How to Put on a Bulletproof Vest

To get the most out of your body armor, it is important to make sure your vest fits properly and cover your vital organs (heart, lungs) as much as possible.

Proper size is critical with body armor. So, please be sure when you are getting a vest in the first place, that you get the right size. The best solution is to get you a true, custom-fit vest tailored specifically for your body shape and dimensions.


Next, it is important to adjust your vest in a seated position. Once seated, re-adjust the shoulder and waist straps for comfort. Remember, the vest will only protect what it covers. Therefore, it is important that you adjust the vest so that it is not too low or too high. Same in the case of hard armor panel, the space between the bottom edge of the front armor panel and the top edge of the gun belt is required so that when the officer sits down this space will close and the vest panel will rest on the edge of the gun belt without riding up into the throat. Remember not to wear your vest too tight as it may limit your mobility and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the ballistic panels.

Inserting Additional Armor Accessories

Depending on the type of hard armor plate, you have you will either place these plates in an interior or an exterior pocket. While you may want the front and back panels to overlap on the sides it is important to realize this can make a vest much more uncomfortable. In addition, the front and back panels will be rubbing against each other, causing premature wear to the panel covers.  The most comfortable option is to have your vest fitted with a small gap between the front and back panels.

Unless your carrier is specifically designed to carry additional equipment (outer carriers only) you should not hang knifes, guns, or other items on your vest.


Your straps should be enough adjustable to prevent excessive movement of the panels. Over-strapping may cause curling and unnecessary wear to the ballistic panels. Most important, when you are in a stressful situation that requires physical performance will be affected if your vest is on too tight and restricts the ability of your chest and lungs to fully expand when needed. Your vest is too tight if the straps are causing the bulletproof warrior vest to crease along the strap lines.

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