Stab Vests

stab vests

Keltic Clothing specialises in the supply of stab vests to local authorities, universities, NHS, and large companies and organisations. All our stab vests include protection from spikes, which are often a greater threat than knives, as well as blunt trauma and needles. The most popular protection level is KR1 (knife resistance level 1) which is always combined in our stab vests with SP1 (spike resistance level 1).

This is the level of protection the Home Office recommends for normal police duties. We also offer HG2, KR2 and SP2 recommended for police special ops/firearms teams and similar roles.

Stab vest protection

Whatever protection level your risk assessment decides upon, we can support you from our large stocks. All our stab vests are manufactured in the UK, and all are tested and certified by the UK Home Office, which regulates stab vests here in the UK. Standards such as NIJ apply to the USA and don’t apply here in the UK. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements, if you let us know what your staff do, we can let you know what type of stab-resistant vests other similar organisations we supply have purchased. This isn’t a substitute for your risk assessment but can be useful reassurance.

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Our stab vests range

stab vests

Body Warmer Stab Vest

stab vests

Covert Stab Vest

stab vests

Overt Stab Vests

stab vests

Duty Stab Vest

stab vests

Hi Vis Stab Vest

Our services

male & female body armour

Frequently asked questions

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Samples available

male & female body armour

Our customers

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Fitting and measuring

stab vests

How to adjust our Body Armour

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Price match promise

reusable face masks
anti-bacterial – eco face mask cover
reusable face masks
anti-bacterial – eco face mask cover

Infection Control

Anti-bacterial reusable face masks, eco face coverings made from recycled materials, anti-viral sprays for garments and masks, and anti-viral snoods, certified to kill Covid-19 and provide residual protection. All items are reusable and comfortable enough to wear at work all day.

reusable face masks
anti-bacterial – eco face mask cover
reusable face masks
anti-bacterial – eco face mask cover

Frequently asked questions

body armour

Will my stab vest be too heavy?

body armour

Does my body armour need to be CE marked?

body armour

What standard shall I look for?

body armour

What's the law relating to body armour?

Body armour is a protective system, designed to protect the wearer from death and serious injury yet still be flexible and lightweight enough to allow them to do their job. No body armour can protect from all threats in all circumstances and there’s no such thing as “stab proof” – body armour is stab, spike or bullet resistant to a particular level. The purpose of this brochure is to provide straightforward information so you can see through such advertising myths as “stab proof vests” and make an informed decision.

It’s not illegal to buy or sell “stab vests” that aren’t certified by the Home Office – the onus is on the employer to ensure the protection is adequate. Every organisation has a duty of care to protect their staff under the Health & Safety at Work Act, and this includes issuing body armour to staff that are at risk. In addition, if an incident occurs where employees are not adequately protected, an employer can face industrial tribunals and compensation, and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act allow for unlimited fines and publicity orders.

The UK Home Office sets the standards for body armour protection in the UK. From a protection point of view, aside from the CE mark, the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) standards are the only thing to look for. Be wary of body armour “made to” Home Office standards – it must be tested and certified by the Home Office – ask for a certificate to be sure. Simply calling something “body armour” or a “stab vest” does not mean it provides any protection – this is why the Home Office standards are essential.

Body armour for civilian use falls under European Council Directive 89/686/EEC on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which states that any armour sold to civilian users must be CEapproved. Only Police and Military wearers are exempt from this PPE legislation.

An attack from a spiked implement such as screwdriver, chisel, ice pick, “shiv” or similar improvised weapon could be more likely than a knife. Spikes are easier to obtain, and carry lesser legal consequences (if any) when found as a result of a police search. Where there’s a knife threat there’s almost certainly a spike threat, so Home Office certification from spikes (SP1, SP2 etc) in addition to knives (KR1, KR2 etc) is essential – many stab vests don’t have this.

No – it depends on the vest. Because of its very fine needle point, a syringe will penetrate the majority of conventional body armour, including many stab vests with Home Office KR1 (knife) and SP1 (spike) certification. There is no Home Office standard for syringe protection – to protect from this widespread and increasing threat, look for a vest with specific syringe protection, and if in doubt ask them to visit you to demonstrate.

An attack from a knife, spiked object or gun presents a more serious threat of death or serious injury, but blunt trauma (blows from blunt objects such as baseball bats, bricks, kicks) is a more frequent threat for many staff. As with all threats, as well as choosing a vest that protects from blunt trauma it’s important to choose a flexible and lightweight vest to allow your staff to manoeuvre easily away from threats.

In the 1980s, all body armour was rigid or “hardened,” making it uncomfortable and difficult to move in. Thankfully, technology has moved on to the extent that flexible armour is now available that provides equal or greater protection from all threats, including blunt trauma. We recommend that you ask for a demonstration of the protection provided. In addition, test the armour for comfort – if your staff aren’t comfortable they may not be wearing their armour when it counts.

It’s best to look at the overall picture. Only Home Office certified armour ensures proper protection, and technology can’t yet produce Home Office certified body armour that’s as thin and lightweight as normal clothing. If you research the lightest weight Home Office certified armour (with syringe and blunt trauma protection, if required), as well as considering other comfort factors such as armour flexibility and heat and moisture management, you’ll be doing everything you can to ensure your staffs comfort – without jeopardising their safety.

No. 99% of wearers can safely and comfortably wear standard sizes Small to XXXL, and good armour can be adjusted at several points so it fits even more closely. For very tall wearers, it’s advisable to purchase armour with extra length to ensure the lower internal organs are adequately covered. For wearers outside the standard S-XXXL and some ladies who require a ‘D’ cup fitting or larger, special sizes may be necessary both from a comfort and protection point of view.

The material is an advanced composite of ultra-high-tensile fibres and thermoplastic resin that has outstanding toughness and durability, manufactured using heat-compaction. The composite, which is covered by a worldwide patent, is a thin flexible sheet material of impregnated laminated textile, cut into shape and assembled in layers to give unrivalled protection, flexibility, weight and manoeuvrability. Where non-laminated flexible body armour needs a sealed protective layer to keep out moisture and water (which could easily become damaged or tear), our body armour is totally resistant to the effects of moisture and UV light.

No – it depends on the vest. Because of its very fine needle point, a syringe will penetrate the majority of conventional body armour; including many stab vests with Home Office KR1 (knife) and SP1 (spike) certification. There is no Home Office standard for syringe protection – to protect from this widespread and increasing threat, look for a vest with specific syringe protection, and if in doubt ask them to visit you to demonstrate.

The UK Home Office sets the standards for body armour protection in the UK. From a protection point of view, aside from the CE mark, the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) standards are the only thing to look for. Be wary of body armour “made to” Home Office standards – it must be tested and certified by the Home Office – ask for a certificate to be sure. Simply calling something “body armour” or a “stab vest” does not mean it provides any protection – this is why the Home Office standards are essential.

Once you have decided you are going to place an order, we can send you out a sizing set (one of each size) for your staff to try on. We can also send you a free measuring guide with a free tape measure so if you are not sure what size is required, you can send the measurements to us and we will assess.

Our KR1/SP1 and KR2/SP2 armour packs are under warranty for 10 years, and our HG1/KR1/SP1 and HG2/KR2/SP2 are under warranty for 5 years, with the possibility to examine and recertify them for a further 5 years. Our carriers are under warranty for 12 months. With continuing improvements in body armour technology, as well as the changes in weapon and threat levels in society, we believe you will be ready to change your body armour before our warranty expires. For example, 10 years ago most body armour was still hard and uncomfortable, and even 5 years ago the threat of attack from knives, spikes, guns and syringes was much less severe

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