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What Size Body Armor Plates Do I Need? A Full Sizing Guide

What Size Body Armor Plates Do I Need? A Full Sizing Guide

Finding the correct size for your hard plates is crucial to provide proper coverage and prevent immobility. Body armor is designed to guard the major organs and, by nature, will not cover every inch of your body. It's important to ensure these areas are properly covered before anything else. Here are a few ways to help determine your plate size, all of which are pictured below.

The Quickest Measurement

Measure the distance from the center of one nipple to the other. This is roughly your plate width. Measure the distance from your sternum notch (the area right above where your collarbones meet) down to your belly button and subtract roughly 2-3 inches or about 3 fingers length. This is roughly your plate height. This procedure is one of the quickest and most common ways to find a good plate size estimate.

Measuring With Height

People under 5' 2" are best suited for 8x10 and Small SAPI plates. Women more commonly will fit better in an 8x10.

For the majority of people, 10x12 or Medium SAPI (9.5x12.5) plates provide the right amount of coverage without hindering your mobility. This includes people all the way from 5' 3" to around 6'.

If you're on the taller end of this range, commonly 6' to 6' 4", but without a large chest, Large SAPI might be a better fit. Large SAPI provide more vertical protection than 10x12 or Medium SAPI plates without increasing width so much that mobility is interrupted.

People 6' 4" and taller are likely ready for 11x14 or XL SAPI plates. Remember, with larger sizing comes greater weight load.

Measuring With Chest Circumference

Measure around your chest at the level of your nipples to chest measurements. 10x12 plates will fit a majority of people and Medium or Large SAPI plates can help attain an even closer fit when you are on the lower or upper end of the measurement range.

Measurement Steps Visualized


When properly fitted, the plate will cover vital organs as shown here:

Making A Confident Choice

When you get your plates, you should be confident in your protection and mobility. You can move your arms freely, sit without obstruction, and maintain proper coverage of the vital organs on both your front and back sides.

This guide should educate you in making a confident choice in your size, but if you need extra help, the Top Armor team is only a message away to provide personalized assistance. We're here to make sure you're completely satisfied with your decision and make your selection experience easy and seamless.

Previous article How to Accurately Extract the Right Soft Body Armor Measurements

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