A bulletproof vest is known for protecting your body from bullets and injurious fragments formed in case of an explosion. Regular citizens usually wear a soft version of this vest. These are made of metallic or Para-Aramid materials.
Before we go on to discuss the lifespan of a ballistic vest you should know that a vest that has been treated properly in the manufacturing phase would last much longer than others. Most people seem to believe that a bulletproof vest is expected to have a long lifetime if it has not been damaged by external elements. However, as the vest ages, it provides less protection. So it is important to understand how a bulletproof vest's lifespan is affected, so you can replace it when necessary. Before going any further, we should state that the lifespan of your bulletproof vest majorly depends on its manufacturing quality. Therefore, it is recommended for you to buy these vests from a dependable source.
According to the Bulletproof Zone, the majority of NIJ certified bulletproof vests have a ballistic lifespan of approximately five years. Some can also work fine for as long as 7 years. When you are ready to buy, the next phase is to do some research on the variants of any specific vest. Here it is important to note that protective gear must be washed on a regular basis to extend its lifetime. The majority of vest carriers are water resistant. But before you wash them double-check and make sure that you have removed your ballistic panels.
It is important that the vest's ballistic interior is not exposed to direct sunlight or liquids. You can keep your bulletproof vests in a location where you can lay it perfectly flat. Some may also want to hang them up or put them in a cabinet. A bulletproof vest’s lifespan can be reduced considerably if it is worn more frequently. As a result, it will need a replacement much earlier than a vest that is rarely worn. The lifetime of a bulletproof vest is often affected by a person's weight as well. When a person puts on a lot of weight, the ballistic panels experience significant strain. These panels are recommended to be worn as close to the body as possible. Otherwise, the vest will crease, and the ballistic panels will get damaged.
Bulletproof Vest Replacement
If a pending replacement is not carried out immediately, the bulletproof vest carrier may also get damaged. Regular carrier inspections are needed to ensure proper fit. It is probably time to get a new carrier if the straps are beginning to stretch or the Velcro is not working properly. The bulletproof vest's lifespan and level of protection can also decrease when the carrier is destroyed. It is important that the vest fits properly and that any necessary adjustments are performed beforehand. Bulletproof vests should be maintained and properly stored to ensure their longevity. If you are able to do this, you can easily make sure that your bulletproof vests will last a long time. To guarantee your protection at all times, replace your vest with a high-quality one as soon as you see any wear and tear.
Methods For Increasing The Lifespan Of Bulletproof Vests
- Avoid Moisture
The majority of people do not read the directions that come with a new purchase. If you get directions with your vest or have downloaded them from the manufacturer’s website, it is critical to read and follow them in order to avoid damaging your vest and voiding your warranty. How to clean and store your bulletproof vest should be read and understood in the manufacturer's instructions.
- Clean Your Armor On The Spot
The carrier vest can be washed on the gentle/delicate setting on its own, but it should be hung dry, and you must not use any fabric softener. Remove any ballistic panels, trauma plates, and straps before doing so. Clean these items separately and then reassemble the bulletproof vest. Do keep in mind that washing your soft bulletproof vest will transform it into a heavy cloth with no ballistic advantage, so avoid doing so.
- Hang Your Armor Dry
Do not wash it, dry-clean it, or use an electric dryer on it. Always allow the vest to air dry.
- Wear A Shirt Under Your Vest
Ballistic vests are designed to keep you safe, but they are not always convenient to wear. A vest designed to be worn over your uniform keeps the ballistic material away from your face, but a concealable vest requires an undergarment, such as a moisture-wicking T-shirt, to avoid chafing and sweat odors.
- Keep Your Warranty On File
These documents will also include vital details such as the certified service life, which will let you know when it is time to upgrade your vest. Hard plates last around five years, whereas soft vests tend to last a bit longer. To be sure, double-check your documents, as different suppliers can offer different warranties. If you have invested in quality vests, you will probably not need to use that warranty anytime soon.