An evo­lu­tion in con­ve­nient pro­tec­tion

Cycle World - - Ignition Evaluation - By Bradley Adams

Mo­tor­cy­cles and pro­tec­tive ap­parel have a unique re­la­tion­ship. As the first gets bet­ter, so too must the sec­ond. Any dis­par­ity in growth and sud­denly the sport be­comes more dangerous than it needs to be. Rid­ers can’t af­ford that. The sport can’t af­ford that.

Alpines­tars un­der­stands the im­por­tance of con­tin­ued prod­uct de­vel­op­ment but also rec­og­nizes that, in ad­di­tion to be­ing more pro­tec­tive, rid­ing ap­parel needs to be more com­fort­able, ver­sa­tile, and flex­i­ble. The Track Vest 2 is the com­pany’s at­tempt at ex­pand­ing on an al­ready great prod­uct while ad­dress­ing those pre­req­ui­sites.

De­signed for rid­ers who are look­ing for extra pro­tec­tion un­der their suit or jacket, the Track Vest 2 pairs a Ce-cer­ti­fied Level 2 Nu­cleon KR-1 back pro­tec­tor to a cen­ter-zip, stretch net vest with PE foam pad­ding. There are chest com­part­ments with re­mov­able PE foam (a Ce-cer­ti­fied Level 1 Nu­cleon KR-CI chest pro­tec­tor is a $39.95 op­tion) and an ad­justable/re­mov­able kid­ney belt. What’s nice about the vest is that ev­ery­thing is pack­aged in one easy-to-haul, easy-to-don gar­ment, one that isn’t bulky enough to make your suit feel snug. With the ad­justable kid­ney belt, it’s easy to fine-tune fit­ment too. That means no more re­ly­ing on your buddy to push your back pro­tec­tor down once your suit is on.

Rid­ing vests have the tough job of be­ing flex­i­ble enough to ac­com­mo­date your ex­pand­ing stom­ach and rib cage while still be­ing pro­tec­tive, but the Track Vest 2 man­ages the tasks with ease; on the track, we’d com­pletely for­get the vest was on. The higher-spec Nu­cleon KR-1 back pro­tec­tor con­forms to your back nicely and gives extra peace of mind as well; it re­ally is the star of this show.

Down­sides? Although the PE foam is per­fo­rated, it still lim­its air­flow, leav­ing us warmer than we’d be with a stand-alone back pro­tec­tor. There’s a bal­ance be­tween all-en­com­pass­ing pro­tec­tion and things like air­flow, and it’ll al­ways end up a com­pro­mise. We’ll veer to­ward the side of safety any­time.

At $199.95, the vest re­ally and tuly is an evo­lu­tion in pro­tec­tive ap­parel, and a great ad­di­tion to any gear bag.

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