Alpinestars A-1 Roost Guard
- Comfortable to wear.
- Sleek design allows it to be worn under the jersey.
- Multiple sizes for different size riders.
- Wide range of adjustment isn't there.
What it is
- Alpinestars' latest roost guard.
- Designed to be worn under the jersey.
Recently, Alpinestars has been making a bigger push in the US market by introducing more of their products to the consumers. In addition to their popular boot selection, they are now importing gear to the US which they previously haven’t done even while sponsoring top riders like Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac. The A-1 roost guard is a smaller chest protector designed to be worn under jersey. It features a CE certified front and back hard shells that are made from a performance poly-material blend which they claim optimizes flexibility while also saving weight. Also, they have a plethora of vents to allow for better cooling and breathability. Likewise, the bio-foam padding throughout the roost guard is claimed to maximize comfort and fit while also being soft and lightweight. Additionally, it’s compatible with the Alpinestars BNS neck brace with its removable panels and pullers to hold the neck brace in place. Lastly, the adjustable Y-strap system makes it easy to use and allows a wide ranges of riders to utilize the roost guard.
How it works
- Comfortable and slim fit.
- BNS neck brace compatible.
- Good ventilation and adjustment.
These days, rider's’ preferences on wearing a chest protector or roost guard range from wearing nothing at all to a full body armor suit similar to what knights wore back in the medieval times. With that being said, I’m still a believer in wearing a chest protector, especially for the off-road racing that I do. Alpinestars’ A-1 Roost Guard fits right in the middle of having no protection at all and the full body suit. The A-1 offers an ample amount of protection with its front and back plates. It also wraps slightly around the sides of your body but not enough to really protect you from a handlebar to the kidneys. Its soft shoulder straps instead of the hard plastic pieces designed to protect the shoulders on some other offerings.
The A-1 roost guard is very comfortable to wear. It provides a snug and tight fit to the body and it doesn’t bounce around when riding. Additionally, it can be worn under the jersey without looking to bulky or unusual. Similarly, the padding is comfortable and provides very minimal chaffing even without wearing an undershirt. One thing I noticed when wearing it under the jersey is when putting on the jersey will get hung up on the back piece every once in awhile which requires you to pull it over the guard completely. I’m gonna get a girlfriend so she can help me with this.
There isn’t a huge amount of adjustment with the A-1, moreso in the shoulder pads, when compared to some other roost guards I’ve used but it still has enough to adjust for a good range in size for riders. Since it does come in two different sizes the adjustability doesn’t need to be quite as large as a one size fits all guard. We tested the M/L size roost guard and it was fairly close to being too small for my 5’7” 155 lb frame. We suggest a XL/XXL for anyone taller than 5’10”. The shoulder straps have an easy to use Velcro system allowing for a fine tuned fit and the soft shoulder pads attach to the straps by velcro. As a result, the pads are removable and can either be taken off completely or moved to whatever position on the shoulder strap is desired. With the side straps hook onto the front plate in a simple and durable design and I never had any problem with it coming unattached while riding.
A unique feature the A-1 guard has it its removable backplate. It has a thin, flexible plastic piece running down the back that attaches to the main backplate. It allows for the roost guard to be run without the backplate which can help with cooling and comfort. However, if you do choose to run the backplate and you run a neck brace, the top portion of it is removable to allow for a better fit for the brace. Similarly, the shoulder pads have an elastic strap to hold a neck brace down.
The durability has also proven to be top notch with this roost guard. Everything has stayed intact and the buckles haven’t broken or cracked. Likewise, the breathability of the A-1 has been as good as any and it doesn’t overheat the body in slow, technical conditions but we have yet to use it in really hot temperatures.
In conclusion, the A-1 Roost Guard is a good option when looking for a functional roost guard. It doesn’t check off every box in terms of protection but it isn’t designed to since they have other models that do. In addition, it’s very comfortable to wear and looks good both under and over the jersey. It sits a little on the expensive side at just under $120 but it’s definitely not out of range from the other guards. It is certainly more protection than nothing but feels close to nothing when wearing it.