The civilian use of body armor has exploded in the last few years. We are in a unique time where anyone can easily acquire a vast degree of armor. We’ve got rifle-resistant ceramic plates to modern high-tech polymer plates and everything in between. This also means soft armor. In the last few years, soft armor has exploded in popularity. This includes vests, as well as soft panels for packs, purses, and the like. Today we are looking at the latest piece of soft armor from Premier Armor, the Concealable Armor Vest.
Introducing the Concealable Armor Vest
I’ve never worked for Premier Armor, but at one point, I had an idea to mix a Premier Armor soft plate with a Tru-Spec armor shirt. This created a very low-profile concealable armor combo that inspired Premier Armor to combine the shirts and plates to make their own concealable armor. From there, they produced their latest Concealable Armor vest to act as a step between that shirt and a standard soft armor vest.
The goal of the Concealable Armor Vest was to provide the protection of the standard soft armor vests worn by law enforcement with a concealable design. As you’d imagine, it’s bulkier than a soft panel in a shirt but also provides 360 degrees of protection and a lot more of it than just your vitals.
The Concealable Armor Vest packs an IIIA rating which means it will not stop most rifle rounds. In fact, it’s best used against handgun and shotgun rounds. An IIIA rating prevents penetration by most standard handgun rounds, including 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, and up into a 44 Magnum Semi-wadcutter design, moving at 1,400 feet per second. What’s important to understand is that the soft panels are NIJ Certified.
Lots of armor companies build to NIJ standards, but certification means the company has sought independent testing for the NIJ. Simply put, the armor is legit. It’s also special-threat tested against 12 gauge slugs, Liberty Defense 9mm, and 5.7×28 SS197SR.
The carrier is pretty dang legit too. It’s machine washable and made from a moisture-wicking material. It’s lightweight and water repellent, and plenty adjustable. This is not a one-size-fits-all affair, and users should order the right size for their frames. Adjustments allow you to better tailor how the Concealable Armor Vest fits.
Who Needs This?
Who exactly needs a Concealable Armor vest? Well, obviously, the usual suspects can benefit from a high-quality vest. This includes police officers who might want something a little higher end under their uniform or plainclothes officers in general. Security personnel, VIP protection, and the like can also benefit from such a vest. Sadly, lots of EMS personnel are now wearing vests because scum takes potshots at them.
However, beyond those in armed and first responder professions, there are plenty of roles where a Concealable Armor Vest makes sense. I worked as both a repo man and a cash courier in my post-Marine Corps career.
Neither job allowed you to be armed, and both jobs made you a tempting target.
I had to dress professionally but would’ve loved a concealable armor vest to feel a little bit safer. Especially since my employers didn’t seem to care much about security and safety. On top of other oddball professions, this is a great option for someone who’s just been met with credible threats. Maybe through no fault of your own, you’ve made an enemy, and the most you have is a restraining order, a firearm, and a vest to keep you safe.
Comfort and Fit
Tossing the Concealable Armor Vest on isn’t tough. Well, once you’ve got it adjusted just right. The short waistband keeps the rig nice and tight, and tight is good. Tight helps with concealment and comfort. You don’t want the vest bouncing around as you move throughout the day. That would decrease comfort and increase visibility. Also, don’t forget, a tight fit is a proper fit that helps ensure your vitals are covered when necessary.
I do recommend wearing a shirt under your concealable armor vest. If not, I fear the chafing your nipples might receive. That being said, with a shirt in the way, the inside of the vest is super soft and incredibly comfortable. It’s not too heavy or overly bulky.
The only problem you’re gonna have is heat—nothing you can really do about that. Adding armor is like adding a sweater. Things that stop bullets rarely breathe well and accommodate the breeze. It’s the nature of the beast so just make sure you double down on your hydration if you plan to be working outside a lot with the vest on.
Also, make sure you remember you wash the external carrier cause it’s going to get gross if you don’t
How Does It Conceal?
I tested the Concealed Armor Vest with a standard white dress shirt, a Dixxon flannel, and a normal light jacket. I did this in August, and it’s blazing hot, so I hope you animals appreciate it. Under the shite dress shirt, the black carrier barely shows. It looks like a muscle shirt under my shirt. It adds a little bulk but so do all those pizza rolls I eat.
However, the armor does its job of remaining concealed. You’d have to look close, and if I wore a suit jacket, you’d have to undress me like I was Don Draper to find the vest. Under the Dixxon Flannel and light jacket, it’s most certainly invisible. This thing won’t disappear under a plain t-shirt, but under a button-down, it’s invisible.
Make it a black or flannel button-down, and it’s really invisible then. If this particular model still seems too bulky for you, check out their Executive design. It’s a little smaller than the Concealable Armor Vest.
However, for many of us, this vest will work perfectly. It hides easily and provides a brilliant degree of protection from common threats.
I love combining safety with a low-profile protection system. In fact, the industry seems to be going heavily towards low-profile awesomeness, and I love it. It takes vests like this out of the realm of just armed professionals and offers it to the everyday Joe and Jane. The Concealable Armor Vest from Premier Armor combines NIJ-certified protection and a low-profile design for everyone who needs armor.