Leatt 5.5 Pro Lite Chest Protector

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Tested: Leatt 5.5 Pro Lite Chest Protector

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Andre Barbosa // Photos by MX Califa and Cassios Racing

Leatt started selling motocross neck braces late in 2006. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include protective equipment for several different sports. Personally, I was an early adopter of the Leatt neck brace, as I'm always looking for ways to minimize the chances of getting hurt. Over the last six years, I’ve tried a multitude of combinations of braces and chest protectors from different brands. I'm always looking for a good balance of protection, range of motion, and comfort. This is why I wanted to try out Leatt's 5.5 Pro Lite chest Read More »

Review by Andre Barbosa // Photos by MX Califa and Cassios Racing

Leatt started selling motocross neck braces late in 2006. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include protective equipment for several different sports. Personally, I was an early adopter of the Leatt neck brace, as I'm always looking for ways to minimize the chances of getting hurt. Over the last six years, I’ve tried a multitude of combinations of braces and chest protectors from different brands. I'm always looking for a good balance of protection, range of motion, and comfort. This is why I wanted to try out Leatt's 5.5 Pro Lite chest protector as not just a stand-alone product, but also its integration with my neck brace.

The Leatt 5.5 Pro Lite chest protector is part of a wider line that also includes the 5.5 Pro HD and the 5.5 Pro. These are Leatt’s more protective line of chest protectors, with the 5.5 Pro Lite being the lightest version. Shoulder cups and arm protection are added on the 5.5 Pro version, while their 5.5 Pro HD adds in Leatt's 3DF foam on the side panels for their highest level of protection.

5.5 Pro Lite Chest Protector Features:

  • The back of protector meets the highest back impact CE approval, CE EN 1621-2, Level 2.
  • The front of protector meets the highest front impact CE approval, prEN 1621-3, Level 2.
  • Extremely high impact testing results were achieved by the use of Leatt’s new 3DF foam in the front and back panels.
  • 33 ventilation slots for maximum cooling, and perforated 3DF foam helps airflow.
  • Hard shell outer shield made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
  • Adjustable over-the-shoulder straps help insure a great fit.Adult size fits riders from approx.
  • 150 to 190lbs (70 to 85kg), while XXL size fits riders approx. 190 to 240lbs (85 to 105kg).
  • Fits over or under the jersey.
  • MSRP: $169.00

First Impressions

Even though the 5.5 Pro Lite is the most minimal product in the 5.5 line, my initial impression is that it provides a substantial amount of impact protection. In fact, it was quite a bit more than I expected. Some of the chest protectors offered by other brands are made with very flexible plastic materials that bend easily. But that is not the case with the 5.5 Pro Lite, which has a more rigid feel. Although I only weigh 150 pounds, the fit was very good once I adjusted the over-the-shoulder Velcro straps. This left no interference as I moved my shoulders and arms. Leatt has also done a great job designing the interface between the 5.5 Pro Lite and the GPX 5.5 neck brace, as they look and feel as if they were made for each other.

On the Track

Over the last couple of months, I've mostly been riding with a chest protector and neck brace together. Only a few of these rides were without the neck brace. This is because I've become used to wearing neck braces over several years, so it was natural for me to wear both products together.

On the first few rides I wore the 5.5 Pro Lite over the jersey with the neck brace, and I found this was my favorite setup. It felt very comfortable, with no limitations to range of motion, and still felt like I was getting a lot of protection. Most would call me old school, but I kind of prefer the over the jersey look.

Next I started using the 5.5 Pro Lite under the jersey, still with the neck brace. In order to wear it like that, you just have push in the front and rear movable plates. This makes the brace rest on top of the plates, instead of behind them. This was just as good as the initial configuration, except for the added difficulty of hooking up the rubber tabs that attach the neck brace to the chest protector. Now, you have to pull them from underneath the jersey. If you're more style conscious and don't mind this slight inconvenience, under the jersey is the way to go.

Riding with the chest protector without the neck brace was the next step. Even though it made me a little uneasy not wearing a neck brace for the first time in several years. Without the neck brace, wearing the chest protector over or under the jersey did not make a difference in terms of fit and comfort. The 5.5 Pro Lite's design makes it barely noticeable under the jersey. Choosing between these two alternatives is mostly down to a matter of looks.

Long-Term Durability

Build construction is top-notch for both products. Despite the fact that I only wore them for a couple of months, I would expect them to last several seasons. All the stitching on the chest protector is still intact, despite getting hit by constant roost and being power washed several times.

The Last Word

The Leatt 5.5 Pro Lite chest protector and the Leatt GPX 5.5 neck brace are both great products on their own. But they really shine when used together, as they integrate perfectly. When combined, these products provide a level of safety and comfort that is hard to replicate, while still being competitively priced. Both chest protectors and neck braces have evolved significantly over the last few years, but in my opinion Leatt is at the front of the pack in both product categories. I believe a rating of four stars is well-deserved, and if you’re a more safety conscious rider I would rate them even higher.

Vital MX Rating

Check out Leatt.com for more information on their 5.5 line of chest protection and other safety products.

About the Test Rider

Andre Barbosa - is a part-time photographer / videographer, part-time film student, and full-time motocross enthusiast. He started as a mechanical engineer, because of his love for all things motorcycle related, but switched to the banking industry after getting his MBA. He currently lives in Irvine, and can be found riding the local SoCal tracks a couple of times a week. Although he regularly raced Districts 6 and 34 when he lived in NYC, currently his friends call him a professional practice rider.

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Specifications

Product Leatt 5.5 Pro Lite Chest Protector
Type
Style
Features Three dimensional design with eight, multi layer, articulating plates, for a great fit. It has also been designed to integrate perfectly with all Leatt neck braces although it works equally well without a neck brace. FlipFit front and rear, movable, plates allow your neck brace to fit under the protector, for outside the jersey use, or wear the protector under your jersey and your brace can still fit over the top. BraceOn™ strap system attaches the protector to the neck brace yet provides independent movement of body, brace and chest protector.
Construction
Colors
Size
Miscellaneous
Price $169.99
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