armor through the NIJ testing procedures.

It takes a lot of money, time, and energy, but it’s worth it to provide objectivity in a business as serious as ours.

This is obviously comparing apples to oranges here, but the Spartan Armor Omega AR500 armor plate is being sold as a lightweight, multi-hit plate with no evidence to back up its claims.

As you can see from the quantitative data below, our Level III+PA plate is 6.99 lbs. lighter (per plate) than the Spartan Armor Omega Shooters Cut plate.

Our plate might be just under half an inch thicker (0.45”) than the Omega steel core plate, but thickness only tells part of the story.

Steel body armor will never be better at energy absorption than Polyethylene plates and sure as hell not even close to Duritium® plates.

This is why Spartan Armor and Armored Republic sell trauma pads with their steel-core armor.

Duritium® absorbs impact by giving a little to reduce the force of energy hitting your bone structure (ribs, clavicle, sternum).

Duritium® has a unique ability to take hits without destroying the soft tissue behind it.

We often refer to this as keeping in the fight, because our Duritium® technology will not only absorb and deflect some of the energy from the bullet, but it will also give you the best chance at staying in the fight after being shot.

ShotStop Duritium® Level III+PA Body Armor Plate

With the advancements in polyethylene and manufacturing, we’ve been able to create body armor that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

When it comes to wearing the lightest stand-alone Level 3 body armor, there is nothing even close to the Duritium® Level III+PA plate

The Level III+PA plate is on an entirely new level that simply can’t be reached with AR500 steel, regardless of the production method. 

Imagine wearing both a front and back plate that is 0.7” thick and 5.4 lbs in total weight. Now, consider wearing the lightest Level III plates from Spartan Armor or Armored Republic. 

Even in their lightest configuration, the closest they can come is 10.6 lbs heavier than our Duritium® Level III+PA plate. 


  • Threat Level: Level 3
  • Weight Per Plate: 2.7lbs (10”x12”)
  • Sizes: 8” x 10”, 9.5” x 12.5”, 10" x 12", and 11" x 14"
  • Special Threat Protection: 5.56x45mm 55-grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), and 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ
  • Edge to Edge Protection: Yes
  • Thickness: 0.7”
  • Material: ShotStop Duritium®
  • Finish: Polyurea
  • Warranty: 15 years

Duritium® Level III+PS plate 

The Duritium® Level III+PS plate is our most affordable stand-alone NIJ-Listed Level 3 body armor plate. It provides the same level of protection as the PA plate, but it’s not as light and it’s 2/10” thicker. 

Regardless, the Duritium® Level III+PS plate is still significantly lighter than any of our competitors. Each plate only weighs 3.2 lbs for the 10x12” SAPI or Shooter’s Cut design. 



  • Threat Level: Level 3
  • Weight Per Plate: 3.2lbs (10”x12”)
  • Sizes: 8” x 10”, 10” x 12”, 11” x 14”
  • Special Threat Protection: 5.56x45mm 55-grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), and 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ
  • Edge to Edge Protection: Yes
  • Thickness: 0.95”
  • Material: ShotStop Duritium®
  • Finish: Polyurea
  • Warranty: 15 years



There are dozens of companies that sell great body armor to the masses, but no other company provides body armor as lightweight as ShotStop®. 

We’ll never ask our customers to take our word for it because we know that the men and women we strive to protect deserve better.

If you’re looking for the best lightweight Level 3 Body armor, look no further than Shotstop® Duritium® Level III+ plates.

Our Duritium® body armor plates are the lightest, thinnest, and most comfortable plates you'll ever wear.

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