Sweet Protection have been developing helmets, protection equipment and technical clothing from a village called Trysil in the Norwegian wilderness since 2000. With skiing and snowboarding at their roots, their product range has naturally expanded in to mountain biking and kayaking for the summer months.
Their products tend to be technical and practical, but they are also high quality and look great. I’ve done a bit of Enduro racing this year and have seen more and more people wearing Sweet Protection kit so I knew it must do a good job, and be hard wearing.
I’ve done some downhill riding – a few uplift days, nothing serious – but have always shied away from full on body armour as it’s generally bulky and uncomfortable. So does the Bearsuit Pro Shirt from Sweet Protection offer the perfect compromise – reassurance and protection without making me look like the Incredible Hulk?!
The Bearsuit Pro Shirt is made from a super-stretchy Lycra fabric with breathable mesh panels – nice and lightweight for all day riding. The Bearsuit Pro Shirt has chest, back and shoulder protection by way of the shock absorbing Polymer Foam SAS-TEC SC-1 material.
Each of the protective pads can be easily removed if a lesser level of protection is needed, to lighten the suit or for washing – just undo the low profile Velcro closures and take the pad out.
The zip front on the Bearsuit Pro Shirt is to the left hand side of the chest plate so as not to interfere with the protection. It has a wide Velcro waist strap to keep the suit in place and adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit on the torso.
I wore the Bearsuit Pro Shirt with a lightweight long sleeved base layer underneath and as it’s not too bulky, my normal jersey on the top. I was also able to wear elbow pads with the body armour for maximum protection.
The Bearsuit Pro Shirt is comfortable to ride in, thankfully I haven’t yet had to test how well it works but I do feel a lot safer for wearing it. On less hardcore days I have taken the chest pad out and just ridden with the back and shoulder protectors.
I’m about 5’8" and a size 10 – the small fitted me perfectly on the torso and shoulders. I do have a fairly small chest though, I’m not sure whether it would fit quite so well if I had a more ample bosom! The back protector could have done with being slightly longer but this is only a minor point.
All in all I am really impressed with the Bearsuit Pro Shirt– Sweet Protection have lived up to their reputation. It is made of high quality and high performance materials and the overall fit is surprisingly good.
High quality, low profile material.
Comfortable to ride in
With an RRP of £199 it is on the expensive side
Price: £199, available from Sweet Protection.
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