MXA TEAM TESTED: ALPINESTARS A1-PLUS ROOST GUARD

 

MXA TEAM TESTED: ALPINESTARS A1-PLUS ROOST GUARD

WHAT IS IT? Alpinestars makes four of the best designed roost guards in the sport. Alpinestars offers the $119.95 A1, $129.95 A1-Plus, $179.95 A4 and $199.95 A10. The higher up the scale, the better the impact resistance. The newest roost guard in Alpinestars’ quartet is the A1-Plus. It is an upgrade of the original A1, which is the lightest and sleekest plastic roost guard on the market. All four Alpinestars roost guards are favorites of the MXA test riders.

WHAT’S IT COST? $129.95 (available in black or white and medium/large and extra large/double extra large).

CONTACT? www.alpinestars.com or (800) 409-0903.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Alpinestars A1 Plus roost guard.

(1) Concept. Many riders want to wear a plastic roost guard under their jerseys but find them too bulky. The market has responded by making slimmer, all-plastic roost guards that can be worn under a jersey, such as the Thor Sentinel, Fly Revel and Fox ProFrame, but Alpinestars went all out to make an incredibly sleek design that doesn’t add any bulk.

The back panel covers more area than on the original A1 guard and his rated at much higher impact absorption by CE certification.
The A1 Plus’ back panel covers more area than on the original A1 guard and is rated at a much higher impact absorption by CE certification.

(2) Protection. Racers wear a roost guard for protection not just from roost but also crashes. And while corporate lawyers don’t want their clients to call them “chest protectors” for liability reasons, these roost guards quite obviously offer a degree of chest protection. The front and back of the original A1 is CE-certified as an EN-14021 “stone shield.” Its transmitted force cannot exceed 27 kilonewtons of impact force (approximately 6000 pounds-force); however, the A1-Plus is CE-certified to the more stringent EN-1621-2 standard (its transmitted force cannot exceed 12 kilonewtons of impact force, approximately 2500 pounds-force). Obviously, the less force the protector transmits to the body, the softer the blow, which means the back panel of the A1-Plus offers double the impact protection of the A1. 

The A1 Plus has much more thermofoam padding around the plastic chest piece. It is a lot more cmfortable to wear than the original A1.
The A1 Plus’ front piece has more thermoformed padding around the plastic chest piece. It is a lot more comfortable to wear than the original A1.

(3) Differences. How does the A1-Plus differ from the original A1 roost guard. The A1-Plus has extended thermoformed foam padding that not only offers more surface area of roost protection but increases the comfort level for the rider’s body. The front panel’s molded plastic has a more swooping neckline with 1-1/2 inches of foam padding above it. On the back panel, the slots where the elastic strap exits no longer have a cowling-shape above them since these cowlings occasionally cracked; instead, the strap exits through wider low-profile slots.

(4) Added features. The Alpinestars A1-Plus has a removable upper back panel, elastic hooks and small shoulder pads to accommodate the BNS neck brace. Plus, the plastic back protection can be removed, thanks to a built-in Y-strap that enables the A1-Plus to be used as a front-only roost guard. Adjustable Velcro straps allow the A1-Plus to fit tall, short, thin and wide bodies.

This is what the original A1 roost guard looks like. It was a different and lower rated back panel and different padding.
This is what the original A1 roost guard looks like. It was a different front and back panel  less padding around the plastic and the impact protection is only rated as a “stone shield.”

(5) Performance. MXA test riders who previously wore the Alpinestars A1 roost guard immediately switched to the A1-Plus, claiming that it fit better, hugged their torsos tighter and was also invisible when worn under a jersey. We can’t overstate the benefits of the upgraded impact protection of the back panel. Alpinestars’ roost guard lineup is the most inclusive in the gear business. It ranges from the light and simple (A1) to full coverage and dual-walled (A10). Kudos to Alpinestars for going the extra mile to improve its already-popular A1 roost deflector. That shows a commitment to excellence.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had no complaints.

MXA RATING: If you are looking for a lightweight roost guard that can be worn under or over your jersey, the Alpinestars A1-Plus is the place to start. You won’t know you are wearing it.

 

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