I bought 2 of them- one for me, and one for my kid who lessons on my horses. My trainer thought it was a Tipp. I've fallen in it a couple times- no harm to it or me. Do plan on it taking a while to arrive- even though they say they are in TX both of mine ended up shipping from china. It took about 2 weeks. The seller is really nice and easy to work with. they had mine custom sized for me (i'm short) for free to make up for the shipping delay.
~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
Mom to : 1 Horse, 1 Pony, 2 Dogs, 4 Cats, 1 Macaw, 6 (Former) Stepkids
I have the predecessor to that vest, bought on clearance at Dover for $65. It is ASTM, CE, and BETA approved. Not quite as comfy as a Tipp or Tipp clone, but I've worn it for 45 min at a time during jumping lessons and XC schooling without undue hardship.
Uncertified vests are not required and there is some conflict on the proper construction of vests for protection any how. The intec crusader vest is very different in construction as well. Vest construction preference seems to be a very individual thing.
I looked at the OEM vests, I think they are made off the same machines as the Tipperarys? However, I ended up getting a used Tipperary in my size and color off of Ebay.
I don't think it's fair to say that some people chose comfort over protection.
I believe the conflict is with the requirement that the vest be composed of solid pieces for puncture prevention, I think that some people question the need of having a puncture proof vest.
Further, I think that if you do want an "approved" vest there are plenty of options that might be more or less comfortable to different riders. I don't think an approved vest needs to be uncomfortable!
Being an engineer, I am concerned with the relatively small area of each individual panel in Tipperary style vests. The fact that such panels are so small would lead me to believe that the force of impact cannot be spread over as large an area as you would in a vest (such as mine) where the panels are very large and very few in numbers.
Lack of puncture resistance in segmented vests is the last thing on my mind. Those kinds of injuries have to be quite insignificant in proportion compared to the blunt trauma that happens every time we hit the ground (or a solid object on the way to the ground).
As an aside, I do not even notice my vest once I am concentrating on what I need to do in the saddle.