In high-risk occupations, wearing body armor is essential for safety. However, it can also be uncomfortable. As personal safety becomes increasingly important, you must develop methods to reduce discomfort in challenging circumstances. Some methods can be like wearing a seatbelt in a car; necessary to keep you safe, but not always comfortable or convenient. However, you can minimize discomfort and maximize your safety with the right knowledge and precautions. This guide provides practical tips for improving the performance and protection of your body armor.  

Choose the Right Fit

Most body armor has two components: the armor plates and the carriers. The carriers are usually a vest, but backpacks and other carriers are becoming more common.

A small size might limit access to weapons and equipment, while too large armor could impede swift movements because it won’t stay in place. The plates and carriers must fit correctly to be comfortable and effective since ill-fitting gear can restrict movement and compromise safety.

Wear Moisture-Wicking Undergarments

Wearing moisture-wicking undergarments is essential for managing sweat, a common source of discomfort during extended periods. These specialized materials draw moisture away from the body, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable. Opt for quality undergarments as they provide durability and effective moisture management, contributing to a more pleasant and hygienic wearing experience.

Optimize Layering for Climate

Weather conditions significantly impact the comfort of wearing body armor, making it crucial to adapt to the climate appropriately. In hot conditions, prioritize breathable materials to enhance ventilation and prevent excessive sweating, promoting a cooler and more comfortable experience. Conversely, in colder environments, layering up is essential to provide insulation and retain body heat, ensuring warmth and comfort.

Choosing gear designed for specific weather conditions can enhance your comfort, making it easier to stay focused on the task at hand.

Use Ergonomic Accessories

Investing in ergonomic accessories is a key strategy to enhance the overall comfort of wearing body armor. To improve the fit and feel of armor, ergonomic accessories such as shoulder pads, padding, and harness enhancements are essential.

Shoulder pads, for instance, can help distribute the weight more evenly, reducing pressure points and potential discomfort. Additional padding strategically placed within the armor can provide extra cushioning, further contributing to a comfortable wearing experience. Harness enhancements, designed with ergonomic principles, offer improved support and ensure a more secure and customized fit.

Distribute Weight Effectively

When wearing body armor for prolonged periods, it’s crucial to distribute the weight effectively to prevent strain and discomfort. Achieve even weight distribution across the body by adjusting the straps and harnesses. This minimizes the risk of physical strain in specific areas and elevates overall comfort. Opting for advanced body armor with built-in weight distribution features is a prudent choice, ensuring sustained comfort during extended use. This strategic approach contributes significantly to enhancing the wearer’s comfort and well-being throughout prolonged periods of use.

Take Regular Breaks

Breaks are vital for sustaining physical and psychological well-being during extended wear, akin to a car requiring regular maintenance to run efficiently. Without these essential breaks and tune-ups, the body can quickly start to break down and lose its efficiency. This necessitates strategic planning, enabling your body to recover and integrating brief exercises to enhance flexibility and circulation during these breaks. To improve overall comfort, it is important to choose equipment that is easy to remove. This simplifies breaks and promotes better air circulation.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Maintaining proper hydration and nutrition is paramount for overall comfort. Dehydration can induce fatigue, dizziness, and other physical symptoms, diminishing productivity and elevating injury risk. An adequate supply of hydration and nutrition provides the essential nutrients necessary for energy production, resulting in a feeling of vitality and vigor as the day progresses. Investing in dependable hydration solutions ensures sustained focus and enhances comfort, particularly during strenuous activities.

Regular Maintenance of Gear

Consistent gear maintenance is crucial for sustained comfort and peak performance. Follow manufacturer-recommended cleaning methods, inspect regularly for wear or damage, and replace components as needed. Storing gear in a cool, dry place is advised to prevent unnecessary wear and degradation. Keeping components clean prevents contamination, while inspections identify repairs or replacements before they escalate. If properly stored, quality gear is a long-term investment that outperforms cheaper alternatives.

Mental Preparation and Mindfulness

Acknowledging the psychological aspect of wearing body armor is crucial, and it often gets overlooked. To enhance resilience, incorporate techniques for mental preparation and maintaining focus. This proactive approach helps address any challenges associated with prolonged use, fostering holistic well-being for individuals relying on body armor in demanding situations.


Wearing body armor requires a multifaceted approach to achieve optimal comfort. By diligently incorporating the practical tips outlined above, you not only enhance your personal well-being but also strike the ideal equilibrium between protection and comfort. With this empowerment, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward, fully equipped and totally focused on whatever task is in front of you.

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Tactical Gun Review, along with Texas Outdoors Network, is published by Michael Coker and Charles Coker.

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