A lightweight and breathable body protector that offers serious protection despite its low-profile design

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Ion Scrub Amp Protection Vest


  • Light weight, secure fit, ergonomic padding, breathable and wicking base fabric


  • Not as high level protection as others on test, hard to remove quickly on hot days


Ion Scrub Amp Protection Vest


Price as reviewed:


The Ion Scrub Amp Protection Vest is an impressively lightweight piece of body armour that offers performance and comfort good enough for us to rate it among the best body armour for mountain biking available today.

First thing you notice picking up this Ion vest is how lightweight it is compared to others we’ve tested; it’s less than half the weight of Leatt’s 3DF vest. It also differs from rivals in that you pull it on over your head like a vest, then zip up the right flank to the armpit. The upper zipper end has a thick, cushy fabric cover that stops the zip toggle digging in, and the offset design stays very secure and twist-free when riding. Being pull-on does make it harder to remove quickly and you can’t just ride along with the front open to dump heat, which is something you might want to do in an uplift bus on a hot day.

ION’s back protector panel has a curvy ‘turtle’ shape that follows body contours very well. The padding used is called Sas-Tec and is soft and flexible in all directions and particularly effective at tracing the rider’s spine and flexing in a natural, ergonomic way following the kind of body movements typically made when riding. 

Sas-Tec is an EPP (expanded polypropylene) closed cell foam with visco-elastic properties, which means it stays soft and flexible for ease of movement, but hardens instantaneously in the event of an impact to better absorb forces. The vest being so lightweight, padding here is quite thin and unobtrusive and comes with the lower tier, Level 1 protection rating – not that surprising considering how slim this vest is on your back.

The base material is very stretchy and also one of the most breathable and wicking on test. The open fabric actually reminded us of road bike ‘string vest’ style base layers with the same effect of trapping air next to the skin and keeping temperature well-regulated, whether it’s hot or cold. There’s also a slight compression feel that sees the vest sit very stable on the torso. Out back, the spine protecting back panel lacks perforations and vents though, and can get a bit too steamy close to skin. 

It’s a direct rival with the (equally snug and supple) IXS Flow vest. The IXS is heavier but also seems to offer more protection – a sense that’s backed up by a higher, Level 2, impact protection rating for its back panel.

Looking for ultimate protection? Check out the Leatt 3DF AirFit Body Vest, or the 100% Tarka Protection Vest which offers a lot of protection for a lower price.


Ion’s vest is a really sorted product that’s extremely comfortable and unobtrusive while riding and also packs the bonus of two very usable rear stash pockets.


Sizes:XS - XL
Women's version:Yes