Do protective vests work on fat people?

Asking as a fat person. There are a lot of things that don’t size up effectively. I’m sure someone has done some research on this. Can anyone point me to it?

As a fat person with extensive experience falling off: it is literally a piece of foam between you and a hard surface, so yes. I’m not aware of any research but you could certainly test this out yourself. Not every vest will fit everyone but chances are good you will be able to find something that works.


That’s good info! I haven’t had the “opportunity” to test mine just yet. I can definitely see how padding is going to work like padding. I’m wondering more about spine protection I guess. Or unforeseen consequences of my boobs being pushed up under my chin by the vest, or how said boobs affect fit and movement of the vest.

Maybe my fluff will improve the protection of my vital organs by adding MIPS technology to my vest! But since it seems like protective vests were designed for fit men, like jockeys and mountain bike racers, I’m wondering if there are any particular companies that are better at keeping me safe.


Airowear Outlyne is one particular vest that comes in sizes to fit larger bodies, as well as short, regular, and tall lengths. They’re pricey (~$400 IIRC), but I really like mine and I do think it protected me in the one XC fall I’ve taken in it. All of their sizes have the BETA 2018 Level 3 certification, which, as I understand it, is the most recent safety/efficacy standard available.

There are neon orange squares on the strap fastenings. If the orange area isn’t able to be covered, the vest doesn’t fit properly. I found that to be a really easy, clear cut way of telling if I had the level of adjustability I needed. I don’t have any issues with it shifting while I’m riding or when I did fall in it. Also, as a fellow busty rider, I don’t feel like I’m getting squished by my vest or like things aren’t where they’re supposed to be. :joy:


The KAN protective vests are specifically designed to fit a women’s bust, and come in large sizes (they are semi-custom, based on your specific measurements).

Not cheap, but worth it. Mine has held up very well over quite a few years.

I don’t know what your definition of “fat” is, but I am close to 200lb, and it fits well.

None of the foam based safety vests are going to protect your spine. For that you need something with some sort of an exoskeleton.

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That looks LEGIT! I’d originally shopped with ventilation as my primary concern, but it’s still hot AF in my vest if it’s over 80deg. If it’s going to be hot anyway I think I might do better for comfort and if there are products for my body type that would likely help.

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Ooh I remember seeing these awhile back, but I never knew anyone who had one. I’m glad to hear they’re as good as they claim!

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