If you’re a rider who prefers jumping, cross country and fast work then investing in a good body protector is an absolute must. Equally, for more nervous riders, a body protector can just help to give peace of mind that in the event of a fall you’d be well protected from injury. In recent years, air technology has emerged to create air jackets instead of the classic more solid style of body protector. Let’s take a closer look at our newest arrival - the Safefit Airbag Vest by Seaver.
An equestrian air jacket is essentially a body protector which inflates with air in the event that a horse and rider part ways. They usually feature an air cannister and a connecting clip which runs from the jacket to the saddle. If this clip becomes unconnected the jacket will inflate with air to protect the vital areas of the rider’s body. These differ to the more traditional body protectors out there, which have more of a hard shell to protect the rider and can often feel bulky and uncomfortable.
This air jacket has been inspired around the protective inflatable vests that are worn for skiing or motorcycling. In the event of a fall, it triggers mechanically and ultra-fast before any impact in order to protect the abdomen, rib cage, neck, back and spine.
The technology works by using a CO2 gas cartridge, an arming key and a connector strap and cord. The connection strap is directly linked to the saddle and gas cartridge within the vest, so that if you fall off, the gas cartridge is disconnected from the vest to trigger the inflation of the airbag chamber within milliseconds. All you need to do then is fit a new gas cartridge so you’re ready to go again when you next get back on board.
The great thing about the Safefit Airbag Vest is the fact that it’s extremely lightweight and comfortable when deflated so you can easily wear with your usual riding clothes. It’s made up of stretch fabrics, so you barely notice it’s there while riding, and there are mesh cut outs around the arms for better ventilation.
When you buy the Safefit Airbag Vest, you’ll also receive a free one years subscription to the Saferide mobile app which works hand in hand with the vest. Upon being activated on your phone, friends and family will immediately be notified in the event of a fall and will be sent a geolocation in order to find you if needed. This is a really useful extra safety feature for when hacking out alone or doing cross country practice on a large course.
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