Full-on upper body protection from Fox.
This Fox vest has both front and rear protection with a shaped chest guard and longer back plate extending almost from neck to coccyx. Heavy duty, it’s one of the best protection vests on the market if safety is your top priority. The rear panel has a removable upper insert for downhillers using neck braces and separate, smaller pads also protect vital organs on the flanks above the waist.
The main armour uses D30 – one of the original impact-hardening polymers. It’s soft and conforming to flow with body’s movements until it’s struck, at which point it instantaneously locks together and becomes rigid to resist penetration and defend against impacts. It’s arranged here in a webbing mesh for better ventilation and airflow and also sculpted into a form-fitting profile.
The Baseframe front has Level 1 certification and the rear full CE Level 2 motocross protection. Once in place and zipped in – you need to thread arms inside – you feel really protected and wrapped up inside.
Fox’s seriously thick removable pads hang off a super-soft and stretchy fabric that’s extremely good at wicking moisture and breathing. It uses different zones and types of material to target fit and ventilation, and underneath each of the main panels there’s a ‘spacer mesh’ that very slightly lifts the vest off the body to allow cooling air to get to the skin.
The Baseframe fit is superb with absolutely no impact on freedom of movement and a snug, almost compression-like-fit that doesn’t move an inch, whatever shapes you throw. Chest and spine protection is perfectly cut and exactly mirrored and traced body shape (on two different test riders) with an ideal amount of coverage on the back to shield a big area. The back panel also hugs in tightly to the spine’s curves without ever riding up, interfering with the back of your helmet or digging in the back of the neck, even when sitting in an uplift van.
The chest panel covers the heart, lungs and ribs, yet still seems to leave enough room around the side of the pecs and underarm area to really rotate the shoulders and upper body more than other protection vests too.
Being more of a DH than enduro product means all the protection adds weight and there are no pockets or stashes for hydration bladders. The price is also top dollar, but I can live with all this considering how well Fox has nailed the fit and function. Breathability, comfort and cooling is superb and the Baseframe is so low profile, considering the level of coverage, that you don’t end up looking like Robocop.
Fox’s Baseframe Pro is a superb, class-leading product, the fit for two separate testers was so good it was barely noticeable, and considering how safe you feel in it, mobility and comfort are superb. Fox’s vest nails it here by never moving a muscle while you’re riding without restricting freedom of movement at all, plus all the fabrics used are super cool and as effective wicking moisture as any rivals. Overall, this is easily the best fitting and least restrictive product with this much protection I’ve tested so far.