Tuffy Packs are a form of quick deployment bulletproof backpacks and inserts. The company behind the bulletproof backpacks, TuffyPacks, Inc. manufactures a range of products that are designed to help protect against the increasing problem of active shooter incidents.
School shootings and other types of active shootings are an unfortunate and tragic reality. The problem has taken on such large proportions that several companies started developing products to help the average person, but especially children and teenagers, protect themselves in case they get caught up in an active shooter incident.
Tuffy Packs Review
In an article published on NorthJersey.com, Hawthorne Police Sgt. James W. Geier tested how effective quick deployment bulletproof backpacks are in stopping bullets.
Geier specifically tested the Tuffy Packs backpack as well as the ProShield 2 by Guard Dog Security. Both companies specialize in creating bulletproof and ballistic backpack inserts that are supposed to stop bullets.
In the experiment, a nine-millimeter Glock handgun and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun were used. Both backpacks worked as advertised and stopped the projectiles. Given that handguns are the most popular weapon used in mass shootings, this is encouraging.
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Next up, Geier fired a Benelli M2 shotgun from 16 and a half feet distance at the backpacks.
Although the shotgun projectiles only stopped after hitting a sheet of nylon and Kevlar inside the ballistic inserts, the backpacks nevertheless worked. They did leave a noticeable dent in the Kevlar though.
Finally, Geier aimed a Colt M4 rifle at the backpacks. Both backpacks couldn’t withstand the long M4 bullets. The backpacks barely moved as the bullets went straight through the backpacks and hit the dummy targets behind them.
However, neither Tuffy Packs nor Guard Dog Security claim that their ballistic inserts are designed to withstand rifle ammunition. Given that the backpacks withstood three out of four tests, including the most common ones used in mass shootings, Tuffy Packs do seem to provide protection.
How Does the Tuffy Packs Insert Work?
Tuffy Packs inserts use Level IIIA armor. Level IIIA is a type of soft armor. On the other hand, there is also Level III armor which is made of hard material. Sometimes the hard material is used on the outside of soft armor to provide better protection against projectiles.
The Level IIIA body armor protects against many small arms weapons such as handguns. This includes the 9mm, 44 magnums, and as we saw in the Tuffy Packs review earlier, even a Benelli M2 shotgun.
However, Level IIIA soft armor doesn’t protect from any and all firearms. Bullets from rifles and machine guns, and other powerful firearms, might go right through the armor.
Tuffy Packs layers a range of ballistic material, which consists of synthetic PE fiber similar to Kevlar, to meet their Level IIIA lab test requirements. All their inserts are sealed in a UV proof and water resistant nylon cover. This, in a nutshell, is how the Tuffy Packs insert works.
Do Bulletproof Backpacks Work?
As Tuffy Pack’s lab test and several independent tests have shown, bulletproof backpacks do work. However, Level IIA armor isn’t designed to withstand rifle ammunition. Bulletproof inserts for backpacks and laptop cases, such as those produced by Tuffy Packs or Guard Dog Security, protect best from handguns.
It’s also important to note that using ballistic inserts may give children and teenagers a false sense of safety. During a mass shooting, it may be difficult to stay cold headed and use the bulletproof backpacks as a shield.
The backpacks could be particularly helpful in case a child is on the run from a shooter. By tucking in the head, the backpack might cover a large part of the child’s torso, and if fired at from behind, could be life saving. This doesn’t mean though that ballistic inserts are the end all solution to shootings.
Creating a safer and more peaceful environment and community around schools should be as important if not more important. Furthermore, it’s mission critical that children follow the instructions of authorities in case of a mass shooting.
In some cases, ballistic inserts could give a false sense of safety and distract from following important safety instructions. This shows that ballistic inserts aren’t without controversy and expert opinions vary.
Are Tuffy Packs Worth It?
Tuffy Packs manufactures ballistic inserts that can be used in conjunction with several different brands of backpacks, laptop bags and purses. The inserts themselves cost between $129-$199.
Whether they are worth it is a subjective question. If you’re a parent that is worried about your child getting caught up in a mass shooting, and you believe a ballistic insert could protect your child’s life or increase the odds of survival, this is a relatively low price to pay.
After all, the life of your child cannot be measured in dollars. It’s priceless.
If you live in a country where mass shootings are more common, such as in the United States, Tuffy Packs could be worth it. On the other hand, if you live in Europe where shootings are less frequent, it might be overprotective to equip your child’s backpack with a Tuffy Pack insert.
Ultimately, every parent has to decide this for themselves and do their own risk assessment.
Tuffy Packs Alternatives
Although Tuffy Packs is a great choice when it comes to ballistic inserts, there are several other companies that manufacture bulletproof backpacks and inserts and even calendars.
1. Dog Guard Security Bulletproof Desk Calendar
Apart from selling bulletproof backpacks, Dog Guard Security sells a bulletproof desk calendar. The calendar, which currently costs $299 is actually an innovative Level IIIA shield with straps on the back.
However, this type of innovative armor requires you being able to hide behind the calendar or protect large parts of your body. In a close range shooting or home invasion, an attacker might be able to easily harm you despite using the shield.
But if you’re going to have a calendar at home, why not make it a Level IIIA shield? It could add extra protection.
2. Dog Guard ProShield Pro Backpack
According to Guard Dog Security, this is their most sophisticated and finely designed bulletproof backpack. It looks sleek and comes with many compartments, making it an ideal backpack for daily use.
Check out the ProShield Pro backpack to see if it’s the right fit for you.
3. Dog Guard ProShield Smart Backpack
The ProShield Smart backpack is a practical bulletproof backpack. It doesn’t look quite as sleek as the Pro version, but it’s convenient and doesn’t attract too much attention. You would never guess that this is a bulletproof backpack.
4. Leatherback Gear Civilian One Backpack
So far we’ve only talked about Tuffy Packs and Dog Guard Security. Leatherback Gear is another company that manufactures bulletproof backpacks.
This includes the Leatherback Gear Civilian One backpack and the Tactical One backpack. Both of them offer Level IIIA soft armor protection, just like all the other backpacks and inserts mentioned in this article.
Who Owns Tuffy Packs?
Steve Naremore is the founder and CEO of Tuffy Packs, Inc.
Naremore is also the co-founder of an investment banking firm and owns a soft goods manufacturing company that creates products in the drone and electric skateboard market.
Are Bulletproof Backpacks Real?
Yes, there are several manufacturers of bulletproof inserts that can be used in conjunction with backpacks. It’s important to note that Tuffy Packs sells all-in-one backpacks as well as standalone inserts that can be used in conjunction with popular backpacks sold on Amazon.
When purchasing a bulletproof backpack insert it’s important to buy the proper size. Tuffy Packs sells standalone inserts as well as third-party backpacks and laptop cases that are shipped with the appropriately sized ballistic insert. This way you can be sure your insert perfectly fits your backpack, laptop case or purse.
How Much Is A Bulletproof Backpack Insert?
Tuffy Packs sells their ballistic inserts for anywhere between $129-$199. Their combination packages and all-in-one bulletproof backpacks cost anywhere between $167-$229.
Bulletproof backpacks by Guard Dog Security sell for anywhere between $99-$299.
Are Bulletproof Backpacks Heavy?
Bulletproof inserts and backpacks that use Level IIIA soft armor aren’t much heavier than regular backpacks. Soft armour is a lot lighter than Level III hard armor. These backpacks aren’t too heavy for children and even small children to wear, although they might be slightly heavier than other backpacks.
Are Bulletproof Backpacks Legal?
Bulletproof backpacks and inserts are legal according to federal law in the United States. Keep in mind though that different states have different laws. For example, it’s a crime to wear bulletproof gear in most states if you’ve been convicted of a felony.
According to some sources, Tuffy Packs briefly sold Disney and Harry Potter themed ballistic inserts without licensing them from these companies. Disney demanded that TuffyPacks, Inc. stop using its intellectual property.
In response to these demands, TuffyPacks, Inc. removed their Disney themed products. Instead, they sell a children themed insert with unlicensed and neutral characters that makes the insert look a bit less intimidating.
They also sell a patriotic themed insert which displays US flags.