How to Choose the Right Body Armor for You | Civil Unrest Response

How to Choose the Right Body Armor for You | Civil Unrest Response

During any moment of civil unrest in our streets, you or someone you love may be put in precarious positions. Oftentimes demonstrations can turn from peaceful to violent in a matter of seconds. In response to the many innocent people who are at risk during massive protests, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of civilians ordering body armor for potential civil unrest this summer. We have many blogs about what each type of armor represents and protects you from. We want this to be your guide for choosing the right armor for you and your family. 

What’s the Difference Between an Armor Cut and Protection Type?

Luckily we’ve written about the different body armor cuts in our ShotStop® | Buyer’s Guide to Ballistic Armor blog. You can find everything you need to know about what Type III and Type IV body armor can protect you from in our buyer’s guide. Simply put, the cut of the armor is the shape of the plate. The protection level refers to the caliber of bullet that the governing authority (NIJ) confirms stops from penetrating.


This is the part that only you can answer, but we can get you there if you understand how to determine which combination you’d like for each person. For example, everyone typically has a differently shaped body from head to toes, so, we can’t expect everyone to fit one size or style of armor. We wanted to include our guideline in a table because you can print this out if you do better with a tangible list. 

SS front and back side of plate.JPG

How Should I Choose Body Armor for my Wife/Husband?

There are many things to consider when choosing body armor, but the top considerations should be the level of coverage on your body, the overall weight of the armor, and what type of protection you think you need. 

As I sat down with my wife and picked out armor, I had to consider the most important thing was her protection, not necessarily actively fighting. I also wanted to make sure that she was going to be protected from any type of gun someone could carry out in public, which is a Level IV plate. 

Unfortunately, there is no Level IV NIJ-Listed female body armor available yet, but progress is being made. With that in mind, I wanted to at least make sure that my wife got the lightest, thinnest, and most flexible body armor available. Without question, that is the Duritium® IV+HA Body Armor Plate. 


The Duritium® IV+HA Body Armor Plate is only 4.5 lbs and will protect your wife/husband with its multiple cut options (shooter or SAPI cuts) design. Normally, the plate that is meant to stop multiple strikes from a 30.06 or .308 sniper rifle and anything lesser is going to be inches thick to absorb the force, but our Duritium® technology will accomplish this goal with an only 0.9” thick plate. 

The best part about this plate is it’s a multi-curve plate to accommodate the curves that only women have. I would want the Level IV+HA plate for my entire adult family that wouldn’t be doing the fighting. This plate is NIJ-Pending, but it’s approaching the final stages of approval. This delay in process by NIJ will not be stopping our release to the public in late June of this year.


If your main concern is safety and getting away from danger (always the best option), then a Level IV+HA plate is right for you. However, if you’re worried about a SAPI cut plate restricting your movements with a gun in your hands, then you’re going to need a shooter’s cut plate

SS armor plate with duffle bag.JPG

The shooter’s cut plate is going to have the corners of the plate cut to give the wearer more mobility and freedom of movement with their arms. This allows the wearer to comfortably pull up an AR-15 or M4 up to their shoulder without the armor getting in the way. This cut will give you the most mobility, but it will also provide less protection than a SAPI plate. It’s all about the give and takes and that is a very personal question to ask yourself. 


This is such a controversial topic, but one that needs to be addressed in order to provide clarification. As you can see from the above chart, our smallest body armor is 8”x 10”, which should fit smaller children, but not too young. The best way to figure out if it will fit is to measure what 8x10” looks like on your child's abdomen. If that covers their entire body, you know it won’t fit them. You want it to cover their vitals, not their entire body. I would always recommend the highest level of protection for children because, hopefully, they’re not going to have to worry about a gun getting in the way of their arms. A Level IV full-cut plate is the best option for your family. 


Not everyone is going to be able to wear armor due to the sizing issues, but there are other ways we can help you protect your children without strapping armor on them. Our BallisticBoard® allows you to insert the armor into your backpack without anyone knowing the difference. 

SS Body Armor Plate With Police carrier.JPG

This can be extremely beneficial to your family because even if you’re in a crisis your kids don’t have to know everything about the situation. Place a backpack on them with our BallisticBoard® insert and you’re ready to stop any handgun bullet with multiple hits. 


If you’re looking at the armor chart, you’re probably thinking, why can’t I use the 6x6” side plate as a front plate for my toddlers? The biggest concern here is that when our plates go through strict testing from the NIJ, a side plate would never be tested as a front or backplate. In fact, NIJ doesn’t have a testing standard that allows plates smaller than 8” x 10”. Even if the side plate covers the vital organs of a child, there is no plate holder that would keep it in place. 

Why Choose ShotStop® to Protect Your Family?

ShotStop® was created in response to a lack of ballistic protection for our soldiers and police officers. We Protect the Protectors with state-of-the-art armor that is lighter, thinner, and more durable than anything else you’ll find.

ShotStop® may be a business but we all believe family is the most important thing in our lives. We take the personal protection of our families as seriously as possible and we trust both our BallisticBoard® and body armor to save the lives of our family if ever needed. 

As you conduct your own research on which company you want to buy from, you’re going to see a lot of misinformation about being NIJ-Listed. The fact of the matter is that not very many companies are honest or upfront about their armor. ShotStop® doesn’t play word games with people's lives, we display our armor compliance letters with pride. We do this because we want our customers to have as much confidence in their armor as we do. We wholeheartedly believe that you deserve to have the best for your family. I may be biased, but you’re not going to find a more honest and credible company than ShotStop®. 

ShotStop® Warranty?

When you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a single product that you may never use (hopefully), it’s important to know what kind of warranty you get and how long your product is expected to last. 

All of our Level III body armor has a 15-year warranty and our Level IV has a 10-year warranty. The average warranty in the ballistic armor industry is only 5 years! Not only is our warranty 3x longer than our closest competitors, but it will also save you thousands of dollars over 15 years. We hope you give us a chance to impress and serve your ballistic protection needs. If you have any questions, please call our sales team at

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