Choosing between soft and hard body armour is a personal decision based on the tasks you will undertake and the threats you may encounter. Furthermore, you need to consider between an armour that wraps around your body or a SAPI plate design. There are advantages and disadvantages for both types and it may be beneficial to consider appropriate research to help make your decision.
Archives of Emergency Medicine
In 1985 a journal was published in Emergency Medicine entitled “A study of stab wounds” and focused on victims of stab wounds who were brought into the Accident and Emergency Department of Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scotland.
Between the period 1978 to 1983 the stab injuries of 318 patients were recorded. The most common sites of the wounds were the chest (143 patients) and the abdomen (113 patients). This totals 256, or 80.5%.
Of the 143 patients with chest wounds, 116 were admitted (81%). Of the 113 patients with abdomen wounds, 95 were admitted (84%).
Reference: US National Library of Medicine
Journal for Clinical Forensic Medicine
In 2003 a study was published in the Journal for Clinical Forensic Medicine entitled “Wounding patterns and human performance in knife attacks:optimising the protection provided by knife-resistant body armour”.
87 randomly selected students at the Royal Military College of Sciencewere asked to make one slash attack with an instrumented blade on a vertically mounted target. No instructionson how to slash the target were given. The direction, contact forces and velocity of each attack were recorded.
In the table below you will see that, 22.3% of all wounds were to the chest and this made up 53.7% of all devastating wounds. This evidence may encourage body armour buyers to consider body armour that covers the vital organs only – namely sapi plates – as opposed to heavier and/or more expensive soft armour that covers a larger area.
Reference: Core (opens in new window)
SAPI plate design
SAPI plates are designed to cover the vital organs within the chest and abdomen, hence their popularity.