Many people assume that a bulletproof vest will last forever and ever, as long as it’s structural integrity has not been compromised. That is not the case at all. A bulletproof vest will not offer the same protection twenty years after production as it would the day that it was made. Bulletproof vest manufacturers put an expiration date on the vests. The dates are clearly marked so that there is no question as to when the date is. Just because the date is printed on the vest, it does not mean that they will offer no protection after that date. There are several different factors that need to be taken into consideration to determine if the bulletproof vest will still offer ample protection after an expiration date. The manner in which the bulletproof vest was cared for can greatly affect its shelf life. Vests are not designed to have direct exposure to the sun for extended periods of time. If a vest has been stored in direct sunlight for years, it will not offer the same protection that a vest that has been stored properly would offer. If the plate that is used in the bulletproof vest has been exposed to water, it will more than likely offer little to no protection. Kevlar plates are not designed to be exposed to water. If they need to be cleaned, they should only be cleaned with a damp cloth. If the plates have been soaked in water for an extended period of time, there is a good chance that they will be less protective long before the expiration date. It is important to never buy a used bulletproof vest from someone. You will not know what the vest has been through and it could be damaged. Just because you do not see any damage on the vest and it has not expired, that does not mean that it will offer the protection that you need. You do not want to put your life at risk just to save a small amount of money. Bulletproof vests are not overly expensive and investing in a new one will ensure that you are as protected as you can be at all times. It will also ensure that the vest will work as well as it needs to work, if the time comes when you need the protection. You need to be sure that you take the time to care for your vest properly, if you want it to last far past the expiration date. Most bulletproof vests come with all of the information you need to learn how to store, clean, and wear the vests properly. Failure to follow any of the recommended guidelines that the manufacturer has provided could cause the vest to become compromised. You need to be sure that you are going to be able to get the protection that you need when you need it and having the right bulletproof vest is the best way to be able to do that.