Airbag vest for motorcycle – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Airbag vests for motorcycles are part of the safety clothing of any motorcyclist, whether it is to move around the city, or in competitions. This type of equipment incorporates air bags, which are activated immediately after a blow, with the purpose of cushioning the impact and protecting vital organs of your body. For example, the Hit Air Original model is a safety garment with a series of elastics, so that it fits easily to the body and its airbag system has a cord to fix it to the motorcycle. On the other hand, if you need a mechanical airbag system with effective activation, the Bering ABC010M01 may be what you are looking for, since it adapts to any anatomy.
Airbag technology, incorporated into motorcycle vests, provides a higher level of safety in the event of a fall, since, when inflated, the airbags manage to cushion the impact energy and protect your body. Below, you will find a guide to buying the best motorcycle airbag vest.
Safety vests for motorcyclists are very popular in the market, so you will find a variety of models, made with different types of fabrics, as prescribed by each manufacturer. In this sense, the ideal would be to leave hasty purchases and carry out a comparison of airbag vests for motorcycles, in order to evaluate this characteristic.
Among the fabrics used at an industrial level, is nylon, which is a canvas-type material with a robust body. Also, manufacturers usually use another synthetic textile with a pleasant soft touch, such as polyester. Both fibers provide great resistance to abrasion and waterproof properties.
On the other hand, there is the 3D mesh in the lining of the vest, which promotes correct perspiration, while the areas in flexible fabric or cotton help to achieve a better adaptation to the anatomy and comfort.
When buying a motorcycle airbag vest, you may prioritize the issue of cost over quality, but you would be making a big mistake. Remember that the cheapest product can often be expensive in the long run. In this sense, we refer to the issue of the quality of the adjustment areas, which are so important to obtain an adequate level of protection from the equipment. Therefore, you must be careful in the selection of the product and pay attention to what is the incorporated closure method.
You can find vests with two or three strings with their respective clip clasps in the front area, which provide a secure closure and quick release with one hand. Also, others incorporate elastic straps on the back or sides to achieve an adequate fit to the body. On the other hand, there are the models that have been provided with a chest zip, with robust teeth or, instead, an easy-to-handle velcro closure.
Perhaps you have heard about the Airbag system applied in recent years to motorcycle vests, since it is a highly efficient safety method to protect the body of the person, in case of any kind of overturn while driving.
It is a series of bags integrated into the vest and arranged on the back, pectoral region, neck and lumbar area, which will be filled with air milliseconds after the blow occurs. In this way, a highly effective damping chamber is created, which quickly absorbs the energy of the impact, so that it does not forcefully affect vital areas of your body. In this sense, we refer to the stomach, pancreas, liver, cervical spine, kidneys, among others.
This technology relies on a CO2 capsule incorporated into the vest and on an activation cord, which links the garment with the motorcycle, so that, although at first glance the design of the vest seems conventional, said airbags could influence the how much the product costs. Therefore, you must verify if the vest of your interest already adds these elements or, on the contrary, you must purchase them separately.
Washing and drying
Motorcycle airbag vests are garments that are constantly exposed to the elements, so they tend to get dirty quickly. There is also the issue of sweating and bad odors, which begin to take root in the fabric, if we are not consistent enough with the maintenance of the garment. In fact, this dirt gradually generates the deterioration of the fibers, weakening them and enhancing their breakdown.
For these reasons, you cannot fail to verify that the product to be purchased can be placed in the washing machine, for greater practicality after removing the lining, airbag system and protectors, which you must clean manually.
For its part, the vest can be incorporated together with detergent in the washing machine. Of course, it must be programmed in a gentle working mode with a temperature suitable for the type of fabric. In this way, you will not only remove dirt, but also mites and bacteria. Likewise, you can carry out this process manually.
Whatever the case, remember to check if you can use detergents with bleach and fabric softener. Likewise, there is the issue of drying, which is generally recommended to be outdoors, and without the garment being directly exposed to the sun’s rays.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a motorcycle airbag vest?
To use a motorcycle airbag vest, you need to select a size that really suits your anatomy. In this way, you will get adequate protection, without sacrificing comfort by being able to move arms, torso and neck, without any limitation.
In addition, it is important that, in advance, you read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer, so that you can find out about the operation of the airbag system, which can be electrical or manual. Thus, you will not have problems with its activation, when getting on and off the motorcycle. Likewise, you will be able to know the necessary care to maintain the good condition of the garment, such is the case of the washing method, type of detergent to be used and drying of the textile.
Finally, dress the vest and proceed to adjust the garment to your body, using the zipper or pectoral clips. Also, you can make use of the side velcro or plastic snaps, depending on the design.
Q2: How is a motorcycle airbag vest activated?
Activating the motorcycle airbag vest is a simple task, for which you will only have to take the cord provided on the garment and tie it to the motorcycle handlebar. In this way, in the event of a rollover, the air bags will inflate, to absorb the energy of the impact. Of course, this procedure applies to vests with a mechanical system.
On the other hand, the electric models have a control unit, by means of sensors, which are linked to the motorcycle, to quickly detect the exact moment of the fall, to inflate the vest in hundredths of a second.
Q3: How to choose the size of a motorcycle airbag vest?
If you are planning to purchase a motorcycle airbag vest, but you don’t know how to select the right size for your body, you will be interested to know that you only have to take a tape measure and measure your chest region.
Then, you must contrast this diameter with the size chart provided by the manufacturer of the model that has caught your attention. In this way, you will get a vest that really adapts to your anatomy.
Q4: Can I reuse a motorcycle airbag vest that has been activated?
After activating the airbag system of the motorcycle vest, you can reuse it again and again. Of course, if said mechanism has not suffered some kind of deterioration due to the impact caused. In this sense, you will only have to purchase a replacement cartridge and install it, with the help of a special tool that is generally offered with the vest. Likewise, if you have any doubts, you can review the instruction manual.
Q5: How to wash the motorcycle airbag vest?
The washing process of the motorcycle airbag vest will depend on the selected model, so, ideally, it is to carefully check the instructions given by the manufacturer, for the care of the respective fabric.
In any case, you will have to remove the lining of the garment, together with the corresponding airbag system, as well as the protectors, which are usually incorporated on some occasions. All these pieces can be cleaned separately and placed outdoors, so that they are ventilated.
With regard to the vest, you can wash it manually with warm water and soap. Likewise, some models offer the possibility of incorporating the garment into the machine, for greater practicality, but remember to use a short and gentle cycle that does not damage the fabrics.
Q6: Can a motorcycle airbag vest be accidentally activated?
The accidental activation of the airbag system incorporated into the motorcycle vest is more frequent than you can imagine and, the reason, it is very simple. This is the lack of attention of the driver when getting off the motorcycle, since it is necessary to release the cable, which links the vest with the handlebar or seatpost. Otherwise, the cord will stretch to its limit and the air bags will automatically inflate unnecessarily.
Q7: Can a backpack be loaded when wearing a motorcycle airbag vest?
Yes. Carrying a backpack on a motorcycle airbag vest is possible. However, you need to be careful with regard to the straps arranged at the level of the shoulder straps or the chest area of said backpack, as they could cause pressure on the airbag safety system of the vest.
In this way, the speed of the inflation process of the pads could be negatively compromised, causing a delay in the automatic filling time after an impact. Also, the vest may activate unexpectedly.