Tarkov is extremely dangerous, and having good armor is the best way to protect yourself from getting shot at. Of course, the best protection is for bullets not to fly in your direction, but more often than not, you will have to get into unfavorable positions.
Because risk is such a necessary and fundamental part of the game, you should know how to stay prepared – meaning that you should know which armor to pick up when you find it in raids or at traders.
This tier list will help you know which armor is the best. We will get more in-depth for each tier list, but we will be judging armors by their effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and ease of acquisition, with an emphasis on effectiveness in combat.
How Armor Ratings Work in Escape from Tarkov
In Tarkov, the way it works is you have six levels of armor; the higher the number, the better the armor. No matter the place on the tier, if you find an armor higher than your current level, you should probably equip it unless the armor has been shot up and is low in durability.
This article will focus mostly on ranking the different sets of armor into a tier list. For more details on how armor works in Escape from Tarkov, check out our companion guide.
S-Tier – The Best Armor in Escape from Tarkov
- 5.11 Tactical Hexgrid Plate Carrier
- LBT-6094A Slick Plate Carrier
- BNTI Zhuk-6a body armor
- NFM THOR Integrated Carrier body armor
- 6B43 6A Zabralo-Sh body armor
- Crye Precision AVS plate carrier (Tagilla Edition)
- S&S Precision PlateFrame plate carrier (Goons Edition)
- FORT Redut-T5 body armor
These are the best of the best; you will notice that most of them are level 6 armor, and that is for a reason. Level 6 offers the best protection in any circumstance. Let us take the Zabralo for example: the armor was not used much before, but after the recent buffs, it is the best armor in the game.
The buffs made the heavier armor more effective, so now the penalties associated with it are not so important when you can tank bullets. The Slick and Hexgrid remain your go-to choices for best armor, as they offer the most protection while keeping high mobility.
For armored rigs, we have the AVS plate carrier and the S&S Precision PlateFrame; both of them do a similar job. However, the differences are that the AVS is Level 6, and S&S Precision is Level 5. But what the second armor lacks in combat effectiveness, it makes up for in everything else.
Lastly, in the top picks of our Escape from Tarkov armor tier list, the Redut-T5, also known as the Samurai Armor, is the best Level 5 armor in the game in terms of raw effectiveness.
- IOTV Gen4 body armor (full protection)
- BNTI Gzhel-K body armor
- 6B13 M modified assault armor (Tan)
- NPP KlASS Korund-VM body armor
- Hexatac HPC Plate Carrier (Multicam Black)
- CQC Osprey MK4A plate carrier (Protection, MTP)
- Crye Precision CPC plate carrier (Goons Edition)
- Ars Arma CPC MOD.1 plate carrier
- 5.11 Tactical TacTec plate carrier
- ANA Tactical M1 armored rig
- HighCom Trooper TFO body armor (Multicam)
A-tier is a bit more versatile than S-tier armor in Escape from Tarkov. You have many different kinds of armor here. That is because some armors are so versatile that it is hard to place them lower, but they just don’t protect as much as some of the S-tier ones.
Let’s start with the heavier ones: the Gen4 body armor is one of the strongest Level 5 armors. It is extremely durable, does not cost as much as a Level 6 armor, and is more easily accessible.
The Korund is excellent; there is a popular strategy right now where you use the Korund and just ensure it, and most of the time get it back. The reason why you would get it back often is because the armor has low durability, is heavy, and takes up a lot of slots.
On top of that, the armor is relatively cheap; this is the armor that will get you through mid- to late-game in Escape from Tarkov. The Gzhel is similar to the Korund, except it has slightly better stats and is lighter.
The 6B13M(Killa Armor) is amazing. It repairs really well and offers great protection.
For the armored rigs, all of them are great all-rounders for mobility and protection with additional space. Especially the CPC Plate Carrier (Goons Edition); this armor is extremely rare, though, and you will more often than not be wearing other kinds of armor.
Lastly, for A-Tier armor in Escape from Tarkov, the Trooper is the best Level 4 armor in the game, with the ANA M1 being really close. They are both light, highly durable, and quite versatile. The ANA is an armored rig, so it can be used in many situations, such as on Reserve and Lighthouse.
- IOTV Gen4 body armor (assault kit)
- FORT Defender-2 body armor
- FORT Redut-M body armor
- IOTV Gen4 body armor (high mobility kit)
- Crye Precision AVS plate carrier
- ECLiPSE RBAV-AF plate carrier (Ranger Green)
- WARTECH TV-110 plate carrier rig
- Ars Arma A18 Skanda plate carrier
- Shellback Tactical Banshee plate carrier (A-Tacs AU)
So, if you pay close attention to B-tier armor in Escape from Tarkov, we mostly have armor for specific playstyles. In this case, either armored rigs or heavy armor. The most balanced armors are the A18 and TV-110, offering level 4 protection with good mobility and plenty of space.
The first four pieces of armor we mentioned are really heavy, and they are good armor on their own. Even though they are level 5, they are worse than their other heavy counterparts; this is why they are in the B-tier.
The Banshee and the Eclipse are good options for an open map like Woods or Shoreline; the lightweight nature combined with decent protection makes them ideal for sniping or long-range combat in general.
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C-Tier List – Plenty Of Budget Armor Options in Escape from Tarkov
- Tasmanian Tiger SK plate carrier (Multicam Black)
- NPP KlASS Bagariy armored rig
- 6B5-15 Zh-86 Uley armored rig
- 6B3TM-01M armored rig
- CQC Osprey MK4A plate carrier (Assault, MTP)
- FirstSpear “Strandhogg” plate carrier rig (Ranger Green)
- Eagle Industries “MMAC” plate carrier (Ranger Green)
- ANA Tactical M2 armored rig
Let’s get the first two armors out of the way: the Tasmanian Tiger is a level 6 armor and, for stopping a few bullets, it is excellent. However, in everything else except mobility, it is bad. The armor does not repair well; you can use it for one or two raids at most.
Since it is an armored rig, you would expect it to have some space, but it has only four 2×1 slots—which is abysmal. That means you can only run three magazines of ammo reliably, not counting healing items and grenades.
On the plus side, at Ragman level 4 it is relatively cheap; however, by that point money will likely not matter much to you and you will have better options available.
The Bagariy is not a bad armor; it is level 5, but in everything else, it is just meh. The biggest reason it is in C-tier is that it is heavy, so you cannot really pick it up if you find one in the raid or from someone. Unlike the Korund, this is an armored rig that will limit you. Overall, it’s just inconvenient.
The Osprey is interesting, and unlike its Level 5 counterpart, this one is somewhat underwhelming. It’s not bad by any means, though; it remains one of the best Level 4 armored rigs. It has ample space, it’s not heavy, and it’s not overly expensive, thus, making it a perfect fit for C-tier.
The Strandhogg, ANA M2, and the MMAC fall in the same category of level 4 armor with poor protection but are good at everything else; they have decent space, they are not too heavy, and they are level 4. All of these armor pieces are best suited for sniping or long-range combat in general.
The strength of the Uley and the 6B3TM lies in their price. They are quite sluggish, have limited space, and offer poor protection, but they are inexpensive and can be obtained early. Furthermore, they are somewhat common. The primary distinction, however, is that the Uley does not repair well whereas the 6B3TM does.
- NFM THOR Concealable Reinforced Vest body armor
- 6B13 assault armor
- 6B23-2 body armor (Mountain Flora)
- BNTI Kirasa-N body armor
- DRD body armor
- BNTI Zhuk-3 body armor (Press)
- 6B5-16 Zh-86 Uley armored rig
You should avoid these armor if you can. However, sometimes you will be forced to choose between bad armor, which is extremely inconvenient, or just worse in every way than some of the higher entries, but they have their uses sometimes.
For example, the 6B13 assault armor repairs horribly, but it is level 4 and it is really cheap. So, if you are on a budget and you want a level 4 armor, you can pick any of the first three armor pieces to protect you.
The THOR is better than the 6B13, but ultimately suffers from the same issues; the 6B23-2 is very similar to the 6B13.
The level 3 armor in Escape from Tarkov on this tier list is very interesting; they are really cheap and will protect against some low-pen rounds and scavs. The best level 3 armor in the game is the DRD body armor, with the highest effective durability, and it is pretty light.
The Kirasa and the Zhuk are really good budget options, but they are level 3 and will not protect against even mid-tier ammo in Escape from Tarkov. The level 3 Uley suffers from the same problem.
F-Tier – The Worst Amor in Escape from Tarkov
- BNTI Module-3M body armor
- PACA Soft Armor
- PACA Soft Armor (Rivals Edition)
- 6B2 body armor (Flora)
- MF-UNTAR body armor
- 6B23-1 body armor (Digital Flora)
These are the absolute worst armor picks in Escape from Tarkov. Moreover, there is not much use for them other than for quests, early-game protection against scavs, and if you are completely out of money and need some armor. As such, we will not go into much detail on any of them.
Basically, the PACA rivals are good vendors; you need the UNTAR for a quest, and you need to find a BNTI Module-3M in a raid for one of the first quests in the game.
Final Thoughts on Our Escape from Tarkov Armor Tier List
We hope this tier list has helped you know which armor in Escape from Tarkov is worth choosing in different situations. If you’re curious about more content, check out our map guides, including our ranked list of the best maps in Escape from Tarkov.
Good luck with your raids, and have fun!