I won’t ride a sled without first strapping on a chest protector. It makes me feel safe and secure much like buckling myself in a seatbelt. Chest protectors I’ve worn were made of plastic and foam, but RXR’s chest protectors use air pockets to protect the user. The theory behind air pockets is that they disburse impacts to a broader area and reduce the likelihood of injury. The Full Organic vest I tested last season included polyurethane shoulder and arm pads and adjustable elastic straps with Velcro fasteners. Fortunately for me, I didn’t crash while wearing it, so I couldn’t confirm whether the vest offers adequate protection. But it was made of quality, durable materials and provided a good fit. It slipped easily over my head and fastened around my torso with two large elastic straps that attached with large Velcro patches. It was snug — sort of like wearing a T-shirt that’s one size too small — when I inflated it with the recommended 7 to 9 shots from the air pump. RXR’s vest was bulkier than the standard zip-up, padded vest I own, but it felt more secure. At a hair more than 2.5 pounds, I hardly knew I had it on.
— Andy Swanson