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  1. #1
    Just Ride.
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    Is Dainese body armor still worth it?

    A few years ago it seemed like if you wanted good body armor that will actually protect you the only choice was the Dainese (Gladiator or the Shuttle Pro suits).

    I noticed that over the past few years a bunch of other manufacturers jointed in and now offer body armor (661, RaceFace, Mace, etc). These brands offer armor for around 100$, while Dainese is still bloody expensive at +$300...

    I'm wondering if Dainese is still that much more superior to justify spending the extra $$, or do those other brands offer good options.

    I also remember the big thing with Dainese being that it was much cooler and much more ergonomically designed - how do the other brands compare these days?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    Dainese is still the best in fit ventilation and durability but not by that much anymore and whether its worth the extra money is debatable

  3. #3
    Petty and weak
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    I love my Dainese armour. I have some Mace armour too but the Dainese is so much better. It's like a chunky second skin, and doesn't impede movement. It's still hot, but that's the price you pay.
    Oh yeah, it works too.
    ~ Downride and Freehill, nothing else ~

  4. #4
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    ive got a 661 pro pressure suit, its a slim fit airy and give good protection, its a good alternative if you dont want to pay for the dainese

  5. #5
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    I think I am going to make the transition to 661 next season, the quality is almost the same and the price is half.

    I got a good 7 seasons out of my current dainese.

  6. #6
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    I love my Flak Jacket. It's sort of priced in-between but if you can get it with a discount (Universal Cycles) it it great protection for the money. The removable spine protector and elbow/forearm pads offer huge flexibility in how you can use it and it fits and breathes great. I have checked out the Dainese armor and I'm sure the quality might be a little better but I have had no issues and I certainly wouldn't pay 2-3x as much.
    Pivot Firebird, Tomac Snyper, KTM 250SX

  7. #7
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    Stick with Dainese ...

    They ALL look good quality when new, but after a year most jackets start to fall apart.

    I have been using a Dainese jacket now for 4 years straight ... both MOTO and BIKING and have washed it at least 50 times, and its still good for another season. Thats 5 years.

    All of the other jackets I have used ... 661, Rockgarden, etc. seem to be good for a year or two max, and then start falling apart.

    So YES you will pay more upfront, but its worth it IMO as the jacket will last much longer and fit much better.

    Don't let the NEW look of other jackets fool you ... the quality and fit is not the same

  8. #8
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    I think Rockgarden really stepped it up when they re-designed the Flak Jacket last year. I use mine for both DH and moto riding so it got a very busy season of use and held up like a champ.
    Pivot Firebird, Tomac Snyper, KTM 250SX

  9. #9
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    Is there any website in which you can see how the different armor options fit/look on a medium built person?

  10. #10
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    I think Dainese makes great armour, but I also think they are overpriced,....Azonic, Rockgarden pretty much copied the dainese suits in taiwan and now sell the upper body portion for cheaper.....for bang for your buck I would buy the cheaper ones
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  11. #11
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    i avoided dainese because of the price for the first few seasons i rode, now i ride with dainese core legs and multisport jacket for DH and IMO, dainese makes the best armour, hands down. it's not only the level of protection but the light weight, air flow, how the pads fit and stay in place and durability. expensive but worth it IMO. just look for a good deal, they are out there.

  12. #12
    dirt rules
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    The comfort and quality are worth the extra dough. Go Dainese.

  13. #13
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    I bought dianese knee/shin armor for 30 bucks at the LBS, they slid down on me all the time, even more after they stretched. It seems everyone is right when they say it last a season. My roaches are wayyyyyyyy better.

  14. #14
    Bike Ninja |||
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    Dainese is the best armour made. period. end of story.

    I trust their racing leathers to save my skin racing supersport motorcycles with speeds in excess of 160mph, so they know their stuff about the body, proper protection, and especially proper movement and fit.

    Won't ride anything else.
    Proud to represent Mojo Wheels.

  15. #15
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    the best armor suit and worth it.

    Dainese is actually cheaper over the long term ROI.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm
    I bought dianese knee/shin armor for 30 bucks at the LBS, they slid down on me all the time, even more after they stretched. It seems everyone is right when they say it last a season. My roaches are wayyyyyyyy better.
    Can't beat the Roach Rally for leg armor. (I use the FR)
    Pivot Firebird, Tomac Snyper, KTM 250SX

  17. #17
    Purveyor of Trail Tales!
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    Good job! I own it all and…..

    Quote Originally Posted by M.A.X
    A few years ago it seemed like if you wanted good body armor that will actually protect you the only choice was the Dainese (Gladiator or the Shuttle Pro suits).

    I noticed that over the past few years a bunch of other manufacturers jointed in and now offer body armor (661, RaceFace, Mace, etc). These brands offer armor for around 100$, while Dainese is still bloody expensive at +$300...

    I'm wondering if Dainese is still that much more superior to justify spending the extra $$, or do those other brands offer good options.

    I also remember the big thing with Dainese being that it was much cooler and much more ergonomically designed - how do the other brands compare these days?

    Thanks for the help.
    Hi M.A.X.,

    I own a unicycle, a trials bike, a jump bike, a VP Free for DH/FR and a Specialized Enduro SL for trail riding. More to the point I literally don’t get on any of them for any purpose without wearing some sort of armor. For most folks that would be excessive but, at my age/stage/ability, I ride much better knowing I have a modicum of protection when, not if, I make a mistake or over extend myself. That said all my crashes, so far, have been relatively minor but I have put all my armor to the test while eating dirt. It’s all worked as I hoped it would and I’ve avoided a lot of cuts, bumps, bruises and blood as a result. I own and use on a regular basis the following gear:

    • Dainese 3x Knee Shin Guards plus 3x Elbow/Forearm Guard. I use these for XC as well as the Skills and Jump Park. They’re the best I could find in that they’re light, well made and comfortable to wear for hours at a time. That includes in the heat of a California summer. They’re the best I could find for this application and well worth the extra money Dainese charges.
    • RockGardn Flak Jacket as well as a TrailStar Chest Protector. I believe these are the functional equivalent of the Dainese body armor at about 50% of the price. I have 3 seasons on the Flak Jacket and it showing almost no wear except for appropriate scuffs from kissing the dirt. The material on the Dianese body armor may be slightly softer and allow you to forego wearing a rash guard under it. But I wouldn’t pay the extra money for the Dainese as the RockGardn is just as cool, as well as just as comfortable and safe as the Dainese.
    • Roach/Race Face Elbow Guards for use in DH/FR
    • RockGardn Landing Zone Knee/Shin Guards for use in DH/FR

    Except for the 3x Guards, primarily for their comfort and light weight, I think the Dainese gear has been equaled and in some cases surpassed by their competitors. Of course all that is just my opinion and that plus $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks!

    Good luck with you decision!

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  18. #18
    rd3
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    Dainese is still the best for dh armor.

  19. #19
    RTG
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    The shin/knee protectors (2008 version i think) could be better, as the knee pads don't stay properly in place when i bend my legs. The gladiator suit i use rocks though and saved me quite some bruises.

  20. #20
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    I got my Dainese upper body armour about 4 years ago and it's still working great. One of the zippers sometimes has troubles when it's really cold out, but that's something I could fix myself. Altogether, though expensive at the time, it's been worth the investment.

  21. #21
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    I have had my Dainese since 2000. I has held up great. I use it for DH and BMX and Moto. Expensive but it beats having to buy new every year or two.

  22. #22
    Leave it all on the trail
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    Bought the leg armor and was NOT impressed at all, they wouldnt stay in place and it was distracting. Bought the fox launch pads and they are superb!
    Ride. Dig. Party.

  23. #23
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    If it means you can not eat for a week then I would look at other options then the Dainese Jackets.

    However, if you can afford it they are quite possibly the best one out there - but TRY IT ON first - different brands fit people different and if it is uncomfortable you will not like it.....

  24. #24
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Can't go wrong with race face rally armor. The jacket is very good too.

  25. #25
    SamIAm
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    +1 for the Flakjacket. love mine, ive been using it for snowboarding now as well and its nice eating it on the ice and bouncing.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by supervokes
    Stick with Dainese ...

    They ALL look good quality when new, but after a year most jackets start to fall apart.

    I have been using a Dainese jacket now for 4 years straight ... both MOTO and BIKING and have washed it at least 50 times, and its still good for another season. Thats 5 years.

    All of the other jackets I have used ... 661, Rockgarden, etc. seem to be good for a year or two max, and then start falling apart.

    So YES you will pay more upfront, but its worth it IMO as the jacket will last much longer and fit much better.

    Don't let the NEW look of other jackets fool you ... the quality and fit is not the same
    I gotta agree with this. I've use a few different types of armor and had stitching start to shred and rip apart after a season of riding. But Dainese makes quality stuff that will last and last. It's pricey, but over the long run it will last you longer.
    "Solution to two of the world's problems: Feed the homeless to the hungry."

  27. #27
    Err
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    On measure of purely by quality, I still think Dainese is the best.
    On measure of fit, it's an individual thing and the Dainese may not fit you well.

    I use their Race shin/knee and 3x Elbow pads. I also ponied up for some of their uber cool $100 gloves. I've been happy with all of these products.

    I needed to replace my jacket this year and was going to spring for the Dainese but they were out of stock in my size when I needed to grab it so I ended up with a 661 Pro Pressure Suit. I've seen some iffy work from 661 in the past but they have really stepped it up with the Pro Pressure Suit. It's cut fairly slim, breathes well, and does not impair motion. I have quite a few days on it and no tears or stitching issues have developed. It saved my butt a couple times this season.

    I a nutshell, 661 has really done a nice job of closing the gap on Dainese for a much lower price point.

    On a side note, my local Ducati dealer carries the Alpinstars jackets which are marketed towards the moto crowd. I checked one out in there recently and the price was about $70 cheaper than the Dainese Race Jacket but appeared to be of comparable quality. Might be worth checking out...

    Ultimately, the right jacket is the one that you can afford and is comfortable enough that you will actually wear it.

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