Body armors used to be heavy and bulky way back ancient times as warriors use this to defend themselves from enemies. Modern body armor on the other hand is much lighter and comfortable to wear than it was before. Good thing new light weight fibers were discovered which allows manufacturers to create and design a much thinner and lighter version of bullet proof vest.
Weight is not the only improvement that modern body armor has obtained. Even its ballistic resistance capacity was relatively improved to the extent that the National Institute of Justice has set a standard for it. Today, you can find six levels of resistance capacity. Each level is afforded with different types of guns and bullets, meaning the lower level can only resist a number of handguns. The higher the level gets the higher kind of ammunition it can resist also.
Given this advancement in ballistic vest, investing on one must be given utter attention. There are essential aspects that you should take into account prior to purchasing one. To start with, you must learn the difference of each level as provided by NIJ. Once you know them, contemplate also on your threat susceptibility. Are you prone to handguns or to a much high-caliber rifles? Or are you largely exposed to sharp-edged weaponry?
Knowing such facts will help you discern what type and what level of bullet proof vest to buy. Wearing the right kind of ballistic vest is vital to ensure total protection. Donning lesser resistance amidst cross fires employing high-powered guns is risky and may jeopardize life. It is like going in the battlefield without ammunitions whatsoever at hand. Stupidity you say, indeed it is and this is no excuse in life threatening situations.
At this point, you may be wondering how a light ballistic vest can fend off bullets. The logic is simple. The fibers are densely layered together and wrapped with a special type of fabric. Once the bullets hit the fabric, the impact is then dispersed over the entire vest at the same time "mushrooming" the bullet. Once its strength is completely squandered around the vest area, impact will eventually stop.
Plates are added if higher resistance capacity is required like sub machine guns. This is what you insert in pockets found in the vest. However, you should also keep in mind that bullet proof vest cannot withstand knives or any other sharp-edged tools. If this kind of resistance is what you need, then an anti-stab vest is your best option.