Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vincentia, NSW, Australia
Re: Airbag vests
I know it's been over a year since you started this thread but I've just come across it.
I have used a Helite hi-viz airbag vest for about 6 months now.
Because I never plan to come off, I wear it every time I take the bike out, even to go up the road to get petrol. Just click the tether onto the vest and you're away.
I have been the volunteer in a live demonstration of how quickly it inflates. It went from deflated to fully inflated in an instant (80 milliseconds says the literature). Too quick to see even if you're watching intently.
While I was expecting to feel the inflated bladder cover my back and front, what surprised me was how it supported my head (complete with helmet). My head was held from the back and from the left and the right. It then deflates over the next 3 or 4 minutes. Replace the CO2 cylinder and you're ready to go again.
Once you have it on over your jacket it's not noticeable. Because the vest itself has back armour you take the back armour out of your jacket, so it adds less weight than you thought it might.
But the big question is "Will it save my life?"
It might, and it certainly moves the percentages in my favour in avoiding serious internal injuries.