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Force Training Institute Multi-Threat Shield review: We test this bulletproof laptop bag the only way you can

Gordon Mah Ung | May 6, 2015
You've likely seen ads and news stories about "bulletproof" laptop bags--bags capable of carrying your laptop and also protecting you from flying lead when the fan hits the shed.

Finally, the force of the shotgun blast delivered the anticipated result: The buckshot struck the bag about two inches to the left of center, causing it to fly through the air and onto the floor of the shooting range

Did it pass?

After all that shootin', amazingly, none of the rounds penetrated the MTS — not even the shotgun rounds fired into a one-inch spot.

The MTS thwarted other kinds of assault, too. FTI says the Kydex plastic insert it uses to stiffen the bag also gives it some stab resistance. I took my pocket knife, locked the blade in place, and repeatedly stabbed the bag with as much force as I could muster. My Benchmade Barrage knife in my nerd arms, at least, doesn't have what it takes to get through.

Once the testing was done, I removed the Kevlar liner and cut it open. The MTS is made of 25 three-foot-long sheets of Kevlar. There are no seams at all where a bullet could slip through.

I peeled back the layers to count how many sheets it took to stop each round. The .38 Special was stopped by a single sheet of Kevlar. The 9mm barely penetrated two sheets. The .44 Magnum dug all the way through five sheets, as did the double-ought buck from the shotgun.

Genius Bar, can you help?

I opened the pouch to check on the iPad. You can see in the image above that it didn't survive, nor had I expected it to. When I'd inserted the iPad, I placed it in direction you would expect: with the screen facing inward. Deploying the MTS turns the iPad so it faces the impact zone in the middle section of the shield. I suspect the .44 Magnum round likely cracked the screen. The force of the 12-gauge buckshot, however, not only shattered the screen but bent back one corner of the iPad by several inches. Again, it wasn't actually hit by any bullets or pellets, but you can see it's no fun to be on the receiving end of all that energy.

It's clear the Multi Threat Shield lives up to FTI's claim. It will survive multiple common handgun and shotgun impacts. You should know that the bag's Kevlar is laminated rather than woven. One concern from some is that it can melt at very high temperatures. If a gun were pressed up against it and rounds were fired repeatedly, the Kevlar could melt and eventually allow penetration. 

I didn't test this scenario, but FTI says it's tested the MTS using "contact shots" with no melting and no penetration. This is also probably more of a concern for a garment application such as a vest, rather than a bag.

 

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