Do I need to wear both a body protector and an air jacket?
You can wear the air jacket on its own and it will offer the protection it is designed to. Many people prefer the lightweight convenience of the air jacket compared with traditionally bulkier foam of a body protectors. The most important element is that either are fitted correctly, so do ensure that they cover properly and are not too large or small. Air jackets are considered a top-up to your foundation garment, which should be a BETA Level 3 body protector if you event. They effectively extend the area of protection on the body, which would restrict your ability to ride if they were fully inflated all the time. This is why they are triggered by a fall.
If I do buy an air jacket can I re-use it if it goes off after a fall?
Yes of course, the jacket will look great, keep you safe and inflate almost instantly if you fall. Afterwards, you can simply replace the air canister ( which we sell singularly too ) and you are good to go again.
Does a body protector go out of date and become less effective?
BETA recommends that body protectors should be replaced every three to five years, depending on use, as impact absorption properties of the foam might start to decline during this time. Level 5 (red), Level 7 (blue), Class 1 (green), Class 2 (orange) and Class 3 (purple) labels are now obsolete as are all garments bearing the 2000 Level 1, 2 and 3 labels. Garments bearing any of these labels are no longer effective and should be replaced.
So what label should I see when I buy a body protector?
BETA advises: Riding disciplines and organisations now require either BETA 2009 or BETA 2018 Level 3 when body protectors are worn on either a voluntary or compulsory basis. In terms of rider safety the two versions offer the same level of protection. The majority of organisations have already indicated that the BETA 2009 standard will continue to be accepted until 2024.