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My Wife and Daughter ride horses and have suggested equestrian vests in the past. I have written them off for no good reason. Thank you for motivating me to take another look!

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Oh, I see that the shoulder protectors might not be as impressive as the rest of the vest:

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In addition to body protectors, the BETA standard is able to test against a fall on the point of the shoulder.

As shoulders are more rigid than ribs, shoulder protectors are subject to different tests. Shoulder protectors that are certified bear their own label on the protector. (link)

 

I'd guess it's still going to compare well with motorcycle gear, but I'd really like to know the details of this.

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Am I missing something? Those vests you link don’t cover the shoulder at all. Like the Air Espirit just has shoulder straps at the top. Do you have a link a vest that covers the shoulder?

On 5/26/2021 at 11:34 PM, Skeptikos said:

 

To add more context, the Forcefield Isolator 2 shoulder armor, known for its high level of protection, transmits about 11kN of force in these tests. The absolute best motorcycle limb/shoulder armor I’ve seen so far, SAS-TEC’s SC-1/42 Prestige, transmits 8.5kN.

 


So… the motorcycle armor is better right? It transmits less force.

 

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Posted (edited)

@shellac, a lot of the vests have attachable shoulder pads, but they're sold separately. I'm still trying to get more info about the shoulder pad specs-- I can't say yet if they're better than the motorcycle protectors. So far all I know is that, according to Forcefield, they're "very comparable" to Forcefield's Isolator 2 pads. That means they're at least as good as the really good motorcycle protectors.

In terms of chest and rib protection, the equestrian vests are significantly better than any motorcycle gear I'm aware of. The only piece of motorcycle armor I know of that could meet the impact requirement of the BETA level 3 standard is Forcefield's Pro Sub 4 back protector. These vests take that extremely high level of protection and extend it all across your ribs and chest.

@Roadpower, that jacket doesn't provide any chest/rib protection. The equestrian vest option is for people trying to prevent rib/chest and maybe shoulder injuries-- the relevant alternative here would be something like a Leatt body protector, or the Forcefield rib protector, or a motorcycle chest protector like the RS Taichi Teccell. Edit: Or an airbag vest.

Edited by Skeptikos
add airbag vest
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Alright, I finally got details about the shoulder pad standards. They're good standards but disappointing compared to the vests.

The guy who runs mcgearhub.com managed to get the info. He and Paul Varnsverry seem like good people to ask if we have more questions in the future:

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The impact energy for shoulder protection in EN 13158 is higher than in EN 1621-1 (60 joules for EN 13158 and 50 joules for EN 1621-1) but the transmitted force values of EN 13158 (25kn mean/30kN single value) are lower than EN 1621-1 at Level 1 (35kN/50kN for Level 1) and may be slightly higher than EN 1621-1 at Level 2 (20kN/30kN).

It’s difficult to be absolutely accurate, because of differences in the test apparatus, but, according to Paul [Varnsverry] (and yours truly), we suggest that EN 13158 shoulder protectors just have the tiny edge over shoulder protectors for motorcyclists.

 

Now we can compare the shoulder pad standards like we did for the vests earlier.

Motorcycle: CE level 2 (Limbs, Hips, Shoulders): <20 kN (50J)
Equestrian: BETA level 3 (Shoulders, same as EN13158 level 2) : <20 kN (60J)

So it looks like the BETA 3 standard for shoulder gear is a little higher.

Even knowing that, there's not much we can say about which pads are best. Some motorcycle pads surpass the CE level 2 standard by a lot, which means I can't say if the best equestrian pads are better than the best motorcycle pads. According to Forcefield, the Charles Owen pads are on par with their Isolator 2 pads (which are really good), so they should be a good option. But it's hard to verify without more detailed info.

So there's a big difference between the equestrian vests and the shoulder pads. The certified equestrian vests are, clearly and without a doubt, better chest/rib protection than any motorcycle protectors. Whereas the certified shoulder pads are in the same range as motorcycle gear, possibly a bit better but we don't know enough to say.

If you're absolutely determined to get the best possible shoulder pads, it could be worth checking out some equestrian pads, because they really might be the best. For now, though, I'm just going with the SAS-TEC EVO1 motorcycle pads, which are supposed to be a little better than Forcefield's Isolator 2 pads. I like SAS-TEC and Forcefield because they release more data about their pads, so I'm sure they're really good, even if there's a possibility they might not be the best.

Edited by Skeptikos
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