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Opinions about airbag vests

Discussion in 'Tech Forum' started by Jgelack, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    Just wondering if any of you guys have rode or crashed in an airbag vest, and what has been your experience? Do you think they're worth the investment? The AStars and Dainese systems look really nice, but I hate the fact you need to send them back to the manufacturer to be repacked after they've been deployed, and the price they're charging you for that service! So it looks like one of the tethered vest options might be a better choice for me, if I decide to go that route. The two track specific vests I'm considering are the Hit-Air RS1 and the Helite Air track vest. The Hit-Air is about $400 cheaper, but looks to me like it lacks some back protection, whereas the Helite looks to have that protection and is make out of 1.2mm leather, but is a lot more expensive. Does anyone have any experience/opinions with either one of these vests? I'm wondering which one is more commonly used at the track. I really appreciate any advice you guys can give me! Thanks again!
     
  2. tdelegram

    tdelegram Control Rider

    Do a search and go back to early 2015, lots of comments and experiences. In short love my hit air has been deployed and repacked many times and has aided in better results after crashes.
     
  3. HondaGalToo

    HondaGalToo Control Rider

    I have the HitAir RS. It's comfortable to wear. I chose it over other HitAir models because the tether is in the back, so no interference with hanging off. Repacking is just replacing a $20 CO2 Cartridge. I haven't "tested" mine yet, but I figure extra soft protection around the neck is a good thing. I still wear a back protector, it's not a replacement for a good back protector. I also kept in the back protector that comes with the HitAir vest, as my suit didn't have a hump. My new suit does, so I may remove the HitAir back protector so it fits better, we'll see.
     
  4. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    Does the RS model have an airbag in the back of the vest to protect the spine? From the pictures I’ve seen I can’t really tell, but it looks like just the neck, chest, and maybe rib cage is protected.
     
  5. tdelegram

    tdelegram Control Rider

    Both models have chambers that go up the spine, the rs doesn’t have the tailbone protection.
     
  6. HondaGalToo

    HondaGalToo Control Rider

    The RS doesn't appear to have inflatable material up the back. Just around the neck, in the front, some on the sides. Google it to check.
     
  7. damiankelly

    damiankelly Member

    Here is my 2¢——more protection is always better-so yes worth it.


    If your loaded and want to do it right..get the gps kind - The nice part of these is that they deploy chest protection as well
    Therefore you have more mobility not having to wear a chest protector...AND you don’t have to constantly connect and disconnect to ride...or forget to..
    I believe the astars can go off twice before need to send back...so can go back out if you go down.
    Although you still need back up if you send away and need to race... So it’s most expensive.

    The Tether type will not always go off if you fall and slide with the bike not pulling the plug to inflate so it’s useless....(all crashes differ)
    I have destroyed two vests —because it is on the outside of suit..the bladder can rip and then it is a throw away ..all crashes are different ..but it protected and was with it.
    If you wear a vest type I would recommend a chest protector..

    I use Hitair RS-it’s great for me now.... less lower back protection but nothing in front to hinder riding. My back protector has good lower spine protection and I use a chest protector...

    This last option is most cost effective and if bladder is not ripped you can repack yourself with a $20 canister. Keep a few spares in toolbox.

    Then spend the extra money you saved on seat time
     
  8. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    I looked into the Astars Tech Air system, unfortunately I don’t fit into any of their compatable suits. I believe you get two deployments with their smaller vests, but their largest vest fires both canisters in the event of a crash, which means I’d be sending it back to them, even in the event of a minor lowside. I do realize the tethered systems might not always deploy in a lowside, but I imagine they would in a high side, when you’d really want that extra impact protection. Abrasion to the vest is a concern, that’s why I was also considering the Helite GP vest, which covers the airbag in 1.2mm leather, which I’m sure would help with abrasion, But it seems the Hit-Air is much more popular.
     
    damiankelly likes this.
  9. tad158

    tad158 Astronomer not Astrologer

    If you don't fit into an off the rack A* suit, you can always go with this:
    https://www.mithos-usa.com/
    They offer A* Tech Air compatibility.

    I have been kicking around the idea myself, I don't fit into the A* suit profile either, weird arm/chest/legs lengths. I can find something that fits my chest, then the arms are all wrong, fit the arms, but then chest and legs don't fit.
     
  10. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    Thanks for the link! Wish I'd have known about that sooner. I ended up picking up a Pilot suit a couple of months ago, since they offered larger off the rack suits than most of the other manufacturers I looked at. So if I want to add airbag protection now, it will need to be in the form of an over the suit vest like the Hit-Air or Helite.
     
    damiankelly likes this.
  11. tad158

    tad158 Astronomer not Astrologer

  12. Menotomy

    Menotomy World's Okayest Racer

    For the original in-suit airbag system from Alpinestars there are two modes. One mode uses both canisters, the other mode uses just one.

    I agree with what you said about the RS-1, that's what I use. I've had several crashes, only had a bladder puncture once. Since it's higher it doesn't drag on the ground as much during a lowside. I use a full back and chest protector, so I mostly wanted an airbag for neck protection which the RS-1 obviously has, and it has the canister and tether in back.
     
    damiankelly likes this.
  13. Menotomy

    Menotomy World's Okayest Racer

    Another manufacturer entering the scene with airbag tech is Gimoto. They do custom but I believe they also have off the rack suits. Their newest line of suits is compatible with their airbag vest, and you can replace it with a single canister by yourself from what I've read on your own, so no need to ship it anywhere between events. Their suits are quality too.
     
  14. tad158

    tad158 Astronomer not Astrologer

  15. Menotomy

    Menotomy World's Okayest Racer

    I did a trackday in CA and I noticed that anyone wearing a vest had the Helite vest. On the east coast, I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing one, everyone uses Hit-Air. The CA day was with Carters and they all promote the Helite vest, which could have something to do with that. The Helite costs about twice as much as the Hit-Air, but looks more durable.
     
  16. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    I like how Astars and Dainese are coming out with vests that can be worn with other manufacturers jackets/suits, I think that is definitely a step in the right direction! Now if they could only find a way for the customer to repack/rearm the airbag themselves, instead of having to send it back to the company. Who knows, maybe in time they will! It also looks like these vests don’t have the same level of neck protection that the tethered systems are offering. Even though I’d love to go with one of these airbag vests I could wear underneath my suit, because I sized my suit correctly, I just don’t have the extra room. It is exciting to see all the new products coming out though! I guess airbags are here to stay!
     
  17. Jgelack

    Jgelack New Member

    I’m wondering if the price difference is the main reason the Helite isn’t more popular? I’m not sure what the deployment time is for the Hit-Air, but I remember reading somewhere the Helite was 0.07 seconds, claiming it was the fastest mechanically triggered system currently available.
     

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