Why is Sizing Important?
Selecting the right plate and carrier size is essential for mobility and your ultimate protection. The primary function of a ballistic protection system is to guard the major organs. You will need to choose plates large enough to ensure coverage of this area.
Adversely, rigid armor too large can hinder range of motion, making it uncomfortable or even impossible to perform daily functions. It’s important to note that the standard sizing for ballistic protection does not compare with typical retail sizing. For example, if you wear a size large in street clothing it is unwise to assume that a large plate is right for you. Fit will vary based on the measurements of your specific torso.
The Self-Measurement Process
Ballistic protection is available in a number of shapes , sizes and curvatures (As seen above). Torso plates provide front and back chest protection. 10 x 12 inch plates are typically known as a “middle of the road” size, covering most individuals. Most carriers are designed with this size in mind. Using the chart below, pick the closest size to your measurements.
To determine plate width, measure across your chest from nipple to nipple. Be sure to keep the tape level across your chest. Next, take a measurement from your sternum notch (the top of your sternum) to your belly button. Subtract 2-3 inches to find the desired height for your plate.
Single curve or Multi-curve?
Oftentimes, users will ignore the importance of a plate’s curvature. It’s all the same level of protection, right? Yes- but your choice will have a profound impact on the performance, comfort and durability of your ballistics.
Single curve plates are generally more simplistic in design, wrapping around the user’s body for a more universal fit. However, there are pros and cons…
Pros: More cost efficient and versatile
Cons: Less comfortable for certain body types
Implied by their name, multi-curve plates are more planar in shape. Also labeled as “triple” or “double” -curve, they are congruent with the more complex contours of the chest and lower torso.
Pros: More comfortable fit and improved flexibility
Cons: More expensive
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