Need full protection

I've noticed that as I have gotten older, I just don't bounce the same as I use too :naughty: So now I'm thinking about something like the Rock Garden jacket or the 661 pressure suit, or something along those lines. Any and all feed back from those who have and use them is appreciated. I've heard that they run small, and I'm not (6'0" @ 240 lbs.) Any one better than the other?

Good information HERE

I have been looking also but have not decided what jacket to get. Let us know your decision :naughty:

the 2005 661 suit is the first year to have hard chest protection. The back protection is somewhat lacking though.

Velocity Gear makes a killer back protector on their full body suit. The material is lycra though which I dont like as much as mesh.

Personally I wear an Icon Field Armor vest. It ahs good back protection, awesome sternum protection, and is cake to take on and off. It is just a vest though so you will need something else for your shoulders and arms.

I haven't heard of icon in the US., so it might be something new or not available to us over here yet. I ride in temp's from 40F to 95F, so cooling is just as important as protection. The 661 looks good, but how hot will it get????, but for all of these it may be the same for temp.. If you have one, what did you pay, and who did you buy from?


As one of the "elders" on TT (age 59), I also went for the full protection route to save my tired old body. Got the RockGardn Flak Jacket in January and love it. I bought it direct from RockGardn and the price was $185. You can find them for sale for a little less $$$ on other sites, but they're not always the 2005 model. Yes, they're sized a little small. I bought the medium based on their published measurements charts (6'1" 170 lbs) but should have gone to the large. Oh well, I can still squeeze into this one and once I'm riding I don't even feel it.

I'm back in the dirt after a 20+ year layoff (still rode street bikes though), so it's taken a while to regain what pathetic off-road skills I once had. I've crashed a few times in places that would really have hurt me without the Flak Jacket. One afternoon I crashed 3 times trying to cross the face of a very steep hill littered with rocks ranging from baseball to basketball in size. Each time I fell, I went tumbling end-over-end trying to grab something to time for about 75 ft and the other two for about 40-50 ft. The noises made when the Flak Jacket and Thor Force knee guards was smashing into the rocks was downright scary...without that protection I'm sure I would have been hurt pretty badly. As it was, I only came up with one medium-large bruise on one butt cheek....nothing covered by the jacket was marked at all.

January/February are the height of summer here (south of the equator) and temps were in the 90's and low 100's with a bunch of humidity. I really worried about the heat, but it was not a factor at all. RockGardn recommends that you not use a t-shirt in hot weather...put the equipment next to your skin. I had really eye-balled the SixSixOne Pressure Suit, mostly for the mesh body (versus the Lycra on the RockGardn), but the Flak Jacket is more than cool enough for me. Once it gets sweaty....which is about two minutes when riding in this holds the moisture next to the skin and really keeps you cool. The only time you really feel the heat is when you stop for a break....unless there is a decent breeze blowing, you'll be grabbing at the front zipper to let some air in. I also use a vented jersey (Fox Aero Strafer) and it passes a lot of breeze.

I am completely happy with my RG, but have never seen the 661 and therefore have nothing to compare it with. Maybe someone that has tried both can jump in here and give an accurate comparison.

"Break easy and heal slowly" is a fact of life as we get older.....dammit!!!



I can only talk about the RockGardn jacket...

They do run small. I bought the '04 model in Large, and it was waaaay to small for me, at 6'2" and 230lbs. Even when I was down to 210lbs, it was STILL too small for me. Only wore it a few times, and sold it.

I just bought the '05 (slightly different design) in XXL, and it fits perfect. If you're 240lbs, don't go smaller than XXL.

About the heat... I'm a "heavy sweating" type of person. I overheat easily and sweat a LOT. On a day in the high 80's, the older jacket was borderline tolerable for me. But then, I was wearing a t-shirt underneath, and not wearing a vented jersey either. In the future I will try wearing it directly against my skin to see if that helps. If necessary I will buy a vented jersey too. What somebody else said is true too: As long as you're moving and there's air passing over your body, it's not too bad. It's when you stop to take a leak or a break when it gets too hot.

One last thing... I think the '04 model offers SLIGHTY better protection than the new '05's do. The elbow/forearm/chest protector pads on the older version are thicker and harder than the new style. Using two hands, I can bend the new style ones, whereas you can't do that with the '04. Also, the plastic of the turtle-shell style spine protector is thicker on the '04 too.

I still think the '05 is going to provide GREAT protection, and I don't want to take anything away from it. Just an observation.

Check this place:

They're selling the '04 models at a close-out price of $109. They may not have your size though (they didn't have mine, or I would've bought one of the close-outs).

If they don't have your size, they should be able to give you the '05 model for ~$150 (that's what I paid), as they're matching the price of their main competitor.

Before you buy from cambria though, call the TT store and maybe they can beat Cambria's best price, and you'll save even more.

Buy one! You'll feel indestructable in one of these bad boys!

I too have the Flak and love it. They are small, so buy the XXL. I have crashed numerous times with mine and have jumped up without a scratch every time. :naughty:

As for warm weather, just don't wear anything under it. It is designed to wick sweat away from the skin which it does well. I won't ride without it.

I have a never worn 661 suit sixe xlarge. Will not fit me 6'2 235lbs. I'll sell it for 125.00 plus shipping. I really like the design.

I got a 661 beginning this year and love it. It fits perfect. I am 5'11 (probably the skinny type :naughty: ) and got the medium size.

Well the only mistake I did when I ordered, I didn't pay attention to the 2 models they make, so I ended up with this darn SP-1 light duty thing.

Hmmm, I ordered this week the regular version from for $162. Was in stock and shipped the next day. So I am right now waiting to get it.

As far as the protection, I only crashed with it once. Not really that bad, just pulled a couple muscles. But as bad as that hurt I didn't have a single bruise.

Heat wise the SP-1 with this mesh type fabric is great too, I didn't sweat so far in it this year. Not sure if the regular version is the same type it looks a lil bit different on the pictures.

I'll guess I'll be selling the SP-1 soon if anyone wants it. Has been used only a few times.

Trouch, Thanks for the offer but I know I need the XXL size.

xrMike, Good web site link for Cambriabike. Nice stuff and good prices. The Dainese look really nice. I want something that offers protection and yet still does not hamper my movement and doesn't have a lot of bulk. Not asking for to much here am I!

I have the AXO Protector Jacket and I think it's great. It fits well and is very comfortable. The only negative is that the mesh (my friends reckon it's fish net) can itch slightly if it isn't adjusted properly. I just make sure it isn't bunched up under the straps and it's perfect.

Do people recommend over the top armour instead of under the jersey jacket style armour?

Thanks for your help and comments. Their are a lot of jacket protectors out their, and finding the right one gets confusing at times. After looking around and reading up on things a bit I went with the 661 Pressure Suit. Shopping around gave me a price of $129.99, plus 10.90 shipping from Once again, thanks for everyones comments. :naughty:

I highly recommend the Dainese jacket. This is the only protection I've ever worn. It fits amazingly good and the pads don't slide around. My boyfriend was riding mountain bikes with his on and broke his back, but because the Dainese jacket offers excellent back protection with their unique honeycomb system, he's not paralyzed! Check it out:

I have the safety jacket. It's a bit spendy but they last for a couple of years. :naughty:

Thanks for your help and comments. Their are a lot of jacket protectors out their, and finding the right one gets confusing at times. After looking around and reading up on things a bit I went with the 661 Pressure Suit. Shopping around gave me a price of $129.99, plus 10.90 shipping from Once again, thanks for everyones comments. :naughty:

Congrats Paul, :naughty:

man you beat me by $30, why didn't I find that place to order mine last week.

I got mine today, looks great. I was already happy with the fit on the SP1 so I am sure I will like this one as well. First look I thought the chest plate could have been a lil bit bigger and more sturdy but I'll find out on my next crash. I know it will come sooner or later :D:D


That EVS jacket looks good. Even after my research, I'm still concerned about heat, the 661 may be hot. The Dainese look like they would be the coolest, but the $$$!! Very nice though.

I'm not sure you'll be happy with any of the previously mentioned jackets in 95 degree temperatures. I ride in 100+ temps all summer and heat is a main concern as well. I ended up wearing lacrosse shoulder pads ( ) and elbow guards. No more bulky than wearing a standard chest protector, and it provides unrestricted range of motion. Been through extensive field testing (lots of crashes) and it has worked well. If your looking for full coverage of your upper body, you can buy the rib pads that integrate with the shoulder pads.

Give it a shot, the pads cost less than $30. :naughty:

That EVS jacket looks good. Even after my research, I'm still concerned about heat, the 661 may be hot. The Dainese look like they would be the coolest, but the $$$!! Very nice though.

The EVS is quite warm when not moving but the ventilation works very well even at low speeds.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now