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The Best Bulletproof Backpacks for 2020

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What is a bulletproof backpack why should I buy one?

With school shootings a common worry in the United States, parents are struggling to protect their children while they are out in public. As we all know, there are very few public places where you can be guaranteed to be safe from a shooting these days.

This article goes into what to look for in a bulletproof backpack or bulletproof backpack insert. During our research we discovered several unexpected things that may make you rethink what bulletproof backpack to buy and why. Hopefully, you or your child will never need to use one for protection but it never hurts to take extra precautions to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

We would like to be very transparent about what went into writing this article. We do not own any bulletproof backpacks or bulletproof inserts. We have relied directly on manufacturer input for our research.

Much of our research was done mainly through conversation directly with the manufacturers. Most of them were very accommodating and very keen to share their testing data with us.

A Brief History of Bulletproof Backpacks

Humans have been trying to protect themselves against weapons for many, many centuries. With the advent of gunpowder-propelled projectiles the military got really serious about looking for a solution. It was not until the 1970's and the DuPont's invention of Kevlar ballistic fabric that any real headway was made.

The innovative layering of thin but strong fabrics provided the much needed combination of being lightweight as well as resistant to penetration but projectiles.

Bulletproof really means bullet resistant. Nothing is 100% guaranteed and Dupont's testing indicates that there is a 95% probability of survival if you are shot with most handgun rounds while wearing a protective vest.

It did not take long for industry to realize that they could use the same materials and insert them into all kinds of things to make them bulletproof. Recently, this has led to the new industry of making backpacks bulletproof.

In recent times, the body armor industry has taken what they have learned from decades of making bullet resistant body armor and used it to create special panels that can be inserted into all sizes of backpacks.

What is a Bulletproof Backpack?

Children's Bulletproof BackpackBulletproof backpacks are usually no different from any other backpack except that they contain a special pocket where a bulletproof insert has been installed. They are made for all ages from toddlers to adults and can be found in many places around the world ranging from schools to theatres of war.

Whether you are a child going to school or a contractor who is working in a war zone, the armor plates in each backpack are roughly the same.

What are Bulletproof Backpack Panels?

Backpack and bulletproof insertA bulletproof backpack panel is the protective bullet resistant material that provides the protection against projectiles. They are usually thin and light and can be easily removed from one backpack and moved to another. If you decide on a metal or ceramic panel, these can be quite heavy and bulkier in size.

These panels can be made out of several different materials and can be hard or soft depending on what weapons you are trying to protect against. Bulletproof panels designed for backpacks often are curved at the top to conform to the shape of the typical backpack.

Types of Bulletproof Panel Materials

Soft Body Armor

Bulletproof Backpack Panel InsertBulletproof backpacks with their soft protective panels fall into the category of soft body armor. There are three main materials used to create these bulletproof panels: Kevlar, Twaron and Dyneema. They are all designed to be lightweight and bullet resistant. These materials often go by other brand names so be sure to know which you are buying.

Kevlar® is a heat-resistant man-made fiber. It was originally designed by scientists at Dupont in the 1970's to reinforce racing car tires. These fibers are cross-woven into fabric sheets that are very light and very strong. When these sheets are stacked into multiple layers, they can even stop bullets. It's high tensile strength-to-weight ratio is five times greater than steel.

Twaron® is another heat-resistant man-made para-aramid fiber developed in the 1970's in the Netherlands. It is actually a brand name for a company called Teijin Aramid. This fiber is available in many forms and is used in many products from optical cables to armored vehicles. It makes a great lightweight backpack bulletproofing insert.

Gold Shield® is another aramid fiber based material from Honeywell. It is different from standard Kevlar because instead of cross-weaving fibers, the Kevlar strands are parallel. The fibers are aligned parallel to one another at right angles to the next layer. The layers are held in place by resin. Gold Shield is lighter than woven Kevlar and Twaron and offer superior bullet penetration resistance according to Honeywell.

Spectra Shield® is also a heat-resistant man-made fiber made by Honeywell. It consists of a fabric woven from Spectra Fiber®. These fibers are made from High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (HMWPE) that is 15 times stronger than steel. Like Kevlar and Twaron, Spectra Shield is very light in weight.

Dyneema (Cuben Fiber) is made with a material known as Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). Developed by DSM in the Netherlands, it is very similar to Honeywell's Spectra Fibre. Dyneema fibers are used in everything from fishing line to hip and knee implants. Like other UHMWPE materials, Dyneema is 15 times stronger than steel. It was even used to construct a 30-kilometre space tether for the ESA/Russian Young Engineers' Satellite 2 in 2007.

Hard Plate Body Armor

Bulletproof backpacks with hard protective panels fall into the category of hard plate body armor. This type of armor is much heavier than soft body armor but it provides protection against a much wider assortment of firearms. There are two main materials used to create these hard bulletproof panels: Commercial Ballistic Steel and Ceramic.

Steel hard plate armorCommercial Ballistic Steel is steel that has been specially hardened to resist bullet impacts and reduce shattering. This type of steel is produced under strict guidelines and must not exceed a maximum carbon weight percentage of 0.32%. There are various hardness grades available:

Brinell Hardness Numbers (BHN):
• AR400 - 360-440 BHN
• AR500 - 470-540 BHN
• MIL-46100 - 477-534 BHN

Most Commercial Ballistic Steel plates used in Level III backpack panels are usually rated AR500. They can range from 1/8″(3mm) thick to 1/2″(12.7mm) thick and weigh 5 to 12lbs per square foot. The most common panels are in the 1/4" thick range.

One property of Commercial Ballistic Steel panels is that there is limited back face deformation. This type of armor tends to be quite expensive.

Ceramic hard plate armorCeramic or Monolithic Ceramic armor plates are usually derived from laminating a solid monolithic Ceramic plate onto a composite layer made from Kevlar or Spectra fiber cross-woven materials. This sandwich is then mounted onto an aluminum or plastic back panel. The principle behind Ceramic armor is that it is harder than the bullet. This causes the bullet to break up and lose energy. The Ceramic fractures and the bullet pieces are trapped in the composite layer.

Unfortunately, this type of bulletproof panel tends to be quite heavy, very expensive and suffers from significant back face deformation.

Outer Wrapping

Most bullet resistant panels are wrapped with an outer fabric that can be removed for cleaning or replacement due to wear. You typically see two different types of materials used: 500 or 600 Denier Polyester and 500 Denier Cordura (Nylon). They are both effective, light, strong and resistant to wear. Please note: These outer fabric cases do not provide any bullet resistance.

Ultraviolet Light Protection

Some manufacturers also provide details on the UV ratings. This is important for soft armor as UV light might impact the performance of the laminated layers of the bullet resistant panel should it ever be exposed to direct sunlight for any amount of time.

How to Use a Bulletproof Backpack

Once you have chosen the perfect bulletproof backpack for you, you will need to coach your child in how to use it effectively if they are ever faced with an active shooter situation.

Although what to do may seem obvious but, under stress, your child may not know how to react properly. The key is to present as small a target as possible and try to get as much of your body behind the bulletproof panel as possible. This is especially true for your head and core in order to protect the major organs.

How to use a bulletproof backpack

What Bullet Resistant Material is Right for Me?

The two things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a bulletproof panel or backpack is how much weight can you comfortably carry and how much protection do you want? Protection from larger caliber and higher muzzle velocity weapons mean an increase in the weight of the panel. A lighter panel that weighs less reduces the types of weapons that the panel protects against.

An other element to consider is price. Largely due to the cost of the materials involved, Ballistic Steel and Ceramic Plate armor tends to be much more expensive than the much lighter Soft Body Armor made from woven fiber materials.

Is it Legal to Own Bulletproof Materials?

Is it legal to own bulletproof backpacks?(If you live in the United States) Yes - with some exceptions, owning a bulletproof backpack - or even a bulletproof vest is completely legal in the United States. Some state laws restrict convicted felons from owning bulletproof vests so they may not be able to own bulletproof backpacks either. Louisiana prohibits wearing armor on school property or school-sponsored functions. Connecticut forbids the sale of bulletproof vests over the phone or Internet - you must buy in person.

If you plan to travel outside the US, you should check before you leave as some countries like Canada and Australia take a dim view of civilians wearing body armor.

Most retail American manufacturers are not allowed to sell bulletproof products outside of the United States.

Bulletproof Backpacks Versus Backpack Panels

This is a bit of a misnomer as all bulletproof backpacks utilize bulletproof panels to provide the bullet resistance. Many manufacturers want you to think that purpose-make bulletproof backpacks are of limited value because the backpack may wear out before the panel inside. This is simply not true.

These panels are not sewn into the bags and can easily be removed and placed into a new backpack. In fact, many purpose-built bulletproof backpacks come with some pretty neat features that standard off the shelf backpacks do not offer.

Most bulletproof backpack manufacturers tend to use level IIIA rated protective panels in their backpacks.

Neat Bulletproof Backpack Features

While some manufacturers sell brand name backpacks fitted with bulletproof panels, others use custom made packs that have some very unique features. Some others go beyond this and include items that you might need after a shooting occurs.

Built-in tourniquets - Companies like Leatherback Gear have incorporated tourniquets into their shoulder strap designs.

Leatherback Gear built-in removable tourniquet
Images courtesy of: Leatherback Gear

Bleed Control/Trauma & First aid Kits - These kits usually contain just what you need to treat one person. This includes: compressed gauze, compression bandage, pair of sterile gloves and a pair of scissors.

Dual Surface Protection - there are several manufacturers that makes backpacks with two bulletproof panels that can quickly unzipped to form a front and back shielded vest. These backpacks come in a variety of sizes and applications.

Leatherback Gear two sided bulletproof backpack Images courtesy of: Leatherback Gear

Cellphone Chargers and holders - these are almost a necessity in this day and age. Many backpack manufacturers take great care to include the most modern cellphone accessories like chargers and special cellphone cables in their packs.

School Shooting Statistics

It really surprised us to learn that statistically, there are far more shooting incidents using handguns than assault rifles. The chart below is the FBI Homicides by weapon used for the year 2019. This chart reveals that most NIJ level IIIA bulletproofing may have saved one of these lives.

FBI Homicides by weapon used 2019

Who are the Top Bulletproof Backpack Manufactures?

There are dozens of companies in America that make bulletproof backpack and bulletproof inserts. Some of our favorites are:

There are many other manufacturers but they tend to be smaller companies that have limited resources so lead times are often months in the future.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Bulletproof Ratings

Department of Justice logoThe National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sets minimum performance standards for bulletproof protection in their 0101.06 Armor Protection Levels Standard. The current standard is broken down into five different threat levels.

The standards are divided into "new" and "conditioned" armor. Conditioned armor is just armor that has been distressed to imitate the performance of the armor after years of wear. This is usually accomplished using a tumbling machine that looks a lot like a clothes dryer. Conditioned testing is usually conducted at a slightly decreased velocity.

NIJ Level IIA (handguns) - This is the lightest body armor (in all ways) available. It is used in lightweight vests as it is comfortable to wear and easy to conceal. This level of protection is becoming less and less common.

  • No rifle ammunition protection
  • Protects from 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets
  • Protects from .40 S&W Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets
  • Protects from .45 ACP Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets

NIJ Level II (handguns) - This level of protection is an improvement on the performance of Level IIA products. It not only protects again larger rounds but it also protects the wearer against more of the impact force from the projectile. This is one of the more common materials used in lightweight vest and clothing.

  • No rifle ammunition protection
  • Protects from everything listed in Level IIA and:
  • Protects from .357 Magnum JSP (Jacketed Soft Point) bullets

NIJ Level IIIA (handguns) - This level is the most widely used for soft armor although some hard plate armor is also rated at the NIJ IIIA level. This includes usage in manufacturing bulletproof backpacks. Some very interesting results have been observed when using two or more IIIA panels stacked together to stop high velocity rounds.

  • No rifle ammunition protection
  • Protects from everything listed in Level IIA and:
  • Protects from .357 Sig FMJ FN (Flat Nose) bullets
  • Protects from .44 Magnum SJHP (Semi Jacketed Hollow Point)

NIJ Level III (Rifles) - Bulletproof panels in this level are usually hard plate made from either steel or ceramic. They are designed to stop higher velocity rounds than the NIJIII level. These plates are designed to withstand up to six spaced bullet strikes. Level III plates can be heavy. Often they weigh 8 to 12 pounds.

  • Protects from everything listed in Level IIIA and:
  • Protects from 7.62 mm FMJ, steel jacketed bullets (U.S. Military designation M80)

NIJ Level III+ (Rifles) - This is not a recognized NIJ Rating but it is one that has been adopted by plate armor manufacturers to recognize their ability to stop more and faster rounds. Level III+ plates can be heavy. Often they weigh 8 to 12 pounds

  • Protects from everything listed in Level IIIA and:
  • Protects from same rounds as Level III A but at a higher velocity. (M855 and M193)

NIJ Level IV (Armor Piercing Rifles) - This is the highest rated in the 0101.06 standard. Unlike the level III plates, it must only stop one bullet strike. The single strike factor makes this level only slightly better than level III plate armor.

  • Protects from everything listed in Level IIIA and:
  • Protects from .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. Military designation M2 AP)
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Bulletproof Ratings

The Top Bulletproof Backpacks for Children & Teens

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your child's backpack should weight no more than 10 to 20 percent their total body weight. This list takes in to account the smaller size and weight that children's backpacks must be ensure that they do not harm the child. Our selection criteria was based on the weight (with bulletproof panel installed) being under eight pounds and the overall look being fun and attractive.

See the complete line of children's bulletproof backpacks at BulletProofZone.

Guard Dog Proshield Prym Pinkout - Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

Guard Dog Proshield Prym Pinkout - Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

The Guard Dog Proshield Prym 1 Pinkout made our list because is satisfies our requirements of being very light weight and good looking. The organic pink camouflage shell will make this child's bulletproof backpack a very safe and fun addition to your child's school day.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection (certified against .44 magnum and 9mm)
• Volume: 2,280 cubic inches (37 litre)
• Total Weight: 3.86 lbs. (1753 gm)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 20" x 15'' x 9.5'' (50.8 x 38.1 x 24.1 cm)
• Auxiliary multimedia port in shoulder strap to connect phone while inside the bag
• Over 20 organizational panels & pockets
• Extra padding in shoulder straps
• Tablet/laptop pocket
• Available in four colors: Pink camo, Forest camo, Black and Black with pink flap

Guard Dog Proshield Prym Pinkout - Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack


BulletBlocker NIJ IIIA Lightweight Jansport Canvas Classic Bulletproof Backpack

BulletBlocker NIJ IIIA Lightweight Jansport Canvas Classic Bulletproof Backpack

The BulletBlocker NIJ IIIA Jansport Canvas Classic Bulletproof Backpack is another top ranking backpack thanks to its super light weight and choices of colours. There is a color for almost every child's taste.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection (tested with 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm, .45 caliber hollow point)
• Bulletproof Panel Material: DuPont Kevlar
• Bulletproof Panel Weight: 20 oz. (567 grams)
• Total Weight: 1.3 lbs. (600 gm)
• Volume: 1,525 cubic inches (25 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 16.7" x 13" x 8.5" (42.5 x 33 x 21.5 cm)
• Available in: Tie-dye, Red, Camo and Periwinkle
• Tablet/laptop pocket

BulletBlocker NIJ IIIA Lightweight Jansport Canvas Classic Bulletproof Backpack


Leatherback Gear Sport One Junior Bulletproof Backpack

Leatherback Gear Sport One Jr. Bulletproof Backpack

The Sport One Jr. is a very innovative design from Leatherback Gear. This ingenious child's backpack unzips to become a front/back bulletproof vest. It also contains some well thought-out features like life-saving tourniquets cleverly used as part of the padded shoulder strap system. The Sport One Junior is also available in an adult size. (With 11" x14" armor panels)

At a Glance:
Double LEVEL IIIA protection (two panels that can be used front and back as a protective vest)
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 9" x 12" Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene
• Total Weight: 3.4 lbs. (1542 gm)
• Volume: 987 cubic inches (16.7 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 16.0" x 10.0" x 6.0" (40 x 25 x 15.25 cm)
• Available in: Black and Heather Gray
• 15.6" laptop pocket
• Detachable straps transform into tourniquets

Leatherback Gear Sport One Jr. Bulletproof Backpack


BulletBlocker Lightweight Level IIIA Bulletproof Junior Backpack

BulletBlocker Lightweight Level IIIA Bulletproof Junior Backpack

This ultra lightweight bulletproof backpack from BulletBlocker was designed for younger school aged children. It combines style and good looks with the protection of a level IIIA bulletproof sleeve. No one will know that this bag is bulletproof.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 20 ounce, 12" x 9.5" - DuPont™ Kevlar®
• Total Weight: 2 lbs. (900 gm)
• Volume: 1218 cubic inches (19.98 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 14.5" x 10.5" x 6.8" (36.8 x 26.6 x 17.2 cm)
• Available in: Navy and purple
• Storage pockets for phones and water bottles
• Perfect for children 43-49 inches tall

 


Talos Ballistics Level IIIA Double Duty Children's Bulletproof Day Backpack

Talos Ballistics Level IIIA Double Duty Children's Bulletproof Day Backpack

Like the name says, this bulletproof bag can do double duty as either a daypack or backpack . It has plenty of style and pockets. This backpack is fully adjustable to grown along side as your little one grows. There is even a roomy pocket/sleeve for a tablet.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 10" x 12" DuPont™ Kevlar®
• Total Weight: 3 lbs. (1360 gm)
• Volume: 1359 cubic inches (22.3 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 14.5" x 12.5" x 7.5" (36.8 x 31.75 x 19 cm)
• Available in: Feather Spectre/Powder Blue, Iced Lilac/White, Island Ikat/True Navy, Sand Pink/White, Tropic Nights/Black, Turquoise/White
• Tablet sleeve
• Large multiple pockets with draw string closure on main area

Talos Ballistics Level IIIA Double Duty Children's Bulletproof Day Backpack


The Top Bulletproof Backpack Panel Inserts for Children

Bulletproof backpack inserts for children are usually smaller and lighter. They also come in some fun designs. When choosing a backpack bulletproof panel, make sure that you order a panel that is one inch smaller than the interior dimensions of the backpack that you are using it in.

TuffyPacks School Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

TuffyPacks School Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

This fun looking bulletproof panel comes from TuffPacks and features a cartoon school theme. It is very light and fits most child's sized backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: 24 layers of Twaron
Sizes (0.38in thick):
  - 11" x 14" (round top - 19 oz)

  - 11" x 14" (square top - 19 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (round top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (round top - 27 oz)
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


TuffyPacks Patriotic Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

TuffyPacks Patriotic Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

This bulletproof panel comes from TuffPacks and features a patriotic red, white and blue American flag theme. It is very light and comes in two sizes that fit most child's sized backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: 24 layers of Twaron
Sizes (0.38in thick):
  - 11" x 14" (round top - 19 oz)

  - 11" x 14" (square top - 19 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (round top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (round top - 27 oz)
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


TuffyPacks Camo Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

TuffyPacks Camo Themed Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

This bulletproof panel comes from TuffPacks and features a patriotic red, white and blue American flag theme. It is very light and comes in two sizes that fit most child's sized backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: 24 layers of Twaron
Sizes (0.38in thick):
  - 11" x 14" (round top - 19 oz)

  - 11" x 14" (square top - 19 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (round top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (round top - 27 oz)
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


TuffyPacks Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

TuffyPacks Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

This bulletproof panel comes from TuffPacks and features a discrete black finish to help it blend in to a backpack's interior. It is very light and comes in three sizes that fit most child's sized backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: 24 layers of Twaron
Sizes (0.38in thick):
  - 11" x 14" (round top - 19 oz)

  - 11" x 14" (square top - 19 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (round top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (square top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (round top - 27 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (square top - 27 oz)
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


The Top Bulletproof Backpacks For Adults

Adult bulletproof backpacks are almost exactly the same as a child's backpack. They are made from the same materials and the bulletproof panels are fabricated from the same materials as those used in children's bulletproof backpacks. The main difference between children's and adult bulletproof backpacks is the size. It goes without thinking that a child presents a much smaller target so they need a protective panel with less area. Adults need a much larger surface area to protect the larger area of an adult body. Most armor in adult bulletproof backpacks is usually rated level IIIA.

Leatherback Gear Civilian One Bulletproof Backpack

Leatherback Gear Civilian One Bulletproof Backpack

The Civilian One from Leatherback Gear is one of our favorite bulletproof backpacks. This is because this ingenious backpack unzips down the center to become a front/back bulletproof vest. It also contains life-saving tourniquets cleverly used as part of the padded shoulder strap system. This highly rated backpack has all the features you would want in a top performing backpack - plus it will stop a bullet!

At a Glance:
Double LEVEL IIIA protection (two panels that can be used front and back as a protective vest)
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 11" x 14" Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene
• Total Weight: 5.2 lbs. (2358 gm)
• Volume: 1974 cubic inches (32.3 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 19.5" x 13.5" x 7.5" (49.5 x 34 x 19 cm)
• Available in: Black and Wolf Gray
• 17" laptop pocket
• Detachable straps transform into tourniquets

Leatherback Gear Civilian One Bulletproof Backpack


TuffyPacks All-In-One Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

TuffyPacks All-In-One Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

The All-In-One Bulletproof Backpack from TuffyPacks combines one of the largest protective areas with one of the lowest prices around. The extra large Twaron anti-ballistic plate is sewn into the center divider to prevent it moving around. This also allows the backpack to be just slightly larger than the bulletproof panel. This bag is perfect for all ages and genders.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 19" x 13" - 24 Layers of Twaron anti-ballistic material
• Total Weight: 3.5 lbs. (1587 gm)
• Volume: 1482 cubic inches (24.28 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 19" x 13" x 6" (48 x 33 x 15.25 cm)
• Available in: Black only
• 17" laptop pocket
• Plenty of convenient storage pockets for phones and water bottles
•Auxiliary cord connection for headphones

TuffyPacks All-In-One Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack


BulletBlocker Level IIIA Bulletproof Defender Backpack

BulletBlocker Level IIIA Bulletproof Defender Backpack

The Defender Bulletproof Backpack from Bulletblocker is as attractive as it is bullet stopping. This bulletproof backpack will be at home everywhere from class to the office. It comes standard with all the features that you would see in any standard backpack: Daisy chain loop fasteners, water bottle mesh pocket, reflective patches and plenty of pockets.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 19" x 12" - DuPont™ Kevlar® material
• Total Weight: 4.5 lbs. (2041 gm)
• Volume: 2850 cubic inches (46.7 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 20" x 15" x 9.5" (50 x 38 x 24 cm)
• Available in: Black, navy & purple
• 17" laptop pocket
• Plenty of convenient storage pockets for phones and water bottles

BulletBlocker Level IIIA Bulletproof Defender Backpack


Guard Dog Proshield Pro Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

Guard Dog Proshield Pro Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack

The Proshield Pro Bulletproof Backpack from Guard Dog is a sophisticated looking, bullet stopping bag. This bulletproof backpack will turn heads everywhere you go. It comes standard with all the features that you would see in any standard backpack but it also contains a hidden handgun holster in your lower back. Won't the bad guy be surprised!

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 16" x 12" - DuPont™ Kevlar® material
• Total Weight: 3.78 lbs. (1714 gm)
• Volume: 1610 cubic inches (28 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 18.5" x 14.5" x 7.5" (47 x 36.8 x 19.5 cm)
• Available in: Black suede
• 18" laptop pocket
• Hidden handgun holster
• Over 20 storage pockets for phones and water bottles
• RFID pocket to protect your privacy

Guard Dog Proshield Pro Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack


Talos Ballistic NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Computer Keeper Backpack

Talos Ballistic NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Computer Keeper Backpack

The Computer Keeper Bulletproof Backpack from Talos Ballistic is a great no-nonsense, all around backpack. It has plenty of features plus full level IIIA bullet resistance. It comes standard with all the features that you would expect in any standard backpack like padded laptop pocket, RFID pocket, water bottle holder and adjustable padded shoulder straps with sternum strap. Plus, it's bulletproof.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Bulletproof Panel Material: 16" x 12" - DuPont™ Kevlar® material
• Total Weight: 2.6 lbs. (1179 gm)
• Volume: 1755 cubic inches (28.7 litre)
• Dimensions (HxWxD): 18" x 13" x 7.5" (45 x 33 x 19.5 cm)
• Available in: Black and blue
• 17" laptop pocket
• Expandable side zippered gusset for extra capacity
• RFID pocket to protect your privacy

Talos Ballistic NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Computer Keeper Backpack


The Top Bulletproof Backpack Panel Inserts for Adults

Adult and teen sized bulletproof backpack inserts tend to be slightly larger and therefor slightly heavier than children's backpack inserts. Unfortunately, adult sized inserts do not come in any fun designs - they are usually plain black. When choosing a backpack bulletproof panel, make sure that you order a panel that is one inch smaller than the interior dimensions of the backpack that you are using it in.

Premier Body Armor Level IIIA Universal Fit Backpack Panel

Premier Body Armor Level IIIA Universal Fit Backpack Panel

This line of bulletproof insert panels from Premier Body Armor are available in a range of sizes and shapes to fit almost any bag. They are very light and come in seven different sizes that fit most sized purses and backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: DuPont™ Kevlar® material
Sizes (0.22in thick):
  - 9.5" x 9.5" (purse)

  - 10" x 12" (1.2 lbs)
  - 10" x 12" (laptop - 1.2 lbs)
  - 10.5" x 14" (laptop)
  - 10" x 15" (1.4 lbs)
  - 11" x 14" (1.45 lbs)
  - 11" x 16.5" (1.76 lbs)
• UV resistant nylon cover
• Available in black, tan, pink and mulitcam
Easy to clean

Premier Body Armor Level IIIA Universal Fit Backpack Panel


TuffyPacks Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

TuffyPacks Ballistic Shield Level IIIA Bulletproof Backpack Insert

This bulletproof panel comes from TuffPacks and features a discrete black finish to help it blend in to a backpack's interior. It is very light and comes in three sizes that fit most child's sized backpacks.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: 24 layers of Twaron
Sizes (0.38in thick):
  - 11" x 14" (round top - 19 oz)

  - 11" x 14" (square top - 19 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (round top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 16" (square top - 23 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (round top - 27 oz)
  - 12" x 18" (square top - 27 oz)
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


AR500 Armor Rimelig 11x15 Level IIIA Lightweight Backpack Soft Body Armor

AR500 Armor Rimelig 11x15 Level IIIA Lightweight Backpack Soft Body Armor

This bulletproof panel comes from AR500 and features a discrete black finish to help it blend in to a backpack's interior. This panel is made from materials that are super lightweight and more flexible than other bulletproofing materials.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: Honeywell Spectra Shield®, Gold Shield®
Size: 11" x 15" (0.25in thick)
Weight: 1.5 lbs
UV resistant nylon cover
Easy to clean


Spartan Armor Systems™ Flex Fused Core™ IIIA Soft Armor Panel

Spartan Armor Systems™ Flex Fused Core™ IIIA Soft Armor Panel

This bulletproof panel comes from Spartan Armor Systems and features a discrete black finish to help it blend in to a backpack's interior. This super soft and flexible panel is made from Kevlar type materials that are super lightweight and very flexible.

At a Glance:
LEVEL IIIA protection
• Material: DuPont™ Kevlar® material
Size: 8" x 10" (0.35in thick)
Size: 10" x 12" (0.35in thick)
Size: 11" x 14" (0.35in thick)
Weight: 1.1 lbs
Rip-stop nylon cover
Easy to clean


The Top Bulletproof Briefcases and Bags

Of course they make all kinds of bulletproof bags, purses and briefcases. There is everything from real Bulletproof Louis Vuitton bags to real Gucci bulletproof bags! Please take a look at our Bulletproof Bags and Purses page.

Bulletproof Briefcases and Bags

Bulletproof Clothing

Yes, they make bulletproof clothing. There is everything from suit jackets to leather vests. Please take a look at our Bulletproof Clothing page.

Bulletproof clothing

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bulletproof Backpacks Stab Resistant?

Yes Bulletproof Backpacks are stab resistant. Having said this, most manufacturers do not pay to have this tested so they cannot represent them as stab proof.

Which is Better Soft or Hard Plate Armor?

Neither one is better or worse than the other. They each have different applications. Which is better for you depends on what your needs are. There are three things to keep in mind when purchasing armor: weight, price and stopping power.

If you are looking for something lightweight - as in light enough for a child's backpack, then soft armor is probably best for you. It is relatively inexpensive and has reasonable stopping power.

If you want higher stopping power then hard plate armor may be a better decision for you. This type of armor is heavier and more expensive than soft armor but it can stop a much wider range of projectiles.

Are Bulletproof Backpack Panels Washable?

Yes bulletproof backpack panels are washable, sort of. The panels outer sleeve can be removed and machine washed. The actual protective panels may be cleaned with a damp cloth to remove and dirt but it is not recommended for machine washing.

What do Bulletproof Backpack Panels Weigh?

The weight of a bulletproof backpack panel is directly related to how much protection it provides. A soft panel will be much lighter than a hard steel plate panel.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your child's backpack should weight no more than 10 to 20 percent their total body weight. With the average school age child's weight lying somewhere between 50 and 120 pounds (depending on age), the total weight of the backpack with armor should be 5 to 12 pounds total.

Soft Panel Bulletproof Panel (Level IIIA): The average soft panel weights between 1 and 2 pound.

Ballistic Metal Panel (Level III): Depending on the outer coating, the average level III hard panel weights between 5 and 10 pounds.

Ballistic Metal Panel (Level IV): Depending on the outer coating, the average level IV hard panel weights between 8 and 12 pounds.

How Durable are Bulletproof Backpack Panels?

The backpack part itself is about as durable as any normal backpack. The protective panels are very durable (they are designed to stop bullets for Pete's sake).

How Long Will a Bulletproof Backpack Panels Last?

Most manufacturers warrantee their products for five years. Some will extend that to as much as ten years. There are even some that offer twenty year warrantees.

Can a Bulletproof Backpack Stop a Bullet From an AR-15 or AK-47?

Some bulletproof panels are capable of stopping a high velocity round like the ones delivered by an AR-15 or AK-47. Unfortunately, these panels would need to be level IV compliant so they would be quite heavy.

The most popular type of backpack panel (level IIIA) would not stop a bullet from an AR-15 or AK-47. We have seen videos where two level IIIA panels used in a "sandwich" or layered configuration were able to stop a high velocity round.

Are Bulletproof Backpack Panels TSA Compliant?

Yes, soft panel bulletproof panels (level IIIA) are TSA compliant. Having said this, the TSA state that the final decision is up to the officer at the checkpoint.

You can read more at the TSA website.

What sizes of Bulletproof Backpack Panels are available?

Bulletproof backpack inserts are available in many shapes and sizes. Some of the most common are:

  • 8 x 11 inch
  • 9 x 12 inch
  • 9.5 x 13 inch
  • 10 x 13 inch
  • 10 x 14 inch
  • 11 x 14 inch
  • 11 x 15 inch
  • 11 x 16 inch
  • 12 x 16 inch
  • 12 x 18 inch

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