Kan Body Protector - COTH intellects please weigh in
I have read with great interest many threads about air vests on COTH. I am fascinated with the knowledge and experience of certain members who work in fields that lend expertise to the subject. I never heard of the KAN body protector until I saw it at the BOB tent at ROLEX. I have searched for threads on this vest but didn’t find anything helpful. I am hoping that some of the COTHers that have been expressed opinions of the air vests will chime in on this vest. Is KANTEQ technology really more advanced or safer than the Airowear Outlyne Body protector I am currently using? I eagerly await your opinions on this product. THANKS!
I am a fan of the Kan vests, and use one exclusively. I find the fit really good, it's comfortable, and although I have yet to "test" mine, thank heaven, I have purposely had my kid take some very hard swings at me with a hockey stick and the material performs as advertised: stiffens up on impact and the blows are not even perceptible.
Is it going to protect me from a crush/rotational fall? No, not in a meaningful way. For that level of protection I'd need an Exo or something along those lines and I found the Exo *extremely* bulky and uncomfortable, to the point of ridiculous. Not happening here. But I am adequately convinced that the Kan will protect me adequately from a flying hoof, a full-impact landing on my spleen or ribs, or from being impaled or otherwise in my soft parts if I should be run over. That's the best any vest can do, IMO.
I am eager to see the evolution of air vests and any other sort of equipment that may come along, and if/when they've answered the design/function questions I continue to have about them, I will buy an air vest. Until then, I'm very, very pleased with my Kan vest, although it remains (other than hockey sticks and taking footballs thrown at it) untested in reality. Hope to keep it that way.
I would love it if the data was posted on COTH for questions and commentary but sending it to me would be pointless. The lady at Rolex showed me graphs from testing or something also. She could have handed me the periodic table and it would have made just as much of an impact on me. I am a bit cynical about marketing and I know I don't know enough to intelligently decipher the data so I politely looked at it, gave an impressed expression and handed it back. I can't afford to spend my money on another vest unless i know I am upgrading to considerably better protection. Although, based on real folks opinions of comfort etc I may consider it as a replacement vest when the time comes to replace my existing vest. Good to know you gals like the vest. Hmm, Should I ask Santa for the Kan or the Hit air-vest to put over my Airowear???
I like my KAN. I feel very secure in it. It is heavy, and hot. I have also gotten rubs under my armpits in very hot weather. I use an old Tipparary for riding greenies on the flat, but won't jump without the KAN now. Only wish it was cooler...
I ordered one at Rolex and I should be receiving it in the next week or so. I really like how it felt when I tried it on so hope I will be just as happy when I get to ride in it! The only thing I will comment on is that I know someone that bought one and really like it but can't fit her Point Two over it. I am hoping that because I have a HitAir I will be okay!
I got one at Rolex as well. It's the only vest I tried on that, um, didn't make me a uniboob.
I actually tried mine out soon after getting it (first time I rode in it, actually). I was schooling at Las Cruces, an Irish horse with a LOT more TB than I was used to, and we are just getting to know each other. I was working on a really good, connected canter, concentrating on the "feel" of the gait, when a HUGE dust devil (with a cardboard BOX inside of it!!) came up behind him. He took off, and I came off. I have an spectacularly colorful bruise on my left seat bone (actually, my entire left cheek), but other than that, I feel great.
Not huge, I know, but it was the desert, with hard ground....
I talked quite a bit with Wendy when she came down to So8ths the weekend after Rolex and looked at her data as well (and I'm used to looking at data). Some of the tests were quite impressive. I didn't get to ride in it, but I did try it on and jump around.
I have a Rodney Powell that I looooove, but he has gone out of business. One thing I was really pleasantly surprised by is that the Kan had the same solid feel as the RP, but was lighter and easier to breathe in. Maybe why it costs more, LOL.
I wrote up my thoughts and also added an interesting article that Wendy and I discussed at length that has also been published by BHS. She's really a neat person who has put a lot of thought and care in the product and even though, yes, of course, as a business owner, she wants to sell goods, she is not pushy or over the top -- I very much like that she wanted to encourage dialogue with riders and raise the IQ of the conversation about safety and what happens when we fall.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts on the vest. I am glad to know it is being used and liked.
Wildflower, thanks so much for that great information. I especially appreciate your objective opinion on the data.
Trying to have a conversation and absorb important information was impossible for me while dodging the crowd in the BOB tent at Rolex. I couldn't make a decision there but have been interested in learning more.
I have just introduced my new horse to xc and rearing seems to be his answer to something he doesn't like or doesn't understand. He has reared 4x in 2 schooling sessions and flipped over the last time. He is going to boot camp with my trainer who is confident that he can train this out of him. Unfortunately I will never totally trust him. I started thinking about that vest again - I want to make sure I have the best protection if I am going to stick it out with this horse. Thanks again for the information!
A KAN is not going to save you from a rearing and flipping horse. This is when you should consider either an EXO or a different horse. Please be careful!
I like the KAN and also Wendy. I found it to be very comfortable, although I almost always wear a vest on a horse and I'm never too hot -- I dress like it's winter year-round. As I'm not competing at the moment, I haven't ordered one for myself, but I did put Wendy and Glenbaer together so I could get one for Glenbaer who competes my horses.
I know a rearing horse is extremely dangerous and I will proceed with caution. I am the mother of a young child and have a low risk tolerance. Given that there is considerable risk in riding in general, I want to protect myself as much as possible.
I might be wrong - so I don't want to be accused of misrepresenting what I was told - but I thought I remembered the KAN girl telling me that their vest offered the best protection in the event of a rotational fall. I seem to recall thinking - well, I am not likely to encounter a rotational fall at N/T level but good to know.
Since this issue with the horse came up I was thinking that the impact of a rotational fall would be similar to that which I might encounter if the horse flipped and landed on me. Heck, maybe I should consider that KAN after all.
My thought process is very simple and could be very wrong. Can you comment further to educate me? (not committed to the horse yet btw, will see how he does in training - but question still remains)
Even if a Kan is the "best available" protection from a rotational fall or a horse rearing and flipping (I'd argue the Exo would win that contest) it doesn't mean a vest will keep you from being very, very badly hurt in such an event. Vests can't change the laws of physics. A 1000 pound animal landing on a 150 pound human is going to expose the human to tremendous risk of terrible injury.
The best protection from a horse that rears is to never ride it, IMO.
Deltawave is correct -- while it may or may not offer the "best available" impact absorption, and it is possible, there is still nothing that will guarantee that you will walk away from a horse falling out of the sky on top of you. N.o.t.h.i.n.g. You are going to be in a world of hurt and that is just the way it is and the risk taken.
In the case of a rearing horse who has flipped before, that risk is enormously escalated. It is your decision to make, of course, but I just wanted to make sure that you understood that a vest, any vest, is not going to hold up a horse. You can get thrown clear or roll away or just be really lucky, but I hope you never have to find out!
It was really great to get to talk with Wendy so much -- we were both working the event (and I had the coffee, LOL) -- and I know it's something that most people won't be able to do in person, which is why I wanted to share a summary of our encounter with others. A designer who cares about what happens and a company owner who wants to do the best she can for her customers are so valuable these days, and sadly, rather rare.