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Airbag jackets in the USA –
Our knowledge and Experience
We have a substantial amount of knowledge and hands on experience with the three companies that introduced their versions of air bag apparel here in the USA
The companies are: 1. Airetronics, 2. Impact Jacket and 3. Hit Air.
1.Our first experience with airbag riding gear was in 2003 with a company called Airetronics. The Airetronic’s products worked reasonably well but lacked broad styling appeal. Their target market was the Harley Davidson and cruiser rider.
Our first impression was that it would not appeal to the Harley rider because (1) it was not stylish enough and (2) it was safety apparel.
This was an opinion that was shared by a friend who owns Harley Davidson of Atlanta, the oldest Harley dealer in Atlanta, GA.
Airetronics air bag riding gear was styled to appeal to the Harley/Cruiser rider and it didn’t. Unfortunately it did not appeal to the sport bike rider either, mostly because of its retro/cruiser styling and the high price. With Harley riders and sport bike riders ruled out, that left the touring rider. Airetronics did not have much luck with this group either. To appeal to the touring rider the apparel has to be versatile enough to be worn over a wide range of weather conditions, have significant safety benefits and have contemporary style. So the market appeal for Airetronics was poor and I was not surprised that it was not a real success.
Airetronics airbag jacket
The Airetronics uses a dual cartridge system with small CO2 cartridges (see photo below) and dual lanyards. The leather jackets and vests are not water-proof and are not recommended to be worn in the rain. The also are extremely heavy even without the air bag vest that must be worn beneath the jacket.
2.Impact jacket (We met them in September 2006)
The Impact Jacket requires an authorized dealer to repack the air bag and replace the CO2 cartridge. The lanyard is attached on the rear back of the Jacket and cannot be attached easily while wearing gloves. The lanyard is loop with a spring clip making it difficult to attach while wearing gloves. See photo below:
3. Hit Air Shock Buffering System (We met them in February 2006)
Mugen Denko incorporated in its design of the Hit Air apparel the four things that appeals most to riders, safety, user friendliness, weather protection and style. For these reasons, the Hit Air jackets naturally appeal to a much wider range of riders than either the old Airetronics brand or the Impact Jacket brand. This does not meant that the Impact Jacket is not a good product since it has already proved that its airbag safety jacket works. A rider wearing an Impact Jacket credited the jacket for saving his life.
The Hit Air airbag gas release system is also more advance and easier to use than either Airetronics or the Impact Jacket. The Hit Air airbag can be repacked and ready to use in about three minutes.
The Hit Air uses a single coiled (vinyl covered) cable lanyard with one touch release and a single CO2 cartridge. The vinyl covered coiled lanyard prevents scratching of the bike’s paint.The one touch release can be operated while wearing gloves. The lanyard is attached to the front of the jacket making it easier reach without looking.
The Hit Air CO2 cartridge is larger and heavy duty. The cartridge is located on the front of the apparel in an easily accessible zippered compartment. The apparel has tailored quality of fit and contemporary styling and available in the most popular colors. The Hit Air graphics are highly attractive and distinctive. See below photo:
Hit Air Jackets
Because we have extensive knowledge and experience with all three brands of air bag apparel we are in a unique position to tell you how they differ. Below is a comparison chart:
Conclusion: Hit Air motorcycle jackets and vests has the most advance design.
The long awaited new super light weight MLV vest model is here!
Super Light Weight Vest for Motorcycle riding is Hit-Air's latest model for wearing over your favorite motorcycle jacket. This vest incorporates Hit-air's new super high speed airbag deployment system. The system deploys the airbag in 120 msec (0.12 sec)! By comparison the human eye blink rate is 300 to 400 msec or 0.3 seconds... Read more
By late 2009 has been released the High Visibility Hit Air Vest, all season vest of full mesh: the Hit Air Vest-YS airbag reflective vest.
Hit-Air lineup alsoincludes models that are offered for each of the four seasons. Most of the jackets can be worn year round in moderately cold to warm weather. We recommend Chill Out windproof underwear because it has insulating properties that works helps to keep you cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.
The GP-2 Hit-Air Jacket is an excellent cool to warm weather jacket. It has a water resistant outer shell constructed of 500D Nylon fabric. It has CE shoulder and elbow padding. Also a water resistant outer shell
The JP-2 Hit Air Jacket is also very comfortable to wear in virtually all four seasons and even has removable sleeves, under arm ventilation, Scotchlite™ Lumidex safety reflector material in collar, upper chest and back. It has CE shoulder and elbow padding
The Motorrad Type is a three season jacket spring, summer and autumn with side ventilation and a European enduro style. It is constructed of water resistant Airguard /nylon. It has CE shoulder and elbow padding. It has optional chest padding and CE back padding. It is available in black, dark gray and light gray.
The MX-3 is a warm weather jacket that is comfortable in 90 plus degree weather. It is made from a nylon mesh fabric and 500D Nylon water resistant shell. It has CE shoulder and elbow padding.
The FR is an all new Hit Air model jacket design specifically for women. The women’s jacket is designed to fit more comfortably in the breast area where the C02 cartridge is located. It uses a small 25cc C02 cartridge about half the size of the men’s jackets.
The jacket is constructed of stretch Nylon (NanoShield) 500D Nylon. The jacket is tailored to accentuate the curves of the female body. It also has removable soft type shoulder and elbow protectors. The jacket also has removable sleeves and underarm vent holes. It is available only in black.
The Vest JV motorcycle vest is ideal for summer wear and constructed of water resistant 500D Nylon breathable mesh fabric. It is available up to 4XL and only in black. It has Scotchlite Lumidex reflex material located in the back, chest and torso for high visibility at night. It is available with optional chest padding and CE back padding.
How much are you worth?
The price of the Hit Air apparel is sometimes considered to be too high as compared to other riding apparel that is available on the market. If Hit Air Apparel offered only the limited protection of other jackets this would obviously be true. Since ordinary jackets and vests do not have airbag technology then they cannot be compared to the Hit Air in features, benefits or price. So the question really should be how much are you worth?
The Hit Air is designed to significantly reduce the severity of injuries to vital areas of your body, the neck, chest back and hip. In many cases the jacket can reduce the probability of any serious injury to the neck, back chest and hip. This could possibly prevent a visit to the emergency room and save you the cost of insurance deductible. The cost of most insurance deductible will usually exceed the cost of the jacket.
Motorcycling is a very exciting and enjoyable sport that has grown in popularity over the years. The number of accidents have also increased over the years. Investing in Hit Air riding apparel that provides the level of protection ordinary riding gear does not offer is worth the peace of mind. Because you know if you come off your bike, you won’t hit the ground, you'll Hit Air.
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