Body armour is worn by every Predator we see and it can vary in design considerably from film to film. The armour never covers their entire body, perhaps to allow themselves to be more agile and stealthily. The armour usually consists of a partial or full breastplate, pauldrons, wrist gauntlets which houses the self-destruct device, neck armour, and a helmet. Their upper torso and legs usually have netting too.
The Jungle Hunter set the standard for the look of Predators throughout the films with clear tribal and Asian influences. He has armour over his upper left chest with pauldrons on both shoulders, gauntlets on both forearms. Around his body is a string belt with various bones belonging to creatures he has hunted. He has a leather style belt with protective armour over his groin and outer thighs. His legs from his knees downwards are fully covered in armour. He features body netting over the visible parts of his skin.
Predator 2 (1990)
City Hunter features the same pieces of armour as Jungle Hunter but they look quite different. His mask and armour are more bronze in colour. The Predator features armour over the left shoulder with pauldrons on either side. Gauntlets are on either forearm along with a leather belt. There’s armour for his groin along with thigh armour. There’s leg armour where his Net Gun is carried.
Unlike the first Predator where most of the armour was part of the physical costume that Kevin Peter Hall wore, a lot of those armour pieces became separate in Predator 2. As there were numerous other Predators, the filmmakers wanted to give them a distinctive look which meant giving them different armour pieces.
Alien vs Predator (2004)
In AvP, the Predators wear a lot more armour than we’ve previously seen and it’s considerable more bulky. The three Predators have full multi-layered armour over their chest, netting on their torso and legs, pauldrons and armour over their upper arms. In their lower half, they have armour over their shins. Celtic has armour over his right thigh while Scar has it over both thighs. All three have a lot longer armour to cover their groin while Scar’s extends all the way up his stomach area.
It’s worth noting that much to the surprise of Celtic, the Predators’ armour and some of their weapons aren’t resistant to Aliens’ acid. This is proven in the Grid Alien vs Celtic Predator fight. The Celtic Predator cuts part of the Alien’s tail off causing his wristblades to melt. The same thing happens to his armour a little later. It can be explained that the teenage Predators were on a rite of passage so to make the battle a lot more challenging, they were given non acid-resistant armour.
Most of the armour seen in the film is based on designs from concept artists Farzad Varahramyan and Joe Pepe. Because the story is set in Antarctica and that Predators were going to be facing Xenomorphs, the design mandate called for heavier armour with more extensive body coverage. Amalgamated Dynamics created the armour.
Aliens vs Predator Requiem (2007)
Wolf Predator is a veteran hunter featuring battle-worn armour. He has a much smaller piece of armour on his upper left chest with pauldrons on his left shoulder. Wrist gauntlets on both forearms. On his lower body, he has armour from his knees downwards and small pieces on his thighs. Rounding off his look, he has a tool belt around his body and the classic body netting. Unlike in Alien vs Predator, Wolf’s armour is resistant to acid and doesn’t melt when it comes into contact with it.
One of the criticisms of the Predators in Alien vs Predator was that they were too short and bulky so one of the design mandates for Requiem was that the Predator was to appear sleeker. The idea was just to have one Predator played by 7’1″ Ian Whyte and he would be wearing much less armour than the previous film. As before, Amalgamated Dynamics created the armour.
The Falconer and the Berserker have very similar styles of armour. The armour covers their upper left chest with pauldrons on both shoulders. Leather straps come down to a piece of armour in the middle of the stomach and leather straps go back around their bodies. The Berserker has this piece of armour a bit higher up than Falconer but it’s the same concept. There are gauntlets on both forearms. Moving further down, they have flexible armour over their groins with leather pieces over their outer thighs. Falconer has a bit more armour on his left thigh. There is more armour on their lower legs.
Tracker’s armour seems to be the most different. He doesn’t seem to have the usual chest armour. Instead, he has leather straps around his stomach leading up to an armour section around his neck with pauldrons on both shoulders. He does have full leg armour with more leather sections. Interestingly, this is the first time we see Predators without the body netting.
The Classic Predator is initially seen tied up on a totem without any of his upper torso armour. When Royce frees him at the end of the film, he recovers his armour. It’s very similar in design to Jungle Hunter’s. Armour on his upper left shoulder, pauldrons, wrist gauntlets, thigh and leg armour. His left side of his mask has been badly burnt.
The Predator (2018)
When the Fugitive Predator is captured, he is almost fully stripped of his armour. When he escapes, he recovers all of it. Fugitive has the most unique armour out of all the Predators seen so far. Armour covers his entire upper torso completely with some uncovered areas down the side. There are rounded pauldrons on the shoulders along with wrist gauntlets on either forearm. Some armour covers his thighs and groin area. More armour covers his lower legs. The armour was created by Quantum FX.
The Upgrade Predator was unique in that he has very little armour at all because he has evolved to be able to transform his skin into a protective shell. It’s extremely tough and was able to break Fugitive’s wristblades on contact. Upgrade has the two gauntlets on both forearms which house all of the Predators weapons. He has a flexible belt to cover his groin and small flaps for his outer thighs..