I have had the opportunity to use the Safeguard Armour Strikeface Level III Polyethylene hard plate in my plate carrier for the past 5 months. While I do not wear the carrier everyday I feel comfortable enough to give my honest feedback about my experience with the SF III.
Material & Presentation
The over all style and feel over the plate is phenomenal. The polyethylene is much lighter than almost any other armor I have had experience with, with the exception of soft armor.
This armor had has a slight curve and has the shooters cut which makes it perfect for use in almost any plate carrier.
If you have ever worn a plate carrier with steel plates you know that they are extremely heavy. I had the opportunity to try on a plate carrier with steel plates and it weighted upwards of 20 lbs. This weight really cuts down on your speed and mobility, which in a fight for your life could mean life or death.
Wear & Use
I used my plate in a Condor Quick Release Plate Carrier. My experience with these plates involved a lot of movement and “running and gunning”. While I realize a lot of the comfort would come from the plate carrier itself I think it’s very important to note the weight of plate is usually the heaviest part.
I wore the SF III with soft armor in the condor plate carrier, as intended. The weight was still completely manageable and was still comfortable. While this plate is rather thick and adds a few inches to the plate carrier it does not make it unbearable to wear.
Below is a cost break down of all the Safeguard Armor models along with their weight. I’ve been using this vest for a little over five months. I’ve learned quite a bit and it has actually changed my opinion and thoughts on body armor.
Summary & Final Thoughts
I was never in the military so I never wore plates or hard armor often. I have worn a lot of soft armor but weight has never been an issue. I formerly told people to buy at least some plate and carrier even if it was heavy it was better than nothing.
While that still remains mostly true what I do want to touch on is survival. I did a good bit of testing with this vest/plate combo including running, jumping from vehicles, sitting in vehicles with it on, and shooting. The biggest thing that I realized that if you are wearing 20 lbs worth of plates your performance is going to be effected. If you have not trained with that much additional weight then it could be a problem if you were ever to wear it during a life or death incident.
So my motto used to be “weight doesn’t really matter if you aren’t wearing it everyday” and I have learned to eat my words. Now I subscribe to get what works best for you but keep weight in mind because you never know why, when, or how you will need this armor. Personally I will now save a little more money and go with the Safeguard Armour Strikeface Level III Polyethylene for all my future needs as I have almost nothing bad to say about it.
[table caption=”Safeguard Armor Plate Weight”]
Material,Threat Level,Weight (lbs),MSRP
Polyethylene Composite,III,3.97, $390