Alpinestars Tech-Air® 5 system motorcycle air vest

RRP £569.00

I have been riding motorbikes for longer than I care to remember and over the last 7 years I have been lucky enough to ride and test many of innovative air-vest protection systems.  Most of these systems are vests over your clothing which tether you to your bike. In a crash situation, the tether tugs and pulls a trigger which sets off the airbag, protecting your core and vital organs. I have ridden for so long in these vests that I can honestly say that I would not ride without one on. They are great safety aids, though still expensive, however, all decent motorcycle protection gear is.  It is worth mentioning that some brands you pay a yearly subscription fee, upwards of EUR100 where the Alpinestars vest is a one-time price.

At least with the new Alpinestars Tech-Air® 5 system you are getting more innovation for your money.  No longer are you tethered to your bike, as it works using six integrated sensors (three gyroscopes and three accelerometers) and a crash algorithm that leverages AI to monitor when to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash. It looks space age and when you wear it, it is surprisingly comfortable. It breathes well and is not as hot as you may think, given the design and fabrics used.

 It is important to wear a loose-fitting top over it as tight leathers or jackets may affect its inflation capabilities - there needs to be at least 4 cm of space around the circumference of the rider’s chest. We were also sent the Alpinestars Ketchum Gore-Tex Jacket, which marries up with the system wonderfully. Click here for the jacket review

The Tech-Air® 5 has been developed from years of research with around 50% of the world’s top MotoGP riders, customers, riding data and thousands of crashes, which were analysed to produce the intelligent crash detection algorithm.

Upon the identification of a crash situation, a protective airbag is deployed, providing protection to the rider with a maximum inflation time of 20 to 40ms. The impact absorption while wearing the airbag results in a decrease of the impact force by up to 95% compared to a passive protector. The Tech-Air® 5 Airbag System offers the same protection as that provided by 18 back protectors.

The vest has a great magnetic zip which slots itself together and you can zip up. Flip shut the magnetic chest flap and the system activates and you are good to ride. On the vest is a LED display indicating battery life and operational status. Fully charged, you will get 30 hours of riding, and with the magnetic USB charger you can quickly charge the vest up as needed.

Tech-Air® 5 has Bluetooth connectivity and an accompanying Tech-Air® App, which uses the rider’s phone to display the system’s operational status, battery status and a detailed analysis of a ride; the system’s firmware can also be updated directly via the app.

This is the next stage for air vests, allowing you to not have to remember to tether up. I remember after a long-haul return to our ferry through arduous conditions, I forgot to untether and jumped with relief off my bike. What seemed like gun shots on the ferry had us all diving for the floor, only to realise my tethered air vest had gone off!  Not only was this a shock, it meant that on the ride home I was unprotected. Such mix-ups can’t happen with a vest like the Tech-Air® 5!


Very clever

Can wear your favorite jackets


Fast inflation

Well packaged product


Price – however, you can see and feel where the money has gone