If you want the safety of an airbag vest, but you don’t want to buy all-new motorcycle gear, there’s a new universal-fit model on the market. German manufacturer Held is updating its e-Vest, to allow use with just about any motorcycle jacket.
This isn’t Held’s first airbag vest; previous versions of this system were only compatible with Held jackets, though. The original e-Vest used a proprietary clip system to attach to Held’s jackets, keeping everything in place during a crash (see more on that here). Now, Motorrad Online reports Held’s updated that system; the new vest has a zipper up the front, while previous versions only relied on the jacket’s zipper for closure. The new design means you can wear the airbag under any other jacket, as it’s not clipped directly in place.
Held’s e-Vest is built with technology from In & Motion, which is based in France. In & Motion licences its tech to other manufacturers as well. The Held vest is based around a self-contained unit in the back of the garment, with a gas cartridge that inflates the vest and an accelerometer sensor that analyzes the rider’s dynamics. The sensor scans the situation 1,000 times per second, and triggers the inflation mechanism if it detects trouble. In the image above, you can see the inflated vest on the left-hand side. When inflated, it protects your torso in front and back, and also has a cushion around your neck.
Klim, Alpinestars and Dainese all have similar airbag suits on the market, and are all better-known. Held has a reputation for making good-quality gear, though, even if it’s not as common in North America. Held also has an interesting lease arrangement available for this airbag, charging riders about 12 euros a month or 120 euros a year, instead of the up-front 350-euro asking price. For some riders, that might be a better option, as it comes with some other guarantees and perks with the equipment.