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Among the three types of hard armor available, the composite type is the most cost-effective and provides the highest level of protection. It is composed primarily of polymer resin with reinforcement in the form of ballistic fiber. The most common type is called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), and is lightest among composites. However, it is significantly thicker than the hybrid type, and has a lower melting point than steel. These materials are also quite expensive, costing as much as two or three times as much as steel.

The other kind of hard armor is known as soft body armor. Its main purpose is to protect from bullets, but it is not as effective as hard body armor. For this reason, the military and police use it to protect themselves from a variety of weapons. Unlike soft armor, it is difficult to conceal. Moreover, most hard armor is rifle-rated. These are the best kinds of body armor to protect yourself from various types of firearms.

Among the different types of hard armor, the Chinese one is the most popular. It is known to block bullets that travel at over 3,000 fps. Moreover, it can withstand multiple hits without being destroyed. However, these hard armors have their drawbacks (more information). Apart from being heavy, they can limit movement. A standard 10×12 piece of steel armor may weigh up to fifteen pounds, while a front and rear protection set will cost up to thirty pounds.