Troy Lee Designs 5955 Chest Protector (discontinued)

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Tested: Troy Lee Designs 5955 Chest Protector

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Michael Lindsay // Photos by Joe Carlino

At one point or another, we've all questioned how much protection we need to wear while riding. Weight and comfort is an issue, as is the ability to keep cool... or maybe look cool. Personally, I've been all over the map when it comes to chest protection. I grew up wearing a chest protector until I was almost 18. Then went without it, before realizing that the roost hurts, so I grabbed an under-the-jersey foam pad to eliminate the pain.

I then figured out that the foam padding wasn't quite enough to withstand small rocks flinging off the rear of a 450 during a beach race. At this point, I wanted slim and light, but with more protection. After walking down the line of a pro national, I noticed quite a few pros running Troy Lee Designs's

Review by Michael Lindsay // Photos by Joe Carlino

At one point or another, we've all questioned how much protection we need to wear while riding. Weight and comfort is an issue, as is the ability to keep cool... or maybe look cool. Personally, I've been all over the map when it comes to chest protection. I grew up wearing a chest protector until I was almost 18. Then went without it, before realizing that the roost hurts, so I grabbed an under-the-jersey foam pad to eliminate the pain.

I then figured out that the foam padding wasn't quite enough to withstand small rocks flinging off the rear of a 450 during a beach race. At this point, I wanted slim and light, but with more protection. After walking down the line of a pro national, I noticed quite a few pros running Troy Lee Designs's 5955 Chest Protector (catchy, huh?). This includes some who aren't exactly sponsored by TLD. (Vented jerseys are a bit revealing...) Thus, my choice to try one out.

Troy Lee Designs 5955 Chest Protector features:

  • Neck brace integration.
  • Customizable, and capable of over 50 configurations.
  • Designed to be worn over or under jersey.
  • Jointed panels allow for larger movement range.
  • Available in black or white.
  • MSRP: $199.99.

First Impressions

In standard form, the 5955 looks quite bulky, but that's where the separate panels of this chest protector come into play. Thanks to the panels, the chest protector is hinged in some crucial places that allow you to move more freely and naturally.

On closer inspection of the panels, there are screws to disassemble these sections. The top sections on the front and back can both be removed to allow for the use of a neck brace. Beyond that, you can also remove the hanging arm pads and even the top shoulder pads. This quickly lightens up the 5955 and opens up another option. Stripping the 5955 down to this level makes it a great hard-shell under-the-jersey option.

On the Track

The original version of this chest protector I used was already stripped down to the bare bones when I received it. This time around, I left the 5955 in its normal configuration to find out how well all the folding panels worked while in action.

In the 5955's largest form, it can feel a bit bulky when getting underway. Once the action begins though, it quickly falls out of your mind. TLD built the folding sections in all the right places, making its overall size easy to forget when out on the track. For those looking for the maximum protection, this is a huge plus.

The 5955 features "neck brace integration," which is fancy talk for removable panels that offer an opening for your beck brace. This leaves plenty of room for a Leatt and an Atlas, but doesn't really leave enough room for the lower-sitting Alpinestar Bionic. The former two fit comfortably, but will move in conjunction with the chest protector at times.

The most standout feature is of course the ability to remove almost any panel that doesn't suite your style. If it's too much, unbolt it and go lighter. I personally pulled more and more sections off, until I was left with just the upper and lower sections, both front and back. On top of this, I even removed all the padding from the shoulder sections. This turned the originally bulky 5955 into a more protective vest which could be worn over the jersey or in my case, under.

Long-Term Durability

I've actually used one of these for well over a year, and it's held up amazingly well! My treatment of it includes cleaning the inside padding with a pressure washer after every ride. Surprisingly, the material is still in one piece and hasn't ripped from this abuse. I was also initially worried about the strength and durability of the folding sections, but this as well has impressed me and left no further concerns.

The Last Word

Sizing wise, this chest protector is not designed with taller riders in mind. At 5'9 (when my back has been recently adjusted), a large is barely adequate for me. If you rank much larger in size, you'll start losing coverage. If you're wondering, there isn't a size above large. Also, I've found that the screws that lock the sections together have been treated with some very strong Loctite. I highly recommend using an extra set of hands to disassemble the 5955.

Over the past year, I've used a few different chest protectors for shoots, but I always come back to the 5955. Its large variety of customization options, thin profile, and multiple flexing panels make it my top choice in my gear bag. However, that isn't saying it's perfect by any means. Its 200 dollar price tag may turn off some buyers, since it's still a hard shell protector, while there's a few more advanced chest protectors on the market in this price range. Now if you don't need the extended shoulder protection and the arm pads, there's a less expensive model ($25 less), known as the 5900.

Vital MX Rating

Check out TroyLeeDesigns.com for more information on their full range of protective equipment.

About the Test Rider

Michael Lindsay - is a born-and-raised moto freak and gearhead from the heart of motocross in Southern California. First swinging a leg over a bike at the age of five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. While swinging back and forth between moto and the off-road scene, giving him a wide range of experience on the bike. Of course, all of this led to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about them. When he’s not in the Vital MX forum or writing his latest product review, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, snapping some pictures, or drooling over the latest parts for his bike. With an outspoken personality, gearhead background, and as Vital MX’s guru for product, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion.

Specifications

Product Troy Lee Designs 5955 Chest Protector
Type
Style
Features Low profile design eliminates bulk to fit under or over jersey.
Hinged chest plates provide extended rib coverage, better fit and maintains proper positioning in crash situations.
Covers the chest, ribs, back, clavicle, shoulders and upper arms. Convenient strap locations and integrated fast-lock buckles for easy function.
Patent pending.
Construction
Colors
Size
Miscellaneous
Price $199.99
More Info

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