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The SPIRIT Comfort by Česká Zbrojovka a.s. (CZ) and associated company 4M is a soft ballistic vest designed to provide vital protection at NIJ STD 0101.04 level II.A and NIJ STD 0101.04 level III. A, or another level requested by a customer. This makes the “ballistic undergarment” ideal for various operations including close quarters battle, routine covert surveillance and general public order tasks.

 

CZ 4M SPIRIT Comfort Ballistic Armour Vest in MONCh Gear Box Product test. (All Photos: DPM).

 

Easy and quick to don, the SPIRIT covers all vital parts of the torso (thorax, abdomen and back) of the wearer. CZ/4M claims SPIRIT has, “the most advanced ergonomic design for concealed wearing,” which is what we intended to test.

 

The cut away of the underarms allow for exceptional range of motion. The vest’s material and under garment allow air to slip between the body and the armour, keeping the wearer relatively comfortable.

 

The recommended undergarment worn with the wicks away perspiration for quick drying to allow the wearer to maintain a steady body temperature.

 

The armour is adjustable within the vest itself to accommodate the safe coverage of a variety of body types within a size category. Velcro closures around the garment allow the wearer to make certain the PPE is snug and yet comfortable (note adjustment points shown below, left to right: inner lumbar, outer lumbar, inner waist / bottom, and inner shoulder).

In testing “the most advanced ergonomic design” claim of this soft armour PPE solution, we wore it in a gym to test its range of motion, comfort and heat distribution.

Worn through a variety of exercises for one continuous hour, from bending-abdominal to shoulder and chest extension routines, the SPIRIT moved with the body when it needed to, and caused very little increased body temperature, while still providing coverage of vital organs.

 

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Worn through a variety of exercises for one continuous hour, from bending-abdominal to shoulder and chest extension routines, the SPIRIT moved with the body when it needed to, and caused very little increased body temperature, while still providing coverage of vital organs.

 

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It is comfortable under normal clothing, as demonstrated during an exposition, validating its appropriateness for public figures and their security detail. It is largely unnoticeable and still allows for considerable range of motion.

The weight range of the PPE without the panels is 0.244-0.342g; the panels increase the weight by less than 1.5 kilogrammes. The total weight of the tested SPIRIT was circa 1.8 kilogrammes.

 

The SPIRIT slips over-the-head, after inserting and securing the panels into their respective pouches. Then, the wearer can fix the SPIRIT’s fit securely around the body from a single Velcro enclosure that comes from under the arms at both sides.

 

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The Spirit is made of MOIRA DIAGON. Embedded diagonally, the reverse side of this knitwear is made of polypropylene yarn. Overall, the knit structure creates a fine, tight fabric.

 

 

Due to the elasticity of the knitted fabric, the crevices move away from each other when in contact with the body and the resulting channels promote air circulation, with good drainage of capillary moisture.

 

The facing (outer) fabric side is made of a special polyamide micro-fibre which, combined with an elastomer, creates a compact elastic surface, resistant to mechanical influences with a wind-stop effect.

 

 

The SPIRIT armour is available for female and male silhouettes, in standard sizes and in white, black, or tan / coyote brown.

MONCh Gear Box invites other soft and hard body armour manufacturers to send us their PPE for us to evaluate for comfort, innovation, movement and protective coverage.

 

 

 

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