Top 5 Best Security Stab Vest UK models for 2023

This is Infologue’s annual rankings of the best security stab vest UK models. This list has been compiled by the team at Interconnective Security Products who have tested every stab vest listed. Only UK Home Office stab vests are covered in this article, and the rankings are in no particular order.

Fortis Zip-Front Stab Vest

best security stab vest uk zip-front photoDescription: The Fortis Zip-Front Stab Vest is a black, overt body armour that has been certified by the UK Home Office to a KR1+SP1 standard. Fortis are the only UK manufacturer that still uses aramid fibre in their stab vests (not just their ballistic vests) which makes this the most flexible Home Office certified body armour available.

Panel Features: The armour panels are made from an Aramid mix with supporting materials such as nylon to help pad it out. The panels are very flexible and can bend with the wearer meaning that they are more comfortable for use on long shifts. It also means that the user is not restricted in their movements should they need to be active on duty.

Cover Features: This stab vest’s Cordura cover has a lot of interesting features. It has a covered zip to prevent assailants from yanking it down, a lumbar support strap that wraps around the wearer’s waist as well as a cooling mesh inner layer. The Fortis Zip-Fronts tend to be a little longer than competitors which makes it look neater when bending over and moving about. It also has two large utility pockets at the front and the standard elasticated velcro straps at the shoulders and sides for size adjustment.

Certification: Home Office Certified KR1+SP1

Customisation Options: The Fortis vests are the only ones on this list that don’t come with velcro patches already sewn into the cover. It also doesn’t come with pre-placed KlickFast docks. This means that you can choose where you want the patches and docks rather than following a standard format albeit at an additional cost. You can also add high-vis strips to it. There is also a full high vis option available.

Price: £382.59 ex VAT

Summary: While cost is normally the deciding factor in what makes the best security stab vest, comfort and ensuring that the officers actually want to wear the vest for a whole shift is extremely important. The Fortis Zip-Front Stab Vest is very comfortable and the fact that it is a true soft armour, makes going about your work very easy when compared with hard armours. The cover is very sleek and looks great with a host of features.

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PPSS Black Overt Stab Vest

best carbon fibre stab vest ukDescription: The PPSS Overt Stab Vest is made using carbon fibre. It is the most rigid armour on this list but also the most resistant to blunt force trauma. The armour forms a shell around the user which does not bend or give in anyway. The cover is black with two utility pockets in the front and velcro patches and KlickFast docks as standard.

Panel Features: As stated above, the panels are hard shells. This can be a double-edged sword between flexibility/comfort and protection. While all Home Office KR1+SP1 vests are tested to the same stab and blunt trauma levels, PPSS has sought additional certification for their armour. They are the only stab vest UK model to have VPAM W5 Blunt Force Trauma certification.

Cover Features: The cover is tabard style (over the head, no zip) with two utility pockets on the front. It has two KlickFast docks and velcro patches on the front and back as standard. It has velcro shoulders and sides for size adjustment as well as a cooling mesh on the inside. A high-vis strip model is also available

Certification: Home Office Certified KR1+SP1 and VPAM W5 Blunt Force Trauma

Customisation Options: None

Price: £457.02 ex VAT

Summary: This stab proof body armour vest feels very secure and lightweight. The rigidity offers a lot of blunt force protection but can be somewhat cumbersome when used for extended periods. They are shorter than the Fortis armours, most likely to enable movement due to its inflexibility. There is always a trade-off between protection and comfort/flexibility.

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VestGuard Zip-Front Stab Vest (Community Support Vest)

best security stab vest uk needle resistant photoDescription: The VestGuard Zip-Front Stab Vest uses soft-steel sheets in its armour panels which makes it more rigid than aramid based armours but grants an increase in needle resistance. The black Cordura cover has several pockets on the front.

Panel Features: VestGuard uses soft-steel in their stab vests rather than aramid or carbon fibre in order to keep the cost down. This makes it the cheapest stab vest listed in this article. It is still a soft armour but is more rigid than those made with aramid. It is also generally shorter than the Fortis model which some users prefer while others do not.

Cover Features: Made from rugged Cordura, the Vestguard Zip-Front Stab Vests cover has two large utility pockets on the front and two small zip pockets above them. There are hook & loop patches on the left chest and on the back as standard. It also has a cooling mesh layer on the inside of the cover to prevent the build-up of heat and sweat.

Certification: Home Office Certified KR1+SP1

Customisation Options: As these vests follow a set template and the velcro is already on them, the only real customisation options are whether to have KlickFast docks on one, both or none of the shoulders. There is also a version available with a high-vis strip across the front of the chest.

Price: £345 ex VAT

Summary: The VestGuard Zip-Front Stab Vest is a decent option if you are looking for a lower cost but Home Office certified model. While still reasonably flexible, it can be a little unforgiving when worn for extended periods or if you have to bend a lot while on duty. When choosing the best security stab vest UK model for your team, it is important to try and balance cost/protection and comfort.

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Fortis Overt Stab Vest

best stab security stab proof vest kevlar overt photoDescription: This tabard style (over the head – no zipper), black stab vest uses the same aramid fibre mix as the Fortis vest above except that it has a different cover. Like the above, it is a flexible stab proof body armour and designed to be comfortable for extended use. The overt tabard cover doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the zip-front but is a little cheaper.

Panel Features: As stated above, it is made from aramid fibre mixed with other materials such as nylon. This makes it much more flexible than the VestGuard and PPSS models. It does not restrict movement as much and makes the armour more natural to wear. As it is not a sheet of soft-steel or carbon fibre, it does have slightly less blunt force trauma protection.

Cover Features: The overt tabard cover is made from durable Cordura and has velcro straps at the sides and shoulders to allow for adjustment to fit the body. It has a cooling mesh on the inside to prevent heat build up. A model with a large plate pocket in the front and back is available on request.

Certification: Home Office Certified KR1+SP1

Customisation Options: A number of options are available including hook & loop patches, badges, KlickFast docks, high vis strips and more.

Price: £313.50 ex VAT

Summary: The Fortis Overt Stab Vest is one of the best stab vest UK models for comfort. It is flexible and moves with the users as opposed to the rigid alternatives. It is slightly less expensive than the zip-front version but lacks a couple of its special features.

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Fortis Covert Stab Vest

discreet undershirt security stab vest photoDescription: We wanted to include at least one covert stab vest on this list. This discreet body armour is worn undershirt and designed to leave as little an imprint as possible. It uses the same flexible Fortis aramid fibre panels with everything that entails.

Panel Features: As with the above, this discreet stab proof vest uses a mix of Aramid Fibre and other materials to achieve its defensive properties. It is highly flexible and more comfortable than most alternatives during long shifts.

Cover Features: The discreet stab vest cover has thin elasticated, hook and loop shoulder straps. They are thinner than the overt models’ in order to be less visible under shirts. The cover is made from soft polycotton that is smoother against the skin and less likely to cause irritation than the standard Cordura cover.

Certification: Home Office Certified KR1+SP1

Customisation Options: None as they should not be seen at all if used right. Adding things to it would make it more visible.

Price: £313.50 ex VAT

Summary: If you are looking for the best stab vest UK model for your team but don’t need it to be visible, then the Fortis Covert Stab might be the choice for you. Decently priced, discreet and comfortable, it is used widely in the UK security and public sectors.

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