Soft armor is usually made of woven fibers. They are sewed into vests or other clothing. The most common type of soft body armor is made of Kevlar, a man-made, lightweight fiber that is five times stronger than steel fiber. This material absorbs energy from bullets, making it a superior choice for body protection. Vectran, another man-made fiber, is five to 10 times stronger than steel.
The main drawback of soft armor is that it is incredibly expensive. The materials used for soft body armor are not flexible, which means that they can’t withstand the pressure of blunt or sharp objects. While a combination of hard and softer armor provides the best protection, it can be quite costly. A combination of hard body armour and soft body armor can protect the wearer to the highest degree. It is therefore important to choose the right type of protection for your individual needs.
The NIJ encourages manufacturers to participate in its Voluntary Compliance Testing Program (CTP). Purchasing armour that is listed on the NIJ Compliant Products List will ensure that the protection offered by the armour meets minimum performance requirements. This type of protection is effective against 9mm rounds but cannot stop 44 Magnum rounds (click here for more information). Even shotgun pellets are unpredictable in their velocity, making protective vests useless. In order to avoid this kind of problem, soft body armor has to be comfortable and lightweight.