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AR500 Armor Rimelig vs. Hybrid Soft Armor Panels

As we’ve often pointed out, body armor is a compromise between protection, price, and profile (weight and thickness). When it comes to protecting against rifle threats, you cannot beat ballistic armor plates. But as good as they are, not everybody needs or wants the level of protection...and weight... that hard armor offers.

For those who understand that some protection is better than none, AR500 Armor currently has two different soft armor offerings in our Rimelig and Hybrid soft armor panels (stay tuned for a new offering in the near future).

Both are available in Level 3A protection, capable of stopping up to .44 Magnum at up to 1,440 feet per second (fps), and are available in 10”x12” and 11”x14” size panels, and capable of stopping 95% of the rounds used in shooting homicides. 

Rimelig aramid

Rimelig armor is made of 100% p-aramid fabric, the same type of material used in Dupont Kevlar®.

The Level 3A Rimelig is little over a half-inch thick, and weighs just under 1.5 pounds for the 10”x12” panel, while the 11”x14” panel weighs 1.75 pounds.

Rimelig is also available in a Level 2 threat protection rating, which is rated to stop up to .357 magnum ammunition at 1,330 fps. The Level 2 Rimelig panel is just under ½-inch thick and weighs just 1.25 pounds. Given the velocities of modern pistol cartridges, especially +P loads (loaded to achieve higher than standard velocities), Level 2 armor isn’t recommended when Level 3A is so readily available.

Hybrid protection

In addition to our 100% aramid armor panels, we also offer a Hybrid panel made from a combination of name-brand ballistic materials such as Spectra Shield® and Gold Shield® from Honeywell, as well as Dupont’s Kevlar®. Through much testing, we’ve identified the optimal configuration for the various materials to maximize performance while minimizing the profile.

Our Hybrid panels have the same Level 3A protection as the Rimelig, but the advanced materials result in an ultra-light, ultra-thin, flexible armor panel that’s only .25” thick and weighs just over one pound.

So if they do the same thing, why would you get one over the other? 

  • Cost. If the thickness isn’t an issue or you’re on a budget, our Rimelig panels are a great way to get 3A protection for less money
  • Comfort and profile. Our Hybrid panels are thinner, lighter, and more flexible than Rimelig
  • Better performance. The materials in our Level 3A Hybrid armor stop the same rounds as the Level 3A Rimelig, but with less backface deformation. That said, backface deformation for all our armor is significantly reduced when combined with trauma pads. Learn more about backface deformation here. Our Hybrid panels have also been tested by ballistic laboratories and stopped pistol rounds at velocities significantly higher than the NIJ’s minimum requirements for a IIIA panel.

The takeaway

As with hard armor, soft armor protection comes down to velocity as a key factor of protection, followed by resistance to backface deformation. Level 3A armor is better than Level 2, and Hybrid panels have less backface deformation than Rimelig.

Our Rimelig and Hybrid panels are available individually or as part of our AR Concealment Carrier low-profile armor system. To learn more about how body armor works, visit our Body Armor 101 knowledge center.

 

Rimelig

Rimelig

Hybrid

Material

100%
p-aramid

100%
p-aramid

Honeywell Spectra Shield®
Honeywell Gold Shield®
 

Protection level

Level 2

Level 3A

Level 3A

Panel Size (each)

10”x12”

10”x12”
11”x14”

10”x12”
11”x14”

Weight (pounds)

10”x12”
11”x14”


1.24”
n/a


1.43”
1.75”


1.04”
1.30”

Thickness

0.45”

0.55”

0.25”

 

 

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