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How to Choose the Right Size Plates for Your Armor System

How to Choose the Right Size Plates for Your Armor System

So, you are interested in purchasing hard armor plates to upgrade your loadout. You have selected the necessary threat protection and are ready to add your order to the cart. Next day shipping, Yes! One problem… What size, shape and curvature should you choose?

There is a limited amount of information out there to help users select the correct size body armor. To avoid discomfort or a possible return shipment, Next Day Armor has prepared an Armor Sizing Guide for first time users.

Why is Armor Sizing Important?
Selecting the right plate size is essential for mobility and your ultimate protection. The primary function of a body armor system is to guard the major organs. Located in the front left of the center of your chest, your heart is about the size of a clenched fist. You will need to choose plates large enough to ensure coverage of this area.

Adversely, rigid armor too large can hinder range of motion, making it uncomfortable or even impossible to perform daily functions. It’s important to note that the standard sizing for body armor does not compare with typical retail sizing. For example, if you wear a size large in street clothing it is unwise to assume that a large plate is right for you. Fit will vary based on the measurements of your specific torso.

The Self-Measurement Process
Body armor is available in a number of shapes, sizes and curvatures. Torso plates provide front and back chest protection. 10 x 12 inch plates are typically known as a “middle of the road” size, covering most individuals. Most carriers are designed with this size in mind. Using the chart below, pick the closest size to your measurements.

To determine plate width, measure across your chest from nipple to nipple. Be sure to keep the tape level across your chest. Next, take a measurement from your sternum notch (the top of your sternum) to your belly button. Subtract 2-3 inches to find the desired height for your plate.

The plate should fit comfortably from the standing or sitting position. Be mindful of your service belt and other equipment when measuring your custom size. A properly equipped torso plate should not interfere with the movement of your arms and shoulders. A plate that is too large may impede mobility and result in difficulty aiming or operating a firearm.

Back and Side Plates
The top edge of the back plate should align with the top edge of the front plate when viewed from the side. The bottom edge of the back plate should be about .75 inches above the service belt.

Side plates are purchased for additional protection against attacks to the vulnerable areas of the abdomen. In some cases side plates can also provide protection for the heart. They typically come in various sizes and should be purchased based on the plate pockets of your specific carrier.

Single curve or Multi-curve?
Oftentimes, new users will ignore the importance of a plate’s curvature. It’s all the same level of protection, right? Yes- but your choice will have a profound impact on the performance, comfort and durability of your armor.

Single curve plates are generally more simplistic in design, wrapping around the user’s body for a more universal fit. However, there are pros and cons…

Pros: More cost efficient and versatile
Cons: Less comfortable for certain body types

Implied by their name, multi-curve plates are more planar in shape. Also labeled as “triple” or “double” -curve, they are congruent with the more complex contours of the chest and lower torso.

Pros: More comfortable fit and improved flexibility
Cons: More expensive

Make a Confident Choice
Upon making your selection, it is important that the plates properly fit your specific carrier and be worn in the correct position. This will maximize your protection and overall experience.

Although it can be difficult finding the perfect fit, NDA is committed to providing the support you need. Buyers are encouraged to use our Armor Sizing Guide, but our team is standing by ready to answer your questions. We want to make your armor selection experience as fast and easy as possible.


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