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Body armor shell

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I picked up a really nice new surplus French flak vest shell, this exact one: https://www.keepshooting.com/french-military-flak-vest.html and would like to in a sense puff it up more and make it slightly more ridged , especially around the shoulders if possible. I thought about using cardboard for it but I worry that if it gets wet the cardboard will get soggy and basically fall apart inside of the vest. Does any one by any chance have suggestions on what I could use besides cardboard that is ridged yet pliable?  I also thought of a cloth type material but not sure what would work best  


Thought I would also show off what I put together. Not the best era specific I believe but I feel it looks great. Tried going for a 2005 era Terre de Armee look


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Good shout on the garden kneeling mats.  Much better thickness and rigidity to work with compared to roll mats.

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