Designed initially for stuntmen but usable by anyone who finds themselves in situations of intense physical stress, the Xion Longsleeve Jacket Freeride – D3O is a low-profile piece of body armor that incorporates some serious technological innovations. The standout feature is the patented material, the D3O®, which makes up the padding that protects the body, and becomes extremely tough upon impact while staying soft, light, and bendable the rest of the time.
Most body armor, at least the one that is effective, usually makes your body double in size, restricting your movements and weighing you down. If you’re planning to spend time outdoors on snowy slopes or rocky mountains, it’s impossible to make it work. The low-profile options out there, on the other hand, don’t stand up when it comes to strength.
The jacket made by Xion strikes a unique sweet spot between size, weight, and protection, putting together excellent features in a unique package, the likes of which are very hard to find in today’s market. The D3O® material hardens immediately on impact and absorbs most of the energy of any collision, and any snowboarder or extreme sportsman will set out with new confidence if they have such a jacket close to their skin.
The Xion Longsleeve Jacket Freeride D3O® is designed to be worn as a second skin that protects you from any impact you may sustain. The jacket stretches and adheres tightly to the body and the protection is provided thanks to pads of D3O® that are on the elbow and the blade of the forearm, the shoulders, and the whole of the back. The pads are removable so you can make the jacket even lighter if you need it, despite it already being very lightweight, to begin with. The jacket feels like a normal snowboard base layer but has several aces up its sleeves.
The truly remarkable feature of the jacket is the D3O®, the material that makes up the protective pads distributed over the body. This synthetic substance is light and easy to bend when it is not under stress, but as soon as it receives a hit it hardens immediately, feeling like strong plastic. Upon impact, this allows for the energy to be absorbed and dissipated by the material instead of transferring directly to your body underneath. There will still be some energy and momentum transfer, but most of the force will be diverted elsewhere, greatly reducing your chance of injury.
The Freeride jacket doesn’t feature protective pockets on the chest, as in some more expensive models of the Xion line, and can be adjusted at the waist thanks to a wide strap. Despite the excellent protection it provides, the Freeride jacket remains very low profile and can be worn underneath other layers of clothing without being bulky or limiting your freedom of movement. Overall, it doesn’t make you invincible, and it’s important to remember that, but it goes a long way in helping you face the risks of outdoor activities. Here is a recap of all the main features of this remarkable piece of body armor.
- Fits snugly against the body like a second skin
- Excellent protection thanks to innovative D3O® material
- Very low profile can be worn under normal clothes
- Wide waist strap for fit adjustment
- Protective pads come in pockets and can be removed
- Allows full freedom of movement
Weight: 1.7 kg
Sizes Male: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Sizes Female: XS, S, M, L
Pad material: D3O Viper Stealth – 11 mm
Certification level: EN1621-2 Level 1
Fit: The Xion Longsleeve Jacket Freeride wraps tightly around your body, effectively becoming a second, tougher layer of skin you can bring around at all times. The jacket adheres well to the skin and fits so snugly that you’ll soon forget you have one on since you’ll be able to move as freely as you would without it. It can be worn under normal clothing without problems thanks to its inconspicuous profile, and the protective pads can be removed if you want to save some weight or you don’t need to have all of them with you. Easy to close with a long front zipper, the Freeride jacket remains breathable and wicks away the moisture from your skin, combining the features of body armor and a baseliner into a single, excellent product.
Protection: The protective qualities of the Xion Longsleeve Freeride Jacket are what make it stand out from all the other pieces of body armor out there. Despite being thin and lightweight, the jacket provides toughness on par with the best protective gear on the market. The D3O® layers stay light and flexible when not under stress but compact immediately upon impact, becoming a sort of exoskeleton that diverts most of the energy away from your body. This enables you to withstand impacts as intense as being hit with a baseball bat without sustaining serious injuries. There will still be some transfer of momentum, so you must not believe that this item will make you invincible, but what it does while remaining thin and portable makes it truly one of a kind.
Fit: 98% – The Xion Longsleeve Freeride Jacket molds to your body so well that it will soon feel as natural as putting on a piece of underwear. Snowboarders or anyone taking on extreme sports will appreciate the freedom of movement that comes with this piece of clothing, which gives you the confidence of having valuable armor on your side while remaining thin, low profile, and lightweight. This is a unique feature among body armor equipment since often the most effective one is also the bulkiest. The material that keeps the padding together feels strong and well-built and the whole outfit remains very breathable despite being in such close contact with your skin.
Protection: 99% – The D3O® padding inside the Xion Longsleeve Freeride jacket feels like it comes directly out of a science fiction movie. When you hold it in your hands it’s so easy to fold and crumple but as soon as you try hitting it with a hammer or a stick you feel a resistance you would never expect. This enables the Xion jacket to make a barrier between you and the outside world that most people would think impossible from a garment of such a small size and thickness. Incorporating this technology makes the Xion Freeride jacket one of the best pieces of body armor you can find on the market, and its unique features make it easily stand out amongst all the other options.
Price: 97% – The Xion Longsleeve Freeride jacket does not come cheap, but no piece of technical gear ever does, especially one of this quality. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best that the market can offer, you will probably expect to be paying the price for it. That being said, the Xion jacket is still sold at a reasonable price point, one that most serious athletes will be prepared to reach or even go beyond. Furthermore, a jacket such as this is most likely a one-time investment, so if you plan to use it often you know that your money will be well spent. Overall, we feel that the price is justified, for an item such as this.
Overall: 99% – While there is an infinite number of ways to hurt yourself and no amount of protective gear can defend you from all of them, the Xion Longsleeve Freeride Jacket with its D3O® padding is one of the best products we’ve seen in the body armor category. Combining unique lightness and portability with outstanding toughness when hit, this jacket earns its rightful place in the list of items any extreme athlete cannot be without. Elite snowboarders in particular, but all high-level extreme athletes have long been waiting for something like this to come along. When comfort and breathability meet pure, raw strength, you know you’ve found a winning combination.
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While the concept of body armor is not new by any means, up to now the choice was between big, strong, and bulky or low profile but not so tough. Thanks to the Xion Longsleeve Freeride jacket, you no longer have to choose, and you can bring the best of both worlds along wherever you go. This product pushes the boundaries of what is possible and raises the industry standard for protective gear, setting the bar very high. For anyone serious about their protection while roaming the outdoors, we would be hard-pressed to find a product to recommend more warmly than this one.
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1. Xion Longsleeve Freeride Jacket D3O xionpg.com