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How Much Does Body Armor Cost?

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If you’re in the market for a bullet proof vest or piece of body armor, you’re likely wondering how much one costs. Body armor cost depends on many factors and understanding the factors can help you choose the best one for your needs. Ballistic vests usually come at around $600 on average, with prices ranging from $300 to $1800.

About Body Armor

Body armor, which is also known as ballistic armor, a bullet proof vest, or bullet resistant vest was primarily used by the United States Armed Forces. Over the last decades, these bullet proof vests are making their way into the mainstream population for security and law enforcement.

Body armor is made up of a textile carrier and ballistic inserts. These ballistic inserts are what keeps bullets from harming a person because they prevent them from getting through to the body. The vest itself can be made from Kevlar, which is finely woven fabric. Kevlar is also heat resistant to combat heat intensive situations. But there are many other materials out there such as Teijin Aramid, Dyneema and Honeywell Spectra.

Ballistic armor vests carry some weight, as the construction is meant to repel bullets. Originally, these vents were approximately 25 pounds, but newer versions are much lighter at 16 pounds. Note that these weights include both the soft armor panels as the hard armor panels. Vests that only give protection against handgun rounds can just weight 3 to 6 pounds. Despite the averages, there are many different vests available, which of course determine the ballistic armor price.

Factors Influencing Body Armor Cost

The price of bullet resistant vests can be a bit of surprise to many people. There is a wide range in body armor prices because there are so many manufacturers making them nowadays. The following are the factors you should consider when trying to come up with a budget for your body armor cost.

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You can buy body armor for a low price, but will it be comfortable? Probably not. The more you spend, the more comfortable you will feel. Thinner, more flexible ballistic materials tend to be more expensive.

It’s important that your bulletproof vest is comfortable, especially if you’re going to be wearing it for long periods of time. If the vest is for work as a security guard, you will have to wear it for at least 7 hours a day and being uncomfortable for that long is not in your best interest. You could even decide not to wear the vest at all.

The vest can be quite heavy, but you need to be able to move around in it easily. This is why flexibility of the vest is important. Not all body armor is flexible and not all body armor is meant to be worn for long periods of time.

The other comfort factor to look for is if it fits correctly on your body. The ballistic armor should not be too tight or loose. Ballistic armor price does fluctuate with size, so don’t go with the smaller one to save money. If it’s too tight, it will constrict you and that may not make it as effective as it could be leading to you getting hurt. If it’s too loose, it also will not provide as much protection. Size is not something you should compromise on when you’re considering bulletproof vest cost. You can compromise a bit on comfort as far as how it feels, but size is what effects how well it works, and that is non-negotiable.


Just like the body armor cost goes up or down with the size of the vest, the weight also affects it. While over the years bulletproof vests have become lighter, you need to choose one with panels that is designed for the protection you will need. You do not have to purchase a vest that has the highest level of protection, unless you need it. The more protection the vest provides, the higher the bulletproof vest price. Of course, you don’t want to get the one with the least amount of protection for what you’re using it for because that low bulletproof vest price may end up costing you your life.

One other consideration is your fatigue with the weight you end up with for your body armor. The heavier it is, the more you have to carry around. Again, the amount of time you have to carry it around will determine when you’ll get fatigued with that weight. If this body armor is for daily protection, choose the one that has enough protection for your needs and is light enough to wear for as long as you need it. The bullet proof vest price may be higher if you choose one that is light but has solid protection, but that price is worth it.


When you’re in action, mobility is everything. You need your body armor to move around with you, which means it must be flexible. Flexibility is what gives you the ability to move around without constriction. If you’ve ever been in the line of fire, you know you don’t have time to deal with your bulletproof vest keeping you from getting your arm up high enough or crouching to the ground.

The mobility of a ballistic vest has a lot to do with how it’s made. Just like clothing manufacturers, each brand has a different type of design. You will need to find a vest that fits your body the way it’s supposed to, and usually when you do, you can go with the brand for as long as you need to buy bullet proof vests.

Bullet proof vest cost when it comes to mobility usually doesn’t change much. Each manufacturer sets their own price depending on the other factors mentioned here. The design of the vests is usually more about style and what their customers prefer rather than based on the ballistic armor price.


The other factor that can affect bulletproof vest cost is how easy it is to hide it underneath a uniform. The body armor plates will need to be thin enough to make it easy to fit underneath any type of clothes. Usually, people who buy body armor already have their uniforms, so they are not interested in purchasing new uniforms just to fit the bulletproof vest. This is why they then have to find a bulletproof vest that is thin enough for it to fit underneath their existing uniform.

How thin or thick a vest is does affect body armor cost. Manufacturers know that some people want the vests to be as discreet as possible, so they spend time and money designing and creating these vests. The cost ends up coming down to those who buy ballistic vests.

The best way to get the best price for ballistic vests is to buy the ones that are thin enough to hide underneath your uniform but not excessively thin. You likely don’t need the thinnest one available, which would cost you more. Just get the one that will fit. This may mean taking measurements and paying attention to the dimensions of your body armor as you’re buying it.


Just like anything, quality matters. Buying bullet proof vests is an investment. This is why body armor price is so important to you. While you may want to go with the lowest bulletproof vest cost, it’s not in your best interest because you may end up having to buy a new one way before you would need if you bought one that is higher quality.

Quality for body armor means durability. As soon as the durability of a ballistic vest is compromised, it may not be effective. Consider the quality of the body armor you purchase. It does matter, and it does play a huge role in the cost.

The best way to know which manufacturers produce the best quality ballistic vests is to read reviews online. You can usually get an idea of how good a particular brand is by reading the experiences of others. You can also ask the seller which brands are the best when it comes to durability. While the ballistic vest price may be higher for better quality, remember that you’ll save money when you don’t have to buy another one far too soon.

Protection Level

This was mentioned above, but it’s important to explain the different levels. The levels of protection for body armor does affect price. There are six protection levels identified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Each bulletproof vest has a level, and you can choose the one that is designed for your needs.

The problem is that many people do not know what level of protection they need. This can lead to them paying more for body armor than they really needed, or it causes them to not spend enough, and then not being protected as much as they assumed.

At this page you can find overview of the different protection levels worldwide. Consider the threats you have when wearing it, and then match up those threats with the chart.

As far as body armor cost for levels, the higher levels often come with a higher price. For example a NIJ Level II vest will have a lower price than a NIJ Level IIIA vest. If you want to add hard armor plates to the vest

A ballistic armor price is higher because it needs heavy duty plates to protect against the type and speed of the bullet that may penetrate it. The more material that is needed to manufacture the ballistic armor, the more it will cost.


Warranties are important because as you know, buying body armor is a big investment. When you’re shopping for body armor, always ask about warranties. Usually, when a bulletproof vest price is high, the manufacturer will offer a warranty because it makes buyers feel more comfortable spending so much money on it.

Should you buy body armor that doesn’t come with a warranty? Only you can make that decision, but it’s not a good idea. Defects happen, and after spending so much money on ballistic vests only to see the seam coming undone or having another problem with it, is not going to make you happy.

Purchase Location

It can be illegal to purchase body armor from another country and bring it to the United States. While you may find body armor prices are cheaper in another country, it’s not worth getting imprisoned for it.

You can find different prices of ballistic vests with various sellers. The best sellers will give you information plus a good price on a bulletproof vest. This is why many people buy body armor online. Buyers can then take their time to learn about each vest available to make a good decision on the best one for them.

One concern that some people have is about size. The dimensions for the ballistic vests you’re interested in are usually in the product description. To get the best price on ballistic vests, go to your local retailer, try some on, and then take the sizes down for the one that fits you best. You can then buy the one that you know will fit you online for a better price.

Final Consideration About Body Armor Pricing

Body armor is meant to protect your life. How valuable is your life to you?

When you’re shopping for ballistic armor or a bullet proof vest, don’t just look at the price tag. Make sure you are considering how well it will protect you in the line of fire. When it comes down to that, body armor cost should not mean as much.

This doesn’t mean you should choose the one with the highest price. It means that you should make sure you buy the one that has exactly what you need for the body armor price you can afford.

Take some time to think about your budget. As you do that, look at some of the bulletproof vests on the market and compare them to the factors identified here. You will soon get an idea of how much you will need to spend on your body armor. While you may end up going a little higher or lower in your finally ballistic vest price, it will end up being worth the cost.

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