The main priority when it comes to riding an ATV has got to be your safety. Getting the right kit is a big part of that and riders need some sort of chest protection. The human chest cavity encases most of the body’s vital organs including the lungs and the heart so it is vital that you protect it.
Chest protectors that have been certified by CE will provide protection from roost (debris from the road) but also afford impact protection should you be involved in a nasty collision. This means that if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, the foam will absorb some of the impact and will help to prevent internal injuries. They are available in a variety of styles and sizes and can be adjusted for a comfortable fit. Because there is so much choice and the terminology can be confusing, we have prepared a no-nonsense guide to the best ATC chest protectors.
The Best ATV Chest Protector
This is an adult size chest protector that is available in black or white. It has been certified by the CE so you can be confident that it complies with standards CE EN1621-2 level 2 back and CE EN1621-3 level 2 front. The high impact protection and stone deflection is afforded by a high density poly ethylene shell which forms an outer protective shield for chest and shoulder protection and for protecting the back and flanks.
In addition to the outer layer, there is an impact foam layer that is flexible for maximum comfort and absorbs impact if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash. Finally, there is a mesh base layer. Thanks to the multi-layer and multi-plate design you get a comfortable fit and can move around easily when you are wearing the chest protector. It will integrate seamlessly with a Leatt neck brace. There are ventilation slots to maximize airflow.
Multi-layer and multi-plate design for comfort
Ventilation slots to maximize airflow
Certified by the CE
High density poly ethylene shell
- BrandLeatt Brace
- Weight1 pounds
Here we have a Fox chest protector that is available in three sizes and in three bright colors, this is a body hugging ATV chest protector that offers high quality protection combined with comfort. It has a cleverly designed Fox R3 deflector which gives the rider ample roost coverage.
The protector is race-form fit and there are plenty of stylish graphics on this Fox chest protector. The strong polycarbonate protector covers the chest and back and it features low profile chrome shoulder pads. To ensure that it fits you comfortably, it is fully adjustable, including at the shoulder connections. The padded arm guards are removable.
Available in three sizes
Features low profile chrome shoulder pads
Removable arm guards
- BrandFox Racing
- Weight2 pounds
A stylish and functional set of body protection that will reduce the chances of injury to your chest and back when you are riding an ATV, a mountain bike, skateboarding or skiing. The shell armor of this youth motocross chest protector is made from poly ethylene which is resistant to water and shock and provides very effective body protection.
Inside the hard outer shell, there are breathable fabrics and a foam middle layer to absorb shock during an impact and prevent it from being transmitted to the body. It is available in three sizes and separates into two independent parts. The vest provides effective protection for the chest and spine as well as the shoulder and waist. For comfort, the waist can be adjusted using the wide Velcro strap and a smaller button strap.
ATV youth chest protector
Functional set of body protection
Breathable fabrics and a foam middle layer
Can be adjusted using the wide Velcro strap
- Weight1.42 pounds
You can choose from five sizes (a size chart is available) and two colors with this full body jacket. It offers high-density protection and has pads that can be removed to be cleaned. It is suitable for use when riding an ATV or when cycling or skating. It is essentially a metal mesh vest covering the body and arms, to which foam plastic shells that protect vital parts of the body are attached. Therefore, there is a back protector, shoulder and elbow cups, forearm protection and chest protection.
The dirt bike chest protector has excellent ventilation for comfort and a front that is secured with a zipper. There are also adjustable straps for maximum comfort. The vest includes removable spine and tail armor pads that fix on using a wide elastic waistband with a hook and loop adjustment.
Metal mesh vest with excellent ventilation
Foam plastic shells providing protection
Adjustable straps for maximum comfort
Removable spine and tail armor pads
- ModelMC1001B CA XXXL
- Weight2.6 pounds
This roost guard is fully compatible with any neck protector that you may already have. It comes in two sizes and is available in black or white. It is also fully adjustable so it will comfortably fit all riders whatever their size.
It consists of two parts which are both made from molded biofoam which has been cross-linked so it acts as a shock-absorber. At the front, there is a molded polycarbonate plate which provides protection from impact, puncture and abrasion injuries. At the back, there is a plate that is segmented into three parts, with flex points for maximum comfort. It moves with your body whilst also offering protection.
Fully adjustable so it will comfortably fit
Molded polycarbonate plate
Back plate with flex points
- BrandEVS Sports
- Weight1 pounds
You can order this roost deflector in one of five colors and it comes in five possible sizes. You can team it up with any low profile neck brace without worrying about compatibility. It comes with adjustable shoulder straps so you will always get a snug fit.
To fit it on, there is a buckle system which is integrated into the chest plate. It includes a back plate that is adjustable to two positions but this is removable and you can wear just the chest plate if you wish.
Compatible with any low profile neck brace
Buckle system integrated into the chest plate
Removable back plate
- BrandFox Racing
- Weight1.85 pounds
Here we have a protective vest armor that is made from PVC and protects most of the chest and back of an ATV rider. The back plate is made from articulated segments so it gives you superb mobility.
This motocross chest protector comes with a waist closure system that is integrated into the main body of the vest. The foam padding contains multiple vents so that heat is dissipated and the rider can stay cool. The vest comes in one size but has adjustable straps and it is available in two colors.
Motocross chest protector made from PVC
Waist closure system integrated into the vest
Contains multiple vents
- Weight1.85 pounds
A jet black set of body armor that includes a full set of protective elements as well as a chest protector so you also get a back protector and forearm protectors as well as shoulder cups and elbow cups. These are all attached to a mesh shirt underlining that is made from lightweight lycra mesh.
The protection pads are made from plastic that has been injection molded and which will resist high impacts. It comes in five sizes and fastens on using a zipper front closure but there are adjustable straps at the arms and shoulders as well as an elastic waist belt that has a Velcro adjustment. It is possible to remove the spine and tail protectors.
Protection pads are made from molded plastic
Fastens on using a front zipper
Elastic waist belt with Velcro adjustment
Available in five sizes
- Weight2.4 pounds
There are three sizes available in this Motocross ATV guard shirt and it can be purchased in plain black or black with a red trim. The vest is made from lightweight lycra fabric and the impact pads are manufactured from high density EVA. It is suitable for riding ATVs as well as cross-country cycling and many other outdoor sports.
The vest drapes the body and protects all of the vital organs whilst keeping the rider cool and comfortable. The back and waist pads can be removed if needed.
Manufactured from high density EVA
Protects all of the vital organs
Keeps the rider cool and comfortable
- Weight2.55 pounds
A basic but functional roost guard that is available in two sizes and complies with C.E. EN 14021:2003. The hard outer layer is made from a polymeric material that is both impact-absorbent and flexible. It is also lightweight and perforated so the rider stays comfortable.
It allows for plenty of ventilation and the removable upper back panel is padded. There are also removable and adjustable shoulder pads. It is fully compatible with the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support and it fits on with elastic straps that are very easy to buckle.
Complies with C.E. EN 14021:2003
Fully compatible with the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support
Removable and adjustable shoulder pads
Best ATV Chest Protector Buying Guide
What to Look for in an ATV Chest Protector
Here are some of the features that you should look for when choosing the best ATV chest protector for you.
- Several sizes.
There is no point in having chest or body protection that does not fit the rider very well. It will just ride up if you have a collision and could actually cause rather than prevent injury.
- Adjustable straps.
This will help you to fine-tune the fit. Adjustable shoulder straps are especially important as they allow you to place the protective pads just here they should be to protect vital organs.
- Arm guards.
These are an added bonus and if they can be removed it is even better. Some riders like them and some do not but they are an added safety feature that you should consider.
- Cooling vents.
It is essential that your body heat can escape so the best ATV chest protectors have plenty of cooling vents that will keep you comfortable when you are riding.
- Padding design.
The foam padding must be able to absorb the force of an impact rather than transmitting it to your body. Sometimes, the level of impact that it can withstand is given.
- CE certified.
If the product has CE certification as a chest protector, you can be confident that it has reached certain standards. It will have been tested by independent experts.
- Light Weight.
A heavy chest protector causes more problems than it solves. You need the unit to be as lightweight as possible whilst still affording maximum protection. This makes it more pleasant for the rider.
- High impact polycarbonate materials.
Look out for this sort of material. They have been designed to give you the most protection but do not add too much weight to the chest protector.
- You may see this written as ‘articulation’.
It basically means that you will be able to move around when you are wearing the chest guard. It means that it is based on a lycra mash or has different sections so it allows your body to flex in different directions as you are riding your ATV.
- Compatibility with neck braces.
Some chest protectors are compatible with all neck braces and others are compatible only with neck braces made by the same manufacturer so look out for this if you already have a neck brace!
Benefits of Off-Road Chest Protectors
When you are riding your ATV off-road, it is essential that you take your safety seriously. Here are the main benefits of buying off-road chest protectors.
- Protection from roost. Riding off-road is nothing like riding on the highway. Until you have done it yourself, you will have little appreciation of just how much debris can be thrown up on a dirt track. If you are riding behind another ATV rider, their tires will scoop up loads of dust, dirt and small stones and hurl them in your direction but your own tires will do the same. This debris may be small but it will be traveling at high speed and when it hits your body it will hurt!
- Protection from trees. Trees can get in the way and dodging trees is a big part of off-road ATV riding. There have been instances of riders getting serious puncture wounds in the chest from trees and getting nasty impact wounds from branches. A chest-guard offers protection.
- Protection from collisions. Sadly, collisions can take place and riders can get badly hurt. Chest guards that adhere to CE standards contain foam that will absorb energy during an impact and will therefore protect delicate organs from damage.
- They fit well. Modern chest guards come in several different sizes. They have adjustable straps so they give you snuggly fitting protection that will make you feel more confident.
- They look good. Often, an mx chest protector will be available in a range of different colors and are a great-looking piece of kit.
Chest Protector vs Roost Deflector
It is a common misconception that ‘roost deflector’ is just another name for ‘chest protector’ but that is not actually the case! There are some very important differences.
A roost deflector is designed to protect you from root which is the term used by riders for the dirt and small stones that are thrown up by your on and other bikes. It will also stop you from getting minor injuries caused by branches and trees when you ride underneath them. A root deflector will not protect you if you crash, in fact, it may ride up if you have a collision and cut you. It is not certified for impact by the CE.
A chest protector, however, will have CE certification which means that it has been tested by independent experts and it meets specified minimum standards. For example, many chest protectors have passed CE EN 14021 which means that they have no significant gaps and will adequately protect the front rib cage and sternum. It will include shoulder, back and bicep guards and must be able to reduce energy throughput for a force of 10J force.
Chest Protector vs Full Body Armor
The other option that you have is a full body armor which is a bit like a jacket. These are favored by some enduro riders. Often, they consist of a chest protector, back protector and arm protectors (including elbow pads) all in one unit. Many riders find this convenient but others don’t like this type of protection. There is no doubt that full body armor is safer. It gives better coverage than when you use separate chest protectors and elbow pads. Typically, they will cover all of the spine and the kidneys. Some have detachable parts that you can take off if you find them too cumbersome.
Some riders don’t like them because the full body armor does not allow you to place pads individually so they are not going to suit everyone’s body shape. Other riders feel that the jacket is too hot even though manufacturers have tried to put in plenty of ventilation. Finally, if one small part of the jacket gets damaged or breaks, you have to replace the whole thing and that can be very expensive.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best ATV chest protector is an adult size protector available in black or white. It has been certified by the CE and complies with standards CE EN1621-2 level 2 back and CE EN1621-3 level 2 front. You get high impact protection and stone deflection thanks to a high density poly ethylene shell.
It features a foam layer that is flexible for maximum comfort and absorbs impact as well as a mesh base layer. You get a comfortable fit and it will integrate with a Leatt neck brace. There are ventilation slots to maximize airflow.
- ATV Safety Gear - HowStuffWorks