Whether your vest uses a rigid plate or an inner insert really depends upon the kind of vest you’ve bought. While both terms refer to the same thing, they mean different things when it comes to how your vest is manufactured. While both are great for being able to take an impact, there is considerable difference between the two in terms of being able to absorb impacts. While rigid plates on some vests can absorb impact better than others, the ones made specifically for soft armor plates will absorb impact better. As such, it is imperative that you only buy the best soft armor plate carrier if you’re going to be using one.
As for the differences between soft armor panels and rigid plates, the main difference lies in the degree of absorption of blunt force trauma. Rigid plates work by incorporating plates that are made out of steel or aluminum into a jacket that is then used in a vest. The plates are designed to withstand a certain amount of force from a caliber of bullet that has been fired at them. Because of this, a person can get by with just a soft armor panel that is similar to the ones used by police officers, as their chances of being shot at will be reduced.
Soft armor Inserts, on the other hand, are made out of softer materials like polycarbonate or carbon fiber and are placed within vests instead of within a rigid jacket. The advantage to soft inserts is that they don’t increase the likelihood of a person being shot at, but their chances of being injured will be lowered. Some of these vests are placed inside body armor so that they can increase protection even more and are often used in body armors that are not bulletproof. In many situations these vests will also contain a liner so that they can absorb impacts from other objects that are hit with the bullets. Soft armor inserts and soft armor vests can be purchased online or in specialty stores.