Far too many pants and jackets sold these days pack cheap and flimsy armour, and some even leave vital spaces like back protector pockets empty altogether. In fact, Indian gear brands deserve a shout-out here because they tend to offer much better armour with their products as standard, compared to high-end European names that expect you to make a separate investment in proper armour.
I was looking for an aftermarket option to fill the hip armour pockets in my Olympia pants and Scott riding denims when I came across these reasonably priced options sold by Outdoor Travel Gear. They’re by an Italian company called Safetechh, but costs are kept low by the usual route of having manufacturing done in China.
When buying armour, I always try to get the higher Level 2 stuff, which can absorb a higher impact – above 9 kiloNewtons of force to be precise. Safetechh achieves this through the use of a material called Viscoflex, which is essentially one of those high-density visco-elastic polymers. This material feels soft to the touch, but rapidly firms up when impacted hard, thereby reducing the impact transmitted to the rider. The beauty with such materials is that they’re multi-use and can be flexed to fit into an armour pocket.
Be sure the armour will fit into the designated pockets in your pants.
You need to look up the dimensions on the website to see if the armour will fit into your gear. While not an exact fit, this armour just about squeezes into the pockets in both my pants. Once in, the armour has a curved profile, which makes it comfortable enough so that it doesn’t get in the way when you’re wearing the pants. In fact, you soon forget that it’s in there at all. I haven’t ridden in frigid, sub-zero temperatures with this armour yet, but the material has been unaffected by all temperature extremes it’s met so far.
At Rs 790, I think the Safe Tec armour is a good deal. But you’ll also find all manner of protection, be it elbow, shoulder, knee or back protection in the same material at similarly reasonable prices on Outdoor Travel Gear’s website. Just make sure the armour will fit in your gear before buying it.
Price: Rs 790