| | Armor only does so much. It won't replace common sense or cure a bad situation, and you can't expect it to. Even today, in battlefields without zombies, there is always a balancing game between protection and maneuverability. This page is an overview of some common equipment that one may find themselves using for protection. For very specialized and custom built equipment, take a look at the Unconventional Armor page.
Battle Dress Uniform:
| Description: Tough uniform blouse and trousers generally done in a camo pattern. |
Pros: Camouflage, durable, readily available in a number of sizes. Sometimes have build in joint padding, and always has roomy pockets. Relatively breathable.
Cons: Tough, but still essentially a uniform. Very little protection. Some have a tendency to pile easily. Also may cause you to be mistaken for military, which may or may not be a good thing given the situation.
| Description: Full-body protection made from leather, generally hardened.|
Pros: Bite proof, fluid proof, almost stab proof. Flexible and lighter than modern body armor or metal equivalents.
Cons: Hot, heavy, binds movement. Hard to get, expensive to make.
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Ghillie (Yowie) Suit:
| Description: A soft vest designed to stop pistol rounds. |
Pros: The only real armor that will deflect bullets.
Cons: Only protects upper body and torso, next to useless against bites. It's only purpose is to protect against other human. They tend to be heavy and don't breathe well. Most common designs aren't intended to hold equipment.
| Description: A ghillie or yowie suit, is a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble heavy foliage. |
Pros: Excellent concealment in the right terrain, ideal for ambush or observation role.
Cons: Must be configured to the target terrain. Hot, heavy, and very difficult to use. Probably not worth the trouble for the average user.
| Description: A suit designed to protect against shark bites, similar in structure to chain-mail. A slightly unconventional use is friction protection for a motorcycle rider, a role that a shark suit works relatively well in. |
Pros: Bite proof. Flexible, slice proof, can be used with a wet suit, skin tight.
Cons: Fluids can penetrate. Noisy, if chain links are big enough. Also expensive and a specialty item, pretty rare in every day life. Absolutely useless against ballistic weapons.
| Description: A physically unprotected suit that is meant to protect against chemical and biological threats.|
Pros: Total fluid resistance, and self-contained respiration on some models is the key advantage, as the cleanest way to handle infected background. Possibly good to wear over normal gear, or under, if tight enough.
Cons: Specialty item, uncommon and rather expensive for what it really is. Delicate, flimsy and limits field of vision. Not all come with elastic cuffs or over shoes and gloves.
Load Bearing Vest (LBV):
| Description: A vest designed to carry a ceramic plate that may or may not use kevlar in it's normal construction. |
Pros: The only reliable way to stop rifle bullets. Most have MOLLE webbing for modular pouch set ups. Optional shoulder, neck and groin coverage available on some models.
Cons: Hard to get, expensive, and plates only last for a few hits. Additional coverage means more weight, most weigh over thirty pounds with plates, and the entire mess is not breathable. It may exhaust someone who hasn't trained with a vest just wearing the thing.
| Description: |
A vest designed to load gear onto one's person and spread the weight out for a balanced load.
Pros: Easy to get, fairly cheap, allows for easy carrying of equipment. Some come with MOLLE webbing for modular pouch setups.
Cons: Offers absolutely no protection, not ballistic nor impact.
| Description: Protective suit worn by motocross riders, made of polymer and leather. |
Pros: Easy to obtain, very tough, almost stab proof construction.
Cons: Becomes unbearably hot without the slipstream of a motorcycle and and does not lend well to wearing additional gear.
| Description: Not water proof, a wet suit traps a layer of water between you and the suit; Your body heats the water up. A popular misconception is that this keeps you warm; In fact, it cools you, though far slower than open exposure to the water would. Though your best bet is to keep dry, few true dry suits are commercially available, and will be that much harder when the zombies rise.|
Pros: Waterproof, fluid-proof, protects against heat or cold (depending on the suit), easy to put on/take off, flexible, durable, will not snag, can be used with shark suit, skin tight.
Cons: Generally not very bite proof. Also, they were specifically designed let in and hold it in. This means they hold in all forms of moisture (including sweat), which when not in the water itself holds in heat, and therefore degrading badly they wearer's ability to move. When in the water, they bleed heat quickly, and can not be depended upon to prevent hypothermia, though they will slow the process.
Fencing And Kendo Suits:
| Description: A suit used to protect against a rapier or kendo stick while fencing/sparring. Contrary to popular misconception, Fencing Suits are not the same as Kendo suits, and in fact very little in common. |
Pros: Fencing suits are made of thick cloth that will provide some resistance against blades/bites. Kendo suits have hard plates that may actually stop an edged weapon head on.
Cons: Limits visibility, does not guarantee bite proof protection, fluids may seep through. Hot as hell, masks get annoying when used for long periods of time, back is exposed (fencing). Kendo suit is complex to don correctly.
GLOVES AND HAND PROTECTION:
| Description: Tough gloves designed for use in hostile environments. |
Pros: Most have kevlar and nomex wove into them, making them cut and fire resistant, very, very rugged gloves.
Cons: Pretty bulky and sacrifices some dexterity, although not as bat as some other types; it is a reasonable goal to train around them.
| Description: Leather gloves made to increase grip on the steering wheel while driving|
Pros: Increases grip, provides some protection. Retains dexterity and some heat
Cons: Provides very little, if any, protection from injury (such as biting).
| Boxing Gloves:|
| Description: Heavy gauntlets worn as part as a set of plate armor. |
Pros: Offers superb protection and some offensive capability in close quarters.
Cons: Reproductions may be lacking in quality. No splash protection. Makes it very difficult to handle any complex item like a firearm. Strictly for hand to hand use.
| Description: Gloves that boxers wear when boxing.|
Pros: Provides good protection, bite resistant, good for punching.
Cons: Hard to grip with, bulky, takes time to take off/put on by yourself. Nearly impossible to manipulate firearms or tools unless you extensively modify them.
| Sterile Gloves: || Gardening Gloves:|
| Description: Sterile gloves, usually made of latex, designed to protect skin from fluids and vapors while retaining manual dexterity. |
Pros: Fluid proof, lightweight, thin enough to be worn under larger gloves and retains most feeling.
Cons: Hypo-allergenic gloves are relatively uncommon. Sterile gloves are only single use, and are rather delicate. They can get very uncomfortable after extended wear, especially with sweating.
| Description: Tough gloves of cotton or cotton/leather composite construction meant to protect the hands while gardening or doing yard work.|
Pros: Sometimes fluid proof, bite resistant, prevents blisters, extremely common.
Cons: Often sweaty and hot to wear, no resistance beyond biting, reduces dexterity and eliminates most feeling.
FOOTWEAR AND ACCESSORIES:
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| Description: A boot made for the outdoors, often worn by spelunkers, hikers, and hunters. Can come in a variety of shapes and colors. Some designs are a hybrid of hiking shoe and combat boot. |
Pros: Usually waterproof, offers ankle support, lighter than combat boots, built for sturdiness.
Cons: Some heel designs make it hard to back paddle, still requires time to "break in" in order to wear comfortably.
| Description: A rugged type of boot worn by most military and emergency response personnel. Can come in a number of cuts and may include hardened inserts, notably on steel-toe models.|
Pros: Provides good blunt impact and puncture protection, but most importantly supports the ankle well in unstable terrain. Usually water proofed. Laces can be replaced with 550 paracord in a pinch.
Cons: The main issue is breaking in a good pair of boots and getting used to wearing them. However, one should avoid anything other than full-leather construction, as plastics (even in very minute quantities) prevent your feet from breathing, leading to discomfort and even injury over extended periods. (Plastic eyelets and pull straps are acceptable, but avoid anything more significant than that.) Can be difficult to doff, especially after extended wear. As with any other footwear, boots wear down, and it is prudent to have several boots of the same style on hand.
HEAD AND NECK PROTECTION:
| Description: A helmet used by football players to protect the head from injury. Made out of tough ABS plastic. |
Pros: Designed entirely to maximize field of vision and impact protection.
Cons: Limits visibility, bulky, and provides little facial protection in stock shape. does not protect against anything besides impact.
| Description: Masks worn by all paintballers to deflect hits to sensitive areas of the head.|
Pros: Offers some extremely minimal impact resistance, is lightweight, combines goggles and mask, easy to wear, and the look is somewhat intimidating. Many brands offer different kinds of lenses, to cut down on glare, reduce fogging, and to see better in various light conditions.
Most masks are also designed to be easily cleaned and repaired.
Cons: Limits field of vision, fogs easily (although some have treated lenses and/or ventilation fans), is pulled off very easily and is only secured with a single strap on many models, little splash protection, and often no even surfaces for mounting hardware. Certain models may be hard to breathe in. The shape interferes with shouldering most kinds of stocked weapons, and requires the eye relief on telescopic sights to be changed.
Bicycle Racing Helmet:
| Skate / Snowboard Helmet:|
| Description: An aerodynamic helmet used by bike racers. |
Pros: Protects head, does not hinder movement, light, aerodynamic. Usually held on well and easy to mount gear on.
Cons: Provides no protection against a zombie whatsoever; It could possibly be used over the face of a zombie like a catcher’s face mask (or muzzle) to prevent them biting you, but that’s really all it’s good for. Worse, cheap ones may break easily; There is a story of someone falling off their bike, then their helmet exploded into pieces and one of the shards went straight into his eye. Ouch.
| Description: A lightweight helmet designed to protect against impacts. Unlike a bicycle helmet, aerodynamic shape is not a requirement, so skate helmets tend to be more snug on the head, sturdier and less awkward looking. In fact, some military units use skate helmets for exactly such features. Snowboarding helmets are similar, but may occasionally come with thermal insulation and/or electronics, such as the Pro-Tech "Vigilante" to the right. |
Pros: Snug fitting, lightweight and offers good impact protection. Generally easy to modify.
Cons: Strictly impact protection, offers nothing ballistically. May give military image due to association with special forces units.
| "Steel Pot" Helmet: || Modern Combat Helmet:|
| Description: A steel helmet worn by militaries until the late seventies. Surplus models are widely available. |
Pros: Relatively inexpensive, some limited ballistic and blunt impact protection. A cheap way to standardize protective gear.
Cons: Fairly heavy. Harness on most not very well made, and impacts can slam straight into your skull ever when stopped. Modification may help this. Limited protection compared to modern models. Gives military image.
| Description: An aramid fiber helmet designed to effectively stop handgun rounds and shrapnel, used by law enforcement and military.|
Pros: The only reliable ballistic protection for your head. Fairly common, if expensive. Accessories readily available.
Cons: Heavy, can interfere with hearing and line of sight. Earlier models may have insufficient harnesses that do not fully stop the force on an impact. Again, gives a strong military image.
| Full Face Motorcycle Helmet: || |
| Description: A full face motorcycle helmet, often with a hinged visor. |
Pros: Very solid protection, and good splash resistance. The best option for a motorcycle rider. Sometimes comes with communication features.
Cons: Hampers breathing, may fog. Traps heat and somewhat limits field of vision. Very bulky and shape makes it impossible to shoulder a firearm.
| | Description: A full face gas mask, to protect the user from respiratory agents.
Pros: Zero chance of splatter infection. Filters air, so if the contaminant is airborne, you're safe for the time being. Some come with water tubes, so you can drink without worrying about taking it off.
Cons: Most filters will last for a day at most with average concentrations of contaminants. The rubber can degrade over time, especially with surplus models. They can be claustrophobic and hard to breathe in, also makes sighting weapons in difficult. Generally difficult to use, especially for long periods of time. Little to no protection in either ballistic or impact levels. Very aggresive appearance.