What are the Best Motocross Chest Protectors for the Money?

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Wearing a chest protector isn’t as common among dirt bike riders as wearing a helmet, neck brace, or boots. However, motocross chest protectors should not be overlooked.

Motocross, Supercross, trail and enduro riding is fun. Like, a lot of fun. But it’s not the safest sport in the world. Injuries are common and the severity of them range from serious to just plain irritating. The good news? There are a few companies who are focusing on keeping our heads, necks ,ankles and chests safe.

When it comes to safety, the best motocross chest protectors are designed to protect your vitals against roost as well as crashes. Plain “roost deflectors” just don’t cut it when it comes to serious crashes. That’s why I recommend the actual “protectors” over the “deflectors” when you’re looking for all-in-one protection.

What to Look for in a Dirt Bike Chest Protector?

Figuring out which chest protector is the right one for you can seem like more of a chore than it’s worth.

By definition, the quality of any protective gear is measured by the level of protection it provides. However, other factors come into play like comfort, price, availability and in this case, the degree of movement you’ll retain after you strap one on.

Before we get into which dirt bike chest protector you should buy, it’s important that we differentiate between a protector and a deflector.

Chest Protectors VS Roost Deflectors

Chest protectors and roost deflectors are not created equal. I’m not saying one is “better” than the other, but I am saying that one provides more protection while the other allows for a bit more freedom.

A chest protector (basically) covers the entire upper body and has a bit of weight to it while the a roost deflector allows a wider spectrum of motion across the body while riding.

A full chest protector can often be a little uncomfortable or harder to get used to because of its heavy weight. As a result of this, many riders opt for a roost deflector instead. A roost deflector serves to deflect rocks, dirt, and debris… but that’s about it.

One thing to keep in mind is that a roost deflector does not offer the same level of protection and won’t hold up as well as a full chest protector if when you go down. The good news, however, is that all of the best motocross chest protectors these days have been designed with comfort at the forefront and have contoured fits for a little to no intrusion.

Whether on a tight, winding trail or a steep, rocky mountain road, the following products are ideal to keep your body out of harm’s way… as much as possible, anyway.

Chest Protectors for Enduro

Leatt 5.5 Pro HD (Overall Best)

Leatt Brace 5.5 Pro HD Chest Protector-Black-Adult

The 5.5 line of production is Leatt’s answer to the highest form of protection and is arguably deemed the most secure line of chest protection gear out there. It is designed to meet the highest safety standards for front, back and shoulder impact defense.

Equipped with a 3DF foam-lined hard shell flank protection that overlaps the front and rear plates leading to a multi-layered protection area over the torso. An over the top three-dimensional design that possesses multi-layered plates and that integrates seamlessly with all neck braces available on the market right now.

  • Certified and tested shoulder protectors
  • 47 slots of ventilation allowing for an ideal airflow and maximum cooling
  • Energy absorbing 3DF foam present in the front and back side to increase resistance against impact

Pros: Fits over or under the jersey really well and it’s very resistant to high impact.

Cons: A little heavy and a bit too tight around the arms. Could definitely use a compression fit.

Leatt 5.5 Sizing Chart

Adult 150-190 lbs
Adult XXL 190-240 lbs
Check out the chest protector here...

Leatt 4.5 (Best Light Weight)

Leatt 4.5 Chest Protector (Black, Adult)

Certified and tested according to CE standards, the Leatt 4.5 uses high impact, stone deflecting hard shell made of high-density polyethylene and flexible energy absorbing 3DF foam. The Leatt 4.5 offers a great deal of chest, back, flank and shoulder protection.

A three-dimensional, multi-plated, multi-layered and highly ventilated design allowing for perfect airflow and a comfortable fitment available for all. The design also integrates seamlessly with any neck brace on the market.

  • Flexible energy absorbing 3DF foam
  • Highly ventilated piece allowing for maximum airflow and maximum cooling
  • Neck brace fitting system from BraceOn
  • A Mesh base layer

Pros: The high-density polyethylene hard shell offers a great deal of overall protection. It’s also extra long around the bottom so it could easily stay tucked in your pants.

Cons: The design could look a little better.

Leatt 4.5 Sizing Chart

Large 150-198 lbs
XXL 198-286 lbs
Check out the chest protector here...

Best Under Jersey Chest Protector

Leatt 3DF AirFit Body Protector

Leatt 3DF AirFit Body Protector (Black, Large/X-Large)

This over the top soft body chest protection piece from Leatt offers an extremely lightweight design with more ventilation slots for ideal airflow and a strapping system that ensures safety and stability. Also featured with perforated and flexible energy absorbing 3DF impact foam for a softer and more comfortable fitment. CE certified and ready to tackle all challenges.

The fabric of this dirt bike chest protector is washable without any misplacements taking place and it is moisture cool. Perfectly integrates with any neck brace on the market.

  • Flexible 3DF impact foam
  • FFM Certified
  • Extended back piece
  • Great comfortable and flexibility
  • An extra layer of upper chest protection for riders who don’t use neck braces
  • Washable fabric
  • Elastic chest strap for better positioning
  • A neat three-dimensional design
  • Weight: 1.450g

Pros: The additional chest layer underneath the armored jacket for riders who prefer not to wear a neck brace. It’s very easy to wear and wash.

Cons: It needs an additional section for rib protection underneath the side connectors. The variable arm length is a little annoying since it’s missing thumb holes.

Leatt 3DF Sizing Chart

Small/Medium 5’3″-5’8″ tall
Large/X-Large 5’8″-6′ tall
XX-Large 6′-6′,6″ tall
Check out the chest protector here...

Full Torso Protection – Neck & Chest

Leatt Fusion 3.0 (for Adults)

Leatt Fusion 3.0 Vest (Black, Large/X-Large)

Leatt Fusion 3.0 vest is a hybrid that offers the combination of torso and neck protection. A CE certified chest and neck protection vest that addresses the reality that riders are always prone to chest, back and neck injuries, let alone flank and shoulder injuries. The Fusion vest combines the ultimate neck protection with energy-absorbing 3DF impact foam technology to create a well fitted, highly vented and extremely protected vest that is second to none. There are no gaps in the front plate which improves protection over the chest area.

  • Hardshell and energy absorbing 3DF impact foam with maximum ventilation
  • CE tested and certified
  • FFM certified
  • Weight: 2.500g

Pros: Offers a great deal of protection to the neck, which comes at a cost as one of the cons.

Cons: Not a whole lot of freedom for the head to tip back due to the neck protection. Also, not a very durable piece for its expense.

Leatt Fusion 3.0 Sizing Chart

Small/Medium 5’2″-5’8″ tall
Large/X-Large 5’8″-6′ tall
XX-Large 6′-6’5″ tall
Check out the chest protector here...

Leatt Fusion 2.0 Jr (for Youths)

Leatt Fusion 2.0 Jr Protective Vest (White/Black, Large/X-Large)

Similar to the adult version, the Leatt Fusion 2.0 Jr offers a stellar combination of torso and neck protection for the youth. CE certified neck and torso body protection that is built to address the reality that young riders are prone to chest, back, neck, flank and shoulder injuries. Combining the effect of the energy absorbing 3DF impact foam with a top-notch neck protection system to achieve the safest means of body protection. There are no gaps in the front plate which improves protection over the chest area.

  • Flexible lightweight design for a great fit and more comfort
  • Energy absorbing 3DF impact foam with maximum ventilation
  • Number plate clip-in function
  • CE tested and certified
  • In case of emergency, the rear thoracic strut fracture point snaps off
  • Cutouts around the collar bone area to increase protection
  • A polyamide resin neck brace reinforced with fiberglass
  • Weight: S/M: 1.35, L/XL: 1.48, XXL: 1.57

Pros: Great overall lightweight design with many tempting features. It offers a great deal of safety and protection all around the neck, chest, sides, and shoulders. Very easy to use and get into.

Cons: The only thing this product is suffering from is the relatively short back piece.

Leatt Fusion 2.0 Sizing Chart

Small/Medium 3’4″-4’1″ tal
Large/X-Large 4’1″- 4’11” tall
XX-Large 4’11”-5’4″ tall
Check out the chest protector here...

Do Pro MX Riders Wear Chest Protectors?

Some professional riders wear motocross chest protectors and some don’t. Crazy enough, the majority prefer to wear as little protection as they can to avoid any limitations on their movements.

It is more common for pros to wear a roost deflector than an actual chest protector. If you ask me for my recommendation on this… it’s gonna’ be a bit political. Yes, you should wear one.

Although they can be a little cumbersome at first, you will get used to it. Also, I will add that a chest “protector” will do a whole lot more good than a roost “deflector” when it comes to keeping a handlebar out of your gut or a brake lever out of your rib.

So yeah, there’s my answer – wear one, it’s safer.