Just like it’s important to protect your head by wearing a helmet while dirt bike riding, it’s also really important to wear a chest protector or body armor that can do the same, but with more convenience.
This is a really complex matter that has a wide range of narratives inside, and if you’re having a hard time choosing a body armor that meets your preference, don’t worry, it’s not just you.
There are lots of things that you have to consider before buying body armor for dirt bike riding, the most important ones being the safety certifications, whether the body armor has a ventilation system or not, can you adjust its connections and such similar stuff.
This buying guide contains every small detail that you should know about body armor for dirt bikes. Before I start with the product reviews, I’d like to point out the fact that all of the products that are listed were chosen with proper research and testing.
Durability, protection, comfort, and design were all taken into consideration when I made this list, but for the most part, I also chose them based on price.
Budget is also important, and how much are you willing to spend on a dirt bike body armor also matters, so depending on what you like most and which product meets your requirements the most, hopefully, you’ll find one that meets your budget as well.
Top 5 Best Body Armors for Dirt Bike Riding in 2021
5. FOX RACING R3
Fox Racing is a well-known and respected brand that has been providing dirt bike riders with quality gear for quite some years now.
I have previously used boots and helmets from this brand, and they’ve turned out to be great in every way.
If there’s one thing I learned from this brand, it’s that their products bring the most value for money than any other company out there.
In this case, the Fox Racing R3 is an example of their quality and their value for money. The R3 is a body-hugging and race-fit form of protection that you can even wear under a jersey.
There are plenty of benefits that come along with this body armor or roost deflector as you might call it. First, it’s lightweight so you won’t really notice wearing it, while it also protects you from rocks that can be kicked your way from other riders.
That will not only protect you from getting bruises, but it will also let you focus on the trail due to the comfortable construction.
In addition, what you’ll also like is the adjustable should connections that will fit different body shapes, while the padded arm guards are fully adjustable and removable.
The most appealing feature for me is the 0.68kg weight, you will barely feel having the Fox R3 on your body. For more convenience, you can also choose between three color variants when buying this model, such as red, black, and blue.
Overall, the Fox Racing R3 is the ultimate bang for the buck dirt bike body armor that comes with plenty of features and a unique design all in one reasonably priced package.
You won’t find another dirt bike body armor at this price range that brings the same value for money, so if you’re looking for something similar, the Fox Racing R3 would be your ideal choice.
4. FOX RACING AIRFRAME PRO
Just as I stated above, Fox Racing is very popular in the dirt bike gear industry, and body armors are no exception.
They’ve managed to get on top of the chain with their feature-rich yet affordable products, so let’s take a look at the Fox Racing Airframe.
The Fox Racing Airframe boasts a very unique design that enables the body armor to be as comfortable as it gets. I say as comfortable as it gets because this is by far one of the most comfortable body armor’s that I’ve seen.
To support that statement, let’s point out the fact that the Airframe Pro features an articulating backplate for superior fit and a wide range of motion and flexibility to ensure comfort.
If your dirt bike ride gets longer than excepted, you’ll feel comfortable wearing this body armor nonetheless because it has removable shoulder plates for remarkable mobility.
Same as the Fox Racing R3, the Airframe Pro also has a weight of 0.68kg, which means you won’t even notice wearing it when dirt bike riding on the trails. You can also get in in four different color options, such as in black, white, blue and grey.
However, no matter what you choose, all of them share the same specifications and color is the only thing that makes them different.
The fact that the shoulder plates are removable cheers me up even more, it just adds extra points to the comfort area of this body armor.
If you’re looking for body armor that comes with an EVA molded foam, it’s sweat-resistant and it has a great ventilation system to keep you as comfortable and cool as it gets, then the Fox Racing Airframe Pro is your answer.
3. LEATT 4.5 CHEST PROTECTOR
The Leatt 4.5 Chest Protector is without a doubt one of the best chest protectors on the market, and for the most part, you’ll like the fact that it’s CE certified for impact.
In addition to that, the Leat 4.5 also features a hard HDPE external shell and a 3DF AirFit interior which not only brings protection, but also provides you with exceptional comfort.
Since we mentioned the 3DF impact interior, it’s important to note that the 3DF interior was built with mobility, flexibility, and comfortability in mind.
In an event of an impact, the 3DF foam will immediately change into an energy-absorbing substance that will protect you from any damage that’s coming your way.
To continue, there are a couple of other features that are worth mentioning, such as the “brace-on” neck brace fitting system and the adjustable flank panels that will do a great job at protecting your sides.
The Leatt 4.5 has a weight of 1.45 kilograms which means that it won’t be a hard burden to carry around. I really find the Leatt 4.5 to be the most well-rounded helmet on the market since it offers plenty of premium features that no other models at this price range do.
For example, the 3D AirFit impact foam inner lining hardens in an event of an impact, thus, it enables the body armor to protect you from anything that comes your way.
Apart from that, you’ll also like the fact that this model also features ventilation slots, which means that the airflow will be greatly improved from what you’ve had before.
Personally, I have had a great experience with this body armor, it does a great job at keeping you cool and comfortable.
To conclude, if you’re looking for a multi-plate articulated design body armor that features an above the charts high-strength construction, the Leatt 4.5 would be your best answer.
2. ALPINESTARS A-10
If you’re having a hard time choosing a dirt bike body armor for you, one that meets your preference the most, then the Alpinestars A-10 is probably your best choice.
I’m saying this for almost all five products that I’ve listed, but they’re simply the best in their category.
The Alpinestars A-10 offers great protection mostly due to the polymer plates.
These polymer plates are CE certified and they’re pretty much incomparable with the other body armors at this price range on the market.
For more convenience, the Alpinestars A-10 also features an embedded grid technology that does a great job at resisting and absorbing impact energy.
There are lots of features that are worth mentioning, but I’m going to cover only the most important ones.
That being said, it’s important to mention that this body armor consists of a soft bio-foam padded chassis that provides optimum comfort, and it allows for a perfect body fit when wearing the body armor.
In addition, you’ll also like the fact that the EVA padding is removable on the biceps and it has a locking system on the shoulder pads that will force the protection to be maintained at the most important parts of your body.
The Alpinestars A-10 includes a quick release attachment system for in and out, while for the most part, you’ll also like this body armor due to the lightweight construction of only 1.36kg.
Basically, you won’t even notice wearing this body armor, thus, you can focus and concentrate on the trail while riding your dirt bike without anything discomforting or annoying you.
Moreover, this model also comes in four color variants from which you can choose from, such as anthracite, black, red, and white.
All and all, the Alpinestars A-10 is all about protection, and that’s the area that the manufacturer focused more on when building this body armor.
This body armor offers optimum protection for many reasons, just like the ones that we mentioned above, but the most appealing feature is the modular design construction.
The modular design construction allows you to wear this dirt bike armor in a wide range of configurations that will allow you to use the Alpinestars in different environments.
1. LEATT 5.5
I have listed this body armor as the number one to-go product because it’s by far the most premium one that I’ve seen.
We did a review about the Leatt 4.5, and you saw how great that 4.5 model was, however, the Leat 5.5 is an improvement that comes with plenty of upgrades.
First and foremost, let’s point out the fact that this body armor covers all areas of your upper body, including your chest, elbow, back, shoulder, and flank protection.
So as you can see, you’ll be protected everywhere and from all levels of danger because the CE tested external hard shell is made of the highest-grade materials, high-density polyethylene.
Since we brought up High-Density Poly Ethylene, this type of materials offers incredible protection even in the densest impacts.
For more convenience, you’re also going to like the fact that the hard-shell is integrated with 3D AirFit soft impact foam interior lining, just like the Leatt 4.5.
This type of interior is designed with comfort in mind, so it will fit and conform around your body easily, while the most appealing feature of it is that it immediately hardens in an event of an impact or crash.
This body armor is quite versatile as well since it comes with a kidney belt that allows you to make height adjustments to fit different riders’ heights.
That’s a great addition to have, but when it comes to the weight, the Leatt 5.5 weighs 2.50kg which is just above the average.
The materials that are used throughout the body armor are all anti-odor fabrics, so you won’t have to worry about your gear smelling bad or something.
The Leatt 5.5 is by far the most professional body armor out there, everything from features to comfort and durability tells quality. Along with this body armor, you also benefit from plenty of features such as the kidney belt, or the anti-odor fabrics that will prevent your body armor from getting smelly.
All and all, I highly recommend you take the Leatt 5.5 into serious consideration. It’s the most premium dirt bike body armor out there that offers optimum protection on all sides.
A buying guide – What to look for
Not to get confused, some people call these body armors chest protectors, while some call them protection jackets. Either way, no matter what terms you use for them, they’re still the most in-vogue gear and probably the most important protection element that you need to have when dirt bike riding.
If you remember, I mentioned that there are quite somethings you need to consider before buying body armor for dirt bike riding, so now let’s mention those things one by one to give you an idea of what to look for in body armor.
Putting this one as your first and main concern, protection is what you should aim for in the first place, and tough body armor that can withstand years of torture.
Body armors for dirt bike riding nowadays come with plenty of protective features, and most of the time people underestimate and discredit such features and aim for a cheap body protector that only looks stylish.
Many things fall into this category, such as the built-material, is it strong enough to not break in an event of an impact, is it strong enough to absorb shock, and is it strong enough to last you for a longer period of time? If the body armor that you’re searching for answers all of these questions positively, then that’s the one you’re after.
You can pretty much tell by the product reviews that body armors come in different weights. Some are pretty lightweight, while some are heavier than you’d expect.
If you haven’t used body armor for dirt bike riding before, then you should first try out one from a friend or something to know what weight is more preferable to you.
Personally, I prefer my body armor to be lightweight, even though it takes some points when it comes to protection, it still keeps you more comfortable and focused on the trail.
Heavy body armor will definitely protect you more due to its density and toughness, however, if you’re someone who doesn’t like carrying heavy stuff around when dirt bike riding, then heavy body armor is not the best option you can make.
It’s very important for dirt bike riding body armors to have a ventilation system implemented in them, and that’s one of the most important features when it comes to the overall design. A ventilation system simply makes the airflow better, and it makes the design more eye-catching.
Meanwhile, somebody’s armor has a whole different punch on them, their design doesn’t cover arms but only the chest, while some cover every inch of your upper body.
Depending on which preference you find yourself more, choosing a design will also play a huge role in how satisfied you’ll be with your body armor purchase.
What is a chest protector for?
Obviously, just as the name suggests, a chest protector will protect the most open-to-injuries parts of your body. As stated, body armors are known by many names, the most popular one being “chest protector”, however, body armor sounds better to me.
When dirt bike riding, your ribs, stomach, and chest are pretty much vital when it comes to protecting them. So a body armor, or a chest protector for dirt bikes as you might call it, protects all of those parts while giving you a comfortable and focused ride.
How should a chest protector fit?
In practice, body armor should fit 1.5″ below the T-shirt or collar line at the neck. Other than that, your stomach needs to fit at the waistline and the arms to end 1-1.5″ from the wrist. Well, to be more precise the bottom part of your belly, not your stomach.
If wearing your dirt bike body armor makes you uncomfortable, then you either have the wrong number, or you just need a proper and better body armor for your size.
Our Final Verdict
Your safety and protection are the most essential factors to think about when choosing dirt bike armor. Your dirt bike armor will absorb the impact and provide enough protection when accidents happen. Moreover, they can save your life depending on the severity of your incident, so the budget shouldn’t be a significant factor to take into consideration. Your life is priceless, right?
As you saw above, it can be pretty frustrating when it comes to choosing a body armor for dirt bike riding. The market is pretty huge nowadays, and seeing all those options in front of you doesn’t really make this process any easier, it only confuses you more.
As we got all the product reviews and the informative articles out of the way, I’m going to reveal my top pick for today which is the Leatt 5.5! What else could you even be looking for with the level of safety and impact absorption the Leatt 5.5 provides? This body armor is one of the most feature-rich body armors for protection, while on the other hand, it also checks all the boxes in terms of comfortability and design. I highly recommend you getting this exceptional product of the available dirt bike body armors out there.