MXA TEAM TESTED: LEATT 4.5 JACKI CHEST PROTECTOR
WHAT IS IT? Female riders are in the minority at the track, which causes most gear brands to shy away from developing female-specific apparel or protective gear. Leatt is one of the few brands that doesn’t forget about the girls. The 4.5 Jacki chest protector was designed specifically with the female body shape in mind.
WHAT’S IT COST? $179.99.
CONTACT? www.leatt.com or (661) 287-9258.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Leatt 4.5 Jacki chest protector.
(1) Details. Leatt’s 4.5 Jacki chest protector is tailored to offer 360 degrees of protection for the rider’s torso, chest and back. With 3D, pre-curved, hard-plastic shells and 3DF AirFit impact foam, girls can feel confident in their protective equipment. With multiple plates working together in an articulated, vented design, the protector is comfortable to wear.
(2) Certified. There’s a difference between a roost guard and a CE-certified chest protector. The 4.5 Jacki chest protector has been tested and certified at level 2 for the EN1621-3 chest and EN1621-2 back certifications. The hard-shell plastic on the front and rear offers a good amount of protection. Instead of an unaccounted-for gap on both sides of the protector, the 4.5 Jacki wraps around the torso to protect the internal organs against roost or ill-placed handlebars.
(3) Sizing. The Leatt 4.5 Jacki chest protector is a one-size-fits-most product. The target demographic for the Leatt 4.5 Jacki is women who weigh between 121 and 209 pounds. One female tester who weighs in the 130-pound range felt that the side straps were too long to afford her a tighter fit. She also noted that it felt wide in the shoulder area in the pits, but it wasn’t noticeable while riding.
(4) Neck brace. The Leatt brand started as a neck brace company before expanding into every other aspect of protective gear. Of course, the 4.5 Jacki is compatible with the Leatt brace (and most other neck braces). The front and back plates have separate pieces that can be removed to allow room for a neck brace.
(5) Performance. The 4.5 Jacki protector is lightweight at only 2.38 pounds and has multiple articulating joints that allow the protector to shift with the rider, ensuring movement isn’t restricted on the bike. It’s breathable with vents throughout and offers exceptional protection. For women who want to wear the protector under their jersey, the mesh base layer ensures nonabrasive contact on the skin; however, the jersey does snag on the back plate, making it more difficult to get into your jersey.
(6) Options. If the 4.5 Jacki doesn’t meet your size or fitment needs, Leatt also offers a female-specific AirFlex chest protector that is available in three sizes—XXS/XS, S/M and large. It retails for the same price as the Jacki at $179.99. The AirFlex protector is lighter and sleeker, but the lack of hard-shell plastic means it offers less protection than the Jacki 4.5. The AirFlex also retains more heat and extends longer in the back, which our testers didn’t like.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We wish the 4.5 Jacki came in more sizes.
MXA RATING: Overall, our female testers were happy to have a chest protector tailored to them. The Leatt 4.5 Jacki is comfortable to wear over or underneath your jersey, and offers an impressive amount of protection without hindering mobility on the bike. It’s a win-win.