Alpinestars have plenty of experience of making technical protection and the Bionic Jacket is a fine example of it. It uses a traditional mix of foam padding and hard plastic armour, and the fit, pad position, functionality and compatibility make it one of the comfiest, most effective sets of upper body armour we’ve tried.
The removable backplate may look cumbersome but thanks to the five-piece construction, it articulates well enough that you soon forget you’re wearing it. The uppermost panel is attached with Velcro and simply tears out to make it compatible with a neck brace. Similarly, the front chest padding is cut low to avoid clashes with a brace.
The shoulder padding is slim enough to prevent that ‘ice hockey player’ look but will still take a decent knock if you hit the ground. The sleeves can be removed via zippers located just under the armpits should you want to use a different brand’s elbow pad but we’ve found that Alpinestars’ own are great. There’s ample coverage and the criss-cross strapping means arm pump is less of an issue too. The mesh construction meant we didn’t get too hot and with five sizes to choose from, the fit is great.