Body armor is designed to stop certain bullet types travelling at a specified speed. The ballistic panels are made of layers of strong non-woven and/or woven fibers. The layers in the ballistic package turn the bullet, slow it down, and spread out the rounds energy throughout the ballistic panel.
EnGarde® body armor starts with the latest and most advanced ballistic materials available. Our ballistic panels disperse the energy of the bullet impact quickly across the panel and are therefore designed to minimize trauma values.
The US National Institute of Justice has developed a ballistic standard that has become the most commonly accepted ballistic standard worldwide. This standard specifies different levels of protection.
NIJ Level II is a good balance between comfort, conceal ability and protection from blunt trauma. It stops 9mm and .357 Magnum rounds.
Vests with NIJ Level IIIA panels are worn by many police officers and law enforcement agents. NIJ Level IIIA is the most widely utilized protection level in the industry for safety, cost and the ability to be worn under another garment. NIJ Level IIIA soft armor panels offer protection against most handgun rounds including the 9mm, .357 SIG and .44 Magnum.
Rifles and machine guns are capable of delivering higher velocity rounds that render soft armor ineffective. Therefore we advise the use of hard armor inserts which can upgrade an NIJ Level IIIA vest to an NIJ Level III or IV protection level.
The warranty we give on the ballistic performance of our body armor products depends on the materials we use for a specific product. Please refer to individual product details under the Soft Armor and Hard Armor section of this website to see the warranty for each ballistic panel type.
The NIJ standard test protocol requires test projectiles fired from a distance of 5 meter for levels of protection up to Level IIIA, and from 15 meter for threat Level III and Level IV. Our ULTRA™, MT-PRO™ and FLEX-PRO™ soft armor panels are also certified according to the German SK1 standard. The SK1 certification also includes contact shot tests (point blank range) with three different types of 9 mm rounds.
In order for a vest to fit comfortable there are few simple guidelines. When standing, the lowest point of the vest should level with your belly button. If any lower, the vest might hinder you to move freely. If any higher, your vital organs are not properly protected. Although we advice the front and back panels to overlap on the sides of the body, some individuals prefer a small gap.
EnGarde’s scientifically engineered body armor is of superior quality and designed for a broad range of uses. For our ballistic packages we use the polyethylene material Dyneema®.
Body armor manufactured with Dyneema® ballistic panels provide superior protection against a wide range of threats including handgun ammunition, grenade fragments and knives. Thanks to the patented unidirectional material inside, vests made with Dyneema® provide unparalleled stopping power coupled with superior comfort. Dyneema® UD provides excellent multi-hit performance along with protection from angle and edge shots.
Dyneema® UD panels enable maximum protection at minimum weight, providing for low back face deformation (BFD), along with resistance to trauma and abrasion. Dyneema® ballistic panels have high durability (environmental conditioning NIJ 0101.06) and are resistant to damage from fire, moisture, UV rays and chemicals. Vests designed with Dyneema® are so lightweight they actually float. For protection against heavier rifle fire, vests can easily be upgraded with best in class armor inserts also made with Dyneema®.
Our vests are designed to be comfortable during strenuous activity and provide both a comfortable fit and secure protection for your life the moment you put on EnGarde body armor.
For the production of our hard armor inserts we use Dyneema®, Aramid and ceramics.
Ballistic inserts made with Dyneema® provide protection against heavier, penetrating rifle threats such as 7.62 x 39mm (AK47 MSC) and 7.62 x 51mm Nato Ball. Deploying these lightweight, stand-alone inserts in front, back and side plates allows for added protection of critical body areas while adding very little to the total weight. Dyneema® UD provides maximum coverage area with superior multi-hit, angle-shot and edge-shot protection. Back face deformation and trauma values for this product are outstanding. For stopping armor-piercing (AP) rounds Dyneema® can be used in combination with a ceramic strike face. The ceramic inserts help break up the ammunition’s hard core and the Dyneema® backing catches the resulting fragments. In addition, Dyneema® UD is highly durable and resistant to water, UV rays and chemicals. Military and law enforcement agencies all over the world have expressed their confidence in inserts made with Dyneema®. Inserts can be combined with tactical vests made with Dyneema® to enable a wider range of protection. For more information about Dyneema® please visit www.dyneema.com.
Spectra® is together with Dyneema® one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibers. A bright white polyethylene, it is, pound-for-pound, fifteen times stronger than steel, more durable than polyester and has a specific strength that is 40 percent greater than aramid fiber. It is manufactured by Honeywell.
Aramid fiber (1961) is a strong, lightweight and fire-resistant synthetic fiber used in aerospace and military applications, for “bullet-proofing” body armor fabric and as a substitute for asbestos. The term is the shortened form of “aromatic polyamide”. Another well-known type of Aramid fiber, developed by Stephanie Kwolek, is commonly known by its DuPont trade name Kevlar, or Teijin trade name Twaron.
Ceramic inserts are special bulletproof plates with a ceramic coating strong enough to protect people from submachine guns and high velocity rifles. It protects against 7.62mm Full Metal Jacketed bullets and U.S. military M80 shot. This hard armor plate of great strength providing protection against 30 caliber armor-piercing bullets as well.
Concealable carriers systems such as our DeLuxe™ carrier should be washed on the delicate cycle and use a water temperature of 30°C or 85°F. For our tactical carriers we advise a gentle hand wash at a cool water temperature. Air-dry your carrier. Never use bleach and never insert the ballistic panels before the carrier is completely dry. Remember not to hang your carrier on a clothes hanger, particularly when it’s wet.
Clean your ballistic panels using a damp cloth. Gently wipe the panels and thoroughly air dry before inserting them into your carrier. Never dry clean, machine wash or immerse your ballistic panels in water.
EnGarde® manufactures high quality body armor since 2003 using the highest quality materials available, such as DSM Dyneema®, Kevlar XP™, Pro-Systems Artec® and Teijin Twaron®. We pride ourselves on our engineering talent and our ability to combine performance, comfort and durability while meeting the highest standards of protection. Complementing the engineering, our body armor products are manufactured in the EU under the most exacting production standards.