Low-profile body armour from Scott that adds protection without bulk.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Scott Vanguard EVO protector jacket


  • Useful storage. Quality build.


  • Fit could be better.


Scott Vanguard Evo Protector jacket review


Price as reviewed:


Scott’s Vanguard EVO jacket is one of a slew of upper body armour models that target trail and enduro riders looking for extra protection, rather than full-on downhill racers. To match its intended use, the sleeveless vest also packs useful storage solutions on the sides of the rear torso including zipped cargo stashes (one of which is padded externally and suitable for a phone) and a hydration bladder pocket with routing for fluid hoses, so you can ride without a pack.

A cinch to put on with a single front zipper, the Vanguard is also easy to hang open on hotter days for extra cooling – whether pedalling or uplifting. It uses a fine mesh fabric with 15% Elastane for a stretchy comfortable fit, but it’s less like a compression top and there’s less of a tight, body-hugging cut here than some vests.

Scott Vanguard Evo Protector jacket

Scott Vanguard Evo Protector jacket

Scott’s AirFlex back panel is long and well vented with a snowflake-like mesh pattern and the skin side has a glued-on textured fabric face to add comfort against the body. The panel itself has Level One (not the more robust Level Two) certification, but it is still plenty thick and protective, tapering from around 18mm thick behind the shoulders down to around 10mm at the base of the spine.

Like Fox’s recommended Baseframe, the armour itself uses D30’s ‘intelligent’ polymer technology that stays fluid while riding (and even becomes more fluid as the body warms it up) and instantaneously locks into a solid material in the event of an impact. The back panel is less pre-formed than some rivals, however; more of a flat panel than a formed ‘armadillo’ shape.

Scott Vanguard Evo Protector jacket

Scott Vanguard Evo Protector jacket

The Vanguard wicking is decent, but weirdly, even with a looser fit and no chest panel, it doesn’t seem any cooler than the much more protective Fox jacket here. Scott’s mid-weight vest uses a slightly coarser mesh fabric that doesn’t seem to breathe as effectively as Fox’s almost sheer material, but it’s hard to split the pair in terms of wicking or drying time once sweaty.

One niggle we had with the Vanguard is that the back panel rides up and also waggles about more than rivals – it can even contact the back of a full face helmet depending on the design. It can also get a bit twisted since the D30 plate doesn’t sit as close to the spine or remain as locked in position as some rivals. It also gets pretty sweaty and steamy above the tailbone in the area with the multiple stashes and storage pockets.

Scott’s jacket uses quality materials and the storage capability is dialled, but the fit here isn’t as locked down or form-following as some (cheaper) rivals. On my body, the back panel also sticks proud of the shoulders a bit at the top creating a bit of lump under my jersey.


Scott’s vest is one of several zip up vests with a protective back panel on the market sharing almost identical design principles. With such a simple product, it’s a case of nailing fit and fabrics for optimal comfort and Scott’s jacket is good, but I’ve found better cooling, moisture management and body contouring from other products.


Weight:593g (L)
Sizes:S, M, L, XL