In the wake of last week’s horrific shootings in Connecticut, we’re sure to be seeing a lot more products like this cropping up. Made by Salt Lake City-based body armor company Amendment II, it’s called the Ballistic Backpack, and it’s designed to protect its wearer from bullets.

Although the backpack could conceivably be used by anyone, it’s no doubt intended largely for use by school children – previous models even came with pictures of princesses and The Avengers on them. The idea is that it will protect the user (or part of them, at least) as they’re running away from an attack, or serve as a shield if held up between the user and an attacker.

Most of the pack is made from ordinary polyester, but its back panel is lined with a layer of the company’s proprietary RynoHide material. Developed in partnership with the University of Utah’s Nano Institute, RynoHide utilizes carbon nanotubes applied to textile threads to stop bullets. It is reportedly lightweight and flexible, and has a minimal amount of back-face deformation – this means that it pushes into the body less when hit by a projectile.

Buyers can choose between two levels of protection, depending on what sort of firepower they're anticipating. They can also send in their existing backpack, to be retrofitted with RynoHide.

The Ballistic Backpack has a capacity of about 1,257 cubic inches (20.6 liters), and features a water bottle holder, exterior pocket, headphone exit port, and an interior organizer panel. It sells for US$300.

Of course, even the most bulletproof of backpacks won’t protect you if it’s not on hand when an attack occurs, nor will it cover anything other than your back if it’s being worn at the time. How about it, is this backpack a good idea, or does it offer a false sense of security? For that matter, is buying products like this an appropriate response to last week’s event?

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