With a wide selection of body armor available, it’s easy to pick the wrong one and thus, proper measures need to be carried out to ensure that the body armor chosen is one that will be highly effective.
More and more maritime personnel are realizing the significance of body armor when it comes to saving lives. With innovations for added protection as well as protection that is comfortable, body armor has received a warm welcome in this field.
“There are five main things to be considered when selecting body armor, these include:
• Level of protection needed
A closer look
The first question that should be asked is whether covert or overt body armor will be the ideal choice?
Covert protective gear is designed to be worn under clothing and thus, is concealable. Though maritime personnel may not have the need to obtain a certain degree of anonymity, covert gear is still effective due to its lightweight feature and the high level of comfort achieved when wearing this vest as opposed to wearing overt (worn above clothing) protective gear. Incorporating fabrics like Coolmax and materials such as cotton, the comfort aspect of covert body armor can’t be undermined.
The benefits of Coolmax
Because maritime personnel need to be protected throughout the day, comfort is essential and thus, a vest that isn’t bothersome to wear for long durations of time is ideal. With the Coolmax fabric, maritime personnel who decide on covert body armor, will be afforded a vest that keeps them warm in colder weathers and cool in warmer weathers. The ‘wicking away’ technique of Coolmax spreads perspiration over a larger surface area promoting a higher rate of absorption.
A light weight vest is also a great option for maritime personnel for the aforementioned reason. The fact that they are in need of around the clock protection means that a vest that puts the least amount of pressure on them throughout the day will be best.
It’s imperative that body armor fits right
One of the main things to keep in mind when choosing body armor is that the correct size needs to be selected. Doing so will ascertain that the level of protection offered is not inhibited. A vest that is too small will be restricting and make moving around and exercising the necessary amount of flexibility difficult in high risk situations. Additionally, a vest that is too small will leave the body’s vital organs exposed and thus vulnerable.
Body armor that is to large will present similar challenges. Because of the additional weight and bulk, flexibility and movement will be minimized and the vest will not be as effective as intended.
The aim of protective gear is to protect and if an incorrect size is chosen, the protection will be jeopardized. As a result, maritime personnel should ensure that proper measurements are taken when selecting protective gear. Female maritime personnel should opt for a vest designed for their body type.
Due to the areas in which maritime personnel work, it’s imperative that the protective gear chosen is water resistant. This will ensure that the vest is not damaged from exposure to water and that in the case that the wearer need to be in the water at any time, the vest won’t be weight bearing.
Level of Protection Available
Last but not least, we’ll look at the level of protection available for maritime personnel seeking protective gear. Covert protective gear is available up to a level III A.
LEVEL II A
A level II A vest offers the wearer great protection against 9mm Full Metal Jacket rounds traveling up to 1090 feet per second as well as the .40 S6W Full Metal Jacket rounds traveling up to 1025 feet per second. This level has seen a decrease in popularity as even though its lightweight feature is remarkable, higher level vests are still able to pack in a high amount of comfort while offering greater protection.
The level II vest offers the wearer protection against 9mm Full Metal Jacket rounds with velocities as high as 1175 feet per second and .357 JSP traveling up to 1400 feet per second. Due to being exceptionally lightweight and comfortable to wear on a daily basis, this vest a very popular option.
LEVEL III A
The ideal vest for maritime personnel is the level III A covert vest. High in comfort and offering protection against the 9mm FMJ rounds (1400 feet per second), the .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (1400 feet per second) as well as the rounds protected against by lower level vests, maritime personnel will be adequately protected when wearing a level III A vest. One of the key features of this vest is the fact that blunt trauma injury is significantly minimized.