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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.