By John Crump
John takes the Safe Life Defense Soft Body Armor to the wrong side of the range, but reports great results in this product torture test & review.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Being somewhat of a prepper I have been researching different types of body armor. I have also been reading about different companies and about their standards of testing.
I found out not all body armor is built the same. On Youtube I have seen body armor that was supposed to stop all bullets get shredded by a round as small as a 9mm.
Another thing I have found is some of the vest are really uncomfortable to wear.
The wearer should expect a little discomfort since the main point of body armor is to stop a bullet and not for lounging around the house, but some are uncomfortable to the point that the armor is almost unwearable.
The right fit is very important right behind stopping ability.
Safe Life Defense Soft Body Armor
I started looking around at different body armors manufacturers and noticed a new company that I have never heard of before on a Facebook ad. This company was called Safe Life Defense. I tried to see if I could find anything about them on the web, but my searches were turning up very little solid concrete information. I decided I needed to take it into my own hands to see how well their vest would work and stand up to different rounds.
Since Safe Life Defense were currently out of my size I ordered up a vest in my wife’s size to test out. I decided on a Safe Life Defense Concealable Multi-Threat Soft Body Armor This vest is NIJ.06 iiia certified. This means the vest should be able to stop most handgun rounds.
I was going to put this vest to the test by shooting it for the Ammoland readers. This means I would destroy the vest, but this is the only way I would know if the results were true or not.
The vest I was sent was made of Dupont Kevlar. The vest is not only rated for handgun rounds, but also is rated against strikes and slashes from bladed weapons. Another cool thing is that Safe Life Defense claims that it is ultra-concealable, and it is very easy to move around in. They also claim the vest covers 15% more area than their competitors vest. This made me wonder how it could be so easy to move around in and still be as concealable as they claim.
The vest arrived on a Friday. I was interested to see how well it fit on my wife, but then it hit me that my wife was 8 months pregnant, and she wasn’t about to put on a Kevlar vest. Lucky for me her sister was in town. So shortly before dinner I had to ask the awkward question of if she would mind wearing a bulletproof vest for the rest of the night. To my surprise she was eager to help.
She first wore the Safe Life vest on the outside. The vest has a 10 point adjustable system with 4 comfort straps. She told me that the vest was comfortable. This is saying something for the vest because she is someone who has never wore any type of body armor in her life. After a couple of hours of wearing it she stated that she even forgot that she had it on.
I then had her try the Safe Life Defense Soft Body Armor vest under her shirt to see how detectable it was under clothing. I was surprised how little printing the vest did. Since it does cover around the 15% more than my other vest that I had I figured that it was also going to be 15% more detectable than my other vest. I do have to say it is probably a little less detectable than my other vest. It doesn’t disappear into nothingness, but in today’s world where people are turned into zombies by their cell phones I don’t think anyone would notice outside other than law enforcement.
One thing she did mention to me is that even though it was pretty warm in the house she wasn’t hot at all wearing the vest. I think this was because that Safe Life Defense built in a cooling mesh lining. The vest is also water resistant, but I did not test this. At the end of the night she handed the vest back in the bag I got with the vest, and I then threw it in the back of my car because the next day the vest was going to be destroyed by a hail of gunfire.
The next day I drove out to my friend’s property where he has a private range to test out how well the Safe Life vest would hold put under fire because this is what is really important in body armor. We set it up on a “Bob” Punching Dummy which is basically an armless torso made by Century Martial Arts. We stationed the Bob out on his range. Before we shot it we wanted to test out how it would do against slashing since Safe Life Defense said it could defend against that threat..
I broke out my “Ka Bar Zombie War Sword”. The Ka Bar is more of a very sharp machete than a true sword. I slashed at full strength 5 or 6 times. Our friend bob was safe behind the Safe Life vest even though it made a few marks. We got zero penetration. So I repeated this test with my Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie Fixed Blade Knife and we could not slash through the vest with that blade either. We debated stabbing it, but since Safe Life Defense made no claim against stabbing we didn’t think that would be fair. Both blades are very sharp so I can say for sure the vest does what it is supposed to do.
Shooting the Safe Life Defense Soft Body Armor
Now it was time for the real test by shooting the Safe Life Defense vest multiple times with different calibers until it failed. I brought the multiple caliber guns out to the range and would work my way up in size until I got penetration. I had to keep in mind that each of my shots would probably weaken the vest. It would be good to see how many hit that it could take before it was useless.
One thing I should mention is that the vest has pockets where you can insert optional hard plates that would be the vest up to level 4 rating. These plates are available from Safe Life Defense, but I did not have any to test out. It would make a good test in the future, but would make this a much more expensive test.
I started with a CCI .22LR fired out of a Smith & Wesson M&P22c. I suspected the Safe life vest would have no problem stopping this round, and I was right. I switched to my Beretta Pico .380 ACP and fired two shots of 90gr JHP ammunition. Both shots were stopped with no issues. I suspected that the vest would be able to easily defeat these rounds and once again I was right.
I next moved to the 9mm round fired it from my trusty Glock 19. Again I put two rounds of 115gr JHP ammunition from 10 yards away right into the Safe Life vest. I examined to the vest and determined that there was no penetration.
Since the 9mm caliber is probably the round someone wearing the vest would most likely be facing I was happy with the results from this part of the test.
I moved onto the .45 ACP caliber. I fired a 230gr JHP round from a Springfield XD. The vest was more than capable of stopping that round. We had two handguns left to test against the vest. I was determined to get through the vest. The .45 ACP is a big round but it moves slow and I figured maybe something moving a bit faster would do the trick and make it through the protective lining.
I had two Smith & Wessons with me. One was a M&P Shield chambered in .40SW. The other was a 686 revolver chambered in .357 Magnum.
If these didn’t penetrate the Safe Life Defense vest we would have to move something a little more extreme.
I fired the 165gr JHP .40SW from the Shield and it impacted center mass into the vest. Then I picked up and fired the 125gr JHP .357 and it hit very close to where the .40SW hit. In fact it was only a couple of inches from where the impact was made by the other round. I walked over and examined the Safe Life Defense vest. I was sure with the number of shots the vest took something would have gotten through.
To my amazement nothing was able to make it through the vest. This made me go home and do a Google search to see how that was even possible. I found out that there are a lot of factors that determines when a vest will fail. That said, this vest held up very well, but I wasn’t walking away until I was able to penetrate the vest since it now was unusable.
I decided to go for broke. I went ahead and took out my Remington 700P chambered in 300WM. I backed up to around 50 yards and took aim. I slowly pulled the trigger sending the round down range. It hit hard. I walked over to check it out and turned out the Safe Life vest failed the final bonus test. I was able to defeat it, but with a round way bigger than what it is attended to stop.
I have to give it up to Safe Life Defense Soft Body Armor. The vest does everything it is supposed to and more. The only thing is that I shredded the vest. I wonder if I can replace it using their 5 year warranty? I do have another vest in my wife’s size so I think I am safe there even though it is not as nice as the Safe Life Defense vest. When I go to buy my next set of soft body armor for me and my family this will be the protection I get.
Safe Life Defense can be found at www.safelifedefense.com
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.