If you do any kind of downhill mountain biking or hit up jump parks you need to make sure you have the proper protection so you don't end up in the hospital if you have an accident. Everyone has the helmet part covered and many people will have knee and elbow pads going for them but sometimes that is not enough to make sure you are covered. You don't want to find out the hard way that you needed more protection because by then it may be too late!

Rockgardn Flak Vest
Reviewed by

Review Date: 10/10/2013
Product Rating
4 Star Rating: Recommended
Many people don't even think about chest and back protection and some may not even know it's an option. If you ride rocky areas this is a requirement because falling on the rocks can cause serious injuries to your back or chest. This type of protection is not as common in bike shops but it’s out and there and you should look into it if you do hardcore riding.

Rockgardn Flak Vest

Rockgardn is a company that specializes in mountain biking armor and apparel. They offer a quality flak vest designed for mountain bikers that offers back and chest protection. It can also be worn along with their flak jacket which offers additional shoulder and elbow protection. When wearing the vest you can feel that’s it's on but when riding you won't notice it's there since you will be busy trying to stay on your bike. The vest doesn't affect your movement either but we found the snap connectors can be a little tricky to secure when the vest is on you. Another feature of the vest is that it has some side protection as well as a Velcro kidney belt feature to help secure it (and you) in place.

Optional flak jacket

Rockgardn Flak Jacket

The chest protector is constructed from ventilated foam, ABS plastic, and thermo plastic rubber and can also be removed if not needed. The vest is also Leatt and Alpinestars neck brace compatible if you want to add additional protection. The back protection comes is segments so you can choose the proper amount of segments to fit your height. If you ride with a hydration pack then there is also a tube guide for your pack and Rockgardn also makes their own hydration pack that works with their flak vest.

Overall the flack vest looks and feels solid and fits nicely even over multiple layers of clothing and also with a Leatt brace. If you wear a hydration pack such as a CamelBak then it fits over the back protector just fine. Like mentioned before you don't even know it's there while riding (at least downhill) and it won't hinder your movement when things get rough. We have actually had the chance (unfortunately) to test out the flak vest on a couple of crashes including a land on your chest crash and it did the job when it came to protecting the rider. If you have a problem with your elbow pads staying on or want some additional shoulder protection then it may be a good idea to get the flak jacket as well to get complete coverage since the pads are integrated within the jacket and won't slip off.

Rockgardn products can be purchased from their website or from authorized dealers and are based out of Camarillo in Southern California. Check out their website for more details and to do some shopping.

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