So instead let's talk about cross country vests. Specifically, the Harry Hall Zeus Body Protector that my incredibly kind mother gave as a birthday present while I was laid up with a broken leg.
|Dino & Alli photobomb!!|
I had previously ridden in an old, slightly beat up Tipperary. It was a steal from eBay when I first started thinking about eventing, but wasn't prepared to really invest.
But after our first full season it seemed like time, esp since Amanda had helpfully provided recommendations for budget-friendly Beta 3 certified vests from the UK in the comments section of this post. The Beta 3 refers to a more rigorous safety approval process that is standard abroad but not yet a requirement here in the States.
|let's all just embrace that vests are kinda ridiculous|
The adult's Zeus Body Protector is designed with safety and practicality at the top of the list. It conforms to the EN13158 2009 BETA Level 3 safety standards to maximize your safety in the saddle. This paneled body protector features separate lightweight shock absorbing foam panels that mold around the body to give a close yet flexible fit. The air mesh outer with contrast binding and reflective piping on the front and back also ensures safety and flexibility in the saddle. The red fitting indicators included on the Body Protector help ensure the correct fit is achieved for the greatest protection.
It retails in the UK for ~$120
|heavy-duty velcro attachments across the chest, with flexible side panels|
|the back panels have conformed over time to my shape|
|individual panels on the inside allow for a closer, more comfortable fit - while still protecting from punctures|
For all that, tho, it's surprisingly comfortable. It doesn't come down as far on my back as the Tipperary did, meaning it doesn't interfere with my saddle while I ride, nor does it bunch up around my shoulder blades.
|vest has an understated and classy silhouette|
|the gray piping adds a fun accent|
|plenty flexible for lots of pats while riding|
So all in all I'm quite pleased with it. It's safe, comfortable, and looks nice - plus it's actually more affordable than a brand new unapproved Tipperary. What's not to like?
Are you in the market for a new vest? Have you considered the Harry Hall or other similar Beta 3 vests from the UK?