Body armor is used by police, soldiers, and other armed personnel to protect them in dangerous situations…but can preppers use it too?
Body armor is something that doesn’t usually get brought up when discussing survival gear, but it’s something that could save your life when society collapses and people turn on each other.
Before we dive into this, keep in mind that your state and local laws might regulate how you can use body armor as a civilian and might even outlaw it outright.
Clearing Up Some Myths About Body Armor
Body armor is sometimes called bulletproof armor. However, that name is somewhat misleading because it’s not actually bulletproof. It’s more like bullet resistant. Also, “bulletproof” is relative to the type of body armor and the bullets being shot at it.
Something that many people don’t realize is that not all body armor has the same effectiveness.
There are different levels of protection for stopping different types of bullets at different velocities. Body armor that’s strong enough to stop 9mm pistol rounds isn’t going to be enough to stop a 5.56 NATO round.
Another thing to be aware of is you can still get hurt even while wearing body armor. Even though bullets won’t penetrate your body armor, they still inflict a huge impact on your body.
People who’ve been shot while wearing body armor describe it as being hit with a baseball bat. This force is strong enough to leave a large bruise and sometimes even cracks the ribs of the wearer.
Covert or Overt Body Armor?
Before we get into whether or not you should prep body armor, let’s separate body armor into two categories: Covert and overt.
Covert body armor is meant to be concealed. It’s usually not as strong as overt body armor, but it’s smaller and easier to wear under clothing. It’s good for people who aren’t guaranteed to engage in combat and need to basically look normal. Think of bodyguards as an example.
Overt body armor is pretty conspicuous. It’s usually much stronger than covert body armor and can even block bullets from high powered rifles. The trade-off is that it’s bulkier and can be harder to move around in. It’s good for people who regularly engage in combat, like soldiers.
Should You Wear Body Armor as a Prepper?
So, should preppers wear body armor? And if so, which type is better for preppers?
As a prepper, you should obviously avoid combat as much as possible. After all, combat puts your life at risk and you have no obligation to fight. Your only goal is to get you and your family to safety.
However, even if you try to avoid combat, you might still be forced into that kind of situation…especially if you live in a city.
Even if you do manage to avoid engaging in combat, there’s still the possibility of being hit by stray bullets from other people.
That’s why I would recommend playing it safe and minimally investing in a body armor vest just in case. You can buy a good one for around $250, and it very well could save your life.
The question then becomes: Which type is better…covert or overt?
For preppers, I recommend going with covert body armor. First, it can be concealed. Staying under the radar is important in a SHTF situation. Covert body armor will protect you without identifying you as a target or a threat.
The other reason is that heavy-duty overt body armor just isn’t necessary. If you’re avoiding combat like you should be, then there is no reason you would need so much protection. You won’t be taking hits from high-powered rifles. The most likely thing that would happen is getting clipped by stray pistol shots.
If you live in a rural area, you can probably go without body armor. There are less people to deal with in rural areas, and those that do live there are fairly well prepared and self-sufficient already, so they won’t come after your gear.
Where to Buy Body Armor
We don’t sell body armor here on Survival Frog. But if you want a quality body armor vest, I recommend checking out Safeguard Clothing.
They have a good selection of body armor for you to choose from. You can choose whether you want covert or overt body armor and even customize the level of protection you want.
I recommend getting a vest with level II ballistic protection and some stab protection. This will give you a good mix of stealth and protection for what you’re most likely to encounter in a SHTF scenario.