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johndoe2150 02-14-2018 12:23 AM

Ballistic Vest Question.
So I was issued a Ballistic vest for a paramedic job that was made in 1992. I have a strong feeling that itís most likely way past itís service date. Whatís your thoughts? Any recommendations on what you would recommend for replacement inserts for the vest?

Michael777 02-14-2018 12:50 AM

Take it to the range and shoot it. See if it still works

johndoe2150 02-14-2018 1:17 AM

As entertaining as that sounds for science. I wouldn’t do that

Atomic Donut 02-14-2018 2:18 AM

Vests usually last 5 years. Unless you are a paramedic in Bagdad I see little reason for you to spend money on a ballistic vest.

GizmoSD 02-14-2018 5:11 AM

We shoot a lot of vests in classes, and sometimes out of curiosity. Iíve shot vests older than yours, and they still work fine. The expiration dates essentially stem from two factors: NIJ cert 0101.06, and lawyers. Assuming the vest is made of Kevlar (or similar) and has been treated normally over its lifetime, itís fine and will still work. It might smell bad, but thatís a different story. If your company wants to give you a new one, even better, but itís just chasing liability. The vest will still perform.

CinnamonBear723 02-14-2018 2:18 PM

Generally the life expectancy of a vest is 5 years but I have know many to last much longer than that.

eviioiive 02-14-2018 2:59 PM

Years donít matter

Itís all storage conditions and panel materials

micro911 02-14-2018 10:00 PM

If it was not exposed to water or sweat, it should work for a long time.

TrailerparkTrash 02-15-2018 6:22 PM

The key to making a vest last a little longer is to store it flat when you take it off. Donít hang it from a hanger in your locker.

Mustang 02-15-2018 8:00 PM

If it is Kevlar or Spectra fiber it is probably OK. That stuff degrades slowly if kept out of sunlight and away from water. But it does degrade.

However, if it is Zylon fiber, be careful. Zylon was popular briefly in the 90's because it was light and flexible. Unfortunately, it degraded rapidly and was known to fail much sooner than the other fibers.

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