Bulletproof vests have been the standard protection against pistol, shotgun, and rifle fire for the public safety and military professional. The first bulletproof vests were worn outside the uniform, were big and bulky, and weighed up to twenty fatigue inducing pounds upon the wearer. With the development and advancements in materials and construction of bulletproof vests came the more compact and lightweight versions known simply as concealable vests.
During the initial years when Kevlar vests were first deployed by both military/police most wore their vests outside due to the size and weight of them, especially any ballistic body armour that had ballistic panels over Level IIIA protection level, as the armor was usually too heavy and cumbersome to be worn underneath clothes, closer to the body, like concealable armor. Once vests became lighter and more compact, local law enforcement started wearing concealable body armor under the uniforms for a more professional look, without the sacrificing protection. Today, the Kevlar vest and external vest carriers can once again be found on the outside of the wearer’s uniform for added protection- upgradable to hard armor rifle protection- and allows wearer to shift positioning of his equipment and pouches from the duty belt to the vest carrier for better weight distribution.
A few of the reasons why local and government law enforcement officers and agents are steering away from wearing concealable body armor include discomfort when wearing body armor under clothing or uniform. As a rule, those in law enforcement doing undercover work choose the concealable vest for surreptitious appearance, but the trapped body heat that comes with concealable vests is inevitably the greatest reason for the advent of external vest carrier.
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