dave asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

is a 8 year old Kevlar level III-A soft armor vest still safe to use?

or has it expired and do i need a new one?

My job requires me to have one for you nosy people.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Check the construction of your vest. Woven Kevlar (aramid) vests have no defined shelf life and have been proven to be effective even after 15+ years. Some of the laminated (Zylon/Spectra, etc.) vests are no good and start to delaminate soon after they start being used. If it is Kevlar wear it with confidence, if it is one of the laminate material vests (some of which have recalls on them) get rid of it and get a Kevlar vest.

    Here is a link to some armor testing done by Dr Gary Roberts. You may need a login, but it is well worth the time as this site has a wealth of terminal ballistics information from one of the best sources around.


    Got curious, did research. My understanding from research to purchase a new vest is that the Kevlar doesn't degrade--it's Zylon and other synthetics that do (heat, chemical breakdown, etc.). What also happens is that the materials holding the Kevlar in place may degrade and allow a panel to separate from the vest under fire, letting a projectile through.

  • Shogun
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


    Here is the safest way to handle this matter, in my opinion. Understand that the expiration date favors the manufacturer. If the vest was worn daily and washed for 2 or more years don't buy it. If it wasn't, and the extra time was storage, away from ultra violet light (the only known degrader of Kevlar, other than strong acids), then wear it for a couple of years until you save the money for a new one.

    There are experts who will say I am wrong and Kevlar will not degrade under normal conditions, but I go on the fact that an under the shirt vest amounts to being underwear (tee shirt). I personally wouldn't want to wear something someone sweated gallons into over 8 years. Be safe.

    Source(s): Retired LE
  • 1 decade ago

    If it was ever used on a daily basis ..it should be replaced ....kevlar wears down from moisture and that from sweat, mostly...it may get you by in the mean time while saving for a new vest but you should get a new one... remember, it is only ballistic resistant not bullet proof....in other words...it is so you can get a shot off before they shoot you again and so that you can get to the hospital...with broken ribs or a busted spleen..........

    Also...if you fell in a swimming pool., river , or lake and were in a shoot out chances are the armor would fail at a 100% level because it was soaking wet...something to think about..

    Source(s): Body armor should be replaced every 2 to 3 years while in constant use.
  • 1 decade ago

    Hmmm interesting question. Im no expert but Kevlar is strong stuff and the fibers would not degrade under normal conditions, such as in a closet. Check for damage and frays and such and if it appears intact I would say it is safe to use, however I don't want you trusting your life to someone over the internet, so i would say ask your supervisor or boss or whatever you do that would require body armor..?

    Source(s): google and some other stuff
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  • C_F_45
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    "Old" Kevlar - According to the NIJ performs just as well as new. See Q&A #6


    The answer to that and any other questions you might have concerning body armor.

  • 1 decade ago

    MM is correct.How ever that doesn't stop the Detroit Police from issuing them.Trust me on this one I worked for them

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