Loading... Please wait...
Questions? Give us a Call: (520) 396-3335

Blog

How Body Armor Varies Between Female and Male Users

Posted on

What Is Female Body Armor?

In the past, most body armor has been designed to fit the needs of the standard soldier – a male soldier. With the influx of female soldiers and law enforcement personnel, manufacturers and military branches have had to rethink the body armor game to fit the needs of the standard female wearer.

Historically, female body armor wearers have been wearing body armor that can’t possibly accommodate the female figure and provide superior comfort or protection. Thankfully, that’s starting to change. The National Institute of Justice, who issues the standard for body armor testing and certification, is introducing NIJ Standard 0101.07, which will include “improved test methods for female body armor.”

Spartan Armor Systems has addressed the need for female body armor by offering our swimmers cut steel core body armor, which better conforms to the female body than the transitional shooters cut body armor. Female law enforcement, first responders, military and civilians swear by the benefits ofSpartan AR 550 Body Armor and Sentinel Swimmers Plate Carrier Package. It is the perfect choice for females who are looking for a more comfortable fit and protection of vital organs.

What might the NIJ take into account in the new standard?

Body Shape

Weight proportion plays a big part in how body armor carriers fit, and where they rest and strike the body. Body armor that is designed and tested solely for males can be loose on a female figure,causing parts of the vest to strike the wearer.

The breasts of males and females are typically different. Body armor that has only been tested for wear by males may not account for larger breasts. Larger breasted wearers may experience unintended gaps between their body armor and their torso. Again, this can cause the vest to swing and strike the wearer’s torso.

As far as skeletal differences, females tend to have wider hips and shorter legs than men. Generally, males have broader shoulders than females. These differences in skeletal structures account for how males and females carry weight differently. Females may benefit from body armor that disperses the weight in areas that are more suited for the female skeleton.

Height and Weight

On average, males are about 10 - 15% larger than females. Some body armor manufacturers that test only male wearers may not carry sizes suitable for petite or smaller statured females.

Female Body Armor 2020

Ill fitting body armor can be cumbersome, bulky and heavy. For years, women have reported various issues with body armor made for male body types. Standard male body armor can be too wide, long and heavy for female wearers. The weight isn’t only due to their typically smaller skeletal frame, but how body armor distributes its weight for the male frame. In addition to this, when wearing body armor built for a male, large breasted females may feel pressure in the chest area and experience trouble breathing. While comfort is important, an improper fitting ballistic vest may not provide the necessary protection it was designed to.

Body armor manufacturers are now using cup sizing for proper fitting body armor. Manufacturers are also using a technique called darting. Darting is a method of shaping ballistic materials around the breast area. A dart is where fabric is overlapped to create an angle. This helps the body armor fit the contours of the female form.

The Army is currently implementing a new Soldier Protection System (SPS), which incorporates the needs of female soldiers. The SPS includes a new modified helmet, face shield, mandible and retention strap mechanism. The most important being the retention strap. Previous helmet retention straps didn’t take females with long hair into account, resulting in a retention strap that pressed against hair buns potentially causing pain and discomfort. The new “Army Improved Retention Strap” mechanism uses a different pattern that will fit around a hair bun.

The Product Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment of the Program Executive Office for Soldier, Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead,recently stated that other improvements have been made to the “protective undergarment, blast pelvic protector, load distribution system and ballistic combat shirt.”

The new system is also reported to feel lighter and increase mobility with a greater range of motion. Other body armor enhancements identified in the Marines’ report include smaller armor plates and an adjustable frame backpack to help female Marines shoulder heavy loads.

The Marines are also said to be implementing new, smaller and lighter armor plates and carriers. The shoulders of the new body armor plates will be contoured to better fit a rifle stock. The waist of the body armor plates will be shorter for better maneuverability. Some of these changes, like the shorter waist, may better accommodate the female form than previous standard body armor plates.

Choose Spartan Armor

Law enforcement officers, soldiers and civilians love the versatility in sizing options of Spartan Armor SystemsAR550 Leonidas Plate Carrier Package. This body armor package comes with body armor plates in single curve or with our Advanced Triple Curve for customizable comfort.

For customer sizing inquiries, call (520)396-3335 or email leosales@spartanarmorsystems.com.

Products:

https://www.spartanarmorsystems.com/spartan-armor-systems-ar500-and-legion-…

https://www.spartanarmorsystems.com/spartan-armor-ar550-level-iii-body-armo…

Share

Process for selecting the right size wraparound armor vest

Finding The Right Size Concealable Bulletproof VestCovert body armor is worn under your uniform or clothes for discretion. Typically, covert body armor is soft body armor that protects against up to NIJ Level IIIA threats. These threats include most common handgun calibers. Covert body armor has a low profile design that is considered “concealable” and offers the wearer a [...]

Read more


How to Travel with Body Armor

If you own or wear body armor, it’s important to know the legalities and restrictions of traveling with your gear. In general, there are not as many restrictions for traveling with body armor as most people normally think. But there are a few pointers that you should know before traveling with body armor plates and plate carriers.Flying with body armorOn their website, [...]

Read more


Shooting Range Best Practices

Whether you are a seasoned weapons expert or a rookie to the range, there are some general safety guidelines and useful tips that should be followed when handling firearms. Range instructors are there to help guide you and should be listened to at all times. You can direct any questions to the range instructors if you are uncertain about [...]

Read more


Things A Homeowner Can Do to Make Their Home Safe

No matter where you live or what you do for a living, home safety is paramount. Those who think, “It won’t happen to me” are often the targets of anyone looking for a vulnerable house to break into. Don’t be that homeowner, and instead be sure to learn and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.In [...]

Read more


A Brief History of Medical Kits

Prevention and preparation go hand in hand and there’s not a better medical emergency tool than a standard medical kit, also known as a first aid kit. And while it is hard to imagine a world without medical kits, the medical kit is a fairly new invention which dates back to 1888. It may be even harder to picture wars [...]

Read more


Choosing the Right Targets for Practice Shooting

Regardless of whether you’re a rifle, handgun or shotgun shooter, practicing by shooting at targets on a regular basis is the key to improving your accuracy and honing your marksmanship skills. The types of targets that will provide you with the most practical benefits and overall satisfaction depend on whether you’re a hunter, in law enforcement or the military or [...]

Read more


A Brief History of Camouflage

The term “camouflage” is derived from the French word camoufleur, which means “to disguise.” It’s a phenomenon that occurs naturally throughout the Animal Kingdom in predators and prey alike. By blending into their surroundings, organisms are able to elude predators, which increases their chances of survival and reproduction. Predators also use camouflage to remain undetected by their prey, which gives them [...]

Read more


Choosing the Right Body Armor System

Body armor is sometimes referred to as being a bulletproof vest, although there is no such thing as wearable protection that’s truly bulletproof. Body armor is, however, bullet resistant and provides wearers with protection against small arms fire, shrapnel, stabbings and similar threats.Dating back centuries, body armor was originally created to provide combatants engaged in armed conflicts with a rudimentary level [...]

Read more


New Tactical Plate Carrier and Body Armor Combination From Spartan Armor Systems™

Spartan Armor Systems recently added a tough new versatile and technologically advanced plate carrier to its line of top quality tactical gear and body armor systems. Called the Leonidas Plate Carrier, it’s aptly named for the Spartan warrior king who’s best remembered for his heroic stand against the Persian army despite being hopelessly outnumbered at the Battle of Thermopylae in [...]

Read more



Back to Top