Visit Outdoor Experience

XionPG Protective Gear Initial Review

- Tuesday January 14, 2014
Main Image

Creeking season is starting to sneak up on us again. So how bout some gear to help us deal with those occasional encounters with the rock kind. Is there any armor that is light and flexible enough for this? Let me introduce you to XionPG Protective Gear.

Earlier this year we started the search to find lite weight protective clothing that could be worn while paddling. We all have worn elbow pads while creeking to help deal with that occasional rock that we manage to find with our funny bone, but we wanted more. We wanted something to help with shoulder impacts and something to help with possible hits in the chest and side rib.

One day as we were searching Facebook for some new videos, we noticed that Rafael Ortiz had mentioned something about some armor he was testing out. We knew immediately that we wanted to check it out. We got in touch with XionPG and were fortunate to be allowed to test out a few different pieces of gear for them; the Long Sleeve Jacket, the Short Sleeve Jacket and the Elbow-Fore-arm protectors.


Click to see the gallery

As usual, soon as we got the jackets in we threw them on and strutted around the office. The material that the jackets themselves are made out of is mostly spandex. This definitely keeps the material lightweight, and snug against the body. The jackets zip up on the front and have a back support strap that goes around the waist line. I actually like the back support strap cause it definitely helps to remind you to keep good posture. The short sleeve jacket paired with the Elbow-Fore-arm protectors gives you about the same coverage as the long sleeve jacket, short of a pad on the back of the upper arm.

The pads are made out of D3O®. This material is soft and flexible when not under stress, however when impacted the material instantly hardens to diffuse the impact. Generally these pads transmit 50% less force from impact than a EVA pad that is 60% thicker. In other words these pads work better than an EVA foam pad twice its size. They are are very light weight, and throwing them in the water showed them to be neutrally buoyant.

To test the flexibility of the jacket, Mike first took the Short Sleeve jacket and arm pads to Rock Island to see how it felt surfing on rodeo wave while at 2 Generators. The armor was very light and flexible and allowed for full range of movement. He was easily able to spin, carve and loop the boat while wearing it. Even when being upside down and chundered the armor never was moved or reposition by the violent hole. Even thought it wasn't creeking, the pads came in handy for portaging the rocky trail, especially when he slipped carrying his boat on some of the slick rocks near the river.

In order to test the pads for creeking we sent them along with Team paddler Jay as he traveled up to New York to paddle some of the creeks there. Jay fell in love with the armor. The extra protection was welcomed as he was running the Class V rivers such as 18 Mile creek and the west branch of the Ausable. He to was impressed with the flexibility of the XionPG products. After a few random encounters with the rocks there he was pleased to notice that the armor showed very little wear, and he was unscaved.

A good note to add is that the armor is customizable. You can remove pads as needed if they don't work with your paddling style. Jay and Mike both found the back pad was a bit much to wear underneath their PFD's. Not really a big deal, the PFD does provide a fair amount of protection to the back area.

We all loved getting a chance to test out the Xion Protective Gear. Its good to finally see some protection that boaters can use that doesn't impede their movement or weigh them down. If you have been looking for something to help protect you from those occasion rock impacts, or even that slippery portage, take a moment to check out XionPG’s product line.


Categories: Review
comments powered by Disqus
Show the Full Site
Show the Mobile Site