I'm looking to purchase a protective vest to use during cross-country. In the past, I always just borrowed other people's vests, but I haven't competed in an event since 2005, so I can't remember what brands their vests were. I am ONLY interested in purchasing something certified (so NO Tipperary). As far as sizing, I have a 34" chest & about a 26" waist, & I'm 5'5. I don't want to spend more than about $300. I'd really like to get a vest that comes in Navy (my trainer's colours are Navy & Yellow, & once I purchase my horse, our colours will be Navy & Baby Blue), but that's not a requirement. These are the vests that I'm looking at. Does anyone have any input on these, or recommendations for others?
Dover Saddlery | Adult's Charles Owen Body Protector .
Charles Owen Ultra-Lite Body Protector - $227.80 from Dover
It's also available with customised colour options for $299.90
Charles Owen JL9 Vest - Protective Vests from SmartPak Equine
Charles Owen JL9 Vest - $203.95 from SmartPak (black only) or $227.80 from Dover (navy)
I've heard in the past that Charles Owen vests are bulky & not as easy to move in - true or false?
Dover Saddlery | Airowear Outlyne Flexible Vest .
Airowear Outlyne Flexible Protective Riding Vest - $299.90 from Dover
I'm concerned that this will be a bit large, since the waist size for xs is 28-32". SmartPak lists an xxs size, but they don't have it in stock.
Rodney Powell Elite Series 6 Body Armour - Protective Vests from SmartPak Equine
Rodney Powell Elite Series 6 Body Armour
I LOVE how this can be completely customized to fit. My one concern is that 2 of the reviews on the website state that the vest can get a bit hot, & I live in FL. After customization (ladies style + small shoulder pads), the total price comes to $311.85 from SmartPak.
I have an Airowear I got from Big Dee's, and I like it a lot. I've also heard good things about the Charles Owens.
The Rodney Powell vest is very popular - the Body Armour. I would love to save up to get that vest! I do believe, you can get that vest in custom colors!
I currently have the Intec Flex Rider vest. I really do like it, and it really does do its job and does it well. But I do want to bump up - and I've always eyed the Rodney Powell.
Now, the vest that has become ultimately popular - Training Level and up, is the Inflatable Vest. I see that thing EVERYWHERE now! Even the local Fox Hunters are wearing that thing, I think that's cool :)
An inflatable vest is DEFINITELY not in my budget right now! :P
I was kind of hoping you'd come on & say that the Rodney Powell's were awful so that I wouldn't have to spend that much money haha. I'm really leaning towards getting one though, I really really like the idea of the customised fit, & it doesn't look bulky at all. The order form on SmartPak let's you pick the colour, although I wish it let you have several different colours like the customisable Charles Owen does.
Definately the airowear! I tryed out ALL the vests you have posted and the airowear was the most comfortable and flexible. The others felt like turtle shells! I love mine. I am 5'6". Size 0 jeans 34 chest and 110 pounds.I have a small and it fits me just fine!
Also, don't you have to wear the inflatable vests on top of a normal vest? Or am I misinformed?
It's that added xtra protection - I don't see the need for it, for the low levels *BN, N, T* but definately something worth investing in, if you are going P and bigger.
Yeah, it'll be a while before I'm up to that level. 5 years ago, I was schooling to begin Training level, but then I moved away from my trainer & my horse & only rode sporadically, so I get to start back up at BN again, until my muscle memory learns how to cooperate again!
I know how you feel. I had goals and plans of being at Training Level this year with Nelson, but something would always happen that got in the way - primarily Nelson's physical health.
The arthritus in his hock mostly, and his stifle locking. So we stayed at BN all 2010 season. But - we kicked arse at BN :P lol.
We'll see what 2011 brings.
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