ISO Plus Size Vest, or do I have to go custom?

Hi, I am a street size 16/18. My bra size is a 40B. Are there any off-the-rack (non-air) vests that will fit me? Or do I have to go custom?

I’m a similar size to you and have the Charles Owen JL9. Fits very well.

tbh, I don’t know of custom sized protective vests - only custom colors (is that still a thing?). Most vests have laces and straps that offer a lot of flexibility with sizing - you should be good!

Kanteq is fully custom, I believe. The Airowear Outlyne is cut for women’s curves (I didn’t personally find it much different than others I tried, but YMMV). Otherwise, most vests are offered in a variety of unisex sizes and lengths and generally adjustable within its size range. Shouldn’t be a problem to find sizing to fit your measurements - it’s just a matter of trying on as many as you can to determine which one(s) work for you.

Out of curiosity, thinking that since they sell vests that fit men that there should be no issue finding a vest that will fit you, I opened up the Smartpak website and clicked on the first vest (not an air vest) and it appears to come in an off the rack size that will fit you.

SmartPak only has them in S, M, L. Do they come in an XL elsewhere?

XL in both colors is available when I click on the link. Maybe give SP a call to order?

ETA - as mentioned below, now I see that you were talking about the JL9. I believe that CO has discontinued it, which is real bummer because I like it too and think it’s a nice alternative to a lot of the other options out there. There may not be a lot of XLs floating around out there any more.

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It looks like XL is available. Where are you seeing that it is not available?

Edit to add - I now see that you were responding to a different model than this one.

I have a large and it fits fine. However, I would definitely try it on before you buy.

ETA I agree with others who are saying you shouldn’t have to buy custom for fit. Most vests are pretty adjustable and something like a Tipperary, which have been popular for years, comes in a wide range of sizes.

I’m larger than you are and I have an Airowear Outlyne that fits me well - and it isn’t even the largest size they offer. However, I had to order it from Amira Equi in the UK because I couldn’t find any local source for the larger sizes.

Actually, I’ve bought two Outlynes from them because the first one was stolen. Both times, I ordered online based on my measurements and their size chart and both fit me perfectly. The shipping time was also impressively short, both times.

The big advantage, for me, to ordering from Amira Equi, is that they carry a much wider range of size combinations (you select size based on chest measurement and then select short, regular, long, and extra long lengths) and if you want to pay just a bit extra, you can get custom colors.

My first vest was off-the-rack standard color. My second one is pink and navy because, what the heck, why not have what I like. :slightly_smiling_face:


The problem with that vest is that it isn’t certified.

Tipperary does have a certified model (Eventer Pro) and it comes in XL (chest measurement 42). Dover carries them.

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Thanks. Information the OP will like to have. I truly opened up the first vest on the Smartpak website just to see if those measurements could be accommodated.

I have a Champion Ti22 which is a BETA3 vest (non-negotiable for me) and my large is very close to being too big to be wearable. It’s absolutely at the tightest it will go and I should probably be in a medium. For reference, I’m a solid US 12 who wears a 36G. I know they go up to an XL so I’d guess they’d fit a variety of sizes.

Adams Horse Supply carries Charles Owen vests in XL. If the vest is slightly too long, I think you can pull out and trim the bottom inch of foam in the back. My Charles Owens vest from Adams is very comfortable. The foam shapes to your body.

While not certified, I have had good luck with the Tipperary. The laces allow you to loosen and tighten when needed.

I, too, have only had luck with the Tipperary. So often if you are larger in the chest, the next size up doesn’t work because it’s too long. It may not be certified, but an uncertified vest that actually fits is probably better than the certified one that doesn’t fit properly.

I did recently receive an airbag vest to wear over it from my husband. He is the best.

Don’t go just by the size charts, or at least be prepared to ship things back if they don’t fit. I have tried on vests that the charts would said would fit perfectly and they were terrible, and others that were perfect.

That said, I know a couple of people that sound similarly sized to the OP and they’ve had good luck with the larger Airowear sizes. (Also the Charles Owen JL9 in XL.) If you’re looking at a site that doesn’t carry the CO vests up to XL and the Airo vests through men’s and women’s 7 it’s not the full range. (Adams is good for having them all, but ordering from the UK is way cheaper if you are sure enough of what you want that the expensive return isn’t a factor.)

Usually when this topic comes up I make an offer to anybody near me (New England) to try stuff on, since I’ve got easy access to CO Kontakt 5 and JL9 in XL and Airowear M7 and L7, but… if anybody is reading this thread after COVID-19 calms down feel free to hit me up.

PS: yes, the JL9 has been discontinued in favour of the Airowear line (now owned by CO), but there’s still a lot of stock out there.