A ballistic vest or bullet-resistant vest, often called a bulletproof vest, is an item of personal armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearm-fired projectiles and shrapnel from explosions, and is worn on the torso. Soft vests are made of many layers of woven or laminated fibres and can protect the wearer from small-calibre handgun and shotgun projectiles, and small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades.
These vests often have a ballistic plate inserted into the vest. Metal or ceramic plates can be used with a soft vest, providing additional protection against rifle rounds, and metallic components
Body armor may combine a ballistic vest with other items of protective clothing, such as a combat helmet. Vests intended for police and military use may also include ballistic shoulder and side protection armor components, and bomb disposal officers wear heavy armour and helmets with face visors and spine protection