Fox Racing Raceframe Impact Soft Back Chest Protector

Vital Rating:
Tested: Fox Raceframe Impact Soft Back Chest Protector
A low-profile chest guard that features CE Certified Level-1 protection both front and back, with the front CE armor being removable if desired.
Vital Review
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The Good
High level of protection, super comfortable, not too hot.
The Bad
Doesn't work the best with a neck brace

Words by Chris Siebenhaar

It appears as though wearing a chest protector is gaining popularity once again, with both the leading brands creating them and motocross riders of all levels wearing them. For years it seemed almost taboo to be wearing some sort of chest guard, and a full wrap-around chest protector? Forget about it. Through those years, it meant I was left eating lunch at the uncool kid’s table. I’ll be honest, I like wearing as much protection as possible, so long as it’s not hindering my movement or performance.

Enter the Fox Raceframe Impact Soft Back. While at quick glance it looks like many other chest protectors on the market, it differs largely due to the level of protection offered. The front of the chest protector has a pretty standard hard plastic shell laid on some foam and articulated panels that move freely to mold with the body. But underneath the hard shell lies the magic of the Raceframe Impact. Front and center of the chest guard sits an additional (removable) CE Certified pad that really sets this guard apart. This additional pad is made from Fox’s F3 Armor which provides CE -Level 1 impact protection to one of your most vital organs, your heart. The back of the Raceframe Impact guard is equally as spectacular. The back is dubbed a “soft back” as even though the foam is moderately rigid at cooler temperatures (or in your gearbag), it does become very pliable once some body heat warms it up and eventually it became non-existent to me. I’m a firm believer that the best gear you can wear, is the gear you can’t tell that you’re you are wearing. This is one of those items.

On The Track

Putting on the chest guard was standard and simple (no funky hinges or excess straps) and adjusting fitment is very easy with four main points of adjustment; one on each shoulder and one on each side just above the waist. While the soft material on the back is in fact quite firm at first, once you get even the slightest amount of body heat to the back plate, the material becomes very soft and molds to your back. It’s at this moment that this guard starts to disappear and the comfort level skyrockets. For me, this typically happened before I ever even got on track. Just the few minutes it takes to put my jersey over it, put on my helmet and gloves and take my bike off the stand, there was enough body heat into the F3 material to allow it to warm up and conform to my back.

I did notice that with my arms at full extension, the foam around the outside of the breast plates dug into my armpit area a bit, and I thought this may be an issue while riding, but I was wrong. I never noticed it once. 

As far as staying in place, due to the way the front of the chest protector molds to your body and where the straps are located, the Raceframe stays comfortably snug to the body with no unnecessary movement while riding. The low-profile design also easily fits underneath the current MX trend of fitted jerseys. 

The front is pretty low profile.
Standard peg-and-hole snaps.
Removable padding from the front of the protector.
With the padding installed.

Also, I was very surprised that for being a CE Certified piece of protection, weight was rather minimal. Usually, CE Level armor can add a significant amount of weight to products, especially with a large piece like a back pad. Furthermore, my experience with most CE Certified materials, is that they often retain heat due to the nature of the material. Yet, even with those challenges, Fox found a way with their F3 material to make it reasonably lightweight, low-profile, and adequately regulate temperature. While I only rode this through our Southern California “winter” there were a few days that were around the 80-degree mark, and the thought of overheating never crossed my mind. In fact, I would have no reservations about wearing this through our summers, which do get to 100+ degrees. 

One flaw, and this will only apply to some, is if you wear a neck brace, you either may not be able to wear it with the Raceframe OR if you have the Alpinestars neck brace you may need to adjust it to a larger size since it doesn’t have neck-brace specific relief areas. 

If you wear a neck brace, the Raceframe may not be the guard for you unless you can adjust its size or you’re willing to buy a new one. Price is slightly higher than some similar CE Certified protectors and on par with others. Either way, it’s priced on the higher end in the category. But so far, it has been one of the most comfortable chest protectors, at any price point, that I have ever worn. Overall, it’s a solid, extremely comfortable, safe feeling, and well-built guard that has found a permanent home in my gear bag.


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Fox Racing Raceframe Impact Soft Back Chest Protector
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