Review: Safeguard Ghost Body Armor

   03.14.17

Review: Safeguard Ghost Body Armor

Most of us would like to believe that bad guys will only attempt to do us harm when we are home, well-protected, and well-armed, but as we have seen over and over, “it” can happen anytime and anywhere/ You need to be prepared and trained to save yourself and your loved ones.

Part of preparation is realizing that you need to protect yourself against bullets and blades. From a survival perspective, body armor is making more and more sense. In fact, statically 75% of all gun-related deaths could have been prevented with just Level II body armor.

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For me, I wanted to know that I had an acceptable concealed armor option, so I ordered the lightweight Ghost in level IIIA.

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About SafeGuard Armor

Founded in 1986, SafeGuard Armor is a body armor designer with manufacturing operations in the U.S.A. and Europe. The company has grown from a small operation selling bulletproof vests to local companies to become one of the largest body armor companies in the world, providing body armor to military, law enforcement, and civilians worldwide.

The Legality of Body Armor in USA and Importation

Contrary to common belief, purchasing and owning ballistic and edged-threat body armor is not illegal in most of the United States. Check with local police or attorney general, and if they claim it is illegal, ask them to provide the state or local statute that limits/outlaws it. (Referencing a specific statute prevents the officer or paralegal from mis-stating the law.)

In my state there is no legislation limiting the possession or use of body armor, other than the Federal mandate that no felon may own body armor. In the USA, a non-felon in a free state can purchase hard or soft body armor, but only soft armor can be legally imported without working for law enforcement or military. If a US citizen attempts to import hard body armor, he will get into some hot water unless the armor is hard steel there is some flexibility in that interpretation.

Not being a felon, I placed my order with SafeGuard without hesitation. Although Safeguard has operations in the USA, my order was fulfilled via their UK headquarter and was delivered via FedEx to my doorstep. I purchased the SafeGuard Ghost, a soft body armor vest with 360 degree Level IIIA ballistic protection.

Fit, Finish, Feel, Features, and Functions

Following the fitment chart on the site, I selected the appropriate size for my wife, who was surprised at how thin the Ghost armor was under a jacket, sweater, or secondary long cover shirt. It does make

you look like you put on 10 pounds, but it doesn’t stand out like the thick armor which the cops are wearing around.

The vest was also lightweight compared to others, which adds to the overall comfort of the vest. The Ghost’s CoolMax liner is (hand) washable, which was important because the liner stank upon arrival. A strong chemical order was present until the liner was washed.

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Liners will need to get washed from time to time anyhow, and it’s cool to wash the Ghost’s liner by hand. Remove the ballistic plates via the Velcro closures and then hand-wash the liner in a sink with mild detergent such as Woolite. Care should be taken with the Velcro while washing, or it will catch on everything. CoolMax is not the most durable fabric, so don’t be too rough with it. Safeguard does offers replacement liners if you do manage to it out.

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The CoolMax liner somewhat negates the need to wearing a T-shirt under the vest, but my wife likes to wear a thin silky T-shirt underneath to improve overall comfort. The SafeGuard Ghost was specifically designed for covert/concealed use and it can be had in white or black in sizes S-XL with long sizes available for tall folks. To reduce weight, Safeguard uses the thinnest materials possible and uses a more conservative cut compared than the full-coverage Stealth armor I have reviewed before.

Though I ordered a “long” size for my 6’-1” wife, the overall cut was still pretty short although it did cover all vitals well.

Thick and heavy is easy to do when it comes to body armor, but thin, comfortable, and light is a tough mix to get right. SafeGuard hit the mix with the Ghost, delivering on all those goals to maximize comfort, protection, and concealability.

SafeGuard has a variety of body armor options available from the light Ghost model to the heavy full groin, shoulder, and arm Military models. The Stealth is ideal for users who want to hide the fact they are wearing body armor.

SafeGuard’s protection ratings conform to NIJ ballistic protection standards. The Stealth is offered in a variety of protection options including ballistic protection II (stopping handgun-fired 9mm 124 grain Remington and 357 158 grain SJSP) or Level IIIa (stopping  up to 44 Magnum rounds).

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You can learn more about each threat rating on their site. Stealth armor is also offered in several Stab and Spike protection levels. Both vests I have purchased from them have been rated to Level I stab protection.

Threat Level vs Statistics

Both the Virginia Department of Justice and Pennsylvania Medical Center studies of their respective state homicides found that roughly 80% of all firearm related homicides were from handguns. Of those, more than 98% of handgun deaths could have been prevented by a NIJ Threat Level II protection.

With every extra layer of protection comes more weight and bulk, so I opted for the Level II ballistic protection and Level 1 stab protection, which is designed to protect the user from the majority of ballistic and edged threats. The protection thickness-to-threat curve is non-linear, which means that each additional level of protection requires a smaller increase in protection but a larger increase in vest thickness.

There is always a compromise, but based on the long odds that I may actually find myself being shot at and knowing that Stealth Level II armor can stop 90% of typical threats, I feel well-protected. For my wife, I upped that protection level to IIIA since the Ghost is not as thick overall. I am not sure how Safeguard did it, but the Level IIIA Ghost is actually thinner than my Level II Stealth.

Those that are uber-paranoid may want to opt for an armored personnel carrier, just bump up to the next threat level rating, or pick up a supplemental hard armor plate to tuck into the vest. Safeguard has a rather interested and lightweight 2.5-pound AlphaCore Poly Level III Plate available.

Final Thoughts

For covert, discreet, and concealable armor the Safeguard Ghost is one of the best and thinnest I have seen. Generally my wife and I do not live, work, shop, or play in high-risk areas, but bad things happen everywhere. We are both on a security team which unfortunately does require us to be armed and sometimes compelled to don ballistic armor. There have been situations what I feel safer with an added layer of protection.

Both my wife and I love the ability to slip on the vest when investigating that random bump in the night. In my rural neighborhood we have a 40-minute police response time and the ambulance is not much better. Any extra protection I can have while defending myself is a great investment from my perspective, all for less than my insurance deductible.

Manufacturer Specs

  • NIJ Level IIIA Ballistic Protection
  • NIJ Level I Edged Blade Protection
  • Delivered in 1-2 working days
  • Armor worth over $470 when new
  • Weight: Approx. 5.4lbs
  • Made from DuPont Kevlar
  • MSRP $440 Euro (http://www.safeguardclothing.com)

Stay discrete and protected with Ghost™ covert armour. The lightest, thinnest carrier on the market, this vest is the benchmark for concealable armour.

The Ghost™ is breathable thanks to a 100% CoolMax® carrier, and features fully adjustable shoulder and waist straps for a perfect fit. With multi-threat capabilities, this vest can be worn comfortably for long periods and leaves you free to move. No-one will know you’re protected but you , thanks to our Ghost™ armour.

Warranty Info

This product comes with a 5 Year Warranty. All SafeGuard ARMOR™ products are tested in full compliance with the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.03/04 standards. If any SafeGuard ARMOR™ products under warranty are deemed to be defective or faulty then SafeGuard ARMOR™ will replace or repair it free of charge. This is done at our own discretion.

Care

  • Do not fully immerse the vest in water.
  • Do not dry in direct sunlight.
  • Store body armor flat at all times.
  • Do not put DuPont™ Kevlar® panel inserts through the wash (can be lightly sponged with warm, soapy water if necessary).
  • Inspect armor for damage or defects prior to every use – NEVER WEAR DAMAGED ARMOR.
  • Always ensure DuPont™ Kevlar® panels are inserted the correct way (instructions on the panels).

 

 

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By Major Pandemic – Is the editor at large of MajorPandemic.com which features hundreds of deep product reviews. No my name is not Pandemic, nor am I a Major, I am but a mortal being, using my freedom, intelligence, and available resources provided in this great free nation to survive another day. Hopefully I can help you get smarter and live longer and enjoy the outdoor more comfortably and more safely.- MajorPandemic.com

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