What Can Soft Body Armor Stop?

What Can Soft Body Armor Stop?

Soft body armor is a crucial piece of protective equipment for law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians who want to stay safe in high-risk situations. But what exactly can soft body armor stop? In this article, we'll explore the different levels of protection offered by soft body armor and help you choose the right type for your needs.

Understanding the NIJ Standards for Soft Body Armor

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has established standards for soft body armor based on the level of protection they provide. Here's a quick overview:

NIJ Level Protects Against
IIA 9mm, .40 S&W
II 9mm, .357 Magnum
IIIA .357 SIG, .44 Magnum

It's important to note that these levels only apply to soft body armor, which is typically made from Kevlar or other lightweight, flexible materials. Hard body armor, such as ceramic or steel plates, offers even higher levels of protection.

Level IIA Soft Body Armor

Level IIA soft body armor is the lowest level of protection recognized by the NIJ. It's designed to stop most handgun threats, including 9mm and .40 S&W rounds. This type of armor is lightweight and comfortable, making it a popular choice for everyday wear.

At Pivotal Body Armor, we offer a range of Level IIA soft body armor options, including the


Level II Soft Body Armor

Level II soft body armor provides slightly more protection than Level IIA, stopping higher-velocity handgun rounds like 9mm and .357 Magnum. This level of protection is often recommended for security guards and other professionals who may face a higher level of threat.

Our Level II soft body armor options include the


Level IIIA Soft Body Armor

Level IIIA is the highest level of protection available in soft body armor. It can stop even more powerful handgun rounds, including .357 SIG and .44 Magnum. This level of protection is often recommended for SWAT teams and other high-risk law enforcement units.

Check out our selection of Level IIIA soft body armor, including the


Choosing the Right Soft Body Armor

When selecting soft body armor, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Threat level: What types of weapons are you likely to face?
  • Comfort: Will you be wearing the armor for extended periods?
  • Concealability: Do you need to wear the armor under clothing?
  • Price: What is your budget for body armor?

Our body armor buying guide can help you weigh these factors and choose the right soft body armor for your needs.

Caring for Your Soft Body Armor

To ensure that your soft body armor provides maximum protection, it's important to care for it properly. Here are a few tips:

  • Store your armor in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Clean your armor regularly with a mild detergent and warm water
  • Replace your armor every 5-7 years, or sooner if it becomes damaged

By following these simple guidelines, you can extend the life of your soft body armor and stay safe on the job.

The Limitations of Soft Body Armor

While soft body armor can stop most handgun threats, it's important to understand its limitations. Soft armor is not designed to stop rifle rounds, which have much higher velocities and penetrating power. For protection against rifle threats, you'll need hard body armor plates.

It's also important to remember that no body armor is completely bulletproof. Even the highest levels of protection can be defeated by certain types of ammunition or multiple hits to the same area. That's why it's crucial to always use caution and follow proper safety protocols, even when wearing body armor.

The Importance of Proper Fit

To ensure that your soft body armor provides maximum protection, it's essential to get a proper fit. Armor that is too loose or too tight can shift out of place during an attack, leaving vulnerable areas exposed.

At Pivotal Body Armor, we offer a range of sizes and styles to ensure that you get the perfect fit. Our team of experts can help you measure your body and select the right size armor for your needs. We also offer custom sizing for hard-to-fit body types.

How to Pair Soft Body Armor with Hard Armor Plates

For the ultimate level of protection, you can pair our soft body armor with hard armor plates and plate carriers. This combination provides comprehensive coverage against both handgun and rifle threats.

Our expert advisors can help you select the right plate carrier and plates to pair with your soft armor. We offer a range of options to suit different threat levels, budgets, and preferences.

Why Choose Pivotal Body Armor?

At Pivotal Body Armor, we're committed to providing the highest quality body armor at competitive prices. All of our products are rigorously tested to ensure that they meet or exceed NIJ standards for protection.

We also offer unparalleled customer service, with expert advisors available to answer your questions and help you select the right gear for your needs. Plus, we offer fast, free shipping on all orders over $99.


Soft body armor is an essential piece of protective equipment for anyone who faces the threat of handgun violence. By understanding the different levels of protection available and selecting the right armor for your needs, you can stay safe on the job and have peace of mind knowing that you're protected.

At Pivotal Body Armor, we're here to help you find the perfect soft body armor solution. Visit our website today to browse our selection and chat with one of our expert advisors. Together, we can help you stay safe and confident in any situation.

PayPal Visa Mastercard American Express Discover Apple Pay Google Pay Shop Pay Afterpay