10 Best Motorcycle Airbag Jackets and Vests Reviewed & Compared was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Lucas
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10 Best Motorcycle Airbag Jackets and Vests (Reviews) in 2020
In case you want to buy one of the best motorcycle airbag vests but don’t have the time required to read countless reviews or search the entire internet to be certain that you’re making the right choice, then you should definitely take a look at our top picks showcased below.
1. Hit-Air EU6 Ultimate Airbag Jacket
If you’re looking for superior protection against crashes, then the Hit-Air EU6 Ultimate airbag jacket is surely a sound choice. This item is built with excellent materials that are tough and durable, using the latest technology available to create a vest that will save you from potential injuries.
This unit comes with a removable quilted Polyester fleece that comes with an Interon waterproof membrane that’s also breathable. The exterior features Lumidex reflective material to make you more visible on the road, as well as durable 600D polyester and 1000D nylon for extra protection. You also get zipper vents for better ventilation.
This vest offers solid protection for your neck, back, chest, hip, and sides. This shock-protection system will activate when the rider abruptly separates from the motorcycle, and the CO2 gas will be released to inflate all the airbags in as little as 0.09 seconds, making sure that you’re safe from harm. After becoming fully inflated, the vest will slowly deflate and return to normal.
The greatest feature that this jacket comes with is the very short time in which the airbags open in case of impact, which is 0.25 seconds.
The polyester lining is removable and can be easily cleaned. Also, you might not want to wear it all the time, so this is a useful feature for people who feel more comfortable without it.
You will be easily spotted in traffic due to the highly reflective Lumidex material, so your chances of being avoided by other drivers are higher.
You have plenty of space to store your necessities due to the fact that it comes with 5 pockets of different sizes.
It will not add a lot of extra weight as it weighs only 3.5 pounds which is great compared to other similar jackets.
The sizes might not fit as you expect them to so you have to follow the instructions that the manufacturer provides in order to get the perfect fit.
2. High Visibility Hit-Air MLV-P Yel model
The Hit-Air MLV-C size L is a lightweight inflatable vest that can make a huge difference in case you have a crash while riding your motorcycle. This vest is incredibly light, and you can wear it over your preferred jacket. This vest can easily go over normal or even bulky motorcycle jackets so there’s no reason to leave it at home when you can benefit from extra protection on the road.
The MLV-C comes with a new air deployment system which helps the vest become inflated faster than compared to previous models. Thanks to the S-System, you get a vest that can inflate in 0.18 seconds, which is almost half the time it takes your eyes to blink.
This vest is comfortable to wear, and it also gives you a modern look regardless of your other equipment. You get an easily attachable chest padding, as well as airbags in all the vital areas so you get maximum protection for your neck, back, chest, and hip. This model uses a 60cc CO2 cartridge.
This vest is really light as you will only carry with you an extra 3 pounds which is almost undetectable when it comes to comfort.
The speed that your airbag will open at is outstanding as it will take it 0.18 seconds to open, a feature that might save your life.
You have the option of attaching an extra chest and back padding that is included which will add extra protection.
It is designed to be worn over a protective jacket and it is loose enough for you to be able to do so.
Due to the high-level protection that this vest offers, its price is similar to that of a jacket and not everyone is prepared to spend that much. However, always try to remember why you are investing in an airbag vest in the first place, which is for safety, and this is an aspect that is worth your money.
3. Hit Air Motorrad-2 Mesh Airbag Jacket
The Hit-Air Motorrad-2 is a cool looking airbag jacket that can offer you superior shock protection, as well as provide you with shelter from the elements. This jacket is actually the mesh version of the popular Enduro model. This unit comes with the same functionality as well as s comfortable design that you can wear anytime and ensure you’re protected from the unthinkable.
This vest comes with 600D polyester and 1000D nylon on the exterior for a strong outer layer that’s resistant to abrasion or ripping. You also get Lumidex reflective materials, so you are better visible to other participants in traffic. This model comes with all sorts of vents for good airflow, so you don’t sweat excessively even when riding in warmer weather.
This item uses a 60cc CO2 cartridge to inflate airbags in the neck area, back, hip, sides, and neck in ½ seconds for maximum protection. You also get honeycomb Hexa padding for your elbows and shoulders.
The great thing about this jacket is that it also provides a hip cushion and the airbag system is designed following the latest protection research in the field.
It provides great ventilation that is ensured by the mesh material but also by the ventilation zippers that manufacturers have designed this jacket with.
It comes with reflective stripes made of high-quality materials that will ensure extra visibility so you will be able to safely ride even during the night.
It also comes with padding for the elbows and shoulders that is CE certified for maximum protection.
Some people might find this product a little bit pricey. However, if you consider the extra safety that it provides that most jackets at a lower price do not come with, you will reach the conclusion that you can not put a price on safety.
4. Hit-Air inflatable Vest "MLV-C"
If you’re looking for lightweight and comfortable protection for your favorite motorcycle rides, then the Hit-Air MLV-C size M is just what you need. This vest is extremely light, and the best part is that you can wear it over a jacket or other protective clothing ease. When not inflated, this vest will not cause any hindrance, and it will also make you look quite cool.
This vest is made of resistant materials that will last for a long time. This item is easy to attach and detach, so you don’t have to worry about needing help to take it off. The MLV-C comes with an improved airbag deployment system which allows it to fully inflate the airbags in 0.25 seconds, which is faster than the human eye blink rate.
This lightweight vest will offer you increased protection for your neck, back, chest, hips, and sides so you get the extra peace of mind when riding in high traffic, on slippery roads, or on tough terrain.
The deployment speed of 0.25 seconds of the airbag is very fast and you will be protected instantly on impact.
You will not be hindered by it because it weighs only 3.3 lbs, making it one of the lightweight products in its line.
It can be used by equestrians as well, not just by bike riders, so we could say that the product is relatively versatile.
You will be easily spotted by other drivers during the night or bad weather due to the reflective stripes that are present both on the front and on the back of the vest.
It is breathable and is perfect for rides during the warm seasons because it provides great airflow.
This vest has such great feedback and comes with such great quality that it has been hard for us to find a flaw for it. Some people might not prefer the color for night rides because they feel like a different color might provide better visibility.
5. Hit Air MX7 Airbag Mesh Jacket
The Hit-Air MX7 is an airbag jacket that’s meant to protect you in case of an accident, as well as to shield you from the elements. This model features an exterior made of tough polyester materials that are resistant to scratching and ripping. The exterior also has reflective materials, so you are more visible on poorly lit roads.
This jacket will keep you warm even in cold temperatures. This unit also allows you to get an optional liner to get even more protection for the cold season. The exterior is made of a 500D nylon shell that is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet in rainy weather. You also get honeycomb padding for your shoulders and elbows for extra protection in case you fall.
This model uses a 50cc CO2 cartridge that will inflate the airbags in half a second. You get to protect your upper body thanks to the life-saving airbags located in the neck area, back, hip, sides, and chest.
It comes with shoulder and elbow padding made of high-quality materials in order to offer full protection in any conditions.
It is made of a breathable material which is an essential feature because most of the time you are going to wear it in safe conditions and you have to think of this aspect as well.
The handcuffs and waistline are adjustable so you will be able to wear it in a comfortable manner according to your body type.
It has a high airbag opening speed and you will be safe during the night also because the jacket has reflective Lumidex stripes.
Like with many other similar products, you have to check the instructions for taking your measurements to order a size that fits because the sizes are a little bit different than you would expect. Other than that, this product has everything it needs to keep you safe.
6. Hit Air MLV-RC Motorcycle Light Weight Airbag Vest Reflective
The Hit-Air MLV-RC is a great option for motorcycle riders who don’t like bulky vests and jackets. This airbag vest weighs very little, and when not inflated, you almost won’t feel that it’s there. You can easily equip it over any jacket, no matter how bulky.
With this model, you also get improved nighttime visibility so others can easily see you, thanks to the Lumidex reflective material that covers most of the vest surface. The vest itself is very easy to attach via two buckles so you can put it on or take it off with ease anytime. This model also features a strap that you can adjust for a snug fit.
The front pocket contains a 60cc gas cartridge that is attached to a coiled wire. When the rider becomes separated from the motorcycle at high speeds, this wire will activate the airbag deployment mechanism that will inflate all airbags in 0.25 seconds, giving you superior protection for the upper body in case of a crash.
The time it takes for the airbags to open is very short as it takes them about 0.25 seconds from impact to ensure full protection, which is pretty fast considering that it is a quarter of a second.
It comes with a high neck protector airbag which will prevent neck and head injuries in case of an impact.
It is one of the higher-rated products in the line and comes with great feedback because it has proven its efficiency over time in various real-life impacts, not just in laboratory studies.
It is very light compared to other products as you will need to add only 3.5 pounds to your protective gear.
The sizes are a little small compared to other products, so if you are above size XL you should order one number above your actual size. Also, try to follow thoroughly the instructions that the manufacturers provide in terms of measurements.
7. High Visibility Hit-Air MLV-P Yel model inflatable vest
The Hit-Air MLV-P is a fully reflective vest that will protect you from injuries resulted from crashes, as well as make you more visible on even the darkest roads. This model can be easily worn over your favorite motorcycle jacket with no problems.
The yellow and gray Lumidex reflective material covers the entire surface of the vest, making you highly visible to other traffic members and potentially avoiding dangerous situations. This vest comes with two buckles that are easy to lock and unlock so you can put on the vest or take it off anytime without any effort.
The coiled wire will only activate the deployment system when pulled with sufficient force, so you don’t have to worry about it accidentally inflating the vest when not needed. The airbags become fully inflated in 0.25 seconds, which is fast enough to ensure that you already have the best protection in case of a crash.
The vest is very comfortable especially because it weighs only 3.09 pounds which will not add a lot of extra weight to your protective gear.
The airbag deployment speed is 0.18 seconds which we can really say is impressive and takes the protection that this vest offers to another level.
It provides great visibility during night rides due to its color and also to the reflective stripes that are relatively large and present both on the front and the back of the vest. The color is also great during foggy and rainy weather because you will be easily spotted by the other drivers.
It comes with an optional back protector and also with optional chest and back padding which will increase your comfort.
If you wear it over summer protection clothing the vest might be a little loose so do not forget to make thorough measurements before ordering it so you get one that fits you.
8. Hit-Air MLV-YC
The Hit-Air MLV-YC is probably one of the most visible airbag vests on the market. The exterior is made with the Lumidex reflective material that features both yellow and neon fluorescent colors and double line reflectors to ensure that you are highly visible to other participants in traffic during the day as well as during the night.
Thanks to the new high-speed airbag deployment system, this vest can inflate the airbags in just 0.18 seconds while using a single 60cc cartridge with gas. You get all vital areas protected from impact, with airbags fully covering the neck, the back, the hip area, as well as offering great protection for the chest.
This vest is lightweight so it won’t wear you down, compared to many other pieces of protective equipment that you need for your bike. You can adjust the strap for a tight fit, and the closure is easily performed with two efficient buckles. This product comes with an included gas cartridge.
The color of this vest makes it perfect during foggy or cloudy weather because you will be easily seen by the other drivers involved in traffic and they will be able to avoid you if they spot you in time.
It has a very soft mesh around the neck which makes it very comfortable and it will also not scratch you in case the airbag deploys.
It has a perfect fit over a jacket and it is very comfortable and lightweight.
It has an outstanding deployment speed of 0.18 seconds which is almost instantly in terms of impact.
Some people might not like the color. However, the color has a protective role because it increases your visibility and it has the potential of saving your life. The more features a product has in terms of factors that can prevent accidents, the more it is worth your money, so remember that safety always comes first.
9. Hit Air "RS-1" Model Racing Inflatable Air Vest
If you are looking for a solid airbag vest to keep you safe and protected while riding your favorite motorcycle, then the Hit-Air RS-1 is a perfect choice. This model has a tough exterior that’s made of strong 600D polyester. This material makes the vest resistant to mechanical damage such as scratching or ripping.
You can wear this vest over your regular motorcycle outfit without any hindrance. This item also uses super-strong nylon for the lip, and it has a vented mesh which allows the air to flow through and ensure you stay dry and cool even when riding in warm weather.
The airbag system has a polyurethane airbag tube that delivers gas from the 60cc cartridge to all airbags. This fast deployment system will provide you with a superior shock-absorbing performance so that you get great protection against impacts in case of a crash. The key box is located in the rear so that the attached coiled wire won’t stay in your way when riding.
This air vest is perfect for people who want to be protected while wearing a tracksuit because it is specially designed for that, so racing riders will be very happy with this product that is very easy to use and also made of great materials.
The great thing about it is that it provides great neck and head protection which is very important in the case of an impact.
It has an excellent airbag system that is designed to absorb shocks and provide the best performance that a vest could offer in this department.
It is relatively heavy compared to its competitors. However, you can hardly say that 4.58 pounds make a heavy vest and there aren’t many products in this price range on the market that are specially designed to be worn over tracksuits, so this is a great product that is worth considering if you are looking for high-quality protection.
10. Helite Leather Airbag Jacket
The Helite Leather Airbag Jacket is a great piece of equipment that can keep you comfortable and protected from harm. This jacket is made of thick full-grain cowhide leather that is both strong and resistant. You don’t just get protection, but also a classic appearance with this stylish vest that will complement your biker gear.
This jacket also features elbow and shoulder protective pads, as well as a certified SAS-TEC back protection. This model comes with mesh ventilation in the armpits and sides, so you get to stay cool even when riding in warm weather. The insulation liner is made of polyester, and it will keep you warm during cold days.
Thanks to the incredibly fast 0.1 inflation time, this jacket can ensure that you get maximum protection for your neck, back, shoulders, chest, and sides in case you become separated from the motorcycle during a crash. This model is also comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time due to the soft open neck collar and adjustable wrist and waist fasteners.
This is a product that comes with the fastest speeds in terms of how long it takes for the airbag to open, and that is 0.1 seconds which is impressive even for the pickiest customer.
The great thing about it is that it is relatively stylish when the airbags are not open and it looks like a normal leather jacket which is great especially if you have a personal style that you want to preserve in any conditions.
The great thing about it is that the leather it is made of is so strong that it will not be torn when the airbags are activated, which provides even greater protection than other similar products.
It is a little bit heavy and it is not suited for all climates. However, if you decide to purchase it you will not be sorry because it comes with a lot of great features that can potentially save your life.
This Year’s Buying Guide
If you’re looking for the best motorcycle airbag system but don’t really know a lot about these protective items, then read on. We have written a short guide that should help you understand how these work as well as which features might be most important so that you could choose the right model for your needs.
Get an airbag vest for lightweight protection
If you want to travel light and still benefit from superior protection, then getting an airbag vest for sale is the best thing you can do. This item will go over any other jacket or other protective clothes you might be wearing. Most models come with easily adjustable straps and buckles so you can put them on or take them off with ease.
You might want to check some motorcycle airbag vest reviews to ensure that the CO2 cartridges are replaceable. You might also wish to go for an item that has a fast inflation time. The airbag deployment time can range from 0.09 seconds to half a second. Obviously, the faster the inflation time, the better is the provided protection.
The airbag deployment system uses a coiled wire that’s attached to the motorcycle on one end, and on the gas cartridge on the other. When the rider becomes separated from the motorcycle in an accident, the coil activates the airbag system. These wires can either attach to the front or rear of the bike. Choose the type that causes the least disturbance to your riding style.
Choose an airbag jacket to ride safely and in style
By getting one of the best motorcycle airbag jackets, you don’t just get extra protection from impacts, but also from the elements. Airbag jackets are made of thick full-grain leather, or from durable nylon and polyester which are strong and resistant to abrasion.
These jackets also feature protective pads from TPU or other hard plastics, and they’re a great addition to your safety kit, especially since they also cover vulnerable areas such as shoulders and elbows.
Many jackets also feature waterproof membranes which keep you shielded from rain or snow. Besides getting protection from the elements, you may also choose a model that comes with an interior liner such as a fleece that can keep you warm during the cold winter months. These liners may also be waterproof and breathable.
Which type to choose
Depending on what your ride style is and the area where you live, you might want to go for good motorcycle airbag protection that’s provided either by a jacket or a vest. Vests are usually cheaper than jackets. They also weigh less, and the best part is that you can wear them over your favorite motorcycle jacket or other bike clothes without any discomfort.
Getting a vest is also a good choice if you live in a warmer climate and don’t want to wear a full jacket since that could make some rides unbearable.
However, you get the most amount of protection with an airbag jacket. Expect to pay a premium price for one, though, since these tend to cost quite a bit compared to vests. A good jacket will give you resistance against impacts as well as abrasion for the entire upper part of your body.
The airbags might also be larger and cover a wider area, thus being able to give you protection for more areas such as the sides, which usually aren’t well protected by vests.
Extra accessories you might want to consider
Once you decide on whether you want to go for a lightweight and affordable vest or a full jacket with all the protection you can get, you need to decide on some accessories. Many jackets, as well as vests, accept extra protective inserts and pads.
A good choice might be the honeycomb hexagonal inserts that can offer increased protection for your shoulders, neck area, back, chest, and elbows. However, you should expect to significantly increase the weight of your outfit with these.
You might also want to read on some motorcycle airbag jacket reviews to check for the price of replaceable cartridges. The standard capacities are 50cc and 60cc, although these may vary from one manufacturer to another. Make sure you get at least a few extra cartridges to have on hand, especially if you are planning to go on a longer trip.
It’s not like you’ll need protection against multiple accidents in a row, but it’s never a bad idea to have a replacement, since you never know what’s going to happen down the road.
Good coverage matters
To get proper protection when riding a bike, you need good coverage. Vests are a pretty good choice, but if you opt for a suit, for instance, you will get better coverage. The air cushions included in the suit protects your body from damage. But, with a vest, your spine receives the necessary protection, and that’s one of the most likely body parts to get damaged during an accident.
An airbag is used inside a vehicle to ensure the survival of those riding in front. That’s the same role airbag vests, jackets, and suits play for a motorcycle rider. Designed to protect your upper body, a motorcycle airbag vest ensures your safety as best as possible. In the event of an accident, the airbag vest will prepare your body for impact and reduce the damage.
As this piece of motorcycle gear inflates, your body will not crash directly into the ground. That’s what matters. As long as you get the right size, you should receive the most protection, and also, if you have proper coverage, the airbag will protect you.
When you search for a motorcycle airbag vest, see first if it comes in your size. Next, check the coverage, and opt for a jacket, if that’s not enough for you. Helite is a company that makes pretty good products for motorcycle safety, so you should check its models first, as they enjoy pretty good reviews.
Where is the activation system placed?
When you get this type of gear for your safety, you should know where the activation mechanism is located. The regular setup is with the cartridge in front; then, you need to attach the setup with a wire to the front of your bike. When you hit something, the trigger will be activated, and the air will be pumped into the vest or jacket.
Why do manufacturers use this setup? For safety reasons, the activation mechanism should be away from vital organs. That’s why you’ll find it in the lower part of the abdomen. On impact, the triggering mechanism will do its job and protect your body, but without risking to hurt you in the process.
How long does it take for the airbag to inflate?
A Helite airbag is considered a pretty good choice when you search for a good quality model. However, you should always compare various products, the reviews left by other users, and, of course, the specs. Inflation time matters, and that’s what you should look for. One model inflates in only 0.1 seconds, while another can do the same thing in 0.25 seconds.
These differences might not seem important, but when you get hit, they could matter. That’s why you should consider Helite and other renowned companies when you search for a reliable option.
Check the certification
When it comes to your protection, you need gear that’s as close to perfection as possible. That’s why you should never skip the step when you verify the certification of your airbag vest or jacket. For products made in the EU, a CE certification is something you should find on your model.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does a motorcycle airbag jacket works?
Any rider knows that a crash is possible at any time he or she climbs on a bike. While that’s a reality you need to live with, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do everything you can to protect your body from harm. One way to do that is by using a motorcycle airbag jacket.
These products work by activating a complex system of sensors in the event of an accident. Companies like Helite and not only invest a lot of money in research and development to deploy models on the market that can keep you safe.
When you crash into something, or you fall from your bike, these sensors activate, and the air is pumped in the jacket’s airbag. That cushions your fall and protects you. Vests, jackets, and suits, all work the same. There is a CO2 cartridge that keeps the air compressed and releases it when the need arises.
Q: How fast do airbags inflate?
If you are in an accident, the fastest the airbags are triggered, the better. The whole idea of the necessity to deploy such protective gear is to ensure the survival of the rider. That’s why you surely want to know how fast the air cushion inflates.
That, of course, differs from one model to another. When the impact occurs, the sensors trigger the mechanism that pumps the air into a cushion. The cushion will protect your spine, neck, and shoulders from significant injuries, as much as possible.
This usually happens in less than one second. Some models are designed to trigger the mechanism in 0.1 seconds, which is pretty amazing. For the regular rider, the effect will appear instantaneous, which is what matters for your safety. In the moment of the impact, you need the best protection you can get. Most models are close to one another in terms of inflation time, so you should be good with any you choose, as long as it’s made by a good company.
Q: What’s the difference between motorcycle airbag jackets?
Although many airbag jackets look the same, there are some differences you should be aware of. For instance, you need to decide whether you want a model that you can wear on top of your regular jacket or one that will replace it. All the reviews can tell you that this difference is essential.
A Helite airbag will work the same, whether it is employed on vests or jackets. Still, you need to get the right size and make a decision between the two options presented earlier. The thing with jackets that replace your regular clothing is that they might expose the skin during an accident and some minor injuries.
Therefore, you should search for a jacket that you can wear on top of your regular clothing. Or you can get a motorcycle airbag vest that does the same thing, which is to deploy the cushioning needed for your safety when something terrible happens. Vests and jackets are so close in this respect, that choosing one over the other doesn’t matter.
Q: How should my motorcycle airbag jacket fit?
As is the case with other motorcycle clothing, you need a jacket to fit, even if it is there only to contain the air cushions for protection in case of an accident. That means that you should get the right size. For instance, you should get a model that doesn’t keep you from moving your arms quickly. Also, it should stretch over your shoulders without hindering your moves.
If you never get hit by another vehicle or fall from your bike, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean that, until and if that happens, you should endure an uncomfortable fit. Your spine will get the necessary protection, but only if the jacket is the right one for you.
Take your time to search for the right model. Keep in mind other aspects such as budget so that your wallet doesn’t take a hit. But always opt for a high protection rating above all else.
Top motorcycle airbag brands
Hit-Air is a company that started manufacturing sporting goods in 1999. After a few successful launches, this Japanese manufacturer began to focus on safety equipment which offered good protection for amateur and professional riders alike. The company has had a huge appeal especially due to their focus on safety, ergonomics, and performance.
Its line of products ranges from affordable apparel to high-end airbag jackets with complex designs, which come with all the protection a rider needs to stay safe on the road as well as on the racing track or dirt road.
Dainese is an Italian manufacturer of sporting equipment such as motorcycle boots and protective equipment including airbag vests and jackets. The company was founded by a man named Lino Dainese back in 1972. Founded in the town of Molvena, Vicenza province, the company’s employees soon discovered their passion for creating quality motorcycle apparel.
Dainese is currently recognized as one of the leading manufacturers in the motorcycle sports industry. It has a varied line of products which includes some of the most sought after jackets with airbags that offer maximum protection to adventurous riders as well as professional racers.
Moto Air is a Chinese manufacturer of sporting goods such as airbag vests and jackets that has become quite popular in the US. It produces quality products that are quite competitive on the market, especially due to their durable designs and accessible prices. Many models come with extra protective pads and airbags that offer great protection against impacts.
Its line of products can be found at most major retailers in America, with motorcycle safety gear that doesn’t compromise quality to sell for an affordable price. Besides motorcycle apparel, the company also designs and manufactures equestrian protective vests.