3 problems with Bulletproof Backpacks

Every time a mass shooting happens, people start looking for bandaid solutions…something they can buy that will make them feel safer, regardless of whether it actually makes them safer.

Bulletproof backpacks are one of those things.  They’re not bad on their own.  (I’ve got one)  But there are 3 big problems I’ve seen:

  1. Using them wrong.  A couple of manufacturers show kids holding up their bulletproof backpack like a shield.  This can be a good strategy for adults against a knife, but a bad strategy against firearms.  It will catch the first shot, but probably get ripped out of their hands in the process.  Small, soft body armor is made to be worn against the body or an energy-absorbing layer.  One of the general rules of thumb for body armor is that soft body armor is designed to keep you alive…plates are designed to keep you in the fight.  Soft body armor can push into the body 30-44mm (1.2-1.7″) and break ribs in the process of keeping the wearer alive.  Getting shot with body armor on is bad enough when you do it right…don’t make it worse by using it wrong.
  2. Using them without a plan.  Wearing a bulletproof backpack and waiting for the bad guy is not a good plan.  Wearing a bulletproof backpack to increase your chances of escaping safely OR improving your chances of surviving if you attack the threat are much better plans than waiting for the bad guy to come to you.
  3. Using the wrong kind.  Many of the bulletproof backpacks on the market are simply a normal backpack with a tactical name.  Others are overly complicated and slow to deploy.  In fact, I can’t imagine trying to figure out some of them under stress.  That’s why I’ve become a fan of the “Switchblade” bulletproof backpack.  Here’s a quick video showing you what makes it special…

It’s fast to deploy (like a switchblade), it blends in, covers both front and back, doesn’t look tactical, and you can use your own armor or get it with IIIa.

Who’s it good for?

One of the best applications for the Switchblade is teachers.  Put trauma gear, a fire extinguisher, bike lock, and other improvised weapons in the bag and, if something happens, they can don the switchblade and have some defensive/offensive tools to use to protect themselves and their kids.  They can be a great fit for church staff, office workers, hospital employees, or anyone else who wants to increase their odds of being able to either escape danger or stop it.

For road trips, it may be a better option than “normal” looking body armor if you want something that’s easy-to-access, yet invisible to people looking in your windows.

My sister used to live in Chicago and, to get to O’Hare for work as a flight attendant, it seems like she had to take some crazy combination of bus, train, and the L.  If she’d still be there, I would have given her one of these already.  If you have relatives who use public transportation in dangerous areas where effective defense is prohibited, you may want to consider one of these. 

What about the IIIa armor?  You can get the Switchblade with no armor, IIIa, or III.  III is BETTER than IIIa

I’ve seen the lab tests on their IIIa soft body armor.  They’re tested using the NIJ standards.

level-3a bulletproof backpack kit

The level III body armor is rated for the following cartridges…

level-3 bulletproof backpack kit


If you could see a bulletproof backpack giving you or a loved one an advantage in a mass shooting or other attack, I want to encourage you to check out Damian’s Switchblade bulletproof backpacks here.

Do you have experience with bulletproof backpacks that you’d like to share?

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away by commenting below.



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  • David Bianga

    Reply Reply March 2, 2023

    Californian’s no longer need to worry about such a thing as CA is in the process of banning the possession of body armor for civilians.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply March 2, 2023

      Tyrants got to do the whole tyranical thing 🙁

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