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  • I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

    I have to get new body armor for work. Let me provide a little bit of background info that will explain my dilemma. Body armor is certified as offering a certain level of protection. I use level IIIA protection. When I got the body armor that I currently use, I chose the lightest, thinnest IIIA vest that was out there, made from a product called Zylon (Like Kevlar, but a different brand). It was also from a company that was highly recommended. The owner goes around demonstrating his product by having people shoot him in the chest. The problem is that since I got my vest, it's been discovered that heat and humidity (like a sweaty human torso) causes Zylon to break down over time and my vest has been recalled. Well, that's a problem, the bigger problem is that there is credible evidence that the vest company was told by the manufacturer of Zylon that this defect existed, and the vest wasn't recalled until a cop was shot and his vest failed (the first time this has ever happened to a vest from this company).

    So, anyway, now I have to choose a new vest from one of four manufacturers, including this company that has violated so many people's trust. My dilemma is that this company still has the best vest on the market.

    Do I protect myself with the absolute best vest available, or should this betrayal be enough to force me to go with another company that might not have a vest that doesn't offer as much protection or is as comfortable or concealable? When the excrement strikes the oscillator, I'm sure I'm going to want the best stuff I possibly could've got. On the other hand, the vest from the other three companies will stop the same type of bullets (but not knives like this one company), and they might be comfortable to wear. Can I ever trust the claims from this company that knew about a life threatening defect and failed to disclose it?

    I've talked to my coworkers and they all have strong opinions that go either way. I thought maybe some objective, uninvolved opinions might help me make up my mind...
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  • #2
    Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

    Well, I'm not in any line of fire, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion. ;-).

    Unless you absoutely have to have concealment, say working undercover, then I can't see going for smaller/lighter if my ass is on the line: I want guaranteed protection of my vital organs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

      Originally posted by MateoGWJ
      Well, I'm not in any line of fire, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion. ;-).

      Unless you absoutely have to have concealment, say working undercover, then I can't see going for smaller/lighter if my ass is on the line: I want guaranteed protection of my vital organs.

      i think its more likely to be comfort for something you will have to wear alot in a job such as law enforcment.

      hmm, i think you should look at all 4 companies, you say one officer has died due to a faulty piece of equipment. how many people have died with the other vests.

      ultimatly, i think above any other reason, you have to buy the vest you feel safe with, if there is a doubt in your mind as to whether the vest will work, i believe it could affect your work, and may even cause an accident.


      www.TeamElement.com

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      • #4
        Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

        Without knowing more about that vest's role in your activities, I will, if you'll tolerate personification, assume that it is your partner with whom you consult when making very important decisions very quickly.

        Those decisions must be made in trust, and that trust is more important than your comfort.

        Abandon the company that abandoned your trust. You need something you and your loved ones can trust.
        Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

        Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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        • #5
          Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

          Is there independent testing? Use the best equipment based on independent testing. Forget what the companies say about themselves and don't worry about alleged breach of trust from one of the companies. Should you trust them? Hell no! Why would you trust any of them? Go with indepenent testing results.

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          • #6
            Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

            Originally posted by Wyzcrak
            Without knowing more about that vest's role in your activities, I will, if you'll tolerate personification, assume that it is your partner with whom you consult when making very important decisions very quickly.

            Those decisions must be made in trust, and that trust is more important than your comfort.

            Abandon the company that abandoned your trust. You need something you and your loved ones can trust.
            ultimatly, i think above any other reason, you have to buy the vest you feel safe with, if there is a doubt in your mind as to whether the vest will work, i believe it could affect your work, and may even cause an accident.
            precisely what i meant,

            But...

            You need something you and your loved ones can trust
            do they make one for your crotch... :icon14:


            www.TeamElement.com

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            • #7
              Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

              Saying that a fiber or polymer could break down is different that saying it will.

              It's a gray area, but companies primary interest is to stay in business. Hence, if they have to pay for the death of one individual compared to millions of recalls: they just run the numbers.

              My Dakota had a recall that could cause the front control arm bolts to wear out and break. It happened to my buddies Dakota when taking a turn at an intersection at 5 MPH. His wheel broke off. What would happen if it had blown out on either of us doing 70 on the freeway? No company is perfect. They make mistakes and it usually takes a serious incident for people or that entity to do something about it.

              Even noticed a bad intersection and thought: "Man, they need a stop sign here before someone gets killed." That's usually what it takes for them to put one in. It's pathetic how even our own government runs cost analysis vs human life.

              You need a vest that's going to get you back home in the event of being shot. You need the best protection possible. Just hope that the people calling the shots there (who actually make the decisions on these products without knowing anything about them) learned from a financial stand-point what it could cost them next time.

              I would call them, tell the sales guy to burn in Hell, and talk to one of the engineers working on the new line. You want a straight answer, always talk to the techs.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                Originally posted by MateoGWJ
                Unless you absoutely have to have concealment, say working undercover, then I can't see going for smaller/lighter if my ass is on the line: I want guaranteed protection of my vital organs.
                Ah, good point. I forgot to tell you how often I wear my armor. I don't wear my vest every day. I always work plainclothes. It's not exactly undercover, but I certainly don't advertise my position. Concealment is important to me. On the other hand, if we've got a big operation, I might be wearing my vest for 10 hours straight while conducting surveillance outside someone's home in a hundred degree weather (been there, done that).

                Is there independent testing? Use the best equipment based on independent testing. Forget what the companies say about themselves and don't worry about alleged breach of trust from one of the companies. Should you trust them? Hell no! Why would you trust any of them? Go with indepenent testing results.
                As for independent testing, all of the vests that I'm considering have passed the National Institute of Justice testing (an industry standard). That's what gives them the armor rating (IIIA, IIA, etc...). The vest that failed passed the initial testing with flying colors. Years later, the vest material broke down, though.

                I don't believe that the cop whose vest failed actually died. That's beside the point, however, as I'm concerned with vest failures, not deaths. I'm not sure, and I don't think the vest companies make it public knowledge, how many times vests have failed to stop a round that they were supposed to stop. I know that this one was highly publicized within the law enforcement community.

                Saying that a fiber or polymer could break down is different that saying it will.
                Most of the wear that I've put on my vest has been since the vest has been recalled. I'm waiting on a "performance pack" upgrade that I can include with my existing vest that is supposed to make it up to par. I've always been careful to keep it dry and cool whenever possible, but I worked in Arizona for 5 months in the middle of summer and that bothers me. Zylon does break down over time under the right conditions, namely in hot and humid conditions. Well, my sweaty ass was hot and humid when I was waiting to raid a house and it was 115 degrees fahrenheit...

                Abandon the company that abandoned your trust. You need something you and your loved ones can trust.
                That's where the decision becomes tough. I'm convinced that the company that betrayed my trust is also the company that makes the absolute best product that is still on the market.

                Do I want to be wearing the absolute best armor that I possibly can get?

                Or do I want to make a political/economic statement by going with another company?

                When I say I think this company makes the best vest, it's not just in terms of the material that stops rounds. There are a lot of different, important things to consider: the concealability of the carrier (there's a carrier that actually holds the ballistic panels), the comfort of the carrier, the adjustability of the carrier (am I going to be able to wear it close to my body under a tshirt in summer and be able to throw it on over a coat in the winter?), the coverage of the ballistic panels (does it cover the area below my armpits, are there gaps where the panels meet?), the durability of the materials, any additional protection (the only vest that has spiked weapon protection is from the company that betrayed), etc...
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                • #9
                  Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                  If you're seriously considering making a political statement with your safety, I misunderstood which options you consider reasonable.

                  If you "trust" that this company's vest will keep you safest, buy it.
                  Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                  Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                    also look at the companies side. the manufacturer of the material tells them that there is a chance, even if it is a good one, that OVER TIME, the vest will loose effectiveness. how long should you own a vest to make the investment worthwhile. my dad bought a new vest every three years, mostly because he could. my uncle, owns 2 vests and "upgrades" every two. other guys the thing has more wear than thier undies..... how long will it take YOU to wear out the vest? 5 years? 10? even if cost is the same, but comfort is greater, and you have to replace it 2x as often, is the comfort not worth twice the price?

                    I understand this is you very life here, but, in the long run, spending the extra money and/or replacing the product even twice as often should be second to comfort, mobility, strength, concealment, and protection.

                    I dunno if I explained what I am trying to say, but to me, it sounds like Ford saying "over time, putting oil in your car will sludge it up" first.... DUH. second... 150,000 miles before it is an issue is still not bad and third....is the comfort/performance to cost ratio worth it. I use Ford as an example, I could say 90,000 for Honda and a timing chain, or Kia and 10 for the engine..... you get the idea.
                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                    If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                    • #11
                      Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                      Originally posted by CingularDuality
                      Do I want to be wearing the absolute best armor that I possibly can get?

                      Or do I want to make a political/economic statement by going with another company?
                      I think these questions need to be run by your loved ones. Ask them which option they prefer since they share heavily in the consequences of your decision.

                      Speaking as a TG pal, I can say that I'd rather hear about a close call... how the best armor available saved your life, rather than how some inferior product didn't, but at least you didn't support the other company.

                      :icon13:

                      /2 cents

                      Consider also... I don't want to have to break in a new Badger Hunt partner! There's plenty of opportunity for armor to fail in *that* showdown. :icon19:




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                        Originally posted by Wyzcrak
                        If you're seriously considering making a political statement with your safety, I misunderstood which options you consider reasonable.

                        If you "trust" that this company's vest will keep you safest, buy it.

                        Right, but understand that the difference in vests is not their effectiveness in stopping bullets. They're all pretty much the same in that regard, except for all the little things that I listed above.

                        And when I said "political statement" I don't think those were the right words. I'm not sure how to articulate how I feel. So many conflicting thoughts/emotions on this issue...

                        A year or so ago, before the Zylon scandal broke publicly, you could ask just about any LEO "Which manufacturer makes the best body armor?" and they would name this company. Then, overnight, the scandal breaks and suddenly they don't make the best body armor? I don't think their non-Zylon armor has changed a bit, just people's feelings towards the company. But those feelings are important: If they would keep information about potential defects from their customers once, who's to say they won't do it again?

                        More info: My agency pays to replace my vest every 5 years. And my wife and I have discussed this extensively.
                        Become a supporting member!
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                        • #13
                          Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality
                          Right, but understand that the difference in vests is not their effectiveness in stopping bullets. They're all pretty much the same in that regard, except for all the little things that I listed above.

                          If they would keep information about potential defects from their customers once, who's to say they won't do it again?
                          Who's to say all the other companies won't?

                          If it's a question of pragmatism vs idealism/ revenge on the company then pragmatism wins in this situation.

                          I would guess that stab proofing is at least as disireable as bullet proofing because pointy things are easier to get than guns.

                          Stick with the same company.
                          Wintermute

                          Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.

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                          • #14
                            Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                            Originally posted by Mirfee
                            I think these questions need to be run by your loved ones. Ask them which option they prefer since they share heavily in the consequences of your decision.

                            Speaking as a TG pal, I can say that I'd rather hear about a close call... how the best armor available saved your life, rather than how some inferior product didn't, but at least you didn't support the other company.
                            I think Mirfee hit the nail on the head really well with this one. I understand the complexity of the situation. You don't want to support a company that "kept quiet" about risking the lives of people by not disclosing their potential failure possibilities, but you also want to be able to have the best insurance that you'll be coming home to your family after work.

                            Get the best you can get. And if the company that makes it sucks, just get the vest grudgingly.
                            Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                            • #15
                              Re: I have a tough decision and I'd like to hear other opinions.

                              Yeah that's what I was getting at. If a bullet is on its way, I'd be thinking "I hope this vest works" not "this'll show those lying bastards."

                              Which vest stops bullets best? That's the only criterion.

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