Lightest/thinnest non-air vest for day to day (not XC)?

Looking for something thinner and lighter than my Airowear Outlyne for day to day. Any suggestions?

Between wearing one while I rehabbed my horse, rehabbing my own back (in fairness, it was a soft tissue that a vest wouldn’t have prevented), and being at a safety-focused barn with vests strongly encouraged, I feel as naked without a vest as I would without my helmet. I love my Outlyne, but it’s heavy and bulky for working on dressage, and the back interferes with the cantle of my dressage saddle.

Thoughts? Since this isn’t for XC, or even jumping at all, I’ve even been eyeballing the ones they make for mountain bikers…

Tipperary makes some vest, but only 1 is certified, the Eventer Pro. So you can get the other ones but since they have no certification then you are taking a risk that they provide any protection at all. Due to current technology, there is a trade off between protection and thickness. The thinner hard shell vests are the less protective.

The reason your Outlyne is so think and has a long back is because it meets, probably, the highest level of protection out there, BETA Level 3.

I’ve heard that the ASTM standard is about equal to BETA Level 1, which is not recommended for general equestrian riding.

I use a Tipperary Eventer Pro for working on the ground around horses. I use to ride in them, but found that in the summer they are hot. I wear an airvest now when on a horse as they can breath better than hard shell vests.

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Yup. The Outlyne is brilliant for jumping, and I love it and will continue to use it for that. It just doesn’t work with my dressage saddle!

I had an old Tip eventer before I bought the Outlyne… maybe that’s the answer for non-jumping days.

I’ve never used one, so I can’t attest to how lightweight they are, but Dainese makes some protective gear that can supposedly be worn under show coats as some extra protection. I’m not sure what safety certifications each model has but you might check it out. I have a feeling that Beta3 and “light/thin” are a bit mutually exclusive, but if you’re okay with lower safety standards since it’s just for flatwork, they might do the trick.

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Champion and Racesafe both have Beta 3 ones that are the segmented foam like the Tipperary, but I haven’t tried them. As someone who has fallen off more than my share-- an unapproved vest that you can bring yourself to actually wear every day will give you more protection than a heavier one you won’t wear. And really any cushioning layer of foam between you and the ground helps, it’s not complicated like an air vest where things have work correctly in order to have any protection.

Has anyone tried an Ovation Comfort Flex vest? I think it looks interesting, and so far the original Tipperary Eventer is the only vest I can tolerate. (and so is my recommendation for the OP.) I really ought to get around to selling my Champion vest.

I will always sing the praises of my RaceSafe ProVent. The foam blocks are perforated and it is the coolest vest I’ve worn in Texas heat. It’s also imminently customizable, so you could shorten the front or the back to suit your saddle.


I agree with both @Archer and @Highflyer1 in suggesting the Racesafe vests. They are significantly more breathable than most Tipperary vests (which is what I used before I switched to Racesafe) and they also have shoulder pads which have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of collar bone breaks during a fall.

I have a super short torso, so most vests are too long for me and interfere with the cantle even on my jumping saddle. I bought the Racesafe because it had way more size options than most vest, so you are far more likely to find one that would fit and be comfortable while riding in your dressage saddle.

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They’re horrible. I got one since they were cheap enough, but it’s quite bulky and heavy. It knocked my bun and would push my helmet over my eyes often, too (there are some good photographs of me blindfolded in xc and stadium). I ended up going back to my old tipp for the time being.

That’s the ticket! I’ve ordered one of the Alter Reals to try. Since this is a case where I wouldn’t normally wear anything, this is still a step forward. My certified Outlyne will still be coming out for jumping though!


When I’ve come off in a vest, the longer back has been part of the protection. I feel that it stabilizes my lower back so it doesn’t get nearly as twisted as without. I’ve landed flat on my back twice in hog fuel bark mulch this season when Project Mare scooted away from the mounting block. Both times in vest, both times only minor sore the next day and no injuries.

Obviously an uncomplicated fall and soft ground. But I know that if I came off like that with no vest I’d be pretty messed up for a week. So I’m sold on the idea. But I think the longer back is part of the design.

I’m still not wearing it on the broke mare. But maybe should consider it if I ever try to jump her.

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Is the Race Safe vest available in the US?

I am looking to purchase a vest for my 70 yo sister to wear in her riding lessons. She is tiny - about 5’ and 110# and has osteoposis. Considering the Eventer Pro. Hard to recommend something not certified for her.

I can’t comment on the RaceSafe, but I am 5’ and 110# and I like my Airowear Outlyne. I would have to double check, but think I have the L3 Slim Short. I always think it’s a little bit bulky when I first put it on, but then I generally don’t notice it once I’m wearing it. I only use it for XC though. So don’t know how it would be for more regular use.

I love your barn is so encouraging of vest-wearing! I broke a few ribs last year in a non-jumping accident and decided to start wearing a vest like I do a helmet. I figured if it was every ride, every time, I would just get used to it and I have! It’s been super hot this week and it’s no big deal. I just wore my Tipp pro because that’s what I have for XC. It’s been fine and actually has improved my dressage posture (not that it took much :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:). Interested to check out the other vest options mostly because I’m so profoundly annoyed at how crummy the Tipp Pro zippers are and it does get a zillion degrees in the SC summers.

I’ve ridden in a vest every time I ride since I broke my sacrum in 2003. Now I’ve been on blood thinners since last May, and will be for the rest of my life, so now I have 2 reasons to wear one!

I use a Tip Eventer, not the Pro version. It has definitely kept me from getting banged up multiple times, though not recently.

I’m interested in the Racesafe ones. Are the lower Beta ratings lighter to wear? I might be interested in that for non-jumping work. Although, all my big falls haven’t been jumping anyways. Maybe to use when it’s super hot? My last horse was super bombproof so when it was really hot I just didn’t wear one unless we jumping, which was really unlikely when it was super hot. Current horse has a spook so it’s unavoidable.

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Edit first - nevermind, I’m blind… found it!

Can you help me find a detailed sizing guide? I found the chest etc measurement, but am having trouble with the back length of the various sizes.


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The race safe is just as long as my Airowear, which does interfere in a dressage saddle. I wonder if I could get away with a Child’s XL? I wear the L3 slim short in the airowear.

Similar to the OP, the new one is young and dumb, complete with the “teleporting” option. :slight_smile:

I ordered mine from Soteria Equestrian.

The proprietress of Soteria was very helpful in sizing. I also bought two to compare and returned the one with the less optimal fit.

Are you referring to the race safe vest?
I too am a dressage rider and my horse did a drop, jump, spin, bolt, at the scary ghost over there, somewhere… I broke three ribs and shattered my middle finger (the splint on the middle finger is very helpful on zoom calls with annoying colleagues) I too want to start riding in a vest I am 63 and want to keep riding! A vest would give me my confidence back… so a bit confused which you all think is best fro dressage? Thank you for your help and information!

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