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Personal Armor and Fit Assessment

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages

Instructions are provided to individual wearers of body armor regarding how to determine whether their body armor fits properly.


The guide first advises that although body armor is not necessarily comfortable even when it fits properly, steps should be taken to ensure it fits properly. The proposed assessment is excerpted from ASTM E3003, Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor. This document's format first guides the wearer on testing whether she/he can breathe comfortably, even after adjusting the straps. The next step is the visual examination, which requires standing in front of a mirror or having an observer provide feedback on the provided instructions. This visual examination of how the armor fits involves answering a series of questions on whether or not the body armor conforms to the various standards of a good fit. The next section of the testing for fitness regards how the armor performs when the wearer is in a shooting stance (if applicable to duties performed). Testing of the armor's fit is then performed in a shoulder-weapon shooting stance (if applicable). The testing then requires the wearer to test any restraint by the body armor when performing various job-related movements, such as reaching to the center back of the duty belt, squatting for 10 seconds, and dropping to one knee for 10 seconds. Other parts of the test for determining body armor fitness pertain to performance when sitting and when operating a vehicle. For each set of testing instructions, wearers are asked to check boxes that indicate how the body armor affects the wearer. The overall conclusions from the testing regards whether or not the wearer should request armor that is a better fit.

Date Published: January 1, 2018