Another debut seen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the eagerly awaited Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest offers a new name in autonomous airbag safety for motorcyclists.
Boasting the ability to put an airbag in almost any motorcycle jacket, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is a direct competitor with the Dainese Smart Jacket – as the two Italian brands continue to one-up each other in this budding space in motorcycle safety.
To that end, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 vest can be worn under any textile motorcycle jacket that has 4cm of space around the circumference of the body.
Also, it will work with any leather jacket that either comes from Alpinestars and is designed to be Tech-Air compatible, or if the leather jacket has built-in leather expansion panels that allow for airbag inflation (which opens the door for Alpinestars to license Tech-Air as a solution to non-airbag apparel companies).
Unlike the Dainese system though, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 vest is not intended to be worn on the outside of a motorcycle jacket.
The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 offers a large area of protection when its airbag is inflated, covering the rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs and full back. Alpinestars says that the Tech-Air 5 vest provides the most comprehensive coverage of any airbag currently available.
There are six sensors in the vest’s Tech-Air system – three gyroscopes and three accelerometers – which put information into a crash algorithm that decides whether to deploy the airbag.
According to testing done by SGS (an official CE certification company), the Tech-Air 5 airbag offers the same impact dampening as what is provided by 18 back protectors (a metric that is likely a repsonse to Dainese’s claim of 7 back protectors of protection).
To make wearing the vest easy, Alpinestars has created the Tech-Air 5 vest so that you only have to zip-up the vest and close the magnetic flap in order to wear it and go ride.
An LED display indicates the airbag’s status, but there is also the ability to connect via Bluetooth to the vest by using an app on your smartphone. From the phone, a rider can also check the status on the vest’s 30-hour riding time charge, analytics from a ride, or update the firmware.
Pricing on the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest is set at $699.95 – the same price as the Dainese system – and will be available in March 2020, which means we won’t have a long time to wait in order to get our hands on one…which currently cannot be said of the Dainese product.