Best Tactical Body Armor Vest

A body armor vest is basically a vest that is designed to carry metal plates that will stop bullets.

Because of this tactical body armor vests are often referred to as "plate carriers".

Tactical body armor vests or plate carriers, can hold steel, ceramic, or even composite material plates to stop projectiles.


Folks will often use the names body armor vest or bullet proof vest or plate carrier vest and they all mean the same thing.

A newer design of body armor vest is built with soft armor.  While it is not a plate, it can still protect you from impacts from up to a .44 magnum as well as knife stabbings.

The specific name of these vests doesn't really matter much.  What matters is that they work when it counts.  

These vests are meant to protect your life by providing the best body armor and plates that prevent bullets from fatally wounding you.

Whether you are in law enforcement, a private security team, military personnel, or you're just a civilian that works in a dangerous area, these products are hear to help you survive the worst.

These body armor vests are made with the best materials available, to make them as comfortable and durable as possible, combined the latest in bullet stopping plates.

The world is a chaotic mess, the vests listed here are meant to help absorb and reduce the impact or fully stop penetration into the torso from firearm projectiles and even shrapnel from explosions.

front view of the bulletsafe tactical vest in black

BulletSafe is the best value in body armor.  With this Tactical Bulletproof Vest which offers NIJ Level IIIA + protection, you get a 2 in 1 system.

You get the Concealable and a Tactical Vest.  This BulletSafe is a concealable vest with a tactical front carrier, which is great because you get to adapt it to your needs.

You don't always need a tactical vest with MOLLE straps and it's nice to be able to quickly convert this into a concealable.

With either option you get Level IIIA (3A) protection is the highest level of protection you will find in soft armor.

It is multi-shot capable with the ability to withstand up to 6 rounds.  The ballistic panels are in the front and the rear and wrap around as well.  

The vest won't stop heavy rifle fire, that is why it is compatible with plates and has pockets front and rear that sit flush due to the intelligent design from BulletSafe.

If you have to spend your own money to purchase your own protection, then you'll see that BulletSafe if the best value in a tactical body armor vest around.

Pros

  • Available In Six Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, and 4XL
  • Reasonably priced
  • Highest level of protection, Level IIIA (3A), in soft armor and comfortable too.

Cons

  • Sizing chart is not the most accurate, but they have really good customer service which can help answer questions on size
front view of ar invictus with plates

How do you want your tactical body armor?  Because with the AR Invictus, you can get it exactly how you want because this is endlessly configurable.

This lightweight low profile plate carrier is designed for comfort and mobility, and you can choose your plate protection levels.  You can option this vest to come with Level II soft armor, all the way up to Level IV ceramic plates.  

The AR Invictus accepts all trapezoidal 10”x12” plates and is laser cut from laminated nylon. 

You can configure the vest to either a left or right orientation, with flat or multi-from plates.  You can add Fraglock coating, a quick release system, trauma pads, a hanger, and loadouts.

If you're looking for a vest that you can make exactly to your comfort and armor protection needs, the AR Invictus is a great choice for you.

Pros

  • Supported Plate Sizes: 10" x 12"
  • Endlessly configurable to exactly fit your needs
  • Available in four different colors

Cons

  • As of this writing it takes a least 4 weeks from purchase for delivery
front view of the Galls SE Series IIIA Body Armor

The Galls SE Series IIIA Body Armor delivers lightweight comfort and incredible value.

This high performance vest is special threads tested to the U.S. fragmentation testing protocol for 2, 4, 16 and 64 grain projectiles, and is NIJ certified.

We really like the fit of the Galls SE Series IIIA vests but the sizing tends to run a bit small, just something to be aware of when ordering. 

The shirt tails are a love it or hate it part of the vest, but they do work to keep the vest in place.  We found that some of us that used the vest didn't mind the tails, and some found them annoying and bulky when tucked in, but regardless did the job. 

The vest had front and rear pockets to fit 5" x 8" and 8" x 10" trauma plates that are included.

Overall this is a really solid choice for a tactical body armor vest outer carrier that provides ample coverage and protection.  

If you're looking for a concealable vest, there are better options, but if you need workhorse tactical vest that is stiff but flexible, with ample back pockets that can fit rifle plates, you'll find your money well spent with this vest.

Pros

  • Custom sizing available
  • Thoughtful neoprene shoulder straps for added comfort
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons

  • Shoulder straps are a bit short, it could be better if they were a bit longer

Final Thoughts / Conclusion

Tactical body armor vests are nearly identical to a regular bullet proof vest because they possess the same Level IIIA protection, the difference being they also have the options of plate carrier pockets for addition hard armor.

Overall we like BulletSafe vest the best for it's overall comfort, versatility and protection, although the other options we listed are still good, otherwise we wouldn't have included them.