The chest tends to be one of the most common places to take a hit to, as it represents a large section of the human body (go figure!). Protection for this area comes in a couple forms. It used to be that chest protectors only protected your… chest. Today’s version is more vest-like, and offers coverage of the back and sides. You can find them integrated into one entire shirt/unit, or as a vest. I personally would only recommend the ones that are integrated into a shirt. The vests are uncomfortable and tend to slide up around the neck. This is based on my own personal experience.
Empire makes great apparel for paintball. Among their excellent line of products, lies the Ground Pounder chest protector. It has sold pretty well because of the price, which is even lower now because it has been out for a while. You can get it for $25. This vest was made to endure long day’s of hot summer paintball.
This is one of the thickest protective shirt vests available, and can be worn underneath a regular shirt or jersey. BT released this vest a couple years ago, and it has been received pretty well among the recreational paintball community. It gives them everything they are looking for — complete protection of the chest, back, shoulders and sides.