Banded mail is a type of medieval armor and a common item of equipment in many Fantasy Role-Playing games.
This armor is a natural progression of both chain mail and splint mail. Banded mail starts with a suit of chain and leather. Overlapping strips of metal are affixed horizontally over the torso. This provides the same superior protection as splint mail, while being far more flexible. This armor is a precursor to the heavier plate armors, but the inevitable gaps between the bands makes the overall protection poorer than that of the plate armor, especially against piercing attacks that can simply slide right through the bands.
This armor was used most frequently in the eastern world, where it retained popularity long after the western world had adopted plate mail. There are several types of Japanese armor that are all technically banded mail.
Banded mail distributes its weight much more evenly across the body than chain mail, making it possible to wear it for much longer periods than chain, even though it weighs a good deal more. One drawback however is that banded mail quickly self destructs with frequent use. The bands literally tear each other apart from rubbing together. This armor is also highly rust prone, although that has no effects on its protective qualities.