With deep roots in motocross racing, Alpinestars has been a big name in protective gear for quite some time. Since crafting their first moto boot, the brand has expanded their line of clothing and protective gear into other sports like auto racing and of course mountain biking. Just recently, the new line of 2017 protective gear was announced, so let’s check out a selection of the new goods.
For this season, Alpinestars will be offering a wide lineup of protective jackets and vests, a padded bib short for hard-charging enduro riders, and a few pairs of elbows and knees for riders big and small…
Paragon Bib Short
If you’re pushing it hard on the enduro circuit, Alpinestars has created the Paragon Bib Short for a high level of protection with some added storage. The bib shorts include removable impact absorbing foam padding on the hips, plus a removable and replaceable level 1 CE certified spine protector.
There’s also a built-in mesh pocket to carry a smaller hydration pack (up to 1L) and a hose loop on the shoulder. The shorts feature a 3D gel chamois, floating mesh pockets on the back, and reflective logos and details on the legs.
The Evolution vest provides level 2 spine protection, with its large perforated memory foam back pad and an articulated thermoplastic shell covering the spine. Breathable padded inserts on the body also provide additional impact protection.
The vest is mostly made from lightweight stretch-mesh, and the body is ergonomically shaped to fit the curvature of your spine. It’s streamlined enough to fit under jerseys, has a full length front zipper, and two pockets on the sides provide a bit of extra storage.
For full coverage, the Evolution Jacket incorporates a Level 1 back protector, which is removable and replaceable. It also features breathable inserts on the chest and body for additional padding. The jacket can carry a water bladder in its rear pocket, with options to route the hose over your shoulder or under your arm.
The main body is constructed from stretch mesh, and the storage pockets over your kidneys are padded to keep your organs safe. If you aren’t givin’ er too hard, the sleeves can be removed but you’ll lose the security of their shoulder and elbow protection. The Evolution jacket also comes in a short sleeve version.
The Paragon knees and elbows are slip-on pads intended for trail/AM/enduro riders. They feature stretch mesh main construction, with rip-stop fabric reinforcements in high-wear areas. Elastic cuffs and silicone grippers help keep them in place, and flat inward seams minimize uncomfortable rubbing or chafing.
The Paragon’s pre-shaped designs and contoured padding ensure a comfortable fit in riding position. The pads are also perforated and held in a mesh pocket to keep air flowing freely through.
For trail or AM riders who want to keep the bulk down, the Vento pads are very lightweight slip-ons made with soft two-layer bonded PU foam padding. The Ventos feature strategically positioned perforations and inlets for airflow, and the pads are pre-shaped and ergonomically optimized for riding positions. Furthermore, this set is asymmetrical to achieve the best possible fit.
The Vento’s sleeve is made from a combo of mesh and stretchy poly-fabric, with silicone grippers on the inner cuffs. The elbow pads feature a ‘flex zone’ at the elbow joint that helps the padding stay where it’s needed as you bend your arms.
Youth Vapor Pro Knees/Elbows
Lucky kids these days…Alpinestars didn’t slack on the features or ergonomics for the young ones in the Youth Vapor Pro knees and elbows. Like the Vento model, these pads are asymmetrically designed with panels that maximize coverage and resist rotation while you pound the trail.
The knees rely on rigid thermo-formed polymer for impact protection, and a dual strap closure with the top strap above the knee and lower strap on the mid-calf. Straps, as opposed to a slip-on design, might also allow you to squeeze an extra season out of these pads as your child grows.
The Vapor Pro elbows have seen a refined upper arm design to reduce material bunching and improve flexibility. The elbows use 3D poly padding for protection without sacrificing comfort and fit, and their main body is made of 3D mesh and vented panels to keep the heat down. The elbows use a V-strap closure system for easy on/off and adjustment.
To see the full 2017 protection collection and details on sizes, prices and color options, go to Alpinestars’ website.