After several pretty heavy crashes, I’m happy to report, the pads do work! Given that I am 51 years old, married, and have 3 kids under the age of 18….getting hurt is not an option and every time I geared up with the EVS Soft Ballistic Pro shirt, I felt confident that if I did hit the deck, I would be protected in the vital areas.
I’ve discussed the cold weather tendencies of RMF and other soft foam protectors, but let’s talk about hot weather performance. The unit doesn’t breathe as well as some thinner, lighter weight pads, like my TLD’s, however it was a price I was willing to pay for added protection. EVS uses AirMesh to help with some ventilation however, I still found myself using a thin base layer under the unit to aid in comfort. The most impressive thing about the EVS Soft Ballistic Pro in hot weather is its ability to not get stinky. The moisture wicking material used somehow resists funk and I was quite pleased in how fresh it remained after months of testing.
The long and short of it all is that EVS did a great job. Soft pad technology is not for everyone, but I’m a fan. Old school, plastic and vented roost guard chest protectors, will offer better ventilation and are usually lighter, but they don’t always offer better impact protection and certainly aren’t as comfortable. The EVS Soft Ballistic Pro shirt is far more comfortable and when you are on a 100-mile backcountry shred, comfort is critical.
The protection is there and it is solid. The EVS shirt outperforms the POC version across the board and I feel much safer in it than my Troy Lee Designs 7855 Body Armor shirt too. In hot weather, each rider will need to decide how to manage the lack of breathability under the pads themselves. To gain this type of protection you are going to have to give something up, in this case, it’s the moisture build up under the chest and back pads. I found my way of dealing with it, by using a thin, moisture wicking under shirt.
I will continue to use the EVS Soft Ballistic Pro shirt as my go-to protection layer and am happy to know it’ll have my back when I need it…And arms, and chest, and shoulders too. The fit, comfort and protection have me sold for the foreseeable future.
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