Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 27, 2020
ASTM E3003-20

Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor

Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor
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Significance and Use

4.1 Properly sized and fitted body armor enhances the safety and performance of the wearer by providing protection while not restricting movement. Having body armor that fits well begins with appropriate and accurate measurements. The measurement guidance of this practice will facilitate consistency of measurement across the body armor industry and will help wearers understand proper measurements.

4.2 Accurate measurements do not necessarily result in well-fitting armor, so this practice goes a step further by providing a description of well-fitting armor along with a personal armor fit assessment that the wearer can do for himself/herself.

4.3 The measurement and fitting guidance specifically addresses officer-stated requirements for side overlap of front and back body armor panels, minimizing the armhole opening, eliminating any “V” gap (or similar) between the front and back panels, and providing vertical coverage on the front torso from approximately the “2nd uniform shirt button to 2 to 3 finger widths above duty belt.” Those requirements were considered in the development of this practice and the definition of measurements that can be consistently made for any individual.

4.4 This practice describes measurements for the front, back, and sides of the wearer, in addition to girth measurements, to achieve proper sizing of front and back panels and proper fit of the complete armor.

4.5 This practice can be used to train individuals on proper measurement techniques and to train wearers on proper fitting of body armor.


1.1 This practice provides measurement and fit guidance for soft ballistic-resistant or stab-resistant body armor, or both, covering the torso. Proper measurement of the wearer and fitting of armor to that individual are necessary to obtain sufficient coverage of the torso and vital organs while allowing the full range of motion required for officer operations.

1.2 This practice is primarily directed toward law enforcement and corrections officers and addresses measurements for and fit of concealable (normal duty) body armor worn under or over the uniform for both male and female wearers. This practice addresses only body armor composed of front and back protective panels contained within a carrier that positions and holds the panels on the torso.

1.3 This practice can be used to train individuals on proper measurement techniques and to train wearers on proper fitting of body armor.

1.4 Measurement guidance is provided in Section 5 of this practice.

1.5 Guidance for use of a tape measure is provided in Section 6 of this practice.

1.6 Guidance for use of sizing vests is provided in Section 7 of this practice.

1.7 A personal armor fit assessment is provided in Section 8 for use by wearers.

1.8 Units—English units are specified in this practice to be consistent with measurement units used in the United States body armor community. Approximate values in SI units are given in parentheses.

1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.08
Developed by Subcommittee: E54.04
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.1520/E3003-20
ICS Code: 13.340.10