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Buying a vest w/o trying- is it possible??

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  • Buying a vest w/o trying- is it possible??

    I really, really want to get a safety vest so I will be prepared for any xc opportunity that may come my way this summer & to give myself a little more sense of security when riding the green bean- I'm not getting any younger!

    My problem is that any tack shop that *may* even have any in stock is over 2 hours away. I've never worn a vest so I don't have any basis for comparison. Is it possible to make an informed decision & order one sight unseen?

    Any recs would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Yes, just make sure they have an easy return policy.

    Probably best to find a store that has a good "fitting person", and give her your measurements. Then order a couple of different vests, keep the one that fits best, and return the rest.

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    • #3
      I tried *one* vest on, hated it, and the tack shop ordered a completely different one for me that they didn't have in stock (with full refund/exchange if it didn't fit)... and I love it. So I sort of did it.. as long as you can return/exchange it if you don't like it, and know how it needs to fit, you should be fine.


      • #4
        I guess it could work. However, when I measured my daughter for a vest the size that she should have had according to the measurements vs. the size she ended up with after being fitted at the store were different. I'm not a complete idiot either and I followed all the online measurement instructions.

        I think a lot depends on how a particular vest fits your body type. We went to the store and tried the CO and she hated the way if felt. We ended up with the Tip.

        If I had to order I would probably want to be on the phone with someone and not just measuring and ordering from a catalog.


        • #5
          I ordered my custom made Rodney Powell without having ever tried one on. I had tried several others brands, but they were all too long and not enough room in the chest. So I went through VTO Saddlery and ordered a Rodney Powell because they will do custom sizes at no extra charge. I paid $224.99 with shipping and it took about 3-4 weeks. This included coming from across the pond.

          It fits great. I did have my Mom who knows a bit about seamstressing (is that a word? well, it is now!) take my measurements. VTO had a great guide on how to take measurements. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The guy at VTO who took my order said he has 1 that he ordered and didn't fit and they took it back and got the customer another one.

          Plus Rodney Powell's come in tons of FUN colors!


          • #6
            I ordered my flex rider from the Dover catalog and it fits great. Just followed their measurement guidelines.
            5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!


            • #7
              I think that because you aren't very familiar with the different vests and how they fit, it is especially important that you try many before buying one. When I came back to riding after a 5 year break, I got a vest on sale at BoB and I thought it fit. It really didn't! It was way too big - I could get it tight around me and I thought that was good enough. I finally realized that the back was bumping into the cantle and the reason I couldn't move wasn't because the vest was properly tightened but because it was just too big.

              Now I have a vest that I love and barely even notice I'm wearing. I had the perception that it would be kind of uncomfortable, and since I could tolerate the first one, I thought it was as good as it got. I think that is the problem with not being able to try a bunch on, and a bunch of sizes.

              Are there any recognized events in your area? It might be worth waiting for one and making a long-ish drive to have the opportunity to try on a few. Or can you at least borrow from friends to try some different ones? (for me this wasn't really an option because I'm bigger than most people I know).


              • #8
                I was going to say that you could try going to an event -- many have tack vendors that can help, and, honestly, even if they didn't, you could wander the trailer parking area and ask to try people's vests on (seriously, I bet this would work), and get an idea that way...
                If you do order from someplace like VTO (who are awesome), it really does help to have someone who is an experienced seamstress take your measurements.
                I ordered my wedding outfit (it wasn't quite a dress...) online from VERY far away -- my mom, who is a pretty experienced sewer, took all the measurements, and it came fitted almost perfectly.
                The big man -- my lost prince

                The little brother, now my main man