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one quick thought .

Is this really the kind of item you want to buy at the lowest price possible?

and this http://www.racked.com/2014/10/8/7573957/outlet-mall-stores

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/outlet-stores-quality-1.3392279

This is a common practice these days, driven by the price point the retailer wants to sell at..if they decide they want to have a sale, the simply order a product at a quality level that minimizes any loss of profits

You see this a lot around Christmas time when stores want to be seen selling the cheapest 32" TV to bring in more customers .. especially if they are offering to match any price to give you a lowest price deal.. companies can make up to 50 different versions of the exact same TV because the difference versions aren't actually the exact same TV .. they are short a feature, have different trim, can have the controls rearranged.. sure they are the same brand and the same size .. but comparing them to that brand that size that you were looking at last August.. is pointless, corners have been cut, but it is so hard to tell and people don't really pay attention, so the same reviews are used for the " economy' model

same with body armor

http://militaryhandbooks.com/body-armor-king-sentenced-to-17-years/

http://www.bodyarmornews.com/military-body-armour-scandal/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Skin

and then understand the rating system .. the NIJ standards are the armor has to stop any given caliber and weight and velocity of bullet at least 50% of the time to get the rating .. the other 50% of the time.. it's okay for it to penetrate. and yes, per US Government acquisitions rules .. the contract does go to the lowest bidder. You have to be very frugal with the tax payers hard earned money.
 

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Can you cite laws/regulatuo s/instructuons where this is true? The following is strictly from a DoD perspective, so may not hold true for other departments.

Having lead numerous evaluations of industry proposals, I can verify first hand that our procurement contracting officers and buyers do NOT have to go with the lowest bidder. We typically go for "best value" which is not a synonym for cheapest. We truly strive to get the best bang for the buck that we can. Take a look at the USG's Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative.
Well, thanks for the correction, it's always good to know that my cynicism can sometimes be misplaced.... however there are those two examples of the US Government getting taken for 10's of millions of dollars on the Dragon Skin and Interceptor vest scams I linked to, I suppose I was just riffing off some old resentments ... and then there was the whole " families having to buy their sons and daughters protective vests because the military didn't have enough" thing.. but the Army forbade the troops from wearing privately bought vest anyway on the theory that having no vest is better protection than a vest the Army hadn't tested yet. speaking strictly from DOD perspective.. not even going to get into the big Pmag scandal and how having to use tested and approved US Army AR mags that did jam regularly was better for troop life longevity than using unapproved and untested Pmags that never seem to jam.. totally my fault.. it's my out of control sense of cynicism and the total Alice in Wonderland nature of seeing the bureaucracy being defended, given it's track record

But you do make a good point.. look at the F-35 for example.. definitely NOT low bidder

It's my inability to grasp the Big Picture and my tendency to take personally things that personnaly impact myself or my buddies ... in fact I got EER's that comment on my inability to grasp the Big Picture and from the same clowns that are the ones that have to write the letters...
 

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a plate carrier backpack can also help with the same purpose as you can carry heavy metal-made
Body Armor is a pretty complex issue. I would like to know bit more than what seems available onlne.

Reputable manufacturers are careful to use the term "bullet resistant" over "bullet proof" and you don't buy the armor " off the shelf" .. you send in your measurements and it is made to fit, because that is important to insure the important organs are covered. And you have the option to buy inexpensive one time use trauma plates .. a non Newtonian plate that is normally soft and flexible that becomes rigid when struck spreading out the area of impact reducing blunt force trauma to the body.

I have conventional body armor, and I insist the family wears it when doing fugitive recovery or similar specific jobs where there is a high probability of getting shot at ... IIIA is good for most pistol rounds including 44 mag soft points and 9mm hard ball. My first big question is how big is the IIIA area of protection .. with a conventional vest, that is pretty self evident and pretty consistent, you wear it the same every time, it fits close to the body , all the protection is in a single layer next to the body.. it doesn't protect what is in your pockets ... My second question is does the bullet have to pass thru the outer fabric/padding of the pack pack farthest from the body when full and then the layers closest to the body or thru a side panel then the fabric closest?

3rd question Does it count on the back pack being full? or is that rating empty .

It advertises itself as only a few ounces more than a regular back pack .. that seems a red flag to me , or regular back packs inherently offer significant protection. Light weight has never been a selling point for soft body armor.

Soft body armor requires significant care.. in use the fibers wear against each other . aggravated by dirt getting between the threads and increasing the natural abrasiveness with each body movement.. Moisture, either sweat or water/rain breeds mold and deteriorates the fabric .. typically warranties re good for 5 years or less with proper maintenance.

Wearing body armor, even the newest tacticoolest stuff is a royal PITA .. but when you wear it critical areas are protected even if totally surprised .. but it is hot and heavy and not done for the fun of it except for the few truly demented or super paranoid or those that just want to be too tacticool / combatsexy for their for their own good... yeah I know .. one must suffer to be tacticool ...

How often do you carry your back pack , especially a heavy one , or one that should be relatively heavy because of the protection? would you go thru the care routine of carefully hand washing and dirt or gunk off it and carefully drying it between uses and keeping in a protective container between uses .. or would it get dragged around like my grand kids book bags and have all and sundry including things with sharp corners stuffed in and out of it and thrown in a corner or dragged thru the mud and puddles.

Also bullet resistant material is not, in and of itself, necessarily good protection against knife or machete .. there are additional layers of Kelvar added, using much tighter weave if you want that kind of protection.

Only you can decide what is right for you... just know, depending on care of the backpack , it's effectiveness can be seriously degraded after only a year or two.

These are also the reasons most "in the know" folks consider surplus vests over the internet worthless.

Care and maintenance of body armor

30 Things You Need to Know About Body Armor

StackPath

The whole book bag / back pack format seems to run contrary to best practices of care and maintenance... the hanging up the vest so fibers to not get all scrunched or distorted in climate controlled environment/ protective case when not in use and keeping it dry in particular.
Plates in them which would cover you from the back and the metal plate would prevent the bullets from penetrating. You are bound to feel a minor concussion on your body because a bullet usually comes with high speed and hits you hard. You can check the best one here: bestplatecarriers
 
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