Can You Recommend A Safety Vest?

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Can You Recommend A Safety Vest?

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  • ASTM level 3 certified event vests
  • Beta 7 safety vests

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    01-24-2012, 09:03 AM
Can You Recommend A Safety Vest?

I'd like to buy a safety vest and would appreciate advice. I know they are expensive and its something I don't feel comfortable cutting corners on. However, money is very tight for me so I want to make sure I make the wisest choice before I purchase.

Can anyone here help me? What brand do you have? What style? How do you like it? Have you actually fallen while wearing it? Pros? Cons?

Thank you!
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    01-24-2012, 10:20 AM
The eventers at my barn seem to really like the Charles Owens products. They also all use Hit-Air safety vests. They've all taken spills with them and seem to like them well enough. You just have to make sure they're connected properly or they won't inflate.
    01-24-2012, 11:56 AM
If you are going to invest in a good vest - make sure it is ASTM certified and meets BETA level 3 standards of safety.

Tipperary Vests and other vests that are designed in the same way (individual panels) do not meet either standards. They are not Certified, nor do they even reach level 3 of BETA's standards of safety.

I have the Flex Rider - and I really like it. It is the cheapest of them all, and meets BETA Level 3 standards, and is ASTM Certified.

There is also the Aerowear vest that has become very popular, and of course the very popular Rhodney Powell.

The Inflatavests, IMO are not necessary until you reach Prelim or bigger. But again, that is an individual decision.
    01-24-2012, 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
Tipperary Vests and other vests that are designed in the same way (individual panels) do not meet either standards. They are not Certified, nor do they even reach level 3 of BETA's standards of safety.
Wow I had no idea about that. Well that will certainly help narrow things down a bit! Thank you!
    01-24-2012, 02:25 PM
"Tested by Rapra to comply with Beta 7"

I just read this about the tipperary vests. I have one and love it, and it has helped with a bunch of my falls.
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    01-24-2012, 03:50 PM
Green Broke
I like the Charles Owen. Tipperaries are NOT ASTM certified. Aerowear is really nice, too. Very comfy. Personally, the FlexRder is awful. Super uncomfortable and hard to move in.
    01-24-2012, 04:19 PM
Make sure it's certified, or there's no guarentee it'll offer you any protection at all. I have an Airowear, bought for around $240, that's very comfortable.
    01-25-2012, 09:46 PM
Is the Airowear the kind that's inflatable? How do they work? Do they have hard plates in them as well? I can't understand how they don't "pop?"

And sorry for my ignorance but what is BETA?

Thanks all!
    01-26-2012, 12:42 AM
I know someone that has an inflatable one and loves it. They're pretty simple, a thing is attached the the saddle and the vest. When you fall off the thing is detached and the vest quickly inflates, kind of like an airbag. The cord stretches while you ride and needs a certain amount of force to actually release, probably around 60-70 pounds. They're actually modeled after motorcycle safety vests, though I'm not 100% sure what they're made of I know they're hardy. However, they're very expensive and you need to replace the CO2 things every time the jacket inflates. For some people it's worth it, the woman I know who has one had a major fall that broke multiple ribs and I think damaged her spine, she's fallen in this vest without further injury to it, but if money is tight then this might not be a good option since the CO2 things are like $75 each.

BETA is the association who sets the safety standards for the vests. I believe it's the British Equestrian Trade Association.
    01-26-2012, 01:01 AM
And sorry for the double post, but I can't edit the last one:
BETA: British Equestrian Trade Association
ASMT: American Society for Testing Materials

I wouldn't worry about ASMT for a vests, as BETA is more strict with their requirements, but you really want to make sure it meets BETA 3, which means it's approved for general riding and competition.

The BETA website might be worth looking at:British Equestrian Trade Association - Body protection made easy
You can also download the list of vests that currently pass level 3 BETA.

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