Alpinestars is updating its airbag protection line again, with a new vest unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Alpinestars has had standalone airbag vests before, but says the new Tech-Air 5 vest will allow “more users to benefit from an independent, wearable garment featuring all the protection that the Tech-Air® airbag system delivers.” It’s intended to work with any textile jacket, or any leather jacket with 4 cm of space around the circumference of the rider’s chest, says Alpinestars’ press release. It offers protection to a rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs and back.

The latest vest will have six built-in sensors (three gyroscopes, three accelerometers) that detect a crash, even an impact from behind, trigging the vest’s inflation in 20-40 milliseconds. In other words, your vest is inflated before impacting with the ground. It’s supposed to absorb much more impact energy than standard motorcycle armor (up to 95 per cent more, claims the presser). It has a 30-hour battery life; an LED indicator lets you know when it’s time to recharge, and there’s also Bluetooth integration to your mobile device via a proprietary app that gives you battery status, firmware updates and other useful features.

If you’re at the CES show in Las Vegas, Alpinestars will be displaying the vest in Hall D this week (January 7 was the official unveiling). The company’s reps will be doing live demonstrations of the airbag deployment, if you’re curious as to how it works. There’s been no announcement of MSRP yet, but no doubt we’ll have it soon enough, as the vest is scheduled to hit the market in March. For a ballpark idea, though, the current Tech-Air race vest sells for about $1,150 US.

Featured image: Alpinestars

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