A normal soft armor vest is designed to protect just the person’s vital organs from attack, not actually their complete torso. As such, a soft armor vest would normally hang to around your navel area. Another reason for this vest design is for comfort and mobility. Body armor is available in a full range of sizes. Please visit our resource section for a measurement worksheet and video.
Front Panel: Normally a front ballistic panel should be two (2) and one half inches (2 ½”) off the top edge of the gun belt when standing and be no higher than the second button on your uniform shirt. 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.
Rear Panel: When standing relaxed with your arms at your side, the back ballistic panel should rest one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch (1/4” – ¾”) off the top edge of the gun belt and should be no higher than 4 inches down from the collar seam. Having the space between your gun belt and the bottom of the back panel prevents the vest from riding up when going from a sitting to a standing position.
Side Panel: 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 by creating more bulk. 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.