The world we live in has changed and personal safety has never been more on people’s minds. Everyone now carries a backpack of some sort with the sole purpose to carry and protect important things. But now, thanks to Leatherback Gear, the backpack has found its most important purpose yet: protecting you or your loved ones.

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Leatherback Gear offers one of the world’s safest backpacks that converts into a bulletproof protective vest…in less than five seconds. By hiding armor within something that people are already used to carrying everywhere, Leatherback Gear has turned the backpack into a personal reactionary tool to a life-threatening problem called an active shooting. It provides front and back protection that goes wherever you go, ready for whatever comes your way. Leatherback Gear comes standard with two Level IIIA panels but offers options to customize with Level III and Level IV.
Leatherback Gear is a line of carry products that offers ballistic protection, while maintaining a stylish appearance, without being obviously built for ballistic protection. Created, designed, and patented by a former US Secret Service Agent, who saw the need to hide armor in an everyday item to protect people caught in these tragedies, these high-quality backpacks are extremely well designed with laptop compartments, small electronic pouches, and custom-sized accessory slots. This includes a felt-lined sunglass holder pocket and front organizer for pens, pencils, and more. There are also several covert hidden pockets for specialized equipment, if required.
The shoulder straps, with integrated detachable straps, transform into two makeshift tourniquets. These straps have the ability to be attached together to form a drag strap or door stop. The RFID protective lining, in a hidden pocket, protects the user’s identity cards, passports, credit cards, and can also hide valuable information from potentially being scanned or downloaded by electronic countermeasures.
They use a water-resistant nylon material that is tear-resistant along with larger heavy-duty zippers that are covered with fabric protection. They come standard with two bulletproof soft armor panels, with NIJ threat-level protection IIIA that are discreet and securely housed. This was a key design feature that was important to the inventor to mimic the protection worn by the US Secret Service Agents. The heavy-duty internal Velcro and nylon straps are all part of the safety system that is clearly marked and identifiable for any user under stress to convert the backpack into lifesaving ballistic protection. The top-mounted handle is reinforced to 300 pounds.
Leatherback Gear comes in four models: Tactical One, Civilian One, Sport One, and Sport One Jr. The primary difference is appearance. Civilian One has a more streamlined and subtle appearance, blending in for everyday use at school, work, or during travel. Tactical One has more aggressive military appearance but both offer the same NIJ Ballistic Level IIIA protection. Sport One is a perfect everyday carry-anywhere backpack from the gym to school, while the Sport One Jr. is a slightly smaller version of the Sport One and was designed with school-aged children in mind. Tactical One comes in three colors, including black, gray, and tan while the Civilian One, Sport One and Sport One Jr., come in two colors, black and wolf gray.
There are no issues travelling with ballistic panels in your backpack, especially for someone in Law Enforcement or Military. Body armor is legal in all 50 states for law-abiding citizens. The warranty is five years on both the ballistic panels and the workmanship of the backpack itself.
User feedback has been very positive, with many saying it is one of the most comfortable backpacks they have ever worn. The Tactical One model was tested by US Customs and Border Protection, and they concluded the overall graded performance of this backpack is very good based on current cost versus benefit analysis, a great value for the cost (not to mention they are a customer).
For more information (including pricing), visit www.leatherbackgear.com.
Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 30-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He was an eight-year member of the Ford Police Advisory Board and regularly gives presentations at law enforcement conferences on mobile computing, wireless technology and police vehicle ergonomics. He can be reached at sgt1411@gmail.com.