Nowadays, body armor is an essential element of the personal protection of law enforcement and military personnel.

Wearing a bullet-resistant vest on a daily basis, officers should be not only safe but also feel comfortable and agile in it. Body armor that does not fit well might bring inconvenience and hinder mobility, thus, appear risky and dangerous to wear.

To make sure that a bullet-resistant vest provides you with adequate security, read this guide on how to properly wear body armor.

How to Properly Wear a Bullet-Resistant Vest

Whether you are choosing body armor for the first time or you’ve done this a dozen times, there are two crucial things you should pay attention to:

  • how well it fits
  • how comfortable is it

There’s no surprise that protective clothing does not go in one-size-fits-all and it is necessary to choose a bullet-resistant vest with the perfect parameters for your body type, height, and weight. In terms of comfort, it should not fit too loose or too tight so it performs thermoregulation functions—protects your body from overheat or against cold temperature.  

There are more tips on how to properly wear a bullet-resistant vest to allow for comfort, mobility and agility and not make an officer vulnerable to existing or potential threats. 

While comfort is a subjective factor that many people interpret in different ways, there are common design elements that you should take into consideration when choosing and fitting protective clothing.  

How To Wear Body Armor
Prime Body Armor Threat Level: III @ Plate Carrier

Neck openings should have a proper round shape and not be very high, while armholes should not be small and tight. The armor has to be wide enough for the front and back protective coverings to overlap and ensure the ballistic integrity of a servant’s torso.

At the same time, you need to have an option to adjust the size of the item to make a tighter fit. Body armor that is too wide might interfere with movement when running, driving, shooting, or performing any other actions while on duty.

A bullet-resistant vest that is too tight might restrict vital air supply to the lungs and slow down the reaction of an officer.

How shoulder straps fit is no less important. As their aim is to distribute the weight of the protective clothing, they should be wide enough for an officer to feel comfortable when wearing a bullet-resistant vest.


 What about its lengths? An item does not have to be too long so that when a person sits down, its front part does not touch the belt, bend, or bump into the neck. Most importantly, you should not forget to inspect the piece for any marks of damage, from burns to cuts. 

Why is it Important to Wear Body Armor Correctly?

Knowing how to wear a bullet-resistant vest is half the battle. You should understand why having this fundamental safety equipment on is important for law enforcement, security, and military personnel as well. To help you sort it all out, here’s a list of valid reasons.

  1. Wearing body armor correctly is necessary for substantial protection of the officer’s torso and body’s vital organs during life-threatening situations, for instance, when firearms are used. The statistics from the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted showcase that over 70,000 servants were assaulted with firearms from 1987 to 2015. What this means is that having a bulletproof vest will drastically increase the chances of not getting any harm and staying alive. 
  2. A piece that is exactly the right size for you allows for the relevant physical performance of an officer. When body armor is not very tight and the body does not overheat, the time of wearing it increases up to 24 hours and more. Therefore, a servant can spend the whole shift in this protective clothing feeling comfortable and well. Meanwhile, having a tense bullet-resistant vest might lead to the deterioration of general well-being or even to more severe issues like heat stroke and fainting.

Let’s have a closer look at why it is important to put on this security element in the right way. Imagine that the shoulder straps of your bullet-resistant vest are quite thin or damaged.

They do not distribute the weight of the metal coverings correctly and will probably place a significant strain on your back. This might lead to negative health effects such as osteochondrosis—spine disease. 

To Sum it Up

Understanding how to wear body armor properly is extremely important for the safety of law enforcement, security, and military personnel. This knowledge can prevent or decrease harm from ballistic threats,  ensure sufficient well-being but also excellent performance while a servant is on duty.