Bulletproof Backpacks | Guide to ShotStop Armor

Bulletproof Backpacks | Guide to ShotStop Armor

Bulletproof Backpacks 

There are a lot of companies out there starting to produce bulletproof backpack inserts as a response to school shootings and violence. Most backpacks are rated at a Level/Type IIIA with a few at Level/Type III. These inserts are designed to defeat ballistic threats from handgun caliber bullets (IIIA) and rifle caliber bullets up to a 7.62mm (III).

How Do I Use a Bulletproof Backpack?

A bulletproof backpack is incredibly easy to use if you just follow instructions that come with the package. Ensure the plate is facing the right direction and wear the backpack tightly and securely on both shoulders. I highly recommend that you teach your child the best way to use the backpack in a worst-case scenario. Just like anything in life, the more you practice with something, the better you'll get. Understanding how to cover your vital organs and secure yourself could be the difference between life and death. 

Do I Need a Bulletproof Backpack?

According to the Center For Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), there have been 1,337 school shootings between 1970-2019. With that number continually rising, protecting your children from these events is the smart thing to do. As a former police officer, I always looked at my bulletproof vest as an insurance policy for my life. How many of you buy the full coverage insurance for a rental car? It seems like you shouldn't need it, but once you do, it will save you thousands of dollars. Now, replace that rental car with your child's life and ask yourself if it's worth it.  

What Type of Guns Are Used in School Shootings?

school shooting .png

Before you buy your child full battle rattle and send them off to school, let's look at the statistics of school shootings. Unfortunately, media coverage of shootings is biased and rarely an accurate representation of what is actually going on. However, according to CHDS, the majority of school shootings are done by small-caliber handguns, such as a 9mm or .380. This chart doesn't include all guns, just the most commonly used against students. Read the link above for a comprehensive list of firearms. 



If you watch the news on a school shooting, you'd be led to believe that most are committed by an AR-15 or AK-47. In reality, most school shootings are done by handguns ranging from a 9mm up to a .357 Magnum. However, if you're anything like most parents, you want the utmost level of protection for the most important thing in your life. For this reason, I'd go with a Level/Type III. If I were going by the statistics, a Level/Type IIIA would be enough to stop more than 85% of all calibers used in school shootings.  

What is Level/Type IIIA Body Armor?

According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Level/Type IIIA body armor is capable of defeating all handgun calibers, including a .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. With more than 85% of school shootings being carried out by handguns, this armor will protect your child if a round hits the plate insert. 


If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to all Levels/Types of armor, read our blog, titled, “ShotStop | Buyer’s Guide To Ballistic Armor”.

What is Level/Type III Body Armor?

Level/Type III body armor is a hard plate insert that usually slides into a plate carrier's pocket. This armor level is designed to defeat rifle caliber bullets up to a 7.62mm Full Metal Jacket (FMJ). As a backpack insert, this armor will protect your child against all AR-15 style rifles (5.56mm NATO) and AK-47 rifles. Here at ShotStop, the Level/Type III insert will stop multiple shots in the same place without penetrating through the armor. 


This is one of the most important questions to consider when choosing a piece of equipment that will save your life. There are so many companies that will promise you a legit product, but few are willing to be as transparent as ShotStop. The best way to tell if your ballistic insert is as good as it's advertised is to see if it has the following: 

  1. Name, logo or other identification of the manufacturer

  2. The rated level of protection (Level III, Level IIIA, etc.)

  3. A test ID number or model designation that uniquely identifies the armor design for testing purposes

  4. Panel size

  5. The serial number that uniquely identifies each piece of armor

  6. Location of manufacture

  7. Date of manufacture

  8. Identification of the proper orientation of the ballistic panel, i.e., strike face or wear face

  9. Warning that is 1.5x larger font than rest of label that states it's not intended to stop sharp objects

  10. If the armor is less than Level/Type III, it must state that it's not intended to stop rifle fire

Is There Another Way To Verify Armor Authenticity?

Yes, but not every company is willing to share their independent ballistics report. Luckily for you, ShotStop has nothing to hide and everything to share. Every piece of armor has to be independently tested to comply with the federal government. 

1.     Ballistics report for Level IIIA

2.     Ballistics report for Level III


How Do I Store Ballistic Backpacks? 

Ballistic armor needs to be stored and taken care of properly if you want it to last more than a few months. Anytime you're not wearing the backpack, the plate needs to be removed from the bag and laid flat. One thing that should always be avoided is hanging the backpack on a hanger with the plates inside. 

  1. Always lay the plate insert flat on a dry surface

  2. Never hang up the backpack with your insert inside. This will degrade the armor and significantly limit the lifespan of the armor

  3. Never leave armor plates in a car (trunk or interior). Direct sunlight, UV-rays, and radiation will deteriorate the armor

  4. Always replace any plate that has been hit or penetrated by a bullet

  5. Always remove the plate from the backpack before storage

  6. Leave in a dry place at room temperature

  7. Never store anything on top of or below your plates

How Do I Maintain A Ballistic Backpack? 

  1. Educate your children on what they can carry in a ballistic backpack. For example, any liquid other than water is prohibited

  2. Wash with soap and water and only use a handheld cloth

  3. DO NOT wash in a washing machine

  4. DO NOT use a dryer to dry the plate

  5. Let the plate air dry at room temperature away from direct sunlight

  6. If your child is anything like the rest of the world, the first thing they do when they get home is throw their backpack to the ground. If the plate insert is in the backpack, they need to avoid this at all times, or it will destroy the plate within months, especially Level/Type III hard plates


Bulletproof backpacks can be very expensive, depending on the brand you buy. We don't want to hide anything from you about the costs associated with purchasing plate inserts for a backpack.


1.    Level/Type IIIA from ShotStop- $199.00

2.    Level/Type III from ShotStop- $329.99



Many companies sell body armor to civilians for backpack inserts. If you want to buy the lightest, most durable, reliable, and trustworthy body armor, there is only one company -  ShotStop.  


Buying a bulletproof backpack for our loved ones is something that we believe should never have to be a thing. However, with the crazy world we live in, it's best to take precautions with the people you love most. Whether you trust the stats and go with a Level/Type III plate insert (handgun protection) or want full protection against any legal weapon (Level/Type III), ShotStop has your back.

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