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Air bag vest.

Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
I'll start the replies. :)

I've been wearing a Hit-Air MLV-P for probably 6-7 years. I first considered it when I read of a member of the NT-Owners group who went off the road. He was a very experienced rider and leading a small group on a ride. The road turned...and he didn't. He doesn't remember what happened and it wasn't a TIA. His riding gear protected him from any scrapes and cuts. But he almost died. He had 17 broken bones in his chest, a ruptured disk and a fractured disk in his back. For months it was touch and go.

I'm cheap. We didn't have much extra money for non-essentials. But my wife had no second thoughts of me spending over $500 on this airbag vest. The logical part of me also said that one trip to the Emergency Room would pay for the vest. If the vest dies, I'll buy another. No question about it.

The first time it deployed, was when I was going to the prison. It was rush hour. I came to a busy intersection and wanted to turn right. As I stopped, I realized the light had just changed. The cars to my left had a large intersection to cross and there was time to make the turn and get ahead of them...if I went now. I was looking left, and as I let out the clutch I looked ahead...and saw a teenager with a skate board on the crosswalk right in front of me. There was no choice, I had to hit the only brake I had...the front. One second I was upright and looking at the kid. The next, I was on the ground, laying up against the curb.

As I laid there, I realized my chest and ribs were against the hard edge of the curb. Yet I felt no pain. Then it dawned on me. The airbag vest had deployed.

Besides my obvious embarrassment and the knowledge that my vest had deployed...I'd gotten my new shiny clean vest dirty in the mud. It'd never look pristine again. Sigh...

I don't notice the airbag vest on. The additional weight disappears as it gets spread across your body. In the cold, I suppose it helps. Believe it or not, it also helps in hot weather.

When the temps get up to 93F and above, you want to start limiting the airflow to your body. The thyroid can't keep up with the heat. Sweat dries on the skin before you can get any cooling effect. The airbag vest actually slows down the amount of air enough to keep the sweat on your body and give you some cooling. I was going through Wyoming a few years ago and stopped at a rest stop. It was over 105F outside. A couple on a Goldwing and a Victory Vision told me their cooling vests had dried in 30 minutes. Mine lasted for hours.

I've ridden in temps up to 116F with the airbag vest on. It wasn't an issue.


There's a lot of discussion regarding using the old Stone Age tethered airbag vests, or the new Modern and with-it electronically activated vests. You can read the pros and cons of both. I'll stick with the tried and true tethered vests. I know it works. BTW, you won't walk away from the bike and and deploy the vest. About the only way that will happen is if you're so drunk you have no idea what you're doing. It takes more force to deploy the airbag vest than you'll cause by simply walking away.

The last thought I can think of is whether to get a vest or a jacket. A vest will go with whatever jacket you're wearing. If you chose the jacket...that's it. You'd better have a summer jacket and a winter jacket. And it better be the best designed jacket ever, or you'll leave it behind and wear something that you like better...that doesn't have an airbag.

Chris
 

FTB530

Member
Member
Daboo thanks for that response, i am sold on a vest , i already have two expensive jackets so a vest would make more sense to purchase then another full jacket and then i can swap it around on which ever jacket i choose to wear. So do you ever wear a hydration pack? Can one be worn with a air bag vest?


ZXtasy what fest did you purchase?
 

Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
I've never used a hydration pack on my back. When I've used one, I put it in my tank bag.

You'd have to think that through. Some of the newer jackets are designed to go under your jacket and they don't balloon up nearly as much. There has to be room for the vest to expand. So if you put a hydration pack over the vest...when it balloons up, something has to give. I think you would be the weak link in that scenario. :) So I believe it can be done...but it'll take some thought.

One thing I'd do if shopping around is to look at the deployed vest pictures. Some cover more area than others. I might be wrong, but from the pictures I looked at, the Hit-Air looked like it covered more of the important body parts than the Helite. And now you have several others in the mix now. The Hit-Air will deploy to cover your neck and collarbone, and at the bottom, it covers the tailbone too.

Chris
 

FTB530

Member
Member
I've never used a hydration pack on my back. When I've used one, I put it in my tank bag.

You'd have to think that through. Some of the newer jackets are designed to go under your jacket and they don't balloon up nearly as much. There has to be room for the vest to expand. So if you put a hydration pack over the vest...when it balloons up, something has to give. I think you would be the weak link in that scenario. :) So I believe it can be done...but it'll take some thought.

One thing I'd do if shopping around is to look at the deployed vest pictures. Some cover more area than others. I might be wrong, but from the pictures I looked at, the Hit-Air looked like it covered more of the important body parts than the Helite. And now you have several others in the mix now. The Hit-Air will deploy to cover your neck and collarbone, and at the bottom, it covers the tailbone too.

Chris
Lots of good advice, thanks and happy 🦃day to you and yours
 

ZXtasy

Member
Member
FTB 530, after a lot of comparing the Hit Air Models, and las spring some other brands, I went with the same one Daboo uses, in yellow with reflective. I have seen him wearing his at the Ride the Ribbon and it is not obtrusive. Must be getting old because now I think about how long healing takes and falling off the bike at a track day. I definitely was not impressed by the bluetooth/electronic activated ones, give me a good old DEAD MAN cord any day.

I know I was not asked, but on the hydration pack topic I have a nice one gifted to me but never used. To tempted to put a nice dry martini in it. Even with water, it would make me have to stop more to P, but I already stop every 1.5 hours anyway and rehydrate/empty on the average. I can see them for a hot race or trailriding though.
 

FTB530

Member
Member
FTB 530, after a lot of comparing the Hit Air Models, and las spring some other brands, I went with the same one Daboo uses, in yellow with reflective. I have seen him wearing his at the Ride the Ribbon and it is not obtrusive. Must be getting old because now I think about how long healing takes and falling off the bike at a track day. I definitely was not impressed by the bluetooth/electronic activated ones, give me a good old DEAD MAN cord any day.

I know I was not asked, but on the hydration pack topic I have a nice one gifted to me but never used. To tempted to put a nice dry martini in it. Even with water, it would make me have to stop more to P, but I already stop every 1.5 hours anyway and rehydrate/empty on the average. I can see them for a hot race or trailriding though.
I appreciate any recommendations/advice from anyone, i dont always wear my hydration pack and really don't like the weight of it on my back, but on the warmer days it is a good thing to have, after a long day of riding and drinking out of it i feel a lot better being hydrated, usually fill with ice and dump a bottle of gatorade in it, have also been thinking about a larger tank bag to put the hydration pack in rather then on my back.
 

mattmagee3096

Member
Member
I just saw a review that included a Flyastar brand vest that's only $130 on Amazon. Anybody ever hear of those? Sounds sketchy, but maybe somebody has heard of them.

The Hit Air vest looks promising. $500 isn't much if it saves you from even one broken rib.
 

santacruzrider

Member
Member
I have one of the cheap Amazon vests (sold under a different name). I took it with me to West Marine when I bought the needed air canister and it‘s pretty much exactly like their auto-inflate life jackets they sell, except it has a much longer ducktail and larger neck brace. I’ve handled the Hit Air before and construction seems similar, but I wasn’t holding both side by side for a decent comparison. Would be interesting if someone did torture test to see the differences.

I like the cheap one I have and I’m trying hard not to ever test it myself.
 

FTB530

Member
Member
I have one of the cheap Amazon vests (sold under a different name). I took it with me to West Marine when I bought the needed air canister and it‘s pretty much exactly like their auto-inflate life jackets they sell, except it has a much longer ducktail and larger neck brace. I’ve handled the Hit Air before and construction seems similar, but I wasn’t holding both side by side for a decent comparison. Would be interesting if someone did torture test to see the differences.

I like the cheap one I have and I’m trying hard not to ever test it myself.
C,mon man, you have to test it😂, i have a couple self inflating fishing vest, the instructions i read when brand new says to test before use, only one way to test them and then you have to buy a $30 kit to reset, needless to say i did’nt test them first before use😏
 
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