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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Group,
(Hope this request will knock any dust off a whole lot of keyboards!)

What, in your opinion / experience is the:
1. Best and yet,
2. Lightest
Level II Body Armor / Protective Vest available and WHY?

One of the last really meaningful things I might get to do in simultaneously
filling the positions of BOTH Armorer/F.I. AND Supply Officer/Quartermaster
at my agency COULD BE heavily influencing how *forward* we move in the next
procurement of protective apparel for our personnel . . .

Some time ago, I spied a post from one of the Illinois Tactical Officer's
Assoc. among you about the Second Chance "Ultima" vest
(Ultima "II", I believe) and how it was barely thicker than a couple of
quarters and still had very, very, effective stopping power . . .
that REALLY got me thinking!

Anyway, 1999 was the last contract we put out to PACA, Second Chance, and
ABA. That contract's spec.s called for Level II vests.

3. Is Level II even sufficient in the consensus of your opinions?

Each mfr./vendor sent a rep. who all arrived at the same location, date, and
time, and each deputy got to choose which maker they would go with and were
measured up then and there.

Daily duties here run the typical gamut but heavily include from courtroom
duty to prisoner transport to processing prisoners to serving warrants;,
Dom. Violence orders;, Emerg. Psych. Orders; Evictions; court ordered
seizures to (and here's the kicker) "posting tack-ups".

Posting "tack ups" involves running (more often than not, literally) up and
down apartment stairwells all day (and / or night :-[ )and affixing one page
court "Notices of (landlord's) Intent to Evict" to each apartment door(s) as
necessary (the sheer numbers of these things each week alone boggles the

(It IS a particularly un-enjoyable way to get in to shape -- FAST! :wink:

With the hot, h*u*m*i*d* Wash, D.C. summer fast approaching, you can imagine
how quickly even the lightest of protective vests can become a real b*tch
pulling a weeks long "tack ups" assignment!!!

As I started to go through the various mfr.s websites I started to realize
how little I really knew about was out there, regardless of whether it's
Level II or IIA.
And, as I do every time I get that feeling, I realized there were probably a
lot of others who'd already been down the path on which I'm just getting
started . . .

Thanks in advance for any info on what you're happy with, very happy with,
or "would never buy again", etc.

Stay Safe and Be First!,

Cpl. R. "THOR" Thorsen
Office o/ Sheriff, P.G. Co., MD

· Registered
104 Posts
I am pleased with my present Second Chance Ultima, threat level II. It is the thinnest and most comfortable vest I have tried. There may be more comfortable vests out there, but they usually sacrifice coverage for that increase in comfort. Threat level II is the highest one wants to go in concealable armor. The IIIa vests get heavier, thicker, and less flexible, as they require additional layers of ballistic material.

· Registered
226 Posts

I agree that level II is all you really need. Second Chance is without a doubt the best available. They tend to be a bit pricier than other johnny-come-lately's but they have been doing their thing for longer than anyone else. They are coming out w/ some new products that allow a large hard plate to be inserted, when needed, that will take multiple hits from rifles. These are way cool. Much nicer than the old ceramic level IV plates that shatter on impact and will not take multiple hits. They are also about half the weight of the old plates.
I am stuck w/ low bid level IIIA Safariland. If I am transferred from training back to patrol I will go out and buy something more wearable (Second Chance). If you are not wearing the armor it can't stop a bullet.

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9 Posts
I have a Second Chance Ultima Level II that I wear on duty every day and don't have any complaints with. I also have an ABA "extreme" Level II vest that is just used while I am on the Indoor Pistol Range as an Instructor. Both vests are about 2 years old. They are both around the same thickness but the Second Chance is slightly more flexible and soft. The difference in flexibility is not too big but I think there is a big price difference. (city bought both so I did not care)
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