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Gear Review: TekVest OffRoad Max

TekVest Review
Republished with permission by author Rob P.
* (Leatt brace attached in pics).

Riding a bike offroad in Newfoundland has it's rewards in scenery and unlimited riding's beautiful and dangerous. Newfoundland is affectionately known to many as "The Rock" and for good reason. We have lot's of rocks (the oldest in the world in fact ) We have little rocks and bigs rocks, dry rocks and wet slippery rocks...they all hurt when going down. I hate riding on rocks, and I'm very much afraid of them.

After having suffered some very serious injuries in the recent past, safety is of the upmost importance to me and my family. I need protective riding gear, and I need good stuff. 

I researched every piece of riding armour I could find. Everything from the Batman suit to plain roost guards to compression suits to hockey equipment and everything in between. My search for riding gear ended at the Tekvest ( Offroad Max model with optional arm pads ). There is no other product that I have found that offers the level of protection and comfort that the Tekvests offer. 

I have tried on various compression suits and instantly disliked the tight constricting type of feel. I hear that you forget about comfort or lack of with the compression suits when riding but I hated them when simply trying them on. That said it was not comfort that drew me to the Tekvest, it was the protection. The type of plastic used (UMHW) is unbelievable stuff, a 1 inch slab of it will stop a .45 bullet @ 25 feet (the vest is not 1 inch thick so do not test this!). To me that means it's rock proof. The Tekvest also floats! The vest does not offer enough floatation to be classified as a certified floatation device, but it will keep you afloat for those deep crossings. 

The Tekvest completely wraps your torso and the level of protection is clearly evident. As for sizing, it's very adjustable and can be worn inside the Jacket or over. Lately with the warmer weather I wear a dri-fit type t-shirt under the vest, and it's super cool and comfortable. For the cold days I have worn a couple different jackets under the vest and it's awesome and warm. Under the jacket wearing is a bit too warm for this time of year (late July). 

The Offroad Max has A LOT of vents so air passes though when it's exposed. The thing is built tough as nails so, wearing it on the outside exposed to the elements is not a concern (hose it off baby). I had mine made in black for easier cleaning. 

As for fit, mine is a large (I'm 6' and weigh 210-215 on average). Certain models of Tekvest fit differently and one should talk to Tekrider and give body type to ensure best fit. The Offroad Max is a big fit. Some of the winter versions are smaller fits. The proper fit is for the vest to float on one's body - not too tight. Mine literaly floats and the comfort level cannot be described. There seems to be very little contact points on the body, but at the same time you're completely covered.


The Vest accommodates a Leatt brace absolutely perfectly with no need of straps on the brace (I've been told that the Offroad Max will accommodate all the current models of neck braces). Not all Tekvest models are neck brace compatible though.

The Tekvest does not provide elbow protection, so I have been using my hockey elbow pads (they are awesome, and I know they will protect my elbows if I want to elbow someone in the face)

All in all I am delighted in my Offroad Max Tekvest and feel a lot more secure when riding with it. In fact I will never ride without it. Karen @ was awesome to deal with and answered all my questions. She accommodated my request for color and gave me a great price (sent me an invoice via e-mail, and a day or so later Purolator delivered my Vest right to my door). She also extended any RTR member 20% off the products. They have made deals like this with other riding groups before.

If Tekvest ever extends their product line to other pieces of riding gear. I'll be the first in line to get them!

Additional Comments:

Question: Do you figure this type of suit is no worse than the old-school vented flack-jacket style MX gear, when it comes to being too warm?


Not sure how the two would compare with regards to warmth. But one of the reasons I chose the Offroad Max model was for the extreme amount of venting.

You can make out the vent holes in the pics. They're through the mesh (there are a lot of them, even in the arm panels). They allow a lot of airflow let me tell you (you can actually feel the wind blowing through it ). I have been cold while wearing the vest but only when wearing it above a shirt (long sleeve and short) in cool weather.

I have also practically cooked in it while wearing the vest inside my Tourmaster Jacket on very warm day (the vest was then sealed up so to speak ). I believe it's very versatile in its ability to keep you cool or keep you warm. I guess it all depends on layering or lack of it. Most MX protectors/pressure suits have a big slab on the front with little or no venting.

Another great feature of the Tekvest is that it's lined inside with Coolmax so it wicks moisture away. Not all the Tekvest models offer the same amount of venting. Especially the winter models which feature mostly solid panels.