AR500 Armor® Level III+ Lightweight Backpack Armor 9.5" x 13"
- Product Review (submitted on November 22, 2019):
I bought two 9.5 x13 regular level III backpack plates costing $65 each which I had intended to insert into my Eberlestock backpacks. Dumb me, I didn't look at the weight when I compared them weighing 8.5 lbs, to the 9.5 x13 level III + lightweight armor plate weighing 8.0 lbs costing $125 I was getting for my daughter. (I think weight reduction due to the rounded corners on the lightweight III+ compared to the square-edged regular III is probably minimal and may have accounted for at most half an ounce total. )
Bottom line, the appearance and weight between the two is for all practical purposes insignificant, other than for the rounded corners on the lightweight, and certainly not worth the extra 60 dollars.
Having said that, my daughter, 5-4 120lbs, ballet dancer, could not tolerate the weight (back pain) having to walk 15 mins each way to and from school. (back pain, although admittedly pack not properly carried high up on her shoulders.) She's a good kid, and am surprised she wanted to wear one. I recently ordered as a compromise the level IIIA backpack 11x15.
I suppose if you drive your kid to school and she only has to walk from class to class, then Level III might be OK But Level III+ lightweight is NOT worth the extra $60.00. I am surprised AR500 even sells these as "lightweight."