TESTED: Leatt Impact Shorts 3DF 5.0 | Leatt Body Tee 3DF Airfit Lite | Leatt Knee Brace Socks

We all pay plenty of attention to what gear we’re wearing on the outside – you know, the latest jersey, matching pants, flash boots and some swanky new googles. But what about what goes on underneath? Do you rock a set of sweaty old jocks with holes for extra ventilation, or maybe a set of the missus’ tights to stop chafing… Well, if so, perhaps it’s time to up your game.

Technical Apparel

With an epic five days of off-road riding planned in Australia with average temperatures sitting in the 30s, working out what to wear was high on the list of priorities before boarding the plane heading for our neighbours.

Gear has come a long way in recent years. With the advent of various density foams which are designed to absorb impacts both big and small, protective gear no longer needs to be big and bulky. And with clever fabrics designed to wick sweat away from your skin while keeping you cool, it makes a lot of sense to spend some time working out what riding you’re going to be doing and what the conditions are going to be like. Then, you can find the gear that will not only protect you but also help keep you comfortable.

Leatt Under Armour

For the Aussie adventure, I chose the latest ‘Soft Shell’ garments from Leatt – the BODY TEE, IMPACT SHORTS and KNEE BRACE SOCKS. They’re light, ventilated, certified as Level 1 CE protection and easy to wash – all important considerations.

Body Tee 3DF Airfit Lite is comfortable all year round and offers serious protection under your MX jersey or enduro jacket

The Body Tee has a zip to one side of your chest which, when done up, positions a substantial-feeling chest pad into position. It really does feel like you could take a decent whack in the chest and barely feel a thing. The short sleeves mean I didn’t have any pads on my arms, but I was wearing an enduro jacket that had padding in, so I was covered there. If you are just wearing it under a jersey, then a full-sleeved version is available.

The material is ventilated, meaning air can travel through, and cleverly, the large pads are also full of holes, therefore, allowing a breeze through also. The material is made from ‘Anti-odor’, and ‘MoistureCool’ fabric meaning it uses zinc pyrithion, and despite some serious days of sweating, it wasn’t trying to crawl out of my kitbag by itself and the end of the trip. And when it comes to washing, the pads are simple to remove from their pockets.

The fit is reasonably snug, with the adjustable chest strap giving the vest a ‘compression’ type of fit, offering support when you’re riding for many hours during the day as we were.

The Impact Shorts protect all your vital bits and make riding more comfortable too

The IMPACT SHORTS 3DF 5.0 follow the same philosophy as the BODY TEE, with a MoistureCool material helping keep you cool and a decent amount of padding in all the vital places – hip, thigh and tailbone. There’s silicone printing on the inside of the legs to prevent them from riding up, and they’re preshaped for comfort. The only thing I think they could do with is some form of padding like cycling shorts to make sitting on a saddle more comfortable. The padding that is there is CE-approved Level 1 impact protection, and they even come up higher, offering a perfect overlap with the BODY TEE.

If you wear knee braces or pads, you need a set of these. The Leatt Knee Brace socks don’t make you warm but certainly keep you comfortable

Finally, the KNEE BRACE SOCKS might seem like an odd choice in high temperatures, but the technical nature of the garments means they add comfort when you’re in the saddle for long periods, especially when wearing knee protection. X-Flow mesh lets the air get through, a decent sock keeps your foot comfortable in the boot, and a silicone print on the inside at the top stop them from sliding down. If you wear knee protection of any type, these are invaluable.

Paul wore the Leatt under protectors on a hot launch in Aussie, just in case it all went wrong

Where and How Much

Find the Leatt protection garments at your local Leatt dealer or by visiting www.bits4bikes.co.nz

Leatt Body Tee 3DF Airfit Lite $369.00
Sizes: S/M L/XL XXL

Leatt Impact Shorts 3DF 5.0 $169.00
Sizes: S-2XL

Leatt Knee Brace Socks $59.00
Sizes S-L