Bulletproof Backpacks And Combat Apparel Sales Soar

Tyler Durden's picture

First gun sales soared, then Wal-Mart ran out of guns, then parents, stunned by the popular response in the aftermath of the Newtown mass murder which saw the White House threaten to curb the Second Amendment and lead to an even more unprecedented scramble for guns and ammo, and seeing nothing but confusion (but lots of bickering meant to extract nothing but political brownie points) out of the government instead of any hope of actual protection, decided it was time for some vigilante protection. The end result: sales of bulletproof backpacks have soared, with sales exploding as much as 500% since Friday. And since the white line from a defensive to an offensive posture is very thin, it is likely only a matter of time before we get the first media report of a 6 year old armed with a 44 caliber during recess.

From Daily News:

Sales of bulletproof backpacks for schoolchildren are through the roof days after a masked gunman's rampage left 20 kids dead at a Connecticut elementary school.


Parents began snapping up the high-tech bookbags Friday, the same day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Elmar Uy of the Massachusetts-based armor company BulletBlocker told the Daily News


In fact, the sudden spike in sales is how Uy, vice president of business operations, found out about the shooting.


"Part of my daily activity is to monitor the numbers," he said. "I was seeing numbers I'd never seen before and I thought it was a glitch. Our Web traffic was10 times more than normal.


BulletBlocker's child safety backpack is on sale for $199.99.


They also sell shields that start at $175 — bulletproof inserts that can slide into backpacks, laptop bags or purses. They add about 20 ounces — it's just like tossing a bottle of water in your bag, Uy said.


The company has seen a 300% to 400% increase in sales since the tragedy.

Where did this entrepreneur get the idea for this particular blockbuster business model? Another mass killing - Columbine.

The idea for BulletBlocker was sparked after the 1999 Columbine shootings. Creator Joe Curran wanted something to protect his school-age children.


Then he started sharing them with friends who had kids,” Uy said. “Our company is basically built around a single child’s backpack.”


Combat apparel company Amendment II, based in Utah, says their sales have also skyrocketed — at least 500% since Friday.


"(Bulletproof backpacks) were kind of a niche product before that shooting," co-owner and sales director Derek Williams told the Daily News.


"When we're selling a few a week, it doesn't take many to increase your sales," he said. "But yesterday we had over 200 requests for products."


Most were for bulletproof backpacks or backpack shields.


Amendment II uses a high-tech material called RynoHide, like Kevlar but super-light and flexible. They mostly sell to police and military, but started making products for civilians six months ago when they noticed an interest at trade shows.


"Parents were saying, hey I want one of these for my kid, can you get me this?" Williams said.


But he never thought interest would grow this big.

It is. And it is only going to get bigger due to two primary trends: i) the ongoing economic collapse of this country, which in spite of the rosy representation in the broad media, is in the 4th year of a raging depression and leading people to a position of sheer desperation and hopelessness, and ii) the absolute failure of the US government to be able to come to any resolution, in no small part driven by the fact that all lawmakers have handed over control of everything to monetary policy, i.e., the Fed; and iii) the rabid unwillingness of Americans to point the finger at the one person that matters - the person whose social responsibility and civic accountability has been evaporating steadily over the past two hundred years. Themselves.

Finally, the government apparently willing to create even more disastrous unexpected consequences with its intervention, is about to set off another avalanche, this time in demand for defensive armor:

Online, reaction to the kiddie armor reflected sadness.


"They are now selling bulletproof backpacks for children. What is this world coming to?" wrote Twitter user Courtney C. Jenkins, a pastor in Ohio.


Many called the backpacks a "sad sign of the times."


But parents eager to protect their kids may be buying into a trend that will soon be banned.


Some Miami schools are forbidding students from carrying backpacks as a safety precaution in the wake of the Newtown shooting.

Just brilliant job government: instead of giving people at least a fleeting impression they may be protected with one simple incremental action that hurts nobody, just box them into that one final corner, where Junior is armed by Senior with a 44 caliber or 9 millimeter. And nobody will have been able to anticipate the tragic consequences that will ensue as every child soon is armed.

In other news, we eagerly look forward to an epic surge in TASR stock as "Tazer: every Kindergartener's best friend" (made in China), appears imminently on Wal-Mart shelves everywhere.

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Manthong's picture


I was out to Macy’s this morning and they are totally out of stock on anything that fits me in black or camo Kevlar.

Frozen IcQb's picture

Have tried shopping at Omar's tent emporium?

Texas Ginslinger's picture

Will AAPL be coming out with ibulletproof covers for their istuff..??

Randall Cabot's picture

"In an impassioned speech, marking the NRA's first in-depth public comments since the Newtown tragedy, LaPierre pointed the finger not at gun proliferation but violent video games, the media and the absence of armed guards at schools.

He argued that if banks and members of Congress can have protection, schools across America should be afforded the same security."


Killtruck's picture

Soo...this wouldn't do jack shit against, say, I dunno, a rifle round...

Maybe when your 3rd grader is carrying a 14 lb. ceramic rifle plate, MAYBE then you'll feel safer.

JohnG's picture

Depends on what rifle.  Probably stop a .223 or 5.56mm simply because these are fragmentation rounds and will just break apart on impact. 

What they won'y stop is a high powered hunting rifle round, .35 Remington for example that will easily punch a hole the size of a head through a concrete wall.

.223/5.56 are not particularly that powerful.  Accurate, yes.  But they are frag rounds designed to break apart and cause multiple wound channels and massive internal trauma.

This is the reason they are not legal to hunt with in all states: you may not kill the animal with one shot.  A heavy 200 gr bullet with a massive powder load behind it will take a moose down with one well placed shot.

Stackers's picture

They just need to make it illegal to take a gun into a school.

pupton's picture

If they just put a copy of the tax code in the backpack you wouldn't be able to get a 50 cal. through it...but it would weigh as much as a small building.

trav777's picture

yeah, that could work or the obamacare bill maybe.

Kids getting down to shield themselves won't work if they just stay put.  The real tragedy in all of this stuff is that the schools and the gov aren't telling the truth.  They lied to kids in the 50s about nukes, just jump under your desk...LOL.  At least in the 80s we didn't have to pretend to respect that nonsense.

Getting OUT of the school during a shooter attack is your #1 priority if you want to survive.  What did adults do in the mall shootings or in Aurora?  They RAN.  Those who escaped survived; it's as simple as that- anyone who did not escape only survived if the shooter ran out of bullets or will.  You want to give your kids something useful, buy them a glass breaking tool for shattering tempered glass.  This backpack is just feeding stupidity.

akak's picture

You're right, Trav --- anyone trying to protect himself from a gunman merely by holding a backpack (no matter how it is reinforced) in front of him as a shield is clearly nothing but a bagholder.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

With personal gun ownership, Fear dissipates and disappears from your own psyche.

Ignatius's picture

So you think my Kevlar coated Star Wars lunch pale idea is a bust?


lakecity55's picture

Not if it includes a small .380 under the lid.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

Tut-Tut-Tut...What a place to live.

Killtruck's picture

Disagree. .223 and 5.56mm are not designed to fragment, they are designed to destabilize in a soft medium and cavitate, which causes the tremendous wound channel. They do not fragment with soft armor, but blow straight through like corn through a goose. 
The rounds DO fragment when they strike hard objects (Level III rifle plate, steel I-beams, solid concrete, etc.) due to their relatively high energy vs. sectional density. But the round is not designed to fragment unless you're talking about thin-jacketed varmint ammunition.
They are not legal to hunt with in all states because of their relatively low power (as you mentioned) and because using FMJ's to hunt with is unethical, as they tend to zip right through unless they hit bone or a vital structure.

MachoMan's picture

which is why you want some soft armor around your level 3 plate if you dont want those fragments ending up in your body...

Killtruck's picture

Green arrow for you, sir. Well-said. I'm all for using both...just not soft armor by itself against rifle rounds.

JohnG's picture

You are correct in that there are many variables to consider in terminal ballistics.  Most of the .223 and 5.56 rounds that I have shot...half fragment, half don't.  Particularly in the Winchester white box ammo, there are differences because of who actually made the round.  The only way to know there is look at the round closely or better, check the lot numbers.  Some of the .223 rounds are made by a subcontractor for the IDF.  These will always fragment.  I wish I had more ammo to waste on ballistic gel.  Don't think that's wise right now.

The Nosler and Harnady bullet offerings are worth investigating.  Need more time to reload....

Errol's picture

Killtruck, the 5.56 projectile is indeed designed to keyhole after striking almost anything soft, and then break in half at the cannelure.  That is the evil empire's carefully designed way of getting around the Geneva Convention's restricting The World's Policeman (TM) to FMJs.

Variance Doc's picture


These kevlar type bullt resistant (not really proof) objects (vests, etc.) will NOT stop a .223 round (nato version is 5.56mm - they are one in the same).  They will (FMJ, balitic tip hollow points, etc.) go right through them.  They are light, but travel at very high speeds; on the order of 3400 feet per second.

*Sigh* More "stoppng power" BS.  What you need to worry about is conservation of momentum - which is mass times velocity - and the conservative nature of that force.  There is plenty of stopping power with a hollow point .223(5.5.6mm); not necessarily with FMJ - they will probably go right through a threat/target if there no hard object contact.  Hunting with FMJ is stupid, and illegal in many states, for obvious reasons.

For example, would you rather get hit (conservation of momentum) with a 1000 ton frieght train at 0.000001mph or a .55 gr. .223 at mach 2+.  I'll take the train.

Like with real estate, the top three factors for stopping a threat/target is "location, location, location."  You could take down a moose with a well placed .22lr, but the key is "well placed."

My friend, who is a army corpsman, has seen all kinds of shit in war.  Guys taking a 0.50cal and living, taking a 0.22cal and dying.  Location, location, location.

SunRise's picture

Well. . . I'd take the 1,000 ton train too, except at 0.000001mph, there's sure to be lots of hollering and second thoughts about that decision during the 2 days it takes to crush the lights out!

spinone's picture

Just wrong

Amendment 2 backpack :  Level IIIA, stops 44 mag, 357 and below

SAPI (Level IV) plates are required to stop rifle rounds.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Not sure why you are getting down arrows because you are correct.

So is the thinking here that the shooter is just going to keep aiming at the backpack rather than walking around to the other side of the kid?  Are they gonna huddle up and throw these in front of them to form some mighty Spartan phalanx?

trav777's picture

"All the better; we shall die in the shade"

SilverRhino's picture

I've got a 7 pound backpack insert that will shed anything but level IV breaching AP rounds.

lakecity55's picture

Brand New! Steve was designing it before he croaked.

The iPad Kevlar.

francis_sawyer's picture

Chicks in New York are payin' top dollar for this garbage...

cougar_w's picture

Security theater. Meaningless.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Other than that, Mr. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the security theatre?"

johnQpublic's picture

an 11 yr old just got caught with a gun at school this week

brought it because he was scared

6yo with a 44 should be right along

trav777's picture

lol yeah right sure he was...did you read the article where he put it to the heads of his classmates and said he was gonna kill them?

zerozulu's picture

He will be charged and sent in for 10 at least.

camaro68ss's picture

They dont stop rifle rounds unless theres a plate. This will run them $400-$500 if you can find them.

Bryan's picture

Plus, the impact force will likely knock that girl right over, and then the shield is good for what?

MachoMan's picture

well...  maybe the guy wasted his last round on the backpack instead of your daughter...  who knows.

The entire point is to give your little person ANY chance at better surviving the risks around them...  whether it be a car seat...  a cell phone...  or teaching them to be calm under pressure... 

Realistically, is this going to protect a classroom of children when they've been blocked in by a shooter?  Not a chance...  (Although, for older children, it may give them the necessary courage to try and bum rush a shooter)...  Is the risk mitigation worth the cost of admission?  Again, probably not...  but for those who can afford it, have at it.  I can't see what it could possibly hurt.

I guess my question is, why not just put them in concealable armor?  It'll stop handguns...

For 5.56+ you'll need something that will likely be pretty damn heavy...  adding a 15lb plate to an already overburdened backpack (books and e-gadgets) is probably a bit of a stretch for the school aged kids.  After the next shooting where little suzie gets shot in the head through her backpack, maybe parents will rethink the efficacy of their decision...  until then, let hysteria rain. 

Killtruck's picture

Concealable or soft armor might stop the bullet, but it won't stop the transfer of energy. Those little hearts and livers would take quite a beating, even from a handgun round.

MachoMan's picture

hence the pictures of people holding the backpack out in front of them... 

but yes, this is largely a solution born out of hysteria more than the crucible of shooting situations...

although, there have been plenty of ballistic notepads that have saved popo lives when they lean in the driver's window and are met with the crown of a handgun...  it's not inconceivable...  it's just that in a "siege" type scenario, it's completely useless...  although, it may entice the shooter to expend an extra round or two that may save a life if the shooter runs out of/low on ammunition.

Killtruck's picture

True, I guess I was more referring to the concealable armor that would not be held in front of them, but worn on them. Puts a lot of energy pretty close, even if it stops the bullet.

How sad that we even have to talk about this.

MachoMan's picture

Not sad at all...  I look at it as a monumental leap forward from trudging along doing nothing and standing idly by...  at least we have begun a discussion...  albeit in hysterical fashion...  but I think it will spill over into a discussion.

Sales like this (and gun sales) are simply a vote of no confidence in the system and our administrators...  people are moving towards self help...  and, thereby, self empowerment.

PS, yes, most concealable armor would only work with young adults and, even then, would be like taking a baseball bat swing to the chest...  however, bft is less bad than firearm wound cavities, in general...  again, it's a lesser of two evils approach not an "optimal solution" approach.

Joshua_D's picture

Or, just take your kids our of public skool.

trav777's picture

classrooms have windows...this is so light can get in them.  but a side effect is that you can get OUT of them as well.  You know, bc glass breaks.  I am apparently the ONLY person who can ever come up with this simple stuff.  911?  Lock the door of the cockpit.  School shooter?  Jump out the freakin window, find something to break the glass if they don't open.

I mean what would they do if the hallway were on fire?  Crouch in the corner?

francis_sawyer's picture

If you were a righteous HACKER named 'Crash Override' ~ you could rig the sprinkler system (& have your own umbrella ready for it)...

lakecity55's picture

Or, give all teachers 1 20' range can of CS jet spray.

StychoKiller's picture

As any good Doctor will tell you:  Prevention is worth a backpack of cure.  Why place your children in a barrel with the rest of the puppies?  School them at home, education is NOT a constituitional mandate.

Svener's picture

So nowhere on ZH is the NRA position that we should now all pay for armed guards at all schools? And we'll need armed guards at churches; you certainly don't expect churches to pay for that. I shake my head in disbelief. Sick people!

chubbar's picture

Why not do what they did with airline pilots? Take volunteer teachers/principals/admin folk and train them to conceal carry and shoot. Make the requal once a year just like the pilots do. Can only cops shoot straight or have the necessary personality make up to confront someone with a gun? Most of the folks who would volunteer would likely already have experience with guns to begin with. It isn't that rare to find folks who like to hunt/shoot targets. This would only increase the safety at school assuming the necessary protocols on handling/storage, etc.

Armed guards don't work because they will be the first target of choice because they are known to be armed. IMO only, that job sucks so bad after the first hour that anyone is driven to sitting down reading a book or something to keep their mind active. That lends itself to an ambush fairly easily.

The added bonus for the Obama adminstration is that this would be another jobs program boondogle that could drive up gov't spending some more and provide for a shit load of new jobs.