UFO Plast Body Armor – Lightweight Elbow and Knee-Shin Guard
Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
As I was wandering around 2008 Interbike Dirt Demo seeking some shade and cold refreshments from the beastly desert sun, I bumped into this small booth that was carrying biking body armor. UFO Plast is an Italian company that started out making body armor protection for off road motorcycles, and they have more recently broadened into body armor for biking and snowboarding. As I was talking with the exhibitors, I saw these intriguing looking elbow pads hanging on their tent wall. They are part of their Enduro series, which includes their Elbow guard and a Knee-Shin guard.
I had recently taken a nasty digger and left a good chunk of flesh from my forearm on an abrasive rock on a local technical trail (Palmer Park in Colorado Springs if you must know), and I was looking at some body armor to help alleviate that type of issue from happening again. The pads were very lightweight and had just enough padding to protect the elbow and the forearm. A lot of the typical body armor is made with beefy plastic pads, and it’s a bit much for slower speed All Trail singletrack terrain that most of us regularly rides our mountain bikes on. The pads have a bit of waffle foam padding that is placed right in the proper spots to protect the elbow and the forearm. The padding is actually comprised of a special layer of polystyrene with a Lycra band.
To put the elbow pads on, you insert your arm into one end of the elastic band and wiggle your arm until the pre-bent elbow slot pops into the proper spot, and then you cinch it down with a Velcro closure located by your biceps. The inside periphery of the elbow pads has an open elastic mesh for ventilation, and provides enough tightness to prevent them from flopping around.