Best in Slot Armor - Baldur's Gate 1
This page contains a list of all the best in slot armor in both BG1 and its expansion pack Siege of Dragonspear. I have included all of the different types of armor on this page so that you know what the best items are for every different set of armor in the game. Sometimes I give you 2 BiS items instead of just one. This happens when one of the armors is exceptionally unique, maybe it allows you to still cast spells while wearing it or that armor is only found extremely late in the game.
All of the information for Siege of Dragonspear can be found at the bottom of this page. If you'd like to see the best in slot lists for Weapons or Accessories then follow the links below to head over to those pages instead.
Best In Slot Armor:
(Studded Leather) Talbar's Studded Leather +2: Since the best Studded Leather in the game can only be worn by Theives, I figured I would add this one to the list too. This item is dropped by Sendai in the Fire Leaf Forest Wilderness Zone. Check out my World Overview page for an exact location of this Wilderness Zone.
(Chain Mail) Elven Chain Mail: Elven Chain Mail is a version of Chain Mail that allows the user to still cast spells or use thief abilities with it equipped. The only way you can get this item in BG1 is by doing Dorn's Companion Quest and defeating Simmeon and his friends in Wyrm's Crossing. There are a few places you can get it in the Siege of Dragonspear Expansion.
(Chain Mail) Mail of the Dead +2: You can get this Chain Mail by defeating a group of assassins in the southern portion of the Gullykin map. They will initiate dialogue and attack you the moment you get into range. For help finding this location on the world map check my World Overview Page.
(Leather Armor) Karajah's Life and Death +3: This is the best piece of Leather Armor in BG1 and can only be obtained on the 4th and final level of Durlag's Tower. You'll find this item inside of a chest in the room with the runed carpet. For an exact map location and details about how to reach the 4th floor check out my Durlag's Tower Walkthrough Page.
(Plate Armor) Plate of the Dark +1: Plate of the Dark is the best Plate Armor you can obtain in the game but it's unavailable for 99% of the main story. You can only get this item by defeating Tamoko in the Undercity; you'll encounter Tamoko right before the final boss fight of the game with Sarevok.
(Plate Armor) The Practical Defense +3: The next best Plate Armor you can obtain in the game is The Practical Defense which is found in Durlag's Tower on the 2nd floor. You can find this item in a locked chest in the Master Bedroom; for more information about how to clear Durlag's Tower and obtain this item check out my Durlag's Tower Walkthrough Page.
(Robe) Robe of Evil Archmagi: This is the best robe in the game for Evil alignment characters. You can obtain this robe from one of 2 places, the first of which is from Davaeorn whose the final boss in the Cloakwood Mines. The second place you can obtain this robe is from Baeloth in the southern portion of Larswood assuming your main character exceeds 10,000 EXP.
(Robe) Robe of Neutral Archmagi: This is the best robe in the game for Neutral alignment characters. You can get a total of 3 Robes of Neutral Archmagi in BG1; the first and easiest to obtain is the one sold by Thalantyr, the mage vendor at High Hedge. The other 2 robes are dropped by Dradeel (part of the ToSC Expansion Pack, he's found on the Isle of Balduran) and the Ghost of Ulcaster whose found outside of Ulcaster Dungeon.
(Splint Mail) Splint Mail +1: Splint Mail +1 is the best piece of Splint Mail you can get in this game. There are a total of 4 different places you can get this item throughout the game, all of which are listed here on the BG wiki.
(Buckler) Kiel's Buckler: This buckler is one of the 2 magical item bucklers in the entire game. You can find this item in basement level 2 of Durlag's Tower; for more information about how to navigate this dungeon and exactly where to find this item check out my Durlag's Tower Walkthrough Page.
(Buckler) Buckley's Buckler: You can purchase this buckler extremely early on in the game when you first reach the Friendly Arm Inn during Chapter 1. It offers you the same protection as a normal buckler but comes with the added benefit of giving you +1 Constitution as well.
(Small Shield) Small Shield +1: This shield can be purchased from the Thunderhammer Smithy in Beregost for 1500G and found in the armory of the Cloakwood Mines. You can find the armory on the 3rd level of this dungeon, for more details check out Chapter 4 of my walkthrough.
(Medium Shield) Medium Shield +1: Much like with Small Shield the best Medium Shield you're able to get in BG1 is a standard Medium Shield +1. This shield can be found in 4 different locations throughout the game, the 2 easiest to find it at are the Thunderhammer Smithy in Beregost for 2250G and at the Feldepost Inn at Beregost for the same price. Check out the BG1 Wiki for a list of the other 2 locations.
(Large Shield) Pellan's Shield +2: This shield is found inside of Durlag's Tower on the 4th underground level. For more information about how to clear Durlag's Tower and obtain this item check out my Durlag's Tower Walkthrough Page.
(Large Shield) Shield of the Falling Stars: You'll receive this shield as a reward for completing the Tremain's Son Side Quest in the town of Baldur's Gate. In Baldur's Gate: West you'll be approached by a kid named Varci who asks you to follow him back to a house nearby which is where this quest will begin for real. Aside from gold your reward for completing this quest will be the shield.
Siege of Dragonspear Upgrades:
(Leather Armor) Dragonscale Armor: You can obtain Dragonscale Armor by giving the Green Dragon Scales you get from Morentherene to Jegg Hillcarver. Jegg can be found in Bridgefort initially then in the Coalition Camp after that.
(Leather Armor) Raconteur's Regalia +2: This item can be purchased from Waizahb who is found in the Coalition Camp during Chapter 10. Spellcasting is not disabled when wearing this armor which is why it has made the list.
(Chain Armor) Elven Chain +1: Elven Chain Mail is a version of Chain Mail that allows the user to still cast spells or use thief abilities with it equipped. During the SoD X-pac you can get this item from the Myconid Cave which you'll pass by during Chapter 8. You can also get this armor from a Crusader Mage who wears it during the attack on the Coalition Camp at the end of Chapter 10.
(Chain Armor) Commander's Chain Mail +3: Reward for completing the Troop Train Side Quest in the Coalition Camp during Chapter 10. The person wearing this armor and any allies within visible radius are immune to fear.
(Plate Armor) Rhino Beetle Plate: Collect a Rhino Beetle Shell and give it to Jegg Hillcarver and he will craft this armor for you. Jegg can be found in Bridgefort initially then in the Coalition Camp after that. As for the Rhino Beetle Shell, you can obtain this from a Rhinoceros Beetle which you'll fight inside of the Spider Lair in the Forest of Wyrms zone.
(Buckler) Buckler of the Fist +2: You can purchase this item from Belegarm who is the vendor that will follow around the Hero's party throughout almost all of Siege of Dragonspear. The first location you can find him is at the Ducal Palace at the start of SoD; after that he will always be found at the Flaming Fist Encampment each time it moves with you throughout the X-pac.
(Medium Shield) Dragonscale Shield +3: You can obtain Dragonscale Shield by giving the Green Dragon Scales you get from Morentherene to Jegg Hillcarver. Jegg can be found in Bridgefort initially then in the Coalition Camp after that.
(Medium Shield) The Suncatcher +2: This item is carried by Isabella, an NPC found in the Coast Way Forest during Chapter 8. You can either assist her in killing the Vampire she hunts or kill her outright for the shield, either way works. This shield is also part of the Halfling Treasures Side Quest; you can pick this item as a potential reward at the end of the quest.