Hate bulky chest protectors? Us too. Here are 6 we recommend to all our friends who dirt bike.

If you ride dirt bikes, you should be wearing a chest protector. Everyone agrees on that part. Which one? Well, that all depends on you.

Finding the right chest protector is like shopping for the unicorn “everyday bra.” Simply put, it has to do the one thing it was designed for and be comfortable enough that you’ll actually be happy about wearing it all day.

With so many features to consider, you may be wondering what to look for, so we’ve pulled together a quick little guide to help you narrow down your choices. 

Get CE certified protection.

If you don’t know what CE certification is, let’s fix that. A CE mark means that a product has been independently tested to meet certain safety standards. Although it’s technically governed by the European Union, it’s considered the international standard. 

Why should you care? Chest protectors without CE certification aren't always designed to protect you against impact in a crash. Many roost deflectors, for example, are only designed to protect you against dirt and debris. Rephrased, how much do you care about your ribs, spine, and vital organs? 

Consider airflow. 

A fully armored jacket only works if you keep it on, so if you have a tendency to overheat or will be riding in hot weather, a well-vented chest protector and elbow guards may be more comfortable to ride in. Over-the-jersey styles are also prone to more airflow and can be taken off more easily when you stop to rest. 

Women-specific isn’t necessarily the better fit.

Chest protectors are lighter and more customizable than they were even two years ago. This means the women’s gear is getting better, and the men’s gear isn’t always going to feel awkward and bulky on a female frame. Worry less about which gender category your chest protector falls under, and more about how well the overall fit and coverage works for your body and riding style.

Want some examples? We’ve compiled a list of the chest protectors we most often recommend to our girlfriends. All of the recommendations below are CE certified and can be ordered or adjusted to fit women properly.

IF YOU LIKE GEAR THAT... 

You Almost Forget You’re Wearing

Hate bulk? Vests and roost-style chest protectors are super low-profile and can be worn underneath your jersey. Both of the guards below from Fly Racing and Alpinestars are CE certified and come in a range of sizes suited for adult women. Pros: “Barely there” fit. Cons: Less coverage and no shoulder protection.

Fly Racing
BARRICADE ZIP VEST
Mountainist
TRY IT $10  | BUY IT $80

Alpinestars
SEQUENCE CHEST PROTECTOR
Mountainist
TRY IT $12  |  BUY IT $140

 

Is Contoured for “The Girls”

If you can get past the pink, there are a few women’s chest protectors out there that are ergonomically designed for women, meaning the shoulders are narrower and they have more room in the chest. Thor makes an over-the-jersey, women-specific protector with partial shoulder protection. Leatt's women-specific model can be worn over or under your jersey and fits more snugly. Pros: The contoured look and feel. Cons: Both of these are “one size fits all," which doesn't accommodate all shapes.

Thor
WOMEN’S GUARDIAN
Mountainist
TRY IT $10  | BUY IT $80

Leatt
JACKI
Amazon
BUY IT $150 

 

Has More Full Coverage

For those of you who joke about wrapping yourselves in bubble-wrap, you might prefer a full-length ballistic jacket. The Stella Bionic Jacket from Alpinestars is women-specific with full coverage around the torso and arms. If you're worried about overheating or want a more custom fit, the Leatt 5955 is one of the few full-coverage men's models that—with over 50 adjustment options—will fit smaller frames. Both of these guards offer full shoulder protection. Pros: Extra protection when you need it. Cons: Can feel heavy if you're not used to more full-coverage protection. 

 

Troy Lee Designs
5955
Mountainist
TRY IT $12  | BUY IT $199

 

Alpinestars
STELLA BIONIC
Mountainist
TRY IT $15  | BUY IT $249


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