Those who conceal carry do so for the main obvious reason, to protect oneself from deadly threats. What if you’re caught off guard and attacked before you’ve had a chance to react? Even if you’ve trained for countless hours sometimes you won’t always have time to react first to stop a threat. That’s where body armor comes into play. The folks over at SafeGuard contacted us and asked if we would be interested in reviewing their Stealth line of concealable soft armor, of course we obliged, who wouldn’t want to try out body armor?!
They sent over one of their Ballistic Level II and Edged Blade Level I vest, which is their lightest and most flexible vest they carry, as well as their most affordable at under $500.00. The SafeGuard Stealth is made up of their CoolMAX outer vest carrier and two DuPont Kevlar armor plates. The Kevlar plates that came with my vest are rated up to 158gr SJSP .357 Magnum rounds out of a 6″ barrel, which is a lot more firepower than most bad guys typically carry. While we didn’t actually shoot the vest, they’re in compliance with the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.03/04 standards.
The CoolMAX carrier itself is pretty light, it features a mesh material that’s breathable and comfortable. It does still get pretty hot in warmer weather because of the Kevlar plates however. I wore the vest out at the range (as seen in the pictures) and around town during the Las Vegas summer. I won’t lie, I was sweating quite a bit in it, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In the winter I’m sure the added insulation will be a blessing. The vest comes in both white or black, I chose black simply because I know a white vest would show more dirt and sweat. The vest is machine washable however in case you decide to go white. The vest weights around 2.5kg, which isn’t much but is noticeable, especially when you first start wearing it. After a while you don’t notice the extra bit of weight.
Once one, the vest stays put via a velcro strap and elastic band setup which helps keep the vest secure and as concealable as possible. Once strapped in, I never had an issue with the velcro coming undone. Unless you’ve had a few too many beers the night before like I tend to do however. I wear a size medium or large t-shirt and medium button up shirts, depending on the brand, so I chose the medium sized Stealth armor and the fitment was spot on (they have a size chart to help you when ordering). The shoulder straps aren’t adjustable however, and seem to be a bit too thin which caused the armor to droop a bit after a while.
We matched the vest with a medium sized 5.11 Covert Shirt to test just how concealable the Stealth vest is. The 5.11 Tactical Covert Shirt features a pocket that’s sewn into the breast of the shirt and snap buttons so you can quickly access your firearm, it seemed like fitting accessory to go with the Stealth vest. As you can see from the pictures above you can barely make out that I’m even wearing armor at all. In fact I wore the Stealth vest and 5.11 Tactical shirt around town and out to dinner and it seemed like no one noticed at all. I also wore my Glock 19 on my hip along with the Stealth armor at the range (see picture above) and it didn’t inhibit my draw at all. A plus for those who use IWB holsters while carrying.
The top of the CoolMax carrier is pretty visible with most shirts if you don’t button them up all the way, but for the most part it looks like the top of an undershirt. Just a note, with t-shirts the vest is much more noticeable. When sitting and getting in and out of cars the vest can ride up a bit, but it’s a minor inconvenience when you factor in the safety the vest gives you.
Those who can conceal carry should, as well as consider something like the SafeGuard Stealth armor to give them every bit of protection. Those who can’t conceal carry in their state should definitely consider the Stealth armor as well to give them any advantage possible to survive a potential threat, if body armor is legal in their state that is. It’s not cheap, but it’s not exorbitantly expensive either. Instead of buying that next range toy, maybe consider adding a vest like the SafeGuard Stealth to your arsenal. In an uncertain world having any advantage over any potential enemy and threat is always a good idea. For more info check out SafeGuardArmor.com.
Check out all of our past reviews at our Reviews Page.