I must admit, when I was younger and invincible I hardly blinked an eye at these types of torso protectors. Helmet and knee pads were enough for me because I wasn’t going to crash. But now that I’m older, and I do have to go to work on Monday, having torso and spine protection is a must when I go ride the gnar. Dainese’s Impact armor is their most versatile and least costly torso protection. For $369 one gets a light weight, very breathable, shoulder, back, chest protector that is well made and can take repeated impacts. Continue reading →
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2011
Strengths: Excellent spine protection, reasonably comfortable, short sleeves, modularity.
Weaknesses: Chest pads too soft, shoulder pads don't stay in place upon hard impacts, needs more straps to keep in place. Missing pads that comparable products offer
When you buy this product, you are selecting it because of its superior spine protection and modularity. The rest of the suit is pretty much useless. I went over the bars last season and broke 2 ribs right in the middle of the chest armor. While the injury would have undoubtedly been worse without this suit, I don't think this is the best product on the market any longer. To fix it, I have added to straps to keep the shoulders in place and wear a Leeatt brace to minimize my risks of a neck injury. Overall, I'd recommend this if you can get it for a good price, are aware of its weaknesses, and are seeking modularity. The removable spine protection makes this very versatile for other sports like skiing, etc.
Favorite Trail: Monarch Crest Trail or DH @ Winter Park, Keystone
Duration Product Used: 2 Years
Similar Products Used: 661 Pressure Suit
Bike Setup: V10 for DH, VPFree, Ibis Mojo
a Weekend Warrior
from Gainesville FL
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2009
Strengths: Dainese quality, comfort, light weight
Weaknesses: no protection for shoulder blades, if you eat it and crush the spine protector it will need to be replaced... $$
I recently endoed and broke my collarbone (clavicle) as well as seperated my shoulder. Not sure about my rotator cuff, it is pretty sore still 3 weeks after the crash. I was looking at getting the 661 Assault Suit for $90 but I found the Dainese Impact Suit for -------$120----- @ Wiggle in the UK! WOW! They also had free shipping on orders of $150+ so I got some nice knee protection and this armor shipped for $170... @ this price I gotta give it 5 flamming aji brujito chilli-pepper rating!
Bike Setup: Redline D660 29er w/ 2009 Rockshox Reba SL
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2008
Strengths: I compared the Impact (no arms) and Impact Race (with arms)
Back protector is completely separate on the Impact - not zipped to the body armour like on Impact Race. This is better for tall people (I'm 6'4") as otherwise you can't get the back protector in the right place...
Fit is better on the Impact than on the Impact Race. I tried on a large of both and the Impact was better fitting around the upper torso and shoulders...
Impact is very comfortable - the Impact Race has horrible sharp seams in the elbow pads. On the Impact the shoulder pads have an additional covering layer of fabric which for some reason the very clever people at Dainese didn't think to extend to the elbows of the Impact Race!
Weaknesses: The central zip on the Impact (the zip is offset on the Impact Race) leaves a bit of an unprotected area above the sternum...
The Impact is better than the Impact Race!
Unlike the tester who felt the shoulder pads moved, I thought they were pretty solid and stable. Maybe some additional stabilising straps would help, that would take it from 9/10 to 10/10.
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2007
Strengths: The jacket was very light and you where able to move around freely. The back prtection looks strong and is light and flexible.
Weaknesses: The shoulder protection is as good as useless, the pads are actually very well made and fit ok. However they are only held in place with lycra mesh, and if you where to crash whilst moving which is 99.9% of the time, it would just be pushed of your shoulder resulting in probaly as much injury as without the jacket.
I bought this suit for the shoulder protection, after a serious shoulder injury. I was very disapointed with Dainese, did they not test the product? I thought they where a respectable company. It looks like there Impact Race Jacket has some adjustable straps to hold the shoulder pads in place, why did they not use them on this???
In my eyes, save your £150, look else where. You do have to get the compramise between comfort and protection. But the reason I bought the suit to reduce chances of injury, so it gets a thumbs down from me.
If you want to ride XC routes with added confidence this maybe for you but nothing else.
a Weekend Warrior
from Perth, Western Australia
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2007
Strengths: Dainese quality, versatile, light weight, comfy, easy to fold up and store in your backpack, breathable, can fit a shirt/singlet over it, removable back protector, short sleeved!
Weaknesses: - Rather pricey, as are all quality Dainese products (got a great deal through www.beyondbikes.com - excellent service!).
- Could use a little more padding on the sternum area (the 2cm wide gap between the chest pads where the central zip travels prevents the padding from completely covering the sternum).
- Maybe some light padding on the back of the shoulders??? (although the back protector seems to be adequate enough. Only a crash will decide!).
The best thing about this armour is its versatility. When doing long technical treks out on the trails, I just unroll it from in my backpack, place a singlet over the top (so I don't look so hardcore!) and away I go! The short sleeve lycra-mesh design is breathable and comfortable enough to wear all day. But couple this armour with its back protector, some elbow/forearm protection, knee/shin pads, gloves, hip/coccyx protection (undershort) and a full face helmet and you have a fully customized and capable downhill suit. If planning to do hardcore competition DH I would invest in a complete suit. But for the non professionals, like most of us are, it is perfect!
Overall, this armour is a lightweight, unrestrictive, breathable and very VERSATILE piece of equipment. It is extremely portable and is great for those more challenging all-mountain adventures, or the part time DH/freerider.