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Is a jacket with kevlar, just a jacket with kevlar?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by picorat, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Hi all,

    i went down for some gear shopping today, and was quite lost as on to which jackets to get.

    I was basically shopping for a simple mesh jacket with kevlar body armour, which seems to be the recommended gear around. But the impression i got from the salesman was that a $150 mesh jacket offers no substantional extra protection over a $400 mesh, just a difference in branding, cut and design.

    I'm a little (???) about the whole thing, though i'm sure he's right to various degrees and extent. He did mention that leather would probably protect better from abrasions. But I'm under the impression that it's the armour which is more important, and since this will be my first jacket, thought that i should try to get something more affordable.

    Also, I noticed that some of the jackets have some sponge like material on them, especially on the back. Dosen't feel like kevlar to me. Do those pads have any armouring purpose at all? or is it simple ornamental?

    LAstly, when it comes to back protectors... are they really necessary? another thread suggested that 'they are the best $150 dollars you'll ever spend on motor bike gear'. True? I noticed that they sell seperate back protectors with a carapace like shell, instead of the usual spongy material which are sewn into the jackets.

    2 of my friends have fractured their collar bones after falling off a bike. This tends to make me think that the collar bone region is the most susceptible area in the event of a crash. But I don't seem to see much protection offered around that area...

    Any comments/advise are welcomed! thanks!
  2. Realized I didn't post up any specific examples... ;)

    I was look at the DriRider Climate. Seems like a pretty good deal, $300 for armour + waterproofing + winter lining.

    But it says '300d kodra construction'. Is it any different from kevlar?

    Any comments?
  3. Jackets are mostly about abrasion resistance. Don't think of the "armour" as something that will protect you in an impact. If you hit a post or a eree or another vehicle at high speed, even the best jacket/suit will just make a neater package for whoever picks up the pieces. Collarbone fractures, for instance, are mostly about how you fall. The armour in most gear will protect you from the impact of falling a couple of feet onto a smooth surface. Kevlar, leather and stuff will protect to varying degrees from the abrasion from sliding along a fairly smooth surface. There is nothing that will protect you from impact with a gutter/tree/car at high speed.

    The difference between the good stuff and the rubbish is how well it stands up to sliding on bitumen. Not just the kevlar and armour, but the stitching etc.

    Back protectors: If you slide it will quite possibly be on your back. Your spine is vulnerable and quite useful. I always wear a back protector when I'm out on the open road.
  4. the other side to this argument is that if you invest in a good quality jacket now, it will last you for years to come.
  5. Yup, but I was thinking it's more important that i start somewhere low, so that as i gain more experience, I'll know what I really want in a jacket. removable lining, what not... ;)

    Both arguments work, no matter how you look at them. Just a matter of preference.
  6. Hmm, I thought that kevlar *is* the armour?

    anyway, thanks for your reply. It cleared up quite a lot of things. I thought the armour was meant to do more then just to protect you from the shock impact of falling onto the floor, like say, hitting a tree whilst sliding. I didn't know their primary design was to resist abrasion...

    I was just browsing through the CE standards, and it seems like they're all designed to meet that. There have been no mentions of exceeding the standards, so I guess it's a little like our helmets?

    I guess the back protector is out, though it really does seem like the most logical thing to get. I can just so imagine sliding backwards and hitting a kerb squarely on my back, or being tossed (I've seen this before) from my bike and landing on my back.
  7. rjays supervent II jacket has quite good armour for a mesh jacket :)