Why buying NIJ certified body armor is important – your life may depend on it.

As a consumer of most items we buy, it is a race to the bottom to find the lowest price for the item you want. This approach is not one that should be used when buying body armor.

When you buy body armor you are trusting that when you need it, it will stop bullets for the threat level you are wearing.

There are many websites and businesses out there that sell body armor as it has become, big business. But play close attention to wording, as it matters.

NIJ Certified is one of the most important checkboxes to look for. NIJ is the National Institute of Justice that certifies armor. Their website to check if a company sells armor that is certified is https://www.nij.gov/topics/technology/body-armor/Pages/compliant-ballistic-armor.aspx

There is a huge difference between Tested to NIJ Standards and NIJ Certified. Or the worst-case scenario, No mention of testing at all.

When armor is only tested to NIJ standards it means that a company has made a ballistic product (soft armor or Hard) and sent it to an independent testing lab. They test it to NIJ standards once. If it stops the bullets it is rated to, then it passes. That one time.

When armor is NIJ certified, it means that also the armor product has gone to an independent testing lab that is up to NIJ standards for testing and is tested. And if it passes, moves onto NIJ to be certified by them. This stamp of approval is huge. It means also that the company had to spend quite a bit of money for the testing process. When it comes to certifying hard armor products, it is very costly and several samples are submitted and tested to meet NIJ standards. After passing all steps and stages with NIJ, it is certified and goes on the NIK CPL list for compliant armor.

Let’s go back to testing. Not certified, tested once in a ballistics lab. When a ballistic product is NIJ certified, it continues to be tested to make sure that build of armor, is stopping what it is supposed to, with what NIJ calls a fit test. The FIT test is when NIJ shows up at a manufacturer an announced and pulls samples of the same armor that is certified by them to be re-tested to make sure it is still compliant. Again, that manufacturer pays for that test, and they happily do. Because it means they care to make sure the armor they sell will do what it supposed to. NIJ takes it back to their lab and tests that sample or samples. So, for the period has it certified for, which is generally 5 years (Differs by Manufacturer). It is continually tested. This translates into safety for you. We are talking about bullets here and a lifesaving product.  Do you want to buy armor that is tested once, or trusts that it is continually tested? Some will say and tell you that it does not matter that a product is NIJ certified – But It does. It should be noted that most LE agencies only buy armor that is NIJ certified.

To close, make sure the body armor you buy is NIJ certified, your life depends on it. Don’t get wrapped up in cool graphics and lowest cost. Look for Data on the product and verify that data here https://www.nij.gov/topics/technology/body-armor/Pages/compliant-ballistic-armor.aspx.

We hope this helped in making your armor buying decision. If we can help, answer questions about armor or get you protected, we are here to help.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Shellback Tactical.

NEW – BANSHEE 2.0 ELITE PLATE CARRIER W/ ELITE CUMMERBUND

NEW – BANSHEE 2.0 ELITE PLATE CARRIER W/ ELITE CUMMERBUND

It’s here and for real this time 

The BANSHEE 2.0 ELITE Plate Carrier (AKA Banshee 2.0) is here. This new unique advanced plate carrier was created from feedback and input from customers, military and law enforcement feedback on what they wanted to see on a plate carrier. The Banshee Elite from the feedback and several prototype designs was born. Unparalleled comfort, mobility, and design.

The Shoulders on the BANSHEE ELITE are fully adjustable and padded. Slightly wider than the original banshee the shoulders lay flatter on your body and have a hidden quick release buckle. The shoulders front and back have Hypalon material with 4 slits that are pliable allowing for easy access to the buckles. The bottoms of the Hypalon shoulders are not sewn down allowing for easier routing of comm wires or hydration lines. New Update – The shoulders include a set of our Banshee Ultimate shoulder pads with all Elite carriers.

The front and back of the BANSHEE feature 6 rows of PALS webbing and pile tape for flags and other identifiers. The interior of the front and back carrier on the body side is also comfort padded with 3D mesh sewn in an airflow pattern allowing for heat disbursement. Rifle plates are loaded from the bottom front/back and secured with a hook/loop closure. The drag handle on the BANSHEE ELITE is sewn through and secured down with hook and loop.

The front of the BANSHEE ELITE is feature packed. On the top of the front of the carrier is an Integrated Admin Pouch. The admin pouch area secures closed with hook and loop. This admin area allows for storage of small items, tools, batteries, chem lights etc. On the front of the carrier on each side are 2 vertical nylon sewn strips to accommodate QASM buckles to accommodate chest rigs. The front flat closure stops at the bottom and does not run under allowing for fast easy donning and doffing.

The BANSHEE ELITE plate carrier comes standard with the BANSHEE ELITE Cummerbund that is removable and fully adjustable. The cummerbund has 6 interior pockets (3 each side) that will accommodate .223 5.56 AR Style. Fits all brands of magazines in this caliber. The pockets have adjustable bungee pull tabs. Exterior and Interior of cummerbund have 3 rows of PALS webbing to accept side plates or other pouches.

Staying with the successful concept of the original Banshee this carrier is One Size. Also standard is a secondary nylon strap system with quick release buckles (also removable) if the cummerbund is not needed. The front pocket of the Carrier has a hook and loop kangaroo pocket to allow for accessories and magazines. Accommodates Banshee 2-mag pouch.

NEW UPDATE – The back of the carrier in a separate pocket from the plate pocket opens and can accept a 2-liter hydration bladder. Integrated option to add hydration.

USA Made-Full Berry Compliant – Backed by our No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty.

Specs:

  • 500D Cordura
  • MULTICAM has matching webbing and loop/Velcro
  • Advanced plate carrier that is feature packed.
  • Extreme versatility with several PALS web attachment points covering the front, back, and shoulders of the vest.
  • Fully adjustable and padded front and back shoulder areas. Padded with 3D mesh.
  • UPDATE – Banshee Ultimate shoulder pads included
  • UPDATE – Separate pocket from the plate pocket opens and can accept a 2-liter hydration bladder
  • Hypalon shoulders with 4 slits for comms/hydration open at bottom
  • Two areas of loop for identifiers
  • Fits over soft body armor/Uniforms
  • Integrated admin pouch
  • Integrated kangaroo pouch
  • Elite Banshee Cummerbund (6 integrated pockets with Hypalon strips inside) PALS webbing interior/exterior
  • Front and Back interior of carrier padded with 3D Mesh sewn with an airflow pattern
  • Integrated nylon vertical strips to accommodate QASM buckles. To add a chest rig if needed.QASM Buckles not included
  • Heavy Duty bar tacking at key stress points
  • Wire, antenna or hydration hose guides
  • Low Profile/ Lightweight
  • Quick Release Buckle secondary securing system
  • Drag Handle lays flat- Secures with Hook and Loop
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Plate pockets load from the bottom and will accept up to 10×12 Level 3 and 4 ESAPI OR SIMILAR PLATES and Plate Backers
  • Need Level IIIA soft armor – The Banshee Elite fits the Banshee Soft Armor package.
  • USA MADE
  • Lifetime Warranty

PATRIOT PLATE CARRIER – SHELLBACK TACTICAL

The NEW PATRIOT Plate Carrier is an ideal carrier for active shooter applications, Law Enforcement, Military. Based frame wise off the hugely successful Original Banshee Plate Carrier that has just what you need in a plate carrier and nothing you don’t. Lightweight, low profile, high quality, and still has a great load carrying capacity. Designed for protection, utility, mobility in a compact lightweight design. Its look of a clean design is sure to do the job.

Ideal gear for Law Enforcement patrol officers for use in High Threat active shooter situations, Multi-Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) and Counter Terrorism direct actions.

Removable padded shoulder pads similar to the Banshee shoulders with the 3 strips allow you to run comms or hydration effortlessly over the shoulders. The PATRIOT will also accept the Banshee soft armor package for the front and back as well as the Cummerbund.

Value and features at a great economical price. Ideal to outfit agencies officers with active shooter kits. USA Made-Full Berry Compliant Plate Carrier with Lifetime Warranty

Specs:

  • 500D Cordura
  • Lightweight padded load comfort Shoulder Pads Included
  • Large front and back areas for ID placards
  • Extreme versatility with several PALS web attachment points covering the front, back, and shoulders of the vest.
  • Fully adjustable and padded front, back and shoulder areas
  • Easy access front cummerbund flap with Hypalon pull
  • NO buckles on shoulders
  • Fits over soft body armor/Uniforms
  • Heavy Duty bar tacking at key stress points
  • Wire, antenna or hydration hose guides on shoulder pads
  • Cummerbund has interior and exterior PALS for side plate pouches
  • Low Profile/ Lightweight
  • Drag Handle that secures down with loop
  • Made in the USA – Berry Compliant
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Dimensions of the Cummerbund each side that accepts soft armor 17in x 6in
  • Weight empty 2lbs