Just because equipment isn’t the top priority of survival doesn’t prevent us from optimizing what we carry. The Lifeshield Technologies bulletproof backpack is a great example of where form meets function in an otherwise common everyday thing.
I was recently in a course that focused on tactics I can both use in my everyday life to make myself a less-desirable target for criminals and employ should I be selected as a potential victim anyway. One of the tenants of this course was to be strategic in selecting what "stuff" you have around you as much as possible. This "stuff" included everything from what shoes to wear to considerations when buying a vehicle. Given this approach, I decided to trade in my old backpack for a new bulletproof backpack from Lifeshield Technologies.
At first glance it’s a well-designed backpack. It’s comfortable to wear, has good sized pockets, looks slick, and isn’t really any heavier than any other backpack I’ve held.
After using it for a time I became even more impressed. The pockets are well organized and are distributed such that the backpack has balance. The large compartment is quite substantial and the laptop sleeve will fit large computers just fine. The smaller pockets are are conveniently located where I can put items I use frequently throughout the day and are still sufficiently sized to hold what I need them to and more. There’s even an insulated waterproof pocket to put food and drink items in so they stay cold and don’t sweat all over your stuff.
Something I didn’t appreciate until the backpack was fully loaded was the rugged handle and carry-straps. It’s easy to carry by hand and the straps are very comfortable while carrying it on your back, even while carrying a concealed firearm and spare magazine on your waist.
The backpack has been independently tested to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Type IIA rating by the HP White Laboratory. This means it will stop .22 magnum, 12g, 00 Buck, 9mm, .38 special, .357 magnum, 10mm, 41 magnum, and .45 ACP.
One thing I’m glad it doesn’t do is stand out. Not long after my backpack arrived my wife and I took the kids to the zoo and, instead of our usual backpack, I took my new one. For the same reasons I conceal my firearm, I appreciated the backpack’s plain look without any labels or writing indicating that it is "tactical" this or "bulletproof" that.
So, to most people, it’s just a run-of-the-mill backpack… but to me, it’s an additional layer of security that I can add to my life without changing anything. If I’m going to carry a backpack anyway, I may as well carry one with ballistic protection incorporated into it.
The backpacks are available now, priced at $249. Given the current cost of a quality backpack that doesn’t offer ballistic protection, and considering this backpack will stop a bullet that might otherwise strike me or someone I love, I found the price of the LifeShield to be quite reasonable relative to the value it provides.