What I received was their EndGarde T.R.U.S.T. plate carrier, along with two hard plates and two soft armor plates giving me a threat level IV. This means I can withstand most common rifle rounds, including .308 Win 30-06, 5.56mm and 7.62X39. The idea behind including the soft armor panels was to soften the blow from high-powered rifle rounds that strike the hard armor plates. The soft armor panels could also be used alone to stop many common handgun rounds.As I understand the review, you don't need the soft panels in order to have level IV protection--that comes from the hard plates--but the soft panels can provide cushioning if you happened to be shot.
The soft armor panels are made out of DYNEEMA, are curved, and can withstand multiple hits and grenade shrapnel. The hard armor plates are constructed out of a combination of Aramid and Ceramic. These plates are also curved and can withstand grenade shrapnel and armor piercing 7.62 NATO rounds, giving you a threat level IV protection.
EnGarde started out with one goal in mind: to create body armor that performs yet is comfortable and durable. I believe they’ve achieved this goal.
I wore my sample T.R.U.S.T. vest around for several days, and it was very comfortable. The Ceramic material makes these hard armor plates lighter than all-steel plates. EnGarde claims, and I have no reason to doubt them, that their armor outperforms standards set by the National Institue of Justice (NIJ) while still offering their clients very light-weight and comfortable vests. Their vests are also tested by H.P. White labs in the USA, Orgon Ballistic Labs in The Netherlands, Mellrichstadt ballistic labs in Germany — quite a feat, to be sure.
Although I hadn't heard of anyone where I live doing this, the author mentions that he knows hunters that have started wearing body armor when hunting to protect against an accidental shooting. Given that fewer and fewer hunters wear blaze orange or red clothing anymore, this may be a good idea.