Best Motorcycle Airbag Vests: Reliable Gear for Impact Protection
These top motorcycle airbag vests will protect you during an impact
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON October 8, 2019
If you want extra protection while you're riding your bike, you may want to consider purchasing a motorcycle airbag vest. This type of gear features airbags to protect your body during an impact. While these vests are considerably more expensive than traditional vests, they are worth it because of their safety benefits. Check out the top three motorcycle airbag vests on the market.
- Best OverallHit-Air Inflatable Vest "MLV-C" in BlackSummarySummaryThis super lightweight vest deploys the airbag in 0.25 seconds, which is faster than your eye blinks. It can be used on motorcycles as well as for English horse riding.ProsProsThe belt is adjustable, and the instructions are pretty clear. It's very well-made, comfortable, and easy to layer over leather or other types of riding jackets.ConsConsIf you ride a sportbike, the canister may hit the gas tank. Also, it only comes with one cartridge, and it's pricey.
- Best ValueMotoAir Airbag One Motorcycle Airbag Vest BlackSummarySummaryThe airbag is triggered by a pull cord made of steel wire. It inflates within 0.18 seconds and reduces the chance of injuring the neck, back, spine, chest, and major organs.ProsProsThis vest is simple to use, strong, and reusable. It's less expensive than some competitor brands and is suitable for motorcycling as well as jet skiing, snowmobiling, and equestrian sports.ConsConsIt's not the top brand on the market and doesn't offer quite as much protection as the Hit-Air vest, our top and honorable mention pick.
- Honorable MentionHit Air "RS-1" model racing inflatable air vestSummarySummaryThis protective vest absorbs the shock of impact from a fall on the head and neck. It's made of polyester and nylon and includes a 60cc cartridge.ProsProsThe key box is located on the back to prevent the coiled wire from disturbing a rider's movements. It also comes with a back protector inside the vest.ConsConsYou have to remember to connect the tether to the bike every time you ride. Since the tether is in the back, you may forget to do it. It may tear on impact, so it can't be reused.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Airbag vests are designed to be worn over a jacket or other layers of clothing. They typically feature adjustable straps and buckles, so they're easy to put on and take off.
- Airbag vests are generally cheaper than airbag jackets. They are more lightweight, easier to layer, and are good in warmer climates. However, airbag jackets provide more protection overall.
- Airbag vests come with replaceable cartridges that are usually 50cc or 60cc. When traveling on a long road trip, purchase a few extra cartridges so you have them on hand.
Q: Can I wear a motorcycle airbag jacket after it’s been deployed?
A: If the airbags and corresponding mechanisms are still in working order you can wear it again. Just be sure to check that the material and other components of the vest are intact. And most importantly, before you wear it again replace the CO2 cartridge.
Q: Can I wear a raincoat and backpack with an airbag vest?
A: Yes, but make sure the raincoat and backpack are somewhat loose so that there is room for the airbag to deploy. Otherwise, you will counter the effects of the vest.
Q: What happens if I don’t unclip the vest when I get off my motorcycle?
A: The coiled wire will pull you back towards your bike. Fortunately, the airbag will not deploy. It may take some practice for you to get used to the coiled wire, but the added safety benefit is worth it.
Our pick for the best motorcycle airbag vest is the Hit-Air Inflatable Vest "MLV-C" in Black. It is made by an award-winning Japanese company, and the vest itself is comfortable as well as protective.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the MotoAir Airbag One Motorcycle Airbag Vest Black.