Different levels of protection. Same ultra-strong Dyneema® UD

Depending on the protection level required, combat operators can wear soft or hard body armor. Curious about the difference? Let’s peel back the layers and find out.

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Soft body armor: A flexible foundation

Soft body armor is worn as a defense against various firearms, with different grades available to protect against different types of ammunition. Capable of withstanding handgun assaults, these vests can be worn over an officer’s uniform or underneath as concealable armor.

A soft armor vest contains a flexible ballistic panel that slots into a ballistic panel cover. These two parts, collectively known as the armor panel, are then inserted into a carrier. After that, the soft armor vest is ready for use.

Hard body armor: For fortified defense

When you’re facing a more advanced threat level, you’ll want to bolster your soft armor vest with plates of ballistic-resistant materials. These are inserted into the front, rear, or side pockets of the vest for enhanced, hard body armor protection.

Designed to capture and deform pistol or rifle bullets, hard armor plates absorb and distribute the ballistic impact force, protecting the user and allowing them to stay in the fight – even against heavily armed opponents.

Meeting – and exceeding – international certification standards

Soft armor vests made with Dyneema® UD are tested according to a variety of requirements across different countries, including the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) certification in the USA. In all these tests, we ensure that Dyneema® UD vests meet and surpass certification standards, and we’re recognized as offering the lightest body armor solution for both soft and hard armor applications.

The NIJ oversees the nationally accepted US standard for body armor worn by law enforcement and corrections officers. Here’s how it classifies our soft and hard armor by levels of ballistic performance.

Level IIA. gmm FMJ RN; S&W FMJ

Level II. gmm FMJ RN; .357 Magnum JSP

Level IIIA. .357 SIGFMJ FN; .44 Magnum SJHP

Level III. 7.62mm FMJ (M80)

Level IV. .30 Cal (M2 AP)

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Where comfort meets capability

Whether you’re wearing soft or hard armor made with Dyneema® UD, you can count on protection, mobility, and comfort that exceeds all other competitive materials.

Potent protection

  • 15x stronger than steel at the same weight

  • Excellent multi-hit performance

  • Protects against threats from ballistics, frags, stabs, and cuts

  • Lightweighting enables larger vest protection area

  • Outstanding angle and edge-shot performance

  • Low trauma and minimal deformation of armor’s back side upon impact

More mobility

  • Lightweighting means less exertion, fatigue, and injury

  • Ultra-thin vest increases mobility to perform critical tasks

  • Officers can act with greater speed, balance, strength, and focus

  • Soldiers can carry more gear and gain a tactical advantage

Consistent comfort

  • Low weight reduces risk of distraction or irritation

  • Elasticity, flexibility, and compressibility for extensive body motion adaptation

  • Air permeability for superior thermal management in warm environments

  • Minimal stitching for maximal comfort

  • Easy to wipe clean

Contact our sales team

Whether you work in law enforcement, first response units, or military organizations, selecting the right hard armor inserts or ballistic shields for your operational needs is a big decision. But don’t worry: we can help you strike the right balance between mobility and protection.

Get in touch
  • Purchasing for your law enforcement agency or defense ministry
  • Threat mitigation advice
  • Law enforcement agency presentation days
  • Striking the right balance between mobility and protection