Body armour

Discussion in 'Riding Protection' started by mahgnillig, May 22, 2018.

  1. This is one of the things that comes up from time to time when people are looking for a bit more protection so here is my recent body armour experience. I was looking for body armour for BMX racing specifically, but it will also come in handy for DH and power kiting. Adult sizes are almost universally too large for me so I looked into youth sized options. For reference, I'm 5'2.5" (hey, that half inch is important), 115lbs with a 32" bust and normally wear a size 4-6 or ladies small.

    I wanted my armour to fit closely over a compression shirt so it doesn't move around in the event of a crash. Bearing this in mind I went shopping on Amazon and ordered I ordered the TLD long sleeve size youth L and youth XL, Fox Titan youth and Leatt 3DF youth L-XL to try on.

    Fox Titan: they only have one youth size and it's obviously for very small kids. An 8 year old might be okay in it, but it was too small for me to even get on properly.

    Troy Lee: the XL was a little baggy and the L a little snug, though the L was the better fitting of the two because the armour was held in place tightly. Pros: light weight; armour is segmented so it moves very well and is comfortable once on; lots of coverage in all areas which you can customise by removing pieces. Cons: fabric is quite scratchy on the inside; shoulder pads cover the side but not the top of the shoulders; no zip, so it was a pain to get on and off.

    Leatt: the fit on this was perfect... not too baggy or too tight. The chest and back plates are one piece, so it doesn't move with you in the same way the TLD does, and feels a little stiff at first, but it's comfortable. Pros: nice soft fabric inside; shoulder armour covers the whole shoulder; zips on/off; comfortable. Cons: fewer padded areas than TLD, especially on the sides of the ribs; heavier and stiffer armour plates.

    I ended up picking the Leatt after battling to get the TLD armour off for seriously like 2 minutes (this was with a nice clean shirt underneath and no sweat, so I can only imagine how frustrating this would be at the end of a sweaty ride, and I really don't need that panicked, overheating claustrophobia in my life! ) I also preferred how soft the Leatt fabric was, and the fact that it covers the whole shoulder area, not just the side. If it had the segmented armour like the TLD then it would be perfect, but I can live with the stiffer panels for the sake of overall comfort and ease of use.

    Having raced a couple of times in the Leatt I am very happy with it. Yes, it's hot, but BMX races are short. I ended up dissecting the chest and back panels as they are stacks of multiple sheets of padding, and I took one pad out of each area to make it slightly less bulky. Since these areas had the highest rating anyway this seems like a good compromise between comfort and protection, and I can always add them back in. The zipped front is brilliant, and makes it really easy to strip off when you need to cool down quickly. I'd definitely recommend this shirt if you're looking for a bit of extra protection.
    kreme.brulee likes this.

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