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

That website appears to only have air vests, which is not what I am looking for.

Yes, the RaceSafe vest is what I was recommending for a non-air vest for day to day riding. They are hard to find and expensive here in the US, but I bought mine directly from the UK and it was still cheaper (even with shipping) and they had more sizes in stock than what was generally available in the US.

I got my RaceSafe from here:

I’m an adult beginner, riding for 2 years now, and just wore my vest for the first time. I have no other experiences to compare it to but I rode in it for nearly 2 hours (a lesson and a trail ride) and while I was sweaty afterwards it was very comfortable and not overwhelmingly hot.

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I ride in a Phoenix Tipperary Ride-Lite vest, because it is short enough in the back to not hang up on my saddle.

I live where the summers are quite warm, and this vest is very tolerable to wear for a normal session (45 minutes or so) - longer in cooler weather (when I won’t even need a jacket because I’m wearing the vest). When it’s brutally hot, I’m not working my horse, and can’t say how comfortable the vest would be in those extreme conditions.

I always wear a breathable, wicking sun shirt underneath, which probably helps, and I unzip the vest immediately after I dismount – would do this even if just taking a break off the horse. My shirt will be damp to soaked with perspiration in warm weather, but dries off quickly, and I’ve personally never felt that I was risking heatstroke wearing the vest.

Haven’t come off a horse, so have no idea how protective the Ride-Lite would actually be, but the degree of padding certainly seems as though it would help, at least in soft tissue injuries. The design is very adjustable, too.

At the price point, we’ve been satisfied with our Ride-Lite vests (my husband rides in one, as well). But, if a new vest that is super-duper comfortable in hot and humid weather - and not too long in the back - hit the market, I’d consider an upgrade.

I don’t plan on jumping, but I ride alone all the time. One of my boys is not particularly spooky but when he spooks he spins fast - let’s just say my sticking power is not what it used to be.

Thanks to a comment by Mander I took a look at the lightweight Dainese vests she mentioned. Those were not quite right for me so I’m going to try one of these: GILET BALIOS 3 BETA ADJ LADY, at $132 with free shipping in the US it seems like a nice vest.

The website says: “complying to the strictest safety standards CE EN 13158:2009 and BETA 2009 level 3”. I don’t know if that means it’s “certified”. They have another that is level 1 certified. Complying and certified are probably not the same thing.

From the pictures it looks like the foam is perforated. I’ll let you all know my impressions when I get the vest.

OP, I’m not sure if this is short enough, but they list the length on the website.

That one definitely appears to be certified-- the Beta 3 ones have a purple label on them which you can see in the picture.

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This is my XC vest. It will make you look like you’re suiting up for the SWAT team and the zipper kind of sucks, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the most comfortable XC vest I’ve worn (I’ve had an Outlyne, a Champion Ti22 and this one). The layers are independent and it’s different than the others in how it moves/flexes with you. Don’t be afraid to play with the zipper a little when you get it - I found by the fifth or so wear it was ‘broken in’ and easier to get started. There are lots of photos where I’m wearing it on my blog ( if you want to see it on.


Were you actually able to order from that website? Every time I try to click on stuff on the “My Cart” page, nothing happens.

I did order. Let me see if I can find the exact page I ordered from.

I just tried again and it worked for me. Once it was in the cart I couldn’t click on the item from the cart to see the description again, I needed to get out of the cart and click on the product again. The item remains in the cart so it’s easy to go back to the cart. From the cart I could only click on the green “Continue to Payment” button and check out.

Some other thoughts:

  • Maybe the link was already “personalized” to my computer.
  • I’m using Firefox web browser. Some times web sites work better with specific browswers.
  • Maybe start from the main page then search for equestrian.

I hope that helps.

add_leg, great pictures and your writing is great! Silly boy with his tantrum. I’m glad I ordered the vest, in your pictures it looks like it conforms making it comfortable. Also good to know about the zipper.

That would certainly be a bonus!

Ah strange. I had tried it on Chrome and Safari, but Firefox seems to do the trick.

@add_leg what is your opinion on how hot that vest is? I know any body protector will be warm but I’m curious if this is any cooler than others? I also have an Airowear Outlyne and find it too hot to wear year round like I had intended.

@Risuena I have yet to wear it on a truly hot day, but I have a 4pm ride time on Sunday when it’s anticipated to be 90… so stay tuned. I’ll say the times I’ve worn it so far I feel like I’ve been less sweaty/cooler because I think air moves through it better because of the unique layers. It’s definitely cooler than my Outlyne was, just not sure if it’s cooler than my Champion. We’re about to find out!

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I’m following this discussion because I’ve ridden in an Outlyne for years, and have had the issue of the back hitting the cantle on my dressage saddle. It happens just enough to be annoying.

How have you found the fit of the Daniese? One reason why I originally chose the Outlyne was the variety of sizes, and then I ordered from a British shop to be able to get the size I needed.

One thing I’ve liked about the Outlyne is the ability to re-fit it myself, using the velcro tabs. So in the winter, if I’ll be wearing it over a sweater, I can make the vest a little larger, for example.

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My “Alter Real” arrived this week and I rode in it for the first time yesterday. Note, this is not, nor does it claim to be, a Beta 3 or XC vest. It offers back and spine protection only, nothing on the sides or front. This works for me with my dressage saddle as I find it hard to have a decent position in my Outlyne because my arms stick out sideways. Verdict?

LOVE IT for my intended purposes. My only complaint is that it’s a bit too short for me (I’m almost 5’10") so definitely made for more of an average height. It’s also tiny Euro sizing, so I barely fit into an XL (I usually wear a L shirt, sometimes a M, depending on the brand). The biggest thing is how amazingly flexible the “Flexigon” is, and it seems relatively cool. I should be able to put it under a winter coat with the right base layer.

I won’t be giving up my Outlyne for riding in my jump saddle, but I am liking this for dressage!


Thank you for coming back to update!

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OP, from the description of what you were looking for this vest obviously doesn’t meet your criteria, but I wanted to update.

My vest just arrived (I needed to sign for UPS delivery). I can’t ride for two weeks but right now I’ve had in on an hour while packing up my house, it’s been very comfortable. The quality seems excellent.

I read the size chart carefully and ordered a large. It is a perfect fit. I adjusted the interior waist and bust adjustment “out”. In the hour I’ve worn it it is already conforming to my shape.

It is Level 3 certified. My tailbone is covered.

I agree, this vest is comfy! Seems to really conform due to honey comb padding. Bonus - seems to be working like a really good back support belt and encourages me to have better posture.

Fortunately the zipper on mine is working well. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been following this thread and trying to decide between the Racesafe and the Dainese. Can I ask a more specific question about fit for curvier ladies for those of you have tried either, but especially the Dainese Gilet Balios Adj Lady? On the size chart, there’s less than inch difference in the measurements for chest vs. bust. I’ve never considered myself that busty, but I definitely have more than an inch difference in those measurements! Does that rule out that vest for me? @baybrio, you mentioned interior waist and bust adjustments; I couldn’t find any details about that online, could you tell me more about that?

I’m also interested in this. Most size charts for vests usually have a range of sizes they fit so you can find something appropriate, but the Dainese ones just show the one measurement. I did email them to ask about a week or two ago, but they never responded.