That out of the way...
DISCLAIMER: This is meant for educational purposes only and the management does not accept responsibility for any actions taken with this information.
The problem with most bullet-proof vests is they will only stop handgun rounds. They won't stop knives, arrows, or any rifle rounds. I guess that's better than nothing, but still something to consider. They can be ordered online depending on where you live.
You need to work out. A lot.
There's a ton of running and jumping involved, and fighting. Make sure you're in shape and can hold your own in a brawl.
The most important part of your crime-fighting outfit is the SHOES. Most people focus on the aesthetics like the mask or the cape, but no, the SHOES are the most important. Think of all the running you'll do! You need to make sure your shoes and pants are comfortable and form fitting enough that you can comfortably run and jump over obstacles. Also speaking of capes, capes are actually counterproductive because it has a very high chance to snag on something, and not to mention gives the enemy something very easy to grab onto. Not good.
If you are going to wear a mask, make sure it's something that doesn't obscure your vision in any way. Soft rubber-like masks are probably best, as plastic might splinter and cause injuries to your face and eyes if someone hits you in the face. Again, avoid things that stick out. I am very sad that I had to omit my lengthy bunny ears from my costume, but otherwise it'd make it too easy for a bad guy to grapple me down.
The problem with being a vigilante is that you don't have the same legal freedoms a cop does; that means you need to restrict your arsenal to the least lethal means to avoid legal complications. It's a very unsettling thought to imagine people shooting you and you not being able to shoot back, but there are still options:
- Short and Long range stun guns/tasers - this will be one of your best friends. The incapacitation lasts only as long as the device is on, so use it and quickly subdue the criminal. I advise using rope or handcuffs, the police will handle the rest.
- Tranquilizer guns - An effect that lasts longer than a taser, however since it is harpooning a syringe at your target, you need to be very careful where you aim. Always aim center mass/torso, the sedative will quickly find its way through the blood stream.
- "Tear Gas" - Useful as a distraction for either your entrance or your getaway
Do NOT use any blunt or sharp weapons such as: Baseball bats, knives, swords, chainsaws, sledgehammers, etc. These all inflict trauma that is potentially lethal, which would look bad for you legally. Plus they're cumbersome and leave a mess.
Do not use ANY firearms - even if it's loaded with beanbag or rubber bullets, within 20-50 yards or so, which will be your most common range of engagement vs the badguys, they still carry enough kinetic force to be lethal.
Tasers may not be legal everywhere, so you may have to improvise on finding one.
Make sure you have good health and personal item insurance.
Chances are, you'll get your hiney kicked now and then, maybe your car blown up, your house burned down, etc. Get it all insured! Shop around for the best rates, remember, don't reveal that you are a vigilante! Your monthly payments will skyrocket.