Dirt Bike Chest Protectors Reviews – Unbiased Buyer Guide
I never ride my dirt bike without a chest protector. It is, after all, the body’s first line of defense in the event of a crash, the plastic absorbing the blow instead of your ribs, heart, back, kidneys or sternum. Bear in mind that a powerful enough blow to the chest, right above the heart, can prove fatal. Broken ribs don’t heal quickly and are unbelievably painful. I have personally conducted a lot research on chest protectors, experimenting with them, looking at two qualities, the standard of safety and the level of comfort.
Based on my research, I personally recommend the Leatt 5.5 pro HD for adults, using it myself. I recommend the Fox Racing Proframe LC Youth Boys Roost for young boys; my friend’s children use these, and they have never given them any trouble. And I recommend the Fox Racing Youth Girl’s R3 Roost Deflector for young girls.
Leatt 5.5 pro HD
This is, overall, a masterfully designed chest protector, offering complete protection for the upper body. It is very well ventilated, punctuated with ports that allow for airflow. It is pleasantly surprising that something that offers so much protection can be so light. A feature of this chest protector that I really admire is how it can be worn either over the rider’s jersey, or underneath it, depending on your preference. It also works really well with Leatt’s neck brace. It is so much more than a simple roost protector, offering excellent protection in the event of heavy impact, thick 3D foam cushioning the rider behind the very hard plastic, ensuring both, that the impact is absorbed by the protector, and that it doesn’t hurt you as much.
While I am very pleased with the overall quality of this chest protector, it isn’t perfect. One glaring fault is that its shoulder pads constantly fall off, something that can be pretty off-putting. It’s a shame that a product of such high quality couldn’t incorporate shoulder pads properly. However, the rest of it is top-notch; it will save your torso from certain destruction.
Fox Racing Proframe LC Youth Boys Roost
I cannot heap enough praise on this product. My friend’s children use it, and they’ve never had anything to complain about. It fits great, offers bucket loads of protection and is super comfortable.
Fox Racing Youth Girl’s R3 Roost Deflector
Like the previous entry, this product is amazing. My friend’s kids use it and they have little to complain about. It is comfortable and sturdy and makes riding safe and joyful. One slight problem is that the arm band tends to come undone every now and again.
Styles of Chest Protectors and Pros and Cons
There are a number of chest protectors available in the market. Chest protectors are a necessity since a fall from a bike can mean a surefire clavicle injury or some broken ribs as well. Each kind of chest protectors comes with its unique benefits and disadvantages. Let’s look at the styles of chest protectors and the pros and cons they bring with them.
Air Chest Protectors
Air chest protectors happen to be a new trend for bikers. They are commonly worn below the jersey and are essentially just have a small compression tank on top of them, giving them the name air protectors. Although they can contain dense foam beneath the compression tank, the air chest protector is mostly just a mixture of normal foam and plastic. It happens to be an update to typical protectors that provide simple foam protection and are work on top of the body.
The pros of air chest protectors happen to be the fact that they are easy to wear. One simply needs to wear them beneath their jersey. The mobility and ease it allows makes it easy to handle. Another pro of air chest protectors happens to be the fact that they are cheaper than other protectors, making them affordable for anyone.
The one and only, and very important, con of air chest protectors happens to be the fact that they provide minimal protection. Although they are easy to wear, they do not provide you with the best protection. Hence, they are not worth risking a major chest injury to the chest. Simply ignore them if you want to get the very best protection.
Jacket Style Chest Protectors
Jacket style chest protectors essentially cover the entire torso. The jacket style protectors are the ones enduro riders normally prefer and are the ones that are normally relied upon for total upper body protection. They are known as jacket style protectors because they incorporate both chest protection and elbow protectors into one total protection gear which collectively makes something close to a jacket. It is usually made of dense foam and offers supreme protection to the people who wear it.
The main positive of this style of chest protectors happens to be the fact that they offer fantastic protection to the body. They protect the entire torso and leave no inch unprotected. They are much better than air chest protectors when it comes to protection, not just in the amount of protection they provide but also when it comes to the area they cover all around the torso. Their protection is their greatest pro.
The biggest con of a jacket style chest protector happens to be the fact that they are very hard to wear and take a lot of time to properly put on. The protective pads are sewn inside the jacket, making it necessary to adjust them appropriately. If the pads aren’t facing the right body parts, it becomes hard to adjust them later on. Moreover, the jacket style chest protectors are also very heavy and weigh down on your body, making them an uncomfortable accessory to wear while biking. Another uncomfortable aspect of a jacket style chest protector happens to be the fact that they create a very hot atmosphere for the person wearing them. They are too hot and can become unbearable on long biking trips in the heat of the sun. They also happen to be costlier than a chest protector.
Full Body Protectors
A full body protection means each and every inch of your body is protected and no area is left to chance when it comes to biking. On a biking trip, each and every body part is exposed to danger and anything can get hurt during a fall. It is the best possible choice for someone who wishes to not get hurt at all during their biking adventures, need to get this kind of armor.
The main pro aspect of this kind of protection it provides the person wearing it. It is a perfect system that allows the wearer to keep the integrity of every single part of the body. It allows the person to roam free and bike as much as they want wherever they want without having to fear for their body. From the top of the head to the very sole of the person’s feet, a full body production ensures your safety.
One con of a full body protection gear happens to be the fact that it takes a lot of time to put on. They require immense care so that each and every part can be properly fitted on the body. Beyond that it also takes a lot of time and care to take it off as well. Moreover, a full body protector costs a lot of money and includes a lot of parts. With time the parts of the protection system require maintenance and thus bring a financial burden to you. Ultimately, they are a high cost and high maintenance protection system that provides you the best protection that you need.
What to Look for Buying Chest Protectors
Choosing the type of chest protectors requires some decision making that has to be based on the factors that define your biking trip. First and foremost, the kind of place you are taking your biking trip in defines the kind of the chest protectors you should buy. For example, in a rugged place where your bike has a great chance or hitting something and you falling down, a jacket style chest protector or full body protector is required. However, if the climate happens to be one with scorching heat, wearing a jacket style chest protector may not be the best choice because it is highly uncomfortable.
Moreover, additional accessories might be required depending on the place you are biking. If you happen to take your bike on a trail, additional shoulder protection is needed since you have a chance of falling down on your side and possibly bruising your shoulder. In such a case, shoulder protection is necessary to help you have a safe and fun biking trip. Moreover, biking along down a slope would need the biker to wear knee guards. Falling down off a bike while going down a mountain is a very common occurrence and scraping your knees or possibly hurting the kneecap is also very likely.
How Are All the Protectors Used
Chest protectors and full body protectors are usually worn in two way; either below the jersey or above it. Both kinds of methods bring their own unique pros and cons. Some protectors, such as the air chest protector, can be worn either above or below the jersey, whereas jacket style chest protectors are often worn on top of a biker’s jersey. Wearing them above or below the jersey comes with their own specific sets of benefits, which we will look at now.
Pros of Wearing them Above the Jersey
Wearing protection above the jersey means that the protection is the first thing that comes into contact with the ground once you fall down. This aspect of them protects your clothes and makes sure that they do not get damaged. Moreover, wearing the protection above the jersey is more comfortable than wearing them below the shirt, where the plastic can rub against the skin and possibly cause sores. Therefore, when it comes to ease of use and ease of wearing something, wearing protection above the jersey is the best way to go about it.
Cons of Wearing them Above the Jersey
Wearing the protection after you wear the jersey can be a difficult proposition since you would need to adjust your jersey to accommodate the protective gear. Moreover, wearing it above the jersey is not really an appealing sight. Hence, for anyone wanting to look cool when they bike, wearing the protection gear above the jersey is not the best solution.
Pros of wearing them below the Jersey
The first benefit of wearing the protection below the jersey means that you can look good while you are biking. Biking protection gear is the not the best-looking thing to wear and hiding it below the clothes is one of the best ways to keep it out of sight. Moreover, when worn below a jersey, the protection gear becomes the second line of defense for the body. It is the clothes of a person that initially protects them and then comes the protection gear. Therefore, it allows for two layers of protection when worn below a jersey instead of above it.
Cons of wearing them Below the Jersey
One major con of wearing protective gear below the jersey happens to be the fact that your clothes come into contact with the ground and have a very good chance of getting torn. Moreover, wearing them below the jersey can become uncomfortable since the plastic interacts with the body all the time physically. The body might sustain some sores or might even get rashes over extended use with the protective gear. Moreover, the protective gear can also make the temperature of the body increase manifold and make it seem like an oven right below your shirt.
Why you Should Wear Chest Protectors
Chest protectors are an essential article for bikers since they not only protect them from falls but they are also a great protection against debris that comes flying from anywhere on a biking trail. A biking trail means a number of people constantly going along a rugged trail full of stones. Some small pebble can get stuck along a tire and come flying straight towards the body. Projectiles such as even the smallest stone can end up carrying an immense amount of force when they come flying at high speeds. These projectiles can leave you with bruises and cuts when they strike sensitive skin such as that on the forehead. Hence to keep yourself safe, you need to have a good protection gear intact whenever you bike.
Wearing Neck Braces with Chest Protectors
Chest protectors do not typically afford you with neck protection since they are usually shaped like a normal shirt or a normal jacket. Therefore protecting the neck is not something they can readily do. Hence, protecting your neck is something you need to do on your own. The best way to protect your neck happens to be via wearing a neck brace. The skin on a person’s neck happens to be very sensitive and very thing, making it necessary for you to wear a neck brace along with your normal chest protection.
What are Roost Deflectors and How are they Different
A chest deflector is just a generic term for chest protection gear. A chest deflector is known by the people as a typical foam and plastic hybrid that is worn on the torso to protect the body from falls or debris. However, that is a definition that is only applicable to roost deflectors. The main difference between a chest deflector and a roost deflector happens to be the fact that chest deflectors have a CE certification, whereas a roost deflector does not.
Roost Deflector Recommendation
If you are looking for a fantastic roost deflector that is easily available and provides great protection, go for the Fox Racing Titan Sport Protective MTB Jacket. A jacket style chest protector, this roost deflector provides your entire upper torso with good protection. Costing around $145, this deflector happens to be a best seller on Amazon. Mixing style with substance, this roost deflector has two chest plates that give your chest the perfect amount of protection. It also covers the entire length of your arms and comes with a one year warranty. Expect it to run for you for quite some time.
What is a CE and why is it Important
The CE is an abbreviation for Conformité Européene, a French term which means Confirmed in Europe. CE marks are added to devices and objects that meet the European standards. When it comes to deflectors, a deflector given a CE rating means that it provides the kind of protection that is advised and is according to the European standards of protection. For a deflector to be decreed a chest deflector, it needs to meet the European standards for protection and thus it sets itself apart from a roost deflector.
Are the Pads Removable
Sometimes you might need to take out the pads from your chest protectors in order to replace them or for any other reason that may include maintenance or other factors. Not all chest protectors come with removable pads, however. Some have this function ingrained while others do not. You will need to look for the specific kind you want while searching for chest protectors.
Who Certifies Chest Protectors for Safety
CE is the most widely used and approved chest protection certification throughout the world. Chest protectors need to be certified by CE to become used as chest deflectors. Without a CE certification, chest protectors are typically known as roost deflectors. A CE certification means that the chest protection gear provides the standard of safety necessary for it to be used commercially and on a large scale by bikers all over the world.
Is the Front Plate Adjustable
Front chest plates are normally fitted as is and cannot be adjusted. However, recently some chest protectors have been appearing with adjustable front plates that can be fitted in any place and can move in their position as well. Therefore, it allows people a greater sense of ease and helps them become more comfortable.
Is the Back Plate Adjustable
Much like the front plate, the back plate is mostly fitted as it is. However, some chest protectors have been appearing with backplates that are adjustable. Backplates are often not something that most people want to adjust and hence finding a chest protector that has adjustable back plates might not be an easy proposition.
Is the Buckle System Integrated
Most chest protection system nowadays happens to come with buckle systems integrated. A buckle system allows the wearer of the chest protection to safely tuck in everything and ensure the protective gear is correctly fixed along the body.
Is it a Full Wrap Body Coverage
A full body protection system wraps along the entire body of the wearer. It covers the entire body and protects each and every inch of the body. A normal chest deflector or protector is normally not full wrap body coverage and the full body covers are usually different kind of protectors. Therefore, choosing the full wrap body is something you need to do when you want your entire body to be protected from harm.
Ventilation is an essential part of chest protection and many chest protectors come with in-built holes and passages that allow air to move throughout the chest protector and ventilate the body of the person wearing the chest protector. Be sure to choose a chest protector with a good ventilation system since it can quite hot within a normal chest protector.
What to Wear Under Chest Protectors
If you want to protect your chest protector from sweat and the smell that it brings, wearing a t-shirt beneath the chest protector is normally advised. Whatever kind of cloth you wear beneath depends on your tastes.