7iDP Flex Body Protector

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First Look: 7iDP Flex Suit

Lightweight, customizable, and well-thought-out body protection.

First Look: 7iDP Flex Suit

It’s no secret that 7iDP produces some of the best-executed protection in mountain biking, and we’ve been thoroughly impressed any time we've had the opportunity to test their products. Featuring customizable spine and shoulder protection, five pockets, and breathable four-way stretch material, it looks as though 7iDP put every ounce of that same thoughtful design and high-quality construction we’re used to seeing from the brand into their short-sleeve Flex Suit.

7iDP Flex Suit Highlights

  • Removable impact-hardening foam shoulder pads
  • Removable CE-approved, impact-hardening foam spine protector
  • Spine protector pocket accepts two-liter Read More »

It’s no secret that 7iDP produces some of the best-executed protection in mountain biking, and we’ve been thoroughly impressed any time we've had the opportunity to test their products. Featuring customizable spine and shoulder protection, five pockets, and breathable four-way stretch material, it looks as though 7iDP put every ounce of that same thoughtful design and high-quality construction we’re used to seeing from the brand into their short-sleeve Flex Suit.

7iDP Flex Suit Highlights

  • Removable impact-hardening foam shoulder pads
  • Removable CE-approved, impact-hardening foam spine protector
  • Spine protector pocket accepts two-liter hydration bladder (with spine protector removed)
  • Polygon foam chest pad
  • Four angled rear hip pockets
  • Large center pocket
  • Breathable 4-way stretch fabric
  • Available in S, M, L, and XL
  • MSRP: $129.99 USD


Initial Impressions

Core body protection isn’t everyone’s thing. 7iDP seems to recognize that and have made the Flex Suit to cover some key areas with padding while maintaining a minimal and low-profile feel and fit. Throwing our every-day jersey on over the suit, we were surprised how well the Flex Suit disappears beneath it The only notable pads showing through were the spine protector. The fit is snug (which is to be expected of a compression suit) yet comfortable.

The side hip pockets, which can fit anything from nutrition, multi-tools, or even a bulky smartphone, are well placed for easy access. The pockets feature a small flap for some closure, but do lack any way to actually seal the pocket completely. This should be noted when placing important items like keys and other small objects in the pockets. The larger back pocket is intended for bulkier items like a spare tube or even a lightweight packable jacket.

The shoulder pads are constructed of a heat-activated foam and harden on impact. They still offer some give which makes for the comfortable and snug fit we mentioned above. If you don't want shoulder protection, 7iDP has made the shoulder pads removable, making the Flex Suit even more minimal.

Composed of the same foam as the shoulder pads, the CE-approved spine protector is the only real perceivable bulk on the Flex Suit, though it's still quite minimal. Like we said, it’s really the only thing that’s visually noticeable under a jersey. This pad is also removable and the spine protector pocket can double as a two-liter hydration bladder with the pad removed. 7iDP has integrated a hose routing hole to accommodate a hydration setup.


The Flex Suit features a thin, foam chest pad which covers the sternum. The design and configuration of the polygon-shaped foam “cells” allows the pad to conform nicely to your body, allowing flexibility and comfort.

On The Trail // First Ride

We’ll be the first to admit it, sometimes we put looks over protection. We appreciate that the Flex Suit lacks that bulky, hockey-gear style we almost always associate with upper body protection. Thankfully technology in the protection realm has improved since the gladiator days. It's hard to tell the suit is even on beneath a jersey unless you're viewing the wearer from the back.

Having only ridden the Flex Suit a handful of times in some pretty mild Southern California weather, we can say that for temperatures in the upper-60’s and low-70’s, we never overheated while wearing the compression suit. Some excess sweat does accumulate under each pad, but it was no worse than wearing a hydration pack. Thankfully, the Flex suit breathes well and drys out pretty quickly, especially while you’re ripping down the hill.

At no time during our experience with the Flex Suit did we notice the pads moving out of place. So far the snug fit has remained and the 4-way stretch fabric is as snappy as it was when new. Fortunately for us we’ve yet to take a digger while wearing the suit, so unfortunately for you, that means we can’t comment on its effectiveness in a crash and whether the padding stays in place. If performance is on-par with their other base layer suits, however, we’re confident this suit will do what it’s supposed to should we hit the ground.

One noteworthy feature is how easy it is to access the pockets of the Flex Suit. Other compression-style suits with integrated cargo capacity can provide a bit of contortionist movement to get at pocket items. We found that the hip pocket placement and angle allowed for quick and easy access to their contents. The larger center pocket is a bit more difficult to reach, so we reserved it for items less-often needed like a spare tube.

Does the Flex Suit add a little warmth to your ride? Sure. It hasn’t been a deal-breaker by any means so far, but we can see ourselves throwing caution to the wind once things really heat up here in SoCal. That said, our main gripe with the Flex Suit isn’t how well it breaths, but rather how small the snug the collar is. If you’re weird about anything being a bit snug around your neck this might be an area of discomfort for you. Aside from that, the fit of the Flex Suit is pretty spot-on.

What we can say is so far the suit has proven to be well designed in terms of overall comfort and features.

Obviously we’d need more time and a proper slam or two before weighing-in on both durability and our bottom-line thoughts regarding the Flex Suit. What we can say is so far the suit has proven to be well designed in terms of overall comfort and features. Cargo access woes are quelled by easily-reachable pockets, customizable, lightweight protection allows you to dial in the suit to your personal preferences and needs, and so far the Flex Suit hasn’t turned any of our rides into an unbearable sauna session. If a bit of extra protection and cargo capacity is something you’re in need of, this Flex Suit is one we think is definitely worth considering.

For more information visit www.7protection.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson - Age: 32 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Height: 6'1" (1.85m) // Weight: 245-pounds (110.95kg)

"Drop my heels and go." Fred has been on two wheels since he was two-years-old, is deceptively quick for a bigger guy, and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. Several years of shop experience means he's not afraid to tinker. He's very particular when it comes to a bike's suspension performance and stiffness traits.

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Specifications

Product 7iDP Flex Body Protector
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Urban, Other
Pad Type Soft Shell
Material Poly-spandex 4-way stretch mesh
Coverage Partial Suite
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Color Black
Miscellaneous - Lightweight flexible protection that hardens on impact
- Removable spine and shoulder protection for customized fit
- Spine protection pocket sized to fit 2 liter hydration bladder
- Fixed chest pad
- 4 angled rear pockets for easy access plus a center pocket
Price $129.99
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