Light armor in Baldur’s Gate 3 is tied to quick-moving, stealthy classes like rogues, bards, monks, and druids. It typically provides minimal protection, while still giving you more armor than unarmored spellcasters like Wizards. Most light armor in BG3 provides bonuses to stealth, or at the very least doesn’t give you a disadvantage on rolls to hide from your enemies. Light armor is typically made of padded fabric or magical leather and will keep your lightest, most nimble of party members safe. This includes the light armor using Origin party members like Astarion and Wyll.
I just started yet another playthrough of Baldur’s Gate 3, this time running a Halfling Bard, and he’s going to need some strong armor to get him through Tactical mode! Let’s break down the six best pieces of light armor and where to find them.
#5 Blazer of Benevolence
Speaking of my Halfling Bard, this was the first piece of magic armor he managed to acquire that was suited just for him. The Blazer of Benevolence is a bard-centric piece of light armor that provides the sheer minimal amount of protection that light armor can provide at an AC of 11+ your dexterity modifier. The main benefit to this armor is that it enhances your own survivability when you use the Bardic Inspiration feature. The biggest benefit to playing a bard is the added 1d6 you can give your allies towards a wide range of situations, and this armor gives you four temporary hit points every time you inspire an ally. It’s best to let these points wear off before using another inspiration as you can only hold one source worth of temporary hit points at once.
You get this entertaining item by rescuing Volo, one of Faeruns most famous bards, from the goblin encampment in Act 1. There are many ways to go about this, including simply slaughtering all the goblins around him in camp, but you may find it easier to let him be led inside where you’ll simply need to break him free of the small wooden cage they encase him in. Once rescued, you can allow Volo to join your camp, and when you see him there you can speak to him about his captivity to recieve this reward. You can find other accessories that give various other effects when you use Bardic Inspiration as well to stack with this wonderful armor.
#4 Penumbral Armor
When you’re seeking light armor, it’s generally because you want to protect a character that needs to stay quick and hide in the shadows to stay alive. Light armor exists because you don’t want every character to be a target. The Penumbral Armor excels at just that, by providing any equipped party member with the ability to blend into the shadows. You get a +3 bonus to stealth checks whenever you wear the Penumbral Armor and stand in a spot dark enough to make you count as “Obscured”, whether that is lightly obscured or heavily obscured makes no difference. Other than that, it’s also a solid piece of armor with a base AC of 12+ your dexterity modifier.
Warlocks like Wyll can double down on the benefits of this armor by taking two particular Eldrich Invocations that revolve around your ability to manipulate darkness. The first is “Devil’s Sight” which will give you the same level of Superior Darkvision that an Underdark-dwelling Drow possesses, with up to 80 feet of unhampered vision. Second is the “One With The Shadows” invocation that will let you use your action to become invisible whenever you are in dim enough light to qualify as obscured. You can acquire this armor from a locked chest in a riverside house just east of the Last Light Inn during Act 2.
#3 Studded Leather Armor +2
This light armor set is the most basic on my list today but still stands out from the pack by providing more protection than other light armor, with a base armor class of 14+ your dexterity modifier. That means nimble characters like Astarion can reach an AC closer to that of a low-level fighter, with an absolute maximum of 19. Additionally, this armor provides some extra protection against Bludgeoning attacks by reducing their damage by 1. You also gain a +1 bonus to your initiative rolls, a universal benefit that any character can take advantage of. This is also good armor for Gale or other Wizard characters who are proficient with light armor, with its +2 bonus to your armor finally making it unnecessary to burn a whole spell slot on Mage Armor.
You can acquire the Studded Leather Armor +2 by checking in with traders throughout acts 2 and 3. It will cost a hefty 770 gold by default. You can always reduce the cost of goods by sending your party member with the highest persuasion skill to do the trades, as well as by bartering items instead of selling them outright. By the time you can acquire this armor you’ll likely have built up such a large treasure hoard that it’ll be no problem to snag it for your most fragile party members.
#2 Elegant Studded Leather
Moving on to a few items from Act 3, this end-game set of leather armor is indisputably the best armor for any Warlocks, Bards, or other light-armor wearing casters like Gale that can get their hands on it. On top of giving you an excellent armor class of 14+ dexterity modifier, it also gives you advantage on stealth checks and another universally-useful bonus to your initiative. However, the biggest perk of wearing the Elegant Studded Leather is that it gives you access to the Shield spell as a reaction. Shield is one of the best spells available to sorcerers and wizards because you only get a chance to activate it once you’ve already been struck with an attack. If you have a reaction available when you’ve been hit, you can cast this spell before you take damage to raise your AC by 5, most likely deflecting the attack entirely. It also allows you to deflect any damage from the generally unavoidable magic missle spell.
You can loot this special armor from The Counting House high-security vault inside the lower city during Act 3. Getting access to the room where its kept will require you to finish the “Return Rakath’s Gold” quest that begins right there inside The Counting House. This quest will send you hunting through the city for looted coin, and if you return it to the bank you’ll be rewarded with a key that opens an area containing the Elegant Studded Leather set. While the gold reward is certainly worth it on its own, this armor is shockingly good, and will help your spell-casters survive in the dangerous late-game city of Baldur’s Gate.
#1 Bhaalist Armour
Finally, the top item on our list is ideal for rogues like Astarion. Rogues tend to do a lot of damage up-close via sneak attacks, and this armor is absolutely ideal for those purposes. It comes with a base AC of 14+ your dexterity modifier, and like many other high-level armor items it also grants the “Ambusher” special condition that raises your initiative score by 2. However, the best part of this item is the “Aura of Murder” that it projects outward. Every enemy within 6.5 feet will be subjected to the aura, which gives them vulnerability to piercing damage. That means every strike from your rapier or magical daggers will do double damage, provided the target isn’t somehow resistant to piercing damage.
To get this powerful armor, you’ll need to be in Act 3 and enter an area called the Murder Tribunal. Here, you’ll be given the choice to accept the dark god of murder named Bhaal and become one of his unholy assassins. This will let you talk to a trader called Abazigal, who will have this armor for sale for a whopping 2,000 gold. Once you’re committed to the god of murder, this armor will certainly help you accomplish his goals.