I’ve been wearing soft body armor nearly every uniform duty day I’ve worked for the past 30 years. My very first “vest” was a used Second Chance vest, with the rear panel missing, that I purchased from another deputy — I figured I wouldn’t need the back because I wasn’t planning on running away. I’ve had numerous other vests since then — and what I’ve noticed over this span of time is two things. First, armor has gotten much, and I mean much, more comfortable. Second, the ballistic protection capability of each has improved as well. ArmorShield U.S.A. is at the forefront of those improvements.
ArmorShield, like all modern armor makers, makes a wide variety of armor for a wide variety of situations — situations that weren’t conceived of some 30 years ago; from day-to-day uniformed officer protection using standard concealable soft armor, to soft ballistic shields (weighing 6 to 7 pounds) for entry situations, to rapid deployment for active shooter situations, to a special light tactical vest designed to be put on rapidly over existing clothes.
Tactical Body Armor Blankets
The ArmorShield Tactical Body Armor Blankets are not true “Armor Blankets” as one commonly thinks of them. While true “blankets” are normally carried by multiple officers and designed to shield multiple officers, ArmorShield’s Armor Blanket is actually a soft, individual-sized armor shield. The Level IIIA armor (yes, I know, it won’t stop rifle fire without an armor plate, but neither will most hard ballistic shields) is so flexible that it can be rolled up like a small sleeping blanket for storage. There are two sizes, regular and long, with the 29”x21” regular weighing 6.5 pounds, and the 41”x21” long weighing 7.5 pounds. By way of comparison, a standard-size IIIA hard ballistic shield weighs double that of the regular Armor Blanket, coming in at 12.9 pounds.
Both Armor Blankets are kept in a nylon storage bag, which also contains the support struts and forearm protector. The forearm protector defends against hard impact of rounds, which could cause a user to drop a shield after the impact. Support struts are inserted into pockets on the inside of the armor to hold it firm (not really rigid) and provide an additional grasping point. The shield can be accessed, unrolled, and set-up with the forearm protector in about 30 seconds. On the front of the shield is a space for a removable ID patch (Police or Sheriff — Sheriff is in gold, Police is in white). Armor color choices are black, Navy, OD green and tan.
ArmorShield advertises that the Armor Blanket is usable in a wide variety of ways — individual or formation protection in dealing with an active shooter, hanging over a cruiser driver’s window and door (ideal for the long size armor) with the window attachment for extra protection during downed officer/person rescue, and its flexibility allows it to be bent and formed as a way to guard a sharpshooter’s position.