If you’re prone to contact the ground with regrettable force, there’s hope for you yet. The body armor mavens at Bluegrass have just announced two comprehensive lines of back, elbow, and knee protectors designed to defend against everything from a light tumble to a crater-making crash. Offered in two families of products named Skinny and Solid, both were designed to provide maximum protection, comfort, and pedaling efficiency.
As Bluegrass pitches it, their new lightweight system wears like second skin and is perfect for enduro and all-mountain riding where mobility and all-day comfort are key considerations. The back protector is made of stretchy and moisture wicking Vaportech fabric with mesh panels for warm weather performance. The full-size back pad is provided by UK-based D30 and employs the brand’s non-Newtonian material to dissipate impact energy while remaining soft and flexible next to the rider’s body. Compatible with a neck brace, the Elite back protector is available in four sizes, weighs just over 500 grams, and retails for 150€.
The Skinny elbow and knee guards are available with or without the added protection of D30 padding. The standard Skinny series uses dual-density armor held in place with a thick layer of stretch mesh to keep it in place and limit heat retention. The extended overall length of the sleeve combined with silicone grippers in the upper and lower bands reduce the tendency for the pad to wander or sag. The upgraded Skinny protectors with D30 inserts include Kevlar outer fabrics to bolster durability. Both models are available in five sizes for the perfect fit and start at 40€.
For riders powered by gravity and likely to succumb to it, the new Solid series builds on the success of the Wapiti D30 pads and offers maximum protection without sacrificing comfort and mobility. The B&S back protector uses the same D30 pad used in the Elite, but includes additional D30 shoulder pucks and foam cells placed throughout the chest and torso. The front panel has two elastic stash pockets and a compartment sewn into the back accommodates a hydration reservoir. Weight for the B&S is listed at 840grams with the price estimated at 190€.
The Solid knee and elbow pads have similar features to the Skinny series, but offer greater protection area, more precise adjustment with extra straps at the top and bottom of the knee guards, and a zippered pleat for easy on/off. Available with D30 armor and kevlar fabric or without, the Solid elbow and knee protectors are offered in five sizes. Pricing for the Solid guards starts at 90€.