Tactical gear that has been certified by the National Institute of Justice is the pinnacle of performance. Tested to comply with a litany of detailed standards, buying NIJ certified gear is the absolute best way to ensure protection vests hold up when it matters most.
Here’s what you need to know about buying NIJ certified equipment.
Consult the NIJ Website
The NIJ website keeps an accurate and comprehensive running list of the models that comply with their most recent Standard specifications. It’s even possible to print a complete list if necessary.
The NIJ goes so far as to list the manufacturer of each piece of certified equipment. If you have questions about the performance standards of a particular vest, contact the manufacturer directly. They can provide you additional information on testing, make, and performance expectations.
Look for the Logo
As of March 1, 2017, the NIJ made it far easier to identify NIJ certified gear. To be considered “NIJ compliant” by the department itself, all protection vests must bear the NIJ seal on their label. The mark is circular and should always say “NIJ Listed Model.” In addition to the circular seal, the label should also clearly demarcate which NIJ Standard the model was tested to; be sure the model number on the gear correlates to the most up-to-date performance standards outlined by the NIJ.
Buy NIJ Certified Gear Online
The easiest way to buy NIJ certified protection vests is to search online for a reputable manufacturer. When you buy tactical gear online, always be sure to look for marks of high quality. Many tacticians prefer buying from a US-based outfitter who produces a niche line of high-quality products rather than a large-scale distributor who may outsource components of the production process.
Remember that there is no gray area when it comes to NIJ certification. The tests are pass/fail, so if a piece of gear is certified, it’s been tested (and re-tested) against an exacting standard. The NIJ even performs both scheduled and unannounced re-tests of all certified gear on a regular basis to ensure a consistent level of quality.
Do you have questions about NIJ certified gear? The team at Vel Tye is happy to help.
Reach out to one of our tactical experts to talk shop today. Vel Tye is backed by experienced military and law enforcement personnel; they know the industry like no one else.