How to Travel with Body Armor

How to Travel with Body Armor

While body armor is legal in all 50 states, it is prudent to recognize all rules, regulations, and security concerns when traveling with body armor during your trips.

Does the TSA Allow Body Armor?

Passengers in the United States are typically permitted to include body armor in both their carry-on and checked luggage, as per the guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A statement on body armor is posted on the TSA website as seen below:

How to Travel with Body Armor

Nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware that the ultimate determination of whether body armor can pass through airport security checkpoints rests with the judgment of the TSA officers on duty at that particular time. As carrying body armor may raise security concerns, travelers with this equipment should expect more extensive and possibly secondary security screenings, as well as engaging in discussions with TSA agents. To account for potential delays related to security procedures, it is prudent to allow ample time at the airport and at the boarding gate. This will help ensure a smooth travel experience and minimize any inconvenience that might arise during security checks.

Traveling With Body Armor Domestically

While body armor is legally allowed in all 50 states of the US, it is wise for a traveler to do research on the guidelines and restrictions of the particular airline they are traveling with. Even though body armor is legal, it's crucial to recognize that some domestic airline flights may enforce more stringent regulations and specific limitations on permissible travel items contingent on the airline involved. 


Traveling With Body Armor Internationally

Traveling with body armor internationally can be more complex and restrictive than domestic travel because not all countries allow possession and transport of body armor. It is essential to research and comply with the laws and regulations of both the departure country and the destination country, as well as any countries you may transit through. Here are our top five tips on traveling internationally with body armor:

  1. Check Local Laws: Different countries have varying laws and regulations concerning the possession and transportation of body armor. Some countries may outright prohibit civilians from bringing body armor, while others may require permits or licenses.
  2. Contact Embassies or Consulates: Reach out to the embassies or consulates of the destination countries to inquire about their specific rules regarding body armor. They can provide up-to-date and accurate information about what is allowed. Additionally, The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will have the latest exportation requirements when leaving the United States.
  3. Declare the Armor: If body armor is allowed in the destination country, be prepared to declare it at customs or immigration. Not declaring it when required could lead to legal consequences.
  4. Shipping or Storage: In countries where body armor is prohibited, you might consider shipping it separately to your destination or arranging secure storage before your trip.
  5. Observe Airline Policies: If traveling by air, check with the airlines about their specific policies on transporting body armor. Some airlines may have restrictions or additional requirements.

Body Armor: Carry-On Or Check?

Whether you can carry body armor as carry-on or need to check it depends on the specific rules and regulations of the transportation authority and the airline you are traveling with. Here are some general guidelines:

Carry-On vs Check: If your primary concern is safety, usually the difference between carry on and checked body armor comes down to an issue of weight, as many airlines have weight limits for baggage.


In many cases, body armor is allowed in carry-on luggage. However, this can vary depending on the type of body armor, the airline's policies, and the country's regulations. If you intend to bring body armor as carry-on, be prepared for additional security screening, as it might raise security concerns during the X-ray inspection.

Carry On Body Armor Top Picks: 

Considering additional weight fees our carry-on top picks are lightweight and concealable

For the plate carrier we found the perfect blend of concealment to prevent major security concerns, lightweight to prevent airline weight fees, and maneuverability to provide our customers with safety and confrontation: Under those guidelines we present the Security Pro Legacy Bulletproof Vest and our Security Pro Shadow Armor concealable body armor shirts.

Security Pro Legacy Bulletproof Vest Security Pro Shadow Armor Shirts
Tactical Bulletproof Vest
concealable body armor shirt

Following the light weight and comfort emphasis, for plates we recommend the Buffalo Armory Level III plates for protection against both armor piercing bullets and blast fragment threats while weighing under five pounds.


Checked Luggage:

If you are uncertain about whether you can carry the body armor in your carry-on, it is safer to pack it in your checked luggage. When placed in checked baggage, body armor is generally less likely to raise concerns during security screening, as it won't be passing through the X-ray machine with you. If carrying metals are a concern, you may wish to opt for some ceramic plate options like those in the Hesco 200 Series.


Can Body Armor Be Worn On The Plane Or At The Airport?

A traveler cannot not wear body armor on a plane or in an airport because it may inspire fear, suspicion, or security concerns not just from TSA officials, but also from airline employees and fellow passengers. 

You Can Travel With Body Armor

Provided the traveler adheres to the law, local airport regulations, and the policies of the airlines, Traveling with body armor is permitted.


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