Body armour, so much choice


Jul 3, 2022
South Africa
I wear my Leatt as a base layer on basically every ride. It has saved my ass from what could have been far worse shoulder and back injuries for normal trail rides and for some lite gravity.
That being said whenever I go for a park gravity day I can pop on a hard shell over the top, knee pads and elbows.



Apr 10, 2023
Quick update,

After much deliberation I went with the Alpinestars bionic tech v3 review.
There are no reviews online that I could find so took a chance, it seemed to tick all the boxes.

I had the chance to try it at a bike park and am pretty pleased with it so far.

I'm 6 foot, 37" chest and around 11 stone. I went with a medium. the base layer fits well in the shoulders and arms although the velcro straps on the lower arms could do with being a little tighter, that should be an easy fix with a little bit of stick on velcro so I can tighten them more but it's not a big problem as I didn't feel like the elbow pads moved at all during the day.

Initially I felt the base layer came up a bit short on torso length. for my height the sizing chart puts me on a large but the chest size increases to 40-42". I was concerned the base layer was going to be to baggy so went with the medium.
In the end I lowered the kidney strap and that felt fine all day under my jersey.

The base layer is relatively light with the only weight coming from the shoulder and elbow pads.
the material is light and very breathable. It was comfortable enough on the hour drive to the park, a days riding and then the drive home, I knew it was there but I never once thought this is unbearably uncomfortable.

Considering its level 2 on all armour it doesn't feel heavy, I quickly got used to it and I didn't find the added weight a bother at all. I did notice my arms bump into the chest protector on full turns but nothing to cause any concerns.

The chest and back armour is easy to adjust and put on and take off. the quick release buckles and magnetic shoulder catch make that so.
Again the added weight is well distributed and soon forgotten about.

The base layer is easy to get on, after a full day and with a sweaty body it's maybe not the easiest to remove but I think that would be the same for any tight fitting suit, the front zip definitely helps though.

It got up to 22°C at mid day and while stood still chatting it did feel hot but not uncomfortably. However as soon as I started riding I could feel the air getting through the armour and suit cooling me down.

Again for the level of protection it does a great job of getting air flow through to the body. This was with the base layer under a jersey and the chest and back protector over the top.
I do admit that I'm generally a cold person but I could see how in the peak of summer it could be too hot, but there is always going to be a trade off.
One of the reasons I went with this armour is that on very hot days I could remove the base layer and just run with the chest and back protector and lighter elbow pads.

Thankfully I didn't fully test the armour but I'm confident it would stop scuffs and bruises and hopefully anything worse.

In summery, It feels heavy in the hand but light in use. High level of protection and adjustment. good airflow considering it's a full chest, back and kidney protector with a base layer. I found it comfortable for all day riding.

I need to get out and test it some more but on this first outing I'm thinking I made the right purchase.
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Apr 10, 2023
For reference here's a few photos of the inside of the armour.

Plenty of ventilation holes on the front
pic 01.jpg

Helpful magnetic buckle to remove the chest protector easily.
pic 02.jpg

Centre portion of the chest plate has the holes unobstructed for better airflow, I think this is an improvement over the previous version of the armour.
pic 03.jpg


New Member
Nov 29, 2023
So after more weeks with it, how would you rate it, still okay? Did you use it more, longer, through really pedaling, through hills and DH?

I am really wondering about this model, for enduro/dh, have the Leatt Airflex but looking for more protection it seems great but at the same time bulkier.

I am totally unsure about the use of the kidney belt, to me it would be a real source of sweat I suppose. I might want to remove it and I am unaware of the side protection if they would just impair movement in jump etc.

I guess it depends also on your body, I am a little shorter but a bit bulkier and unfortunately cannot try it, where I live this is just not a possibility.


Apr 10, 2023
I've been out with it several times now and can say I'm still very pleased with the purchase.

I've not had the chance to give it a thorough test on longer pedal days yet.
However, I have used it every time I've gone to my local pedal up bike park where I average around 20 miles and can say I've worn it all day and find it comfortable.

I don't really notice the weight at all, and I personally don't find it impinges movement.
I'll add I'm no pro, so if you're getting big air and doing tricks your experience may differ.

I've had no issues with the kidney armour, it does hug the body and needs to be tight to hold the chest and back protector in place, but I don't find it uncomfortable or restrictive. This isn't to say I can't feel the armours there, I'm wearing two large pieces of hardshell plastic, but it does a good job of hiding it.

I have found the kidney strap to be uncomfortable, it moves around a lot when peddling, it's easily removed though as it just attaches with Velcro at the back of the base layer.
Like I mentioned before I went with a medium and find the torso length a little short, however it fits well on the chest and arms.
Another negative is the base layer isn't the easiest thing to wash.

Lastly for heat I have no issues so far, though I should caveat that by saying it's pretty cold at the moment and I'm always cold!

For reference, last weekend I wore a thermal long sleeve base layer, a t-shirt, the armour base layer, a jersey, the hardshell armour and then a waterproof jacket over the top. It was around 0 degrees when I set off and got to around 5 degrees at midday when I took my waterproof jacket off and did a run. After the run I put the jacket straight back on as I was cold 😕

Obviously this is going to be totally personal, but I think they've done a great job in making the armour as breathable as possible.

I have no doubts it will be hot in peak summer, but there is always the option to ditch the base layer and just run with the hardshell.

So a couple of negatives from my short use, but I'm still super happy with it, and after seeing a nasty crash last weekend including a call to 999 I won't be riding without it.


Apr 10, 2023
The Bionic pro protection jacket you've linked to looks to be the same as the original Bionic action jacket

Which has been superseded by the Bionic action V2

I did look into both armours but disregarded them in the end. The V2 gets average reviews, with most saying the original jacket was better. The original jacket has a CE level 2 chest rating, whereas the V2 drops to a level 1.
Both have level 1 back, elbow and shoulder ratings.

The Bionic tech v3 has CE level 2 rating for everything, if this matters to you, and according to Alpinestars is the lightest full level 2 jacket in it's class.

I can't find weight values for both jackets, but I doubt there would be a huge amount of difference between the V2 and tech v3.

Another thing to point out is a lot of reviews say having a 2 piece armour can feel less restrictive as the chest and back protectors can move independently of the base layer. I can't testify to this as I've not tried a 1 piece armour however I can say I personally find the v3 comfortable, well as comfortable as it can be having chest, back, elbow, and shoulder pads on ;)

I was out with mine again today at the bike park on a mix of blue, red and black trails, 18 miles and it didn't get above freezing.
One thing I will add, my elbows were a little sore by the end of the day. There is not much foam padding between the d30 elbow pads and base layer, so they can rub after a while. Nothing major and perhaps if I didn't have such pointy elbows it wouldn't be an issue 😆


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