Gear Review: Demon D3O Flex-Force Summer Armor Suite
I’ve commended Demon’s body armor technology quite a few times last ski season, as the Demon United team was kind enough to furnish us with some armored shorts that were absolutely brilliant for protecting a novice snowboarder from tailbone injuries.
Now they’ve sent over a new suite of pads and although it’s a bit late to test them on the slopes, I headed out to the forests of New England to see their effectiveness on the sticks and stones of some mountain bike trails.
Demon’s latest loadout comprises of knee pads, elbow pads, and a spineplate that’s secured to the body by way of a lightweight vest.
Build quality, fitment, and style on each element is exceptional.
The skin-contacting sections are breathable and non-irritating, while the rubberized logos give the armor a premium-quality look and feel.
I will say that heat buildup was more than I’m used to, as I don’t usually bike in this much padding, but considering how snugly everything fit I’d say that heat retention was acceptable.
So it looks good, it feels good, and it gives you the confidence to stay powered-on through some rougher obstacles.
The spills I took in testing were, fortunately/unfortunately, too minor to truly test the blunt force resistance of the armor (although I did land on my elbow in relative comfort once).
But that doesn’t mean I was about to let my sponsors down.
Enlisting the help of my sister to complete the test; I tossed her a stick about half the diameter of a baseball bat and had her rattle off a few precision hits on my pads.
Reveling in the task, she wound up and broke the stick over my D3O’ed knee… and I’m happy to say I was only able to report minor discomfort.
Without prompting she sought out a second stick and thought to try my spine plate, the result of which I was just as happy with- although I expressed the opposite to my assistant.
The only department where the D3O plating falls short is in repeated impacts. After three to five good thwacks, you start to reach the limit of its effectiveness and the need to take a break from getting your ass kicked.
But in a sports-crash situation you’re not likely to have repeated blunt trauma to the same part of your body within a few seconds, so you really don’t lose much in going for this stuff over typical CE plating… and that stuff is over twice as heavy and ten times as cumbersome.
As always, pick up your own set straight from the source at DemonUnited.com.