The Alpinestars A8 Light armoured vest really is incredibly light. The tradeoff is that the protection, especially on the front is not nearly as solid as on the Bionic Tech jacket, which out of all the body armour I have used is still the one that I have found offers the best protection. The trouble is that all that protection on the Bionic comes with a weight penalty and it is also quite hot and bulky.
Once you have the A8 light on you don’t even notice it. You also don’t look like quasimoto which is a plus.
When you get to my age you start taking protection a lot more seriously after a couple of fractured vertebra and other injuries. I still want to ride like I used to, but I don’t want to get hurt like I used to. The A8 Light body armour was giving me the confidence I needed on both a dirtbike and Mountain bike. On the mountain bike I did miss having elbow protection a bit on some of the rougher trails at Leogang, and would be tempted to wear the Bionic instead next time. Perhaps the A8 with some lightweight elbow pads could work though.
Overall I think it’s great. It is lighter and shorter at the back than the ONE industries vest, which sometimes has a tendency to push your pants down, but I think the ONE industries vest offers more front protection.
I wore the A8 under my shirt for the 2016 KTM SX model launch, and wore it over my shirt for a days downhilling at Leogang and was comfortable both ways. Will see how I get on after some more riding, but for now, it will be my top pick in most situations.
Here is the official info:
The Alpinestars A8 Armored Vest features protector panels that are constructed from a robust polymer performance blend for optimized flexibility and excellent weight saving properties. Shells are vented and channeled to improve airflow and prevent heat build-up. Chest and back panels feature triple-layer EVA compound padding for shock absorption and padding.
Photos by Zajcmaster/Dobes and myself.
* Removable upper chest and back padded panels accommodate fitment of Alpinestars BNS
* Comfort padding on shoulders straps
* Elastic kidney belt and buckle system for personalized and secure fit
* Silicone printed logos
* Convenient pull tab loops on shoulders for secure fitment of Alpinestars BNS