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Bluegrass Seamless Lite D3O Body Armor

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Bluegrass Seamless Lite D3O Body Armor
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Ultra Comfortable Back Protector: Bluegrass Seamless Lite Review

The latest from Bluegrass features a completely seamless fit and good protection.

Rating: Vital Review
Ultra Comfortable Back Protector: Bluegrass Seamless Lite Review

Last year, we tested the Armour Lite back protector from Bluegrass with good results. Continuing to search for something even more comfortable and minimalistic, the company has just launched the new Seamless series of back protectors, so we thought we should give one of those a spin too. We reviewed it in the May 2021 episode of our Gear Show, you can jump ahead to 5:37 in the video below to see it in action, or keep reading if you prefer that format.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Super comfortable
  • Very stable fit
  • Wide and long coverage of the back
  • Good breathability
  • Pockets are a bit small
  • No hydration compartment option
  • Pricey

Bluegrass Seamless Lite Highlights

  • 80% Polypropylene, 10% Polyamide, 10% Elastan
  • Seamless construction ensures adherent and ergonomic fit
  • Unisex fit to accommodate all body shapes
  • Dryarn microfiber guarantees the highest level of performance for next-to-skin fabrics
  • Open mesh enhances ventilation and sweat evaporation
  • Quick drying microfiber works to regulate body temperature
  • Dermatologically tested microfiber to eliminate bacteria and odor
  • Back protector D3O BP4 L1 (removable)
  • D3O insert compliant with EN 1621-2:2014
  • Two rear pockets for snacks and soft items
  • Long length bottom to be dressed into the pants maximizing stability
  • Sizes: S/M, L/XL
  • MSRP: $225 USD

Initial Impressions

This Seamless protector is built around a large D3O pad in the back, housed in a stretchy chassis that is devoid of any kind of zippers or other openings. The pad sits in a dedicated compartment and can be removed when washing the garment itself, and there are two small pockets out back for storing essentials (the pockets are placed above the D3O pad to ensure that any content cannot harm you if you fall on that area). The inward facing side of the D3O pad has been covered with some kind of fabric that is very soft to the touch, to avoid the D3O material itself coming into contact with the skin, and the whole pad is perforated with a large number of holes to help it breathe better.

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The main body of the protector is made from Dryarn microfiber, which is 30% lighter than traditional fabrics and offers a second-skin kind of fit – very elastic and said to stay very stretchy for the life of the product. We tested the simpler Lite model but there is also a version with shoulder protection available.

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On The Trail

In action, the Seamless Lite lived up to its name, offering very high amounts of comfort and breathability – in fact, this may well be the most comfortable back protector we’ve ever tried. The soft nature of the D3O pad and the main chassis itself help the protector to conform to your movements. The aforementioned ventilation holes in the D3O pad also really help it breathe better, and that soft coating on the inside definitely makes it more agreeable when drenched in sweat – we know from previous experience that un-coated D3O directly on the skin can end up feeling a bit weird when things get really hot. 

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The fabrics in general are very soft to the touch, and the cut is good. We like that Bluegrass added some length to the main garment body to help it tuck away securely under your pants or shorts, the Armour Lite we tested last year was a bit short in the waist area which could feel weird on the trail. The longer body of the Seamless protector also makes it more stable and less prone to moving around in a crash. We’d have liked to see slightly bigger pockets in the back, and maybe also a simple compartment for a small hydration bladder – not everybody wants to run hydration with their back protector, but for those who do, it would be a relatively simple thing to add to the design here.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Protection is only effective if you wear it, and we like the direction that Bluegrass is headed in – figuring out news ways to make protection less bulky and hot. The Seamless Lite protector is not cheap, but if you are after something extremely comfortable that can be worn all day while still offering CE-certified levels of protection across a broad area of your back, it’s well worthy of consideration.

More information at: the Bluegrass website (hosted at MET-Helmets.com).


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 48 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Bluegrass Seamless Lite D3O Body Armor
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Pad Type Soft Shell
Material
  • 90% Dryarn microfiber body fabric
  • D3O-BP4 full back protector (removable)
  • Coverage Vest
    Sizes S/M, L/XL (size chart in images above)
    Color Black
    Miscellaneous
  • Protectors compliant with EN 1621-2:2014, Level 1
  • Featuring D3O technology
  • Seamless construction
  • Unisex ergonomic fit accommodates all body shapes
  • Fabric holds its elastic properties for the lifetime of the product
  • Dryarn microfiber is 30% lighter than traditional fabrics
  • Regulates body temperature, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and eliminates the formation of bacteria and odor
  • Backpack strap compatible
  • Longer length for tucking into riding shorts and pants
  • 2 small pockets on lower back
  • Made in Italy
  • Weight (S/M): 360g
  • MSRP: 190€, £170, 225US$, 300CAD, 300AUD
  • Price $225
    More Info

    Bluegrass Seamless Lite D3O back protector review (Vital Gear Show)

    New Bluegrass Seamless Back Protectors D3O (press release)

    www.met-helmets.com

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