I am 5 foot 7, with a stocky build. The Tech Air vest does not come in sizes larger than 2X. If you have a 3X sized jacket, you will need to verify your comfort level having a 2X Tech Air Vest (it fits). If you have a beer belly, it might not be the best fit as Alpinestars generally fits thinner riders better.
*Please note, Tech Air Race Vest requires as Tech Air Compatible Alpinestars jacket.
As you can see from the pictures, there is a Velcro and magnetic connector you must attach around the Solar plexus in order to activate the vest. The Velcro attaches to unwanted areas, and pulls at nearby fabric, causing it to degrade/fluff the surrounding areas (see pics). So far it has not deteriorated fully, but I don’t expect this to last more than two and a half Minnesota riding seasons (riding daily). If you use this in a track day setting only, this will last you some time as you are not consistently taking your jacket on and off throughout the day.
There is some pitting on the inside back-material of the vest, however I think this is wearing as expected (see pics).
The back protector is rock hard. There is no give or flexibility so you will feel stiff if you have a tight fit. The back protector houses the electronics and argon canisters so there is a reason it needs to be hard and secure. It feels like you have a turtle shell on, but again it depends on your build.
Textile Jacket - Alpinestars T-Missile Air Jacket Tech Air Compatible
Overall jacket quality is good except with one major flaw which Alpinestars jackets are known for… The zipper. The zipper didn’t last more than 2 months. Alpinestars will send a new zipper at your request, but it was the actual zipper system coming apart at mid-jacket. It is imperative that the entire zipper system be reviewed on Tech Air Jackets, as the vest is activated with only Velcro and a magnet on the race vest. If the jacket were to come off… the airbag will not deploy!
This jacket is for summer riding and can be worn separate from the Tech Air Vest.
I have the 3x jacket, and 2x vest. The jacket and vest combo is heavy!
Hoodie - Alpinestars 24ride Men Riding Jacket Hoodie Tech Air Compatible
When the hoodie was released, it was a lifesaver as the jacket was more flexible and comfortable to wear. You can also wear it around town with the vest in without being too uncomfortable. I recommend having a hoodie type jacket, along with your riding jacket if you get this system. I love the hoodie and use that more towards the beginning and last half of my riding season.
The hoodie and vest combo is a bit lighter, but it is still heavy.
Tech Air Vest Configuration
Configuration is a breeze. All you need to know is how to use a computer and download software. There are two settings, Race and Street, and you can configure these on your PC. Instructions are clear.
I do have a hard time getting the magnet and Velcro to activate though sometimes. I am usually waiting for a minute or two to verify everything is working before I take off. Waiting is a bit annoying, but there is no point in riding if it is not activated. I have noticed while riding that it has deactivated, and it is primarily due to the shifting of the Velcro/magnet within while riding (again, probably due to body build/fit).
Luckily, I have not experienced a crash where the jacket has deployed. I was on a ride in the Alphabet Roads in Wisconsin the summer of 2019 and witnessed a member of my group crash. He had his Tech Air Race vest in Street mode, and it deployed correctly.
With street mode, you have the option for two separate deployments. He was able to ride home with one deployment remaining. If you’re wondering what to do if you have a deployment, you send the vest and jacket to Alpinestars so they can review, assess damage and repair, refill if possible.
For diagrams and sizing, visit www.alpinestars.com/tech
This was Alpinestars first product to market of this type. They also had a Street Tech Air Vest at the time. I chose to go with the race vest, as you had the option to choose between race and street configurations.
Most of the other airbags I reviewed, did not have advanced technology like Alpinestars did. However, the competitors did have one perk that Alpinestars didn’t at that time and it was that you could wear their systems with any jacket.
It looks like Alpinestars is following suit and recently released their Tech Air 5 System which can be worn under any jacket 😊.
Overall, for their first vest I think it is a homerun out of the park, just fix the dang zippers already.
What are your thoughts?