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Dainese Impact Race Jacket
Dainese 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.
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.
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.
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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