I’ve spent a brilliant summer travelling all over England and Scotland visiting customers for fittings and attending variousequestrian events with the trade stand. It has been truly fabulous to catch up with so many riders and see people out competing in my saddles, but it does mean I haven’t had the time to really shout about some exciting AMZ news which was unveiled a few months ago. We are now proud stockists of Helite air vests!
Helite is a French company first founded in 2002 and which first developed individual protection airbags for hanglider and microlight pilots, as aviation is where the founder’s own passion lay and where he saw the catastrophic results of accidents. With a patent for the technology pending, Helite turned its attention first to motorcycle riders and then equestrians, cyclists and even industrial workers. Every new product is carefully designed with the intended sport or activity in mind, before prototypes are tested and the design finessed.
I first took Helite’s Zip'In 2 air jackets for equestrians on the road with me for the Border Union show in Kelso back in late July and the reaction from visitors to the stand was amazing. The same response was repeated at the National Showjumping Championships and Blair International Horse Trials, as people jumped (pun intended!) at the chance to try this exciting product on and see them in person. Helite’s air jackets have got quite a cult following now as they are designed to either be worn on their own, like other airbag or body protector designs, or with the brand’s modified clothing. That includes a show jacket, a gilet, a blouson jacket and a shell gilet which are all designed to hide the airbag and stretch to accommodate it if there is a fall,and it does go off.
Helite have taken great care to ensure that their air vests provide the wearer with vital protection but are also comfortable and allow them to ride exactly as they would without them on. That means stretchy sides, a clever technical fabric and breathable mesh for when your instructor works you really hard, and they’ve reduced the weight of the cartridge too.
The Helite Zip'In 2 air vests are worn with a saddle strap to ensure reliable, quick inflation of the airbag, and the cartridges are replaceable so you can use this air vest over and over again(if falling off a lot is something that happens to you!). They are designed to be as quiet as possible to minimise the shock to the horse if there is an unscheduled dismount and the jacket inflates.
If you would like to take a closer look and try on one of Helite’sair vests, then you’ll be pleased to know I have some in the van with me when I’m on the road for fittings. If you think you might want to buy one on the day, then I can bring a couple of sizes which are around your fit with me and we can make sure you get the right one. If you have any questions about Helite’sZip’In 2 air vests, then please do feel free to get in touch. I’ve been riding in one for months - I totally forget it’s there!