Helite Custom Vest
- Turtle CE approved airbag effective in 0.1 seconds
- Removable SAS-TEC back protector 1621-2 certified
- 1.2 mm cowhide leather construction
- Zipper access at back and left side makes it easy to stitch on patches and emblems
- 3 outside pockets, 2 inside pockets
- Stretch leather side panels and low cut underarms for comfort and freedom of movement
- SM to 2XL uses 60cc CO2 cartridge, 3XL to 6XL uses 100cc CO2 cartridge
Read on for more details.
The fitment issue for Helite apparel products is a little different than most other motorcycle apparel. If you take a look at the Helite vest product, you’ll see that the key issue for fitment is matching your height to the recommended height range of the vest. With Helite’s apparel products where the air bag is built in, it is still important to get the right height air bag. So the first step in choosing a jacket size is to look at the size chart and see which size are recommended for your height, and secondly, see which size is OK for your max chest and belly. If you find a size that works for your height, chest and belly, you’re all set with a size choice! Those who are relatively short/stout or tall/skinny may not be able to find a size that gives the right height range and also have the chest belly be reasonable. If you have trouble finding a fit, I’d recommend buying a Helite vest and wearing it over your non-Helite riding gear.
We’ve listed the height ranges for each size below. Choose a size that works for your height and also one where your own chest and belly sizes are within a few inches of the max sizes listed below. For example, I’m 6’ with a 46” chest and a 42” belly, so I’d choose a size XL. Those with average proportions will choose the size they typically wear in men’s clothing.
|Vest Size||Height||Max Chest||Max Belly|
|Small||5’3” to 5’8”||40”||38”|
|Medium||5’8” to 5’10”||42”||40”|
|Large||5’8” to 6’||44”||42”|
|XL||5’10” to 6’2”||46”||44”|
|XXL||5’11” to 6’3”||48”||46”|
|XXXL||5’11” to 6’5”||51”||49”|
|XXXXL||5’11” to 6’6”||54”||52”|
|5XL||5’11” to 6’7”||57”||54”|
|6XL||5’11” to 7’||59”||55”|
Our Two Cents
Helite is in the business of making air bag riding apparel for motorcyclists. Their “core” product is their vest which is designed to be worn over your existing riding apparel. They also make jackets and vests with the same air bag technology built in. The air bag technology, whether it be the vest or the other riding jackets and vests is basically the same.
So first things first… everybody wants to see how the vests and apparel look when they inflate, so the link to our photo gallery to see a shot of the vest in its normal uninflated state, and then look at the pictures with it fully inflated. Its pretty dramatic! To see a video that will give you the idea, have a look at the Turtle Vest product page.
Helite jackets and vests with the air bag technology built in offer the air bag technology in a more “neat and tidy” package. The jackets and vest don’t look much different than ordinary riding gear. Some riders might be more comfortable with this, especially those who are content with only having one jacket or vest to suit their riding needs. Here are the advantages of the Helite apparel products we see:
- The jackets and leather vest look great and include all the technology in one package.
- The operation and maintenance of the air bag technology is straightforward so anybody can understand how it all works. And being a mechanically triggered device, it has inherent reliability.
- All Helite vests and jackets include a CE Level 2 back pad which is often times an upgrade for other brands of gear.
- The vest can deploy more than once without having to return the vest to the factory for servicing (see details on Helite’s website).
- Replacement cartridges are inexpensive.
- Helite gear is well made with robust materials and should last a long time.
- Warranty service is available directly from Helite in the US.
- Last but most important… ITS AN AIRBAG FOR YOUR BODY!!!
Here are a few “cons” to consider with regard to the jackets and leather vest:
- Helite gear with the integrated air bag technology weighs more than ordinary riding apparel… about 3.5 lbs more.
- The Airbag technology isn’t cheap and when you buy one of their jackets or vest with the air bag integrated, it can’t be used with other riding gear (for other seasons for example), like the Turtle Vest can.
- You have to remember to connect the lanyard each time you mount up! (Likewise with the Turtle Vests)
I’m a mechanical engineer by education and I’m also not a youngster anymore, so this Helite air bag technology looks like a great product to me. Anything that ups my chances of walking away from a crash is worth it (check out those medical deductibles these days!). And mentally, technology like this that could easily keep me riding longer. It certainly will also be some comfort to a rider’s friends and family. And surely an easy sell to those with whom you share a budget. Helite makes simple and reliable air bag technology available to the masses!
About the Custom Leather Vest: This vest is styled very much like other cruiser style leather vests we sell. It has three storage pockets outside and one very nice inside pocket for your technology or eyeglasses.
The buyer for this vest will be a person that doesn’t want to wear a fully armored riding jacket and prefers the style of just a vest. The vest has two zippers in the lining to allow you access to the back leather of the vest to sew on any custom patches you like. The styling is simple and sharp.
Of course the buyer of this vest will be wanting the air bag technology that is built in. Along with the air bag tech, the vest has the same CE Level 2 integrated back pad as the Turtle vest and the other jackets. This vest is designed to be worn over a shirt or riding shirt only. If you want a vest to go over other riding apparel, then have a look at the Turtle vest options. :: Paul, 06-19-18