WHAT IS IT? Surprisingly, this year Alpinestars has
introduced three new chest protectors/roost guards for
the U.S. market. First is the A1. It is a lightweight over- or
under-the-jersey roost guard. It is extremely light and is
the perfect all-plastic underprotector. Second is the A4.
It shares some parts with the A1 but has a longer and
stronger back protector and has a higher CE impact rating. Third, the subject of MXA’s scrutiny, is the A10 full
chest protector. It covers more area, is considerably more
protective and features a unique exoskeleton grid system
to absorb crash energy.
WHAT’S IT COST? $229.95 (A10 chest protector);
$179.95 (A4 roost guard); $119.95 (A1 roost guard).
CONTACT? (800) 409-0903 or www.alpinestars.com.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand
out with the Alpinestars A10 full chest protector.
(1) CE impact ratings. The A1’s front and back are
certified as EN-14021. Essentially, it is CE rated as a
“stone shield.” The A4’s front panel is also CE certified as
EN-14021, but the back panel meets the more stringent
EN-1621-2 rating. The A10 is CE rated as EN-1621-1 for the
arm guards, EN-1621-2 for the back panels and EN-1621-3
for the chest panel. In short, the A10 offers considerably
more impact protection than the A1 or A4. How much?
About double the force energy.
( 2) Exoskeleton. What makes the A10 unique is hidden behind the plastic cladding. It is a honeycomb grid
that is 3/4 of an inch deep on the back, 1/2 inch deep
on the front and 3/8 inch deep on the arm guards. The
honeycomb grid offers a flexible spacer between the
plastic cladding and the Biofoam body padding. These
three layers—plastic, honeycomb and Biofoam—absorb
the energy of the crash before it gets to your body.
Additionally, the hollow combs allow air to flow through
( 3) Sizing. The Alpinestars A10 is available in three
sizes—XS/S, M/L and XL/2XL. If you find yourself in
between sizes, there is more leeway with the A10 than
the A1 or A4. The arm guards are removable, or you can
remove just the lower part. The plastic-covered kidney
guards’ elastic straps can be attached at four different
ports for over 3-1/2-inches of adjustment. The height of
the front and rear panels, in relationship to each other, is
adjustable via Velcro straps.
( 4) Added features. The Alpinestars A10 chest
protector has a removable upper section in the back panel
that makes room for neck braces. There are also elastic
hooks and small shoulder pads to cushion where the
neck brace sits. These features are designed to work with
Alpinestars’ proprietary BNS neck brace, and they can be
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had four minor quibbles:
(1) Not every test rider liked the kidney guards because
they had to be overlapped when putting the A10 on. ( 2)
The straps on the arm guards were bulky to use because
they had two overly wide straps that were very close
together. We unsnapped the rubber forearm piece and
removed it so that only one strap was used. ( 3) If you wear
an aftermarket kidney belt in your pants, the long tail of
the A10 might catch in it. ( 4) It is considerably heavier
than the A1 or A4, as you would expect from what is
essentially a double-wall chest protector.
If you have hit the ground hard on more
than one occasion, the Alpinestars A10 will
rebuild your confidence with its full-coverage,
dual-wall, honeycomb-insulated body, arm
and kidney panels. Amazingly, once it’s on, it
looks like you are wearing the minimalist
A1 roost guard.
ALPINESTARS A10 FULL CHEST PROTECTOR
MXA TEAM TESTED