Dainese Impact Race Jacket – Review

Armor Pro Reviews
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The Quick:

The Good:

  • Light weight 1600grams
  • Breath well, not very warm
  • Good tight fit
  • Removable back protection
  • Fabric doesn’t rub nipples raw if no under shirt
  • Comfortable while riding
  • The Bad:

  • Stitching could be a bit better
  • Could use something to help keep breast plate and waist support in place
  • It is still not as comfy as just a jersey
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    Dainese Impact Race Jacket

    honneycomb1.jpgDainese is known for making the best body armor on the market. The new Impact Race Jacket doesn’t let you down, though it is not quite perfect. I’ve been bashing around with it for about 2 months, riding in cold wet conditions to dry and hot dusty conditions. The Impact Race Jacket is very good, and the XXL size even fits a big 6’4″ guy like me. Though guys with a bigger belly might want to stay clear, sizing does tend to run small and the breast plate on this safety jacket tends to ride up into the neck if there is not enough slack in the shoulder clips. Speaking of front protection, the breast plate is about all there is. No ribs or tummy protection. Some padding along the ribs would have been a nice feature, at least with the XXL size where there is more space between the breast plate and the waist belt. I have yet to get a good jab in the ribs in a crash, though I know it will happen one day.

    Besides the jacket being tight fitting and not very bulky it is also very light, weighing in at about 1600 grams. The back plate is made with honeycomb shaped aluminum to help vent air air, keep the weight low, and cushion impact. The only bad side of this design that I could figure is that if all your honeycomb aluminum thingies get smashed you’ll have to buy a new one. Sort of like a helmet after a good impact. That could get pricey. Though I’ve only managed to crush these honeycomb structures with my fingers so far.

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    The thumb wraps hold the sleeve in place, though with the wrong pair of gloves some added pressure when gripping the bars can build up. I noticed this at least in one pair of gloves of mine, but when wearing the my Dainese gloves, which fit better then the other pair, everything seemed just fine. Along the arms there is plenty of protective padding with semi-hard rubber shells at the elbows and shoulders. Also the elbows do not detach from the upper arm/shoulder area like some other safety jackets do.

    Construction on the Race Jacket seems like it could have been a little bit better. Within a month of using it, some of the thread holding a zipper on has started to come out. But, nothing has ripped or come undone anywhere else. Even after hitting two trees and several good falls.

    One of the best features in my opinion is that the back plate is removable. If you feel you don’t need the shoulder and elbow guards just unzip it. Or if you want the shoulder and elbow guards with out the back plate so a hydration pack will fit better, you can just unzip and you are set to jet.

    The only problem I had w/ the shoulder straps on the back plate is that it did take a bit of playing around to get the right setting because they are a bit stretchy, and they did start to rub raw around the shoulder/armpit area after wearing it all day with out an undershirt.

    One suggestion I have for Dainese would be to add some stretchy straps between the breast plate and the waist belt, this will help keep the breast plate from riding up and will keep thing in front better fitting. Maybe some straps that could go to your riding shorts/pants as well would help. Really secure the whole front side up a bit more.

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    Value Rating:

    4 out of 5 Stars

    I give the Dainese Impact Race Jacket 4 of 5 stars for value because, well, it is expensive and other safety jackets do the job for about half the price. But, like a King headset, sometimes you’ve got to pay for the best.

    Overall Rating:

    4.5 out of 5 Stars

    4.5 stars for overall because Dainese has maybe a dang near perfect safety jacket. With a little tweak here and there it could be perfect.

     

    From www.dainese.com – http://www.dainese.com/eng/articolo.asp?cat=6&nome=IMPACT_JACKET_RACE&articolo=3879543

    Racing jacket in elasticated and tear-resistant mesh with ventilated protectors. Removable ergonomic Wave back protector (lightweight and breathable internal aluminium honeycomb structure offers elevated protection with contained weight) with removable braces and elastic band with double velcro strap. Composite polypropylene protectors on the shoulders, elbows, and chest. Soft padding on the shoulder blades and upper arms in perforated polyethylene. Fastening by buckle on the shoulder and lateral zip on the chest. Adjustable wrist band. Gaiters on the wrists. CE EN 1621/2 (back protector) and CE EN 1621/1 (elbows, shoulders) homologation.

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  • Hard plate material: Polypropylene
  • Soft padding material: Perforated polyethylene
  • Other materials/fabrics: Elasticated and tear-resistant Lycra® mesh
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    SHOCK

  • Composite protectors on back (removable wave protector), shoulders, elbows
  • Soft paddings on scapulas, humerous, hips
  • Homologation CE EN 1621.2 (back protector)
  • Homologation CE EN 1621.1 (elbow, shoulders)
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    ERGONOMIA

  • Fastening system: lateral chest zip
  • Closing/Adjusting system: buckles/straps on shoulders, elbows
  • Braces removable, on the back protector
  • Lumbar belt: elastic belt with double strap
  • Wrist gaiters
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    • Bob says:

      You’re a twit “It is still not as comfy as just a jersey” is not a weakness of the armor itself.

    • adam says:

      If 661 can make knee pads that I can wear all day w/o noticing – that fit like – well – pants or something – then at some point it would be nice if a safety jacket fit like that too. It is not too much to ask for as much comfort and freedom of movement possible when riding a bike and wearing armor.

      But, thanks for letting me know your opinion and the fact you are willing to settle for something less then perfection.

    • Dirtbag Matt says:

      Sounds like a sweet piece of armor. I get what you’re saying, wouldn’t it be great if armor can someday be as comfy as a jersey. I’m guessing that day is a ways away and will be a very expensive day when it finally comes around!

    • Gregg says:

      While I wouldn’t call Adam a twit (he’s 6’4″ and about 240 and could pound most people), I kinda get the critique of the “not comfy as a jersey” comment.

      I mean, really…for all the protection and security you are getting, it would be impossible to make it feel as comfy as a jersey.

      I don’t know about you all, but for me, part of the comfort of wearing armor, is the feeling that I’m wearing something substantial…that has some meat to it, so that it’ll save my can when I need it to.

      -g

    • John says:

      This is a great piece of armor, but you should all know that the back protector is only good for one fall. It’s aluminum honeycomb, so it gets crushed/protects your back ONCE. It’s designed to be replaced after one hard hit.

    • JV says:

      The most important part of the specs is here:
      //CE EN 1621/2 (back protector) and CE EN 1621/1 (elbows, shoulders) //

      Dainese motorcycle gear isn’t always CE certified, I’m glad to see the newer products ARE. Once you’ve crashed REAL GOOD you learn to look for these things.

    • stupid says:

      adam, the only thing wrong with what you have to say is that 661 knee pads (or TLD ones, basically the same) feel that way because they have 100% neoprene contact. Works fine with knees, but would kill you in 2 minutes if you wore an entire jacket of it. Perfection? How much have you used DH gear in general…

    • adam says:

      Hey “Stupid”

      All I am saying is I can’t give something 5 stars if it’s not perfect. There is still room for improvement; comfort and mobility. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a damn fine product – there isn’t really anything better – but it could be better.

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