Forcefield Pro Shirt
After a season with this....
I've spent a full season riding with this, through both cold weather and hot, and I do not get on my bike without putting this on.
All of my jackets have armor. However, as many have similarly noted, I have little confidence the armor in my jackets will stay put and provide the necessary protection in a get-off.
I have no such lack of confidence with this shirt.
The armor definitely stays put once you put the shirt on. The fit is a compression fabric-like form-fit, but it's not so tight that you can't wear a base layer underneath in cold weather if you'd like. The fabric does feel a bit fragile and I tend to exercise care while putting it on and taking it off, but I've had no issue with the seams, or tears, etc. As for the fabric being anti-bacterial to help with odor control, it definitely does. I rode all summer without washing the shirt once (Whaddya want - I'm a dude) and beyond some very minor odor in the pits it never smelled at all.
In summer it does as advertised and wicks the moisture from your body. The net result is you'll have a somewhat sticky, damp shirt to peel away, but I've never felt like I was overheating while wearing this. Although, to qualify that statement, I live in northern Vermont so it rarely exceeds the low 90s, and we rarely have traffic jams, so it's not often that I'm wearing the armor and NOT moving. On the hot days I've worn this and stopped for gas or a bite to eat it does get warm, but I also always ride with a jacket over the Forcefield shirt which contributes to getting warm.
In the cold weather, as I've already noted, you can put a nice base layer like an Under Armour Cold Gear underneath this with no problem. If, however, you intend to buy riding jackets to wear over this you'll absolutely need to take the additional size of the armor into consideration and go a size larger. I purchased a H-D FXRG jacket a size larger than I'd normally wear, and when it has the liner in that jacket is fairly snug with this armor underneath it.
Issues with this bit of kit:
- there have been times when the elbow armor has gotten a bit annoying
-- that only occurs when I'm NOT on the bike and is probably a personal issue more than an issue with the armor
- the left-hand zipper; you get used to it, but it's an annoyance (first-world problems, I know...)
- long-sleeves with thumb-holes
-- I know it's designed that way to help the sleeves from riding up in an accident, but I don't like the thumb-holes and find them annoying (again, first-world problems...)
- no zipper guard
-- I usually do not zip the zipper all the way up because it can - and often does - rub uncomfortably
As for the reviewer who complained about the time it takes to don and doff this armor, it doesn't take any more than 30 seconds to put this on, or take it off. Personally, I find having the protection worth the time. I understand you can wear a jacket with armor that doesn't cost you any additional time, and if you have a jacket in which you have confidence the armor will stay put in a get-off then this shirt doesn't make sense to spend money on anyway.
All in all, I believe the drawbacks are minor relative to the protection this armor provides. While I have been fortunate to not have actually tested the armor there are enough testimonials from folks who have to make me a believer of its efficacy.
When I ride it's become like my American Express card: I never leave home without it.
January 22, 2015
This shirt hugs your body and form fitting. It keeps the armor in place and you hardly know you are wearing it. I had no issues putting it on or taking it off and felt comfortable wearing this under my mesh jacket that flows a lot of air. I wore it under my leather jacket over the weekend and found it to be quite warm. Forcefield makes excellent armor and I purchased it for this reason as well as being able to wear it under different jackets. I recommend this product.
September 15, 2014
Did it's job during a pretty nasty crash
So there I was, riding around the mountains with a couple friends. We were in a small town, and it had just begun to rain, so we weren't doing anything abnormal. Got into a construction zone where the DOT set up a lane shift across a new bridge being built. On the transition from the old lane to the new lane, they apparently painted over the old lane division line in slick black paint, which was invisible with a smoked shield and in the pouring rain. My rear tire slid out on this painted line, then kicked back the other way and next thing I knew, I went down, HARD, at about 35-40mph. The bike slammed me low-side into the pavement. I slide about 100-150 feet and the bike probably about double that before coming to rest.
I felt a bit out of breath and my right side upper body hurt a bit but nothing too bad. I got up and my friends helped me get the bike back up and we stopped about 1/10th of a mile down the road at a gas station.
Come to find out later that, while wearing the Forcefield armored shirt and shorts combo under my Olympia suit, I had broken a rib or two (probably when the bike forced my arm to slam into my ribcage). Had I not been wearing the gear, I'm 95% sure I'd have done a lot more damage including probably a broken hip, shoulder, and clavicle, but obviously this is speculation based on which body parts hit and how hard. The gear definitely helped soften the blow. I realize it's not common to include rib protection but that certainly would have helped me avoid the break. Otherwise, I love the gear and wear it everywhere, all the time - street, track, and offroad.
September 7, 2014
This thing is very hot in hot weather.
Worn with a mesh jacket this shirt gets super hot. It was only 84 today and not super humid and I soaked it with sweat. So I poured half a bottle of water over me, but not on the armor.
Fit is nice, armor is what I was after and everybody swears by Forcefield's quality there, hope never to test it.
Not sure if I would buy another one. Maybe easier to buy an expensive jacket with high quality armor and wear whatever you want underneath. I wanted the chest protector most of all because I sideswiped a deer last summer and had images of antlers poking through me. So think about how you dress and what your safety requirements are and if you don't mind looking like Spiderman when you take your jacket off in a restaurant.
July 11, 2014
I bought this thinking I would get superior bump protection while wearing any jacket; as well as extra use in other activities, like snowboarding (I have RA so I am fairly delicate these days.)
While attempting to use for a 3rd time (on bike only, never bothered with other activities) right pit seam had it and started a big hole. The material holding padding in on back is so stretchy that back protector sags down so low that only my lower back has protection. The shirt seriously needs a zipper garage to stop it from attacking your neck. Unzipping some to try and remedy this problem only allows the back protector to slip further down.
I have since cannibalized the armor and fit it into my jacket. If I would have know that was going to be its roll, I would have just bough replacement armor and save a bit of money.
I would NOT recommend the Forcefield Pro Shirt...
(but I am still buying the forcefield armor on its own...)
May 4, 2014
Happy I bought it
For me, the first decision was whether I wanted to wear my protection as an undergarment or incorporated in an outer jacket. I decided the former gave me more apparel options. Having made that decision, this product fits simply and beautifully. No straps to have to mess with. The protection stays in place. The garment breathes well, but by the same token its sheerness gives me some concern about longterm durability. Time will tell. For now, I am loving it.
January 20, 2014
I purchased this item to use for protection on a nine day ride. Only because the ride promoter required all riders to wear their t-shirt as the top layer. So $300 is way beyond steep for this rider.
Fortunately I did not test the item, as I never took a spill. I felt that it was necessary to take care getting into and out of it. Nothing got damaged, but it felt like it might tear easily. Other than that it was comfortable.
December 9, 2013
Most comfortable armor I've worn
Like all armor, this shirt will make you sweat on a warm day. That said, the ventilation while moving, even at slow speeds, is excellent. I can physically feel the moisture dissipating. It won't remain and collect into a damp spot.
The fit, by way of the compression shirt holding the armor tight to your body, is more comfortable than any I've worn. It will also be more protective than your standard jacket-included armor because of this. It will hide better under your jacket.
Any issues I have with the shirt are minor:
-Zipper on the left side.
-Stitching pops slightly if you're not careful putting on and removing the shirt but it's not as dramatic as other reviewers have described.
- I'd grade the shirt even higher if the armor pieces had just a little more width and coverage to them, or maybe I'm just used to some oversized jacket armor.
-Pricier, but at the same time now you can buy cheaper jackets that exclude armor. I did. You'll probably save overall across your personal line of jackets.
The layered armor can seem a little thin. I also have the shorts and kneepads and I can definitely feel it when I test the kneepads by falling to my knees on a hardwood floor. But in the end, I will trust the tested CE rating that it provides the same protection as my old armor. One of the best aspects of Forcefield is their armor is designed to be reused through multiple crashes.
October 26, 2013