The latest rage in safety advancements for motorcyclists is airbag technology, and for good reason: it can dramatically reduce the severity of injuries during a crash. Obviously, nothing is 100% guaranteed to keep you from getting hurt (or worse) when you go down, but airbags have shown how effective they are in cars. Now, the tech is slowly trickling down to motorcycles. Here we’ve compiled a list of airbag jackets from various manufacturers to give you a better landscape of what’s available and what they protect – primarily the collarbones, vital organs, ribs, and back. Some even go so far as to cradle the neck. The triggering is provided either by a tether or electronic sensors. Here they are in alphabetical order.

Alpinestars Tech Air Race Vest – $1150

Alpinestars Tech Air Race Vest

Alpinestars Tech Air Race Airbag System is a state-of-the-art, tether-free airbag protection system designed to be used with Alpinestars Tech Air Race prepared riding gear. The onboard computer system uses Alpinestars’ proprietary algorithms to process the information gathered by the vest’s accelerometers and gyroscope. Should the system sense a crash, it can trigger and fully inflate the airbag in 45 milliseconds, providing comprehensive protection to the rider’s full back, shoulders, kidney area and chest. The Tech Air is ready to go right out of the box – no need to install sensors on the bike or go through a complicated pairing process. Simply install the vest in a compatible jacket or race suit and go ride.

The Tech Air Race comes preloaded with Alpinestars racing algorithms—the same algorithms used in MotoGP and WSBK– which are designed to detect the crashes typical of closed course competition. In this configuration, the system only uses one of its two charges at a time, saving the remaining charge for a second deployment. The vest is immediately ready to deploy its second charge. So, if you and your bike are able to continue the race, you won’t have to do it unprotected. If remounting a crashed bike to chase a precious few championship points isn’t exactly your style, the vest can be set to deploy both charges simultaneously for a quicker inflation. Due to its larger size, the 2XL size vest will always deploy both charges at once to ensure it is fully inflated in the same time as the smaller vests.

The Race Vest is also compatible with Alpinestars’ street software settings, for use during typical sport, touring, and adventure riding. In addition to being better suited to detecting street crashes, which typically involve a second vehicle, the street configuration fires both charges at the same time, lowering the deployment time to just 25 milliseconds. Users can quickly switch between race and street modes using a PC (no Mac compatibility, yet) loaded with Alpinestars Tech Air Connect software. The Street Vest is NOT compatible with the Race algorithms.

Shop for the Alpinestars Tech Air Race Vest here


Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket For Tech Air Race – $600

Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket For Tech Air Race

There are several Alpinestars jackets that are tailored for the Tech Air Race system, and the Missile is one such example. Wearing the traditional sport-like fit and aesthetic, the jacket itself is constructed of premium race-grade 1.3 mm genuine cow leather, punctuated with strategically-placed accordion stretch gussets and stretch fabric panels to allow for maximum mobility on the motorcycle. CE certified Alpinestars GP-R protectors and external sliders at the joints make the Missile ready for a high speed slide, while localized perforation and an airflow-optimized back hump ensure you stay cool during the ride.

Shop for the Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket For Tech Air Race here


Alpinestars Tech Air Street Vest – $1150

Alpinestars Tech Air Street Vest

A common misconception is that the Tech Air Airbag system is comprised of one vest worn under any jacket or suit. This is not the case. As you can see in the two listings above, there are actually two vests – the Race and the Street. Both have very similar hardware, though they operate on slightly different software. With the Street vest, the ever-vigilant ACU is able to detect that things are going awry within 30-60 milliseconds, even when hit from behind at a stop light. It then triggers the dual argon inflator charges, fully inflating the system’s airbag in 25 milliseconds. After deployment, the Tech-Air compatible jacket can still be worn for the rest of the ride, taking advantage of the built in CE level 2 back protector. Then the Tech Air Street Airbag Vest system can be easily removed from the jacket and sent to Alpinestars for repair.

In the Tech Air Street Vest, you are always protected. Whether you are carving canyons, putting in long miles on the interstates on a Goldwing, railing down a fire road on a GS or commuting to work on your trusty scooter, the Tech Air has your back.

Shop for the Alpinestars Tech Air Street Vest here


Alpinestars Yaguara Jacket For Tech Air Street – $650

Alpinestars Yaguara Jacket For Tech Air Street

Like the Missile jacket above, the Alpinestars Yaguara Jacket for Tech Air Street expands the number of jackets that will take the Tech Air Street Vest. With a Drystar waterproof membrane laminated into the shell with 8 ventilation zippers, the Yaguara Jacket is versatile to adjust to changing conditions. CE level 2 armor at the elbows and shoulders comes standard. Add in CE rated chest and back armor to complete your typical street-oriented protection. Max out the Alpinestars Yaguara Jacket protection by adding in the Tech Air Street Vest.

Shop for the Alpinestars Yaguara Jacket For Tech Air Street here


Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Jacket – $1550

Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Jacket

The Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Jacket combines touring features and track technology for a feature packed jacket that can tackle inclement weather as well as provide air bag protection. Mugello and 3D Stone fabric combine to create a shell that moves freely while still holding up to abrasion and regular wear and tear. A Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is laminated directly to the shell to cut down on bulk. A removable thermal liner holds in heat while strategically placed vents flow some air as the weather improves.

Shop for the Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Jacket here


Dainese Smart Jacket – $700

Dainese Smart Jacket

The Dainese Smart Jacket brings Dainese’s MotoGP experience to a standalone airbag vest that you can wear in a variety of situations. D-air airbag technology distilled down into a vest (sleeveless jacket) that can be folded and easily stored in a bag, top box or backpack. Wear the Smart Jacket over or under any jacket or outfit. Its sensors and activation does not rely on a specific shell to house the technology so you can wear the device with your leather track suit or your birthday suit (not recommended). A complex algorithm recognizes when you’re in danger so it can inflate the airbag post-haste to protect your back, chest and vital parts; no tether to your motorcycle is required.

Put on the Smart Jacket, secure its fasteners, and you will be protected for 26 hours on a fully charged battery. The Dainese Smart Jacket uses seven sensors to analyze data at 1,000 times per second so the vest will be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. MotoGP airbag protection can now protect the common rider outside of the professional paddock.

Shop for the Dainese Smart Jacket here


Helite Turtle Airbag Vest – $660-$680

Helite Turtle Airbag Vest

If you don’t want to invest in electronic airbags, or simply want an airbag vest to wear over your existing gear, the Helite Turtle Airbag Vest offers the highest level of rider safety. The lightweight vest protects riders’ spine and vital organs due to its revolutionary design, incorporating a back protector on top of the airbag that disperses impact forces across the vest instead of concentrated in one spot. With its mechanical trigger and lead system, there are no delicate sensors to fail or batteries to replace. Simply connect the lead to your vest and bike and go. When the rider is ejected from the motorcycle in the event of an accident, the trigger is pulled and the vest inflates, creating a rigid neck brace as well as firm support to the spine, back, chest, ribs, and kidneys.

Shop for the Helite Turtle Airbag Vest here


Helite Free-Air Mesh Airbag Jacket – $940

Helite Free-Air Mesh Airbag Jacket

Not just a company that makes airbag vests to wear over other jackets, Helite also makes its own gear with the airbag incorporated into it, like the Helite Free-Air Airbag Jacket. The Helite Free-Air Vented Airbag Jacket is equipped with Helite’s patented Turtle Airbag technology. It has a 600D Cordura exterior with mesh panels for maximum airflow. The Free-Air Airbag Jacket includes a removable waterproof rain liner for those cold, wet riding days. The rain liner is fleece-lined with no connecting points to the jacket. The jacket comes equipped with Level 2 CE approved Komine shoulder and elbow protectors.

Shop for the Helite Free-Air Mesh Airbag Jacket here


Hit Air Motorrad-2 Mesh airbag jacket – $590

Hit Air Motorrad-2 Mesh airbag jacket

The Hit Air jacket uses CE certified armor to protect the shoulders, elbows and the spine but most importantly, the Hit Air jacket also incorporates an airbag system. In the event of an accident and a rider is thrown from the motorcycle, the airbag instantly inflates (within 0.25 second) to protect the rider’s body. Activation is simple and automatic; A coiled wire is attached to both the motorcycle and the jacket. Once the rider and the motorcycle are separated, the coiled wire pulls a key out of a gas release system and inert gas inflates the air cushion.

The inflated jacket provides the necessary impact protection. After a few seconds the gas is automatically released through the gas release valve.

Shop for the Hit Air Motorrad-2 Mesh Airbag Jacket here


Merlin Integrated Airbag – $500

Merlin Integrated Airbag

The Merlin Integrated Airbag snaps onto selected Merlin Jackets to provide Level 2 protection to your neck, spine and tailbone. The Airbag inflates in 80 millseconds when the CO2 canister is activated. For those interested, Merlin also makes a universal version of its airbag that fits over most jackets.

Shop for the Merlin Integrated Airbag here


Merlin Horizon 3-In-1 Jacket – $350

Merlin Horizon 3-In-1 Jacket

If you’re looking to pair the Merlin Integrated Airbag with a specific garment, the Merlin Horizon Jacket is one of a few options. It is ready for whatever roads you decide to ride and whatever weather rises up to greet you. 3-in-1 interchangeable layers allow you to personalize the interior for changing weather conditions. Airbag sold separately.

Shop for the Merlin Horizon 3-In-1 Jacket here


Spidi Air DPS Airbag Vest – $700

Spidi Air DPS Airbag Vest

The Spidi Air Airbag Vest protects your neck, ribs and spine in case of a get-off. The airbag inflation is triggered via a tethered cord in 200 milliseconds once activated. Wear the Spidi Air DPS Airbag Vest over your motorcycle gear for everyday riding protection.

Shop for the Spidi Air DPS Airbag Vest here


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