The MXstore Body Armour Buying Guide
Body armour in motocross is often overlooked, and some it can mostly be for the fact that sometimes you can't even tell someone is even wearing some. You'd be forgiven for wondering how the majority of professional racers around the world race 30-minute plus motos on some of the roughest tracks you'll ever, see seemingly without any roost protection whatsoever.
Look closely at Eli Tomac's jersey, and you might catch a glimpse of some Alpinestars Body Armour through the venting, and the same goes for Ken Roczen, Adam Cianciarulo, and Jeffrey Herlings. They may be some of the fastest dirt bike racers on the planet, but they're not invincible, and with the power of some of the 450 machines getting around a track these days throwing rocks and mud at you at some seriously high speeds, a lightweight roost protector can be the perfect solution for balancing speed and safety.
Of course, it's not just the professionals who need body armour. Here at MXstore, we recommended anyone throwing their leg over a dirt bike equip themselves out with a decent set of body armour.
Roost protection aside, there's a range of dangers that body armour can help protect you from, and anyone who's ever copped a handlebar directly to the chest in a crash will tell you they wished they were wearing a chest protector. We're here today to run you through the different body armour options available on the market, what kind of riding they're best suited for, and the differences in price ranges on offer.
Different Body Armour Options:
There's three typical body armour options available, though many can be modified depending on your personal preference.
Body pressure suit: The pressure suits have come a long one in recent years. Majority of your leading brands will offer a body armour option in the pressure suit variety. When it comes to overall upper body protection, the pressure suit wins hands down every time. Depending on your model, these things will usually include chest and back protection, integrated elbow guards, and a set of solid shoulder pads for when you decide to tackle a tree as you tear through the bush. Some styles will even incorporate a kidney belt into the bottom of the suit!
Some brands offer a hard thermoplastic style pressure suit, while others like Leatt focus on soft shell 3DF protection. Either way, these things bring some serious protection to the track, so if you're after some solid defence, you can't go wrong with a pressure suit.
Depending on your own personal taste, you may choose to wear the pressure suit either inside your jersey or over the top. Keep in mind you'll need a decent-sized jersey if you're planning on running your suit underneath it, plus you'll also look like The Incredible Hulk. Of course, with protection as serious as this, it's going to come at a cost, both to your wallet and how much your movement is restricted on the bike.
Hard Shell Chest Protectors
The hard shell chest protectors are easily the most popular body armour options available today. While they're usually known as a chest protector, most will come with some kind of back protection, though roost deflection at the front of the body is by far its primary purpose. Being fairly minimal when it comes to coverage, these things come at an affordable price, and offer protection to the areas that most need it.
Some variations will come equipped with additional shoulder guards and some detachable upper arm deflectors. Based purely on price point, the chest protectors are probably the best value-for-money body armour you can get your hands on. Available from most of your leading brands, they won't break the bank and will offer you some decent protection out on the track or trails.
As with the pressure suits, it comes down to personal preference if you want to wear these under your jersey or outside it. One of the key features with several of these armours is the ability to detach the rear of the armour and replace it with a simple fitment strap, giving you an extremely lightweight chest protector that you'll barely feel when riding.
If you're one those guys like Eli Tomac who wants minimalistic coverage that offers solid roost protection, the hard shell chest protector could be a go.
Padded Under Armour:
Super popular throughout the summer months when it's topping out around 40 degrees on the track, padded under armour offers a super lightweight option that also provides some basic protection from roost and flying debris. They won't offer the greatest protection when you cop a handlebar to the ribs, but in terms of roost protection these things will hold their own all day, and with some serious venting will keep you cool on those steaming hot days.
Usually worn under the jersey, the padded under armour comes in various options, with full-length sleeves, tee-shirt style and vest designs all popular amongst our customers. If you're just chasing some lightweight armour and you're not too concerned with hard plastic protection, you can't go wrong with a padded under armour.
As we touched on earlier, these are the three main styles of armour on offer. Price points will vary between the brands and styles, but as with most motocross protective gear, you're going to get what you pay for. Obviously there is a huge range of varying options available on the market, so decide on what exactly you're after in terms of protection and find the right kind of armour to suit you!
Body Armour Sizing:
In most cases, body armour fitment can be decided using a chest measurement. To find this measurement, take the circumference of the chest approximately 1-inch below the armpits across your breastbone, and be sure to keep the tape measure parallel to the ground for accuracy. Usually we recommend finding out what jersey size you are, and using that as a guide to chest protector sizing as they are the same more often than not.
As a rough guide, check out the measurements in the table below. Please keep in mind that these are to be used a rough guide only, and some measurements may vary between brands and styles. Be sure to check out the brands specific size chart to find the right size for you.
Kids Body Armour:
MXstore knows the importance of safety when riding a dirt bike, and we made sure the young pups weren't left out when it came to the body armour category. The kids armour ranges are almost a mirror image of the adults line up, though most brands don't make the pressure suits in a youth sizing. The majority of your chest protectors and under armours are available for the kids, so jump onto the Kids Body Armour page and get your young ones the protection they deserve.
Check out the Fox Racing Raptor Body Armour in the video below, and you can see that there are no shortcuts taken when it comes to the kids' ranges.
There are several kids chest protectors that are ‘One Size Fits All’ because they are adjustable and can be made to fit a range of sizes, which is ideal when your kid is growing quite quickly and you don't want to be replacing their armour every couple of months. They can accommodate kids between the sizes of S & 2XL according to the data below:
In most cases, kids chest protector fitment can be decided using a chest measurement. To find this measurement, take the circumference of the chest approximately 1″ below the armpits across your breastbone, be sure to keep the tape measure parallel to the ground for accuracy.
Popular body armour brands:
- Alpinestars Body Armour
- EVS Body Armour
- Fox Body Armour
- Leatt Body Armour
- Thor Body Armour
- Troy Lee Designs Armour
Remember that our friendly staff are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Checkout our contact page for all the details.
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