I have one that is about fifteen years old maybe. Have they changed much? I am going to start needing to wear one again soon (yay!), and wondered if newer was better.... but would love to save the money if not. Thanks!
We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting. www.dleestudio.com
I'm pretty sure Tipperary says to replace your vest every 5 years. It's like companies who make helmets suggesting to replace your helmet every whatever number of years, even if you never had a fall in it.
I'm not sure if the foam padding disintegrates or gets less stable over time or not. I do know, however, that the older Tipperary vests feel different (softer, more "moveable") than the newer ones.
So with all this in mind, I guess it's really up to you if you want to replace it. I don't think you'll be thrown out of a competition because you're using an old vest. If I was you, I would probably just get a new one and keep the old one as back-up. Also, I don't know how much you paid for your Tipperary but I love my Flex Rider. It was much cheaper than most vests and I can move around easily and I don't overheat in it. Plus it's "approved" so if that ever becomes a requirement in competitions, I'll be good to go, whereas Tipperary vests will never be approved because of their design. I do like the Tipperary vests too, though!
I would replace it, just on the principle that materials break down over time. Even more so if it was stored in a place like the garage or barn, where there could be extreme temperature differences and other such factors.
Slightly off course, but I just replaced my Tipperary with CO vest and I also bought a CO helmet in January. I had a fall at a HT lately and fell splat flat on my back. I walked away with no stiffness or any bruising. I had just bought the vest and I'm sure it was the right choice now. As well as the helmet.
You can find the thread on Yellow Britches fall and further comments from a week ago. . . good information.
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"To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."