5 Common Myths About Backpack Armor Explained

Backpack armor has become a popular item in recent years, especially among parents looking for ways to protect their children. However, there are many misconceptions about the effectiveness of backpack armor.

Backpack armor is designed to provide protection against handgun rounds and other small arms fire. It typically consists of removable armor panels made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) that can be inserted into specially adapted pockets in backpacks.

The purpose of backpack armor is to give individuals an added layer of protection in case of an active shooter situation or other violent incident. While it is not a guarantee of safety, it can potentially save lives and reduce the severity of injuries.

Myth #1: Backpack Armor Can Stop Rifle Rounds

One of the most common misconceptions about backpack armor is that it can stop rifle rounds. Unfortunately, this is….depends on the manufacturer and the exact rifle. Most backpack armor is designed to stop handgun rounds and other small arms fire, but it is not effective against high-powered rifles.

The reason why backpack armor cannot stop rifle rounds is because of the level of force behind these bullets. Rifle rounds typically travel at much higher velocities than handgun rounds and have a lot more energy.

This means that they can easily penetrate soft armor panels and cause serious injury or death.

If you are looking for protection against rifle rounds, you will need to invest in hard armor plates that are specifically designed for this purpose.

Myth #2: Soft Armor Panels Can Stop Rifle Rounds

Another common myth about backpack armor is that soft armor panels can stop rifle rounds better or worse than hard armor. While it is true that some soft armor panels can provide protection against certain types of rifle rounds, they are generally not effective against high-powered rifles.

The main difference between soft and hard armor panels is their composition. Soft armor panels are made from flexible materials like UHMWPE, while hard armor panels are made from rigid materials like ceramic or steel.

Myth #3: Armor Plates Can Cause Fragmentation

Some people believe that armor plates can cause fragmentation and lead to additional injuries. However, this is not true. The design of modern armor plates is such that they are designed to absorb the impact of bullets and prevent them from penetrating the body.

In addition, armor plates are made from materials that do not shatter or break apart upon impact. This means that there is little risk of fragmentation or other injuries as a result of wearing armor plates.

Myth #4: NIJ Certification Means Complete Protection

Some people believe that if an armor panel or backpack is certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), it provides complete protection against all forms of gunfire. However, this is not true.

The NIJ certification process tests armor panels and other ballistic materials against specific types of bullets and at specific velocities. While this certification provides a level of assurance that the armor will provide some protection, it does not guarantee complete protection against all forms of gunfire.

It is important to keep in mind that different types of bullets can behave differently and have different levels of penetration, even when fired at the same velocity. Therefore, it is important to choose armor panels and backpacks that are designed to protect against the specific types of bullets that you are most likely to encounter.

Myth #5: Polymer Armor is Ineffective

Finally, some people believe that polymer armor, like UHMWPE, is ineffective against gunfire. However, this is not true.

UHMWPE is an incredibly strong and durable material that is widely used in body armor and other ballistic applications. It is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for use in backpack armor and other everyday items.

While it is true that no armor can provide complete protection against all forms of gunfire, UHMWPE armor is highly effective against most handgun rounds and other small arms fire.

Are bulletproof backpacks legal?

Yes, bulletproof backpacks are legal in most states, but it is essential to check your state’s specific laws regarding body armor.

Will a bulletproof backpack stop an AR-15?

A standard bulletproof backpack may not stop an AR-15 round, but some specialized inserts like ShotStop’s Duritium® technology can provide protection against AR-15 and AK-47 rounds.

Is there Level 5 body armor?

There is no Level 5 body armor; the highest level of body armor available is Level IV, which provides protection against armor-piercing rifle threats.

Can you wear backpack armor?

Yes, you can wear backpack armor as it offers a significant amount of protection with minimal weight, making it practical for everyday use.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is important to understand the limitations of backpack armor and to avoid falling for common myths about its effectiveness.

While backpack armor can provide an added layer of protection in certain situations, it is not a guarantee of safety and should be used in conjunction with other safety measures.

Furthermore, it is important to understand the basics of ballistics and how different types of bullets behave in order to select the right type of armor for your needs.

With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about how to protect yourself and your loved ones in case of an emergency.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.