Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.
Safety is a priority when it comes to eventing. That is one thing I take very seriously. I always … always … always wear my helmet. I try to remove any unnecessary risk when riding, and when I’m schooling a young horse over fences or taking any horse cross country, I will always wear a body protector.
When it comes to body protectors, it seems that most riders find one that works for them and stick with that vest until the end of time. Each vest has its own unique benefits and features, and some body protectors will fit one person completely differently than another.
Still, the single most important aspect to these safety devices is that they do their absolute best to keep us as safe as possible in the event we should fall from our mounts.
I bought my first body protector years ago and then replaced it a year ago with the same model in the updated version. For some reason I did not go try any others on. I felt at home in my body protector, so why mess with a good thing? I assumed it was like most other things in life: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
So when KL Select gave me the opportunity to try the USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest, I was unsure about trying something new but as walso anxious to see what USG had to offer in regards to my safety.
From the moment I first tried it on, I knew right away this was going to be my new jumping vest. Putting on the body protector for the first time, I was amazed by how much I could move in this vest. My previous vest felt more like a flak jacket worn by the military while in combat.
While wearing it, my arm movement was not hindered at all, giving me the ability to reach for anything in my trailer above my head or on the ground. I could also easily stud my horse up while wearing the vest (not something I normally do, but I forgot to put the studs in first that day). I could twist and turn in any direction with little resistance from the body protector.
The foam that makes up the vest is thick but is broken up into a block structure system that allows freedom of movement as well as a perfect fit. There are two velcro adjusting points at the shoulders and the sides, which allow for quick and easy adjustment.
The USG Body Protector has a zip-up front closure with a single block of foam that attaches with Velcro over the zipper, adding more protection. This closure system also allows the vest to be taken off easily without sacrificing its ability to protect.
The outer shell is made from dirt-repellent polyester that is washable as well. So in the event you do take a tumble, the dirt comes right off. The body protector is certified according to EN 13158-2009 level 3, and BETA label level 3, which is the highest rating available in Europe. This along with this vest being extremely light weight makes it stand out from the crowd.
I found that the Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest by USG filled in some unknown gaps my previous vest left open in terms of comfort and adjustability. That along with a sense of feeling completely safe while wearing this vest is a great feeling to have while jumping some really scary stuff.
The USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest is available in small through extra large and retails for $254. You can find the sizing chart to make sure you get the correct fit here and can pick them up through KL Select here.
Go Safety. Go USG from KL Select. Go Eventing.