A military vest is also known as an outer tactical vest. It’s one of the major components of an IBA system and you can wear it with different accessories. This military vest comes with a wide range of colors and camouflage designs. Since the 2000s, US military branches used this type of vest. It’s also seen as recently as the year 2015 by some units of the National Guard.
But how much does a military vest weigh? It should be heavy enough to provide good protection to the wearer. But it should also be light enough that it won’t encumber the wearer.
How Much Does a Military Vest Weight?
A military vest comes with a shell carrier and panels for ballistic inserts. They make these vests using Kevlar which is finely woven. This makes them resistant to bullets and to heat.
The whole IBA system weighs about 16.4 lbs. The vest itself weighs about 8.4 lbs, more than half of the whole system. This is because it’s a major component. The plate inserts weight about 4 lbs each. This more recent IBA system is a lot lighter than the previous ones used. The Ranger Body Armor used for missions in Somalia weighed around 25.1 lbs, which was a burden.
Adding ballistic plates and other components
Military vests are extremely functional because they are heat and bulletproof. Aside from that, they are also compatible with different components. You have the option to add these components to the vest. But it’s important to note that the more you add to the vest, the heavier it becomes.
Ballistic plates are usually placed in the front and the back of the vest. Each plate is able to hinder up to 3 rounds, protecting the wearer of the vest. Here are other components you can add to the military vest to increase the level of protection:
- Collar protectors (for the neck or for the throat);
- Carriers for side plates;
- An extender for the back.
You can also add other components to the entire IBA system but these are the ones which you can add to the vest.
The newer version of the military vest
Manufacturers are constantly trying to find ways to improve their products. And military vests are no different. Nowadays there are newer models and they have different weights too. The IBA and the OTV or military vest were quite effective. But, they didn’t seem to be the best kind of armor to use for military personnel. So manufacturers and designers came up with an enhanced version.
The Improved Outer Tactical Vest is also a military vest. But it’s a better version of the OTV. The reason for making this new design was that the design of the OTV was inadequate in some areas. The IOTV is more superior and this vest comes in different sizes too. Here are the sizes and weights of the IOTVs:
- A regular, fully-equipped IOTV weighs about 30 lbs. This weight is complete with all the possible components.
- A medium-sized IOTV weighs about 33.6 lbs. It’s less than a medium-sized OTV and it gives the wearer better coverage.
- A large-sized IOTV weighs about 35 lbs.
This new military vest comes with improved inserts for side ballistics too. These give the wearer great coverage under the arm areas. This vest also allows for 2 ways to put it on. The simpler way is to wear the vest over your head. Either that or detach the fasteners on the left side of the shoulder. Then slide them into the vest, going to the right side. When you’ve done either way of wearing the vest, you lift up the panel on the front and fasten the waistband. In doing this, you take the weight of the vest off your shoulders. Finally, fasten the modules on the side.
A female variety of the improved military vest
Because of the increasing number of female soldiers in the military, they had to develop a new variety of military vests. This model is specific for females and better suits their general body frame. In the past, to women were issued standard gear for combat purposes. These gears restricted the movements of the women, therefore lowering their efficiency.
The new female-specific vests remove the space between the fabric and the body. This means that they fit better and allow for freer movement. These vests weigh less than the standard military vests, making it easier for the women wearing them.