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Geoff van de Merwe 2 Sep 2002 05:43

Body Armour?
Can anybody advise on what sort of body protection is viable for an africa trip?
Is the standard kit good enough or would some body armour be good for the high speed desert crossings?

DAVSATO 3 Sep 2002 00:43

hi, this is purely hearsay, but a friend told me the Gericke 'Tuareg' stuff was excellent.

good luck in africa!


nick_horley 3 Sep 2002 01:23

What do you mean by the "standard kit?" I've never crossed a desert, but given that they comprise rocks as well as sand I would think full body armour is just as essential as it is on the road or track. (Mine has saved me from severe injury plenty of times.) In other words, body armour is "standard kit" in all conditions in my view. It's light, comfortable and cheap and there's really no reason not to wear it.

Broadly speaking I can think of 4 choices - but I'm sure there are more.

1) a well ventilated cordura suit with built-in armour, e.g. the Hein Gericke Tuareg or BMW Rally. With these kind of suits a back protector is often an optional extra - I recommend you buy it. I love my Rally suit - great vents, tough, and with a Camelbak pocket. Great on tarmac as well as dirt.

2) motocross jersey and pants, and a chest protector. Unlike the other choices here,a motocross outfit will give you chest and upper arm protection. But no pockets for wallet etc. And poor protection from abrasions on tarmac.

3) armoured street clothes, e.g. denims or cargo pants by Giali. www.giali.com. Not as crash proof as a cordura suit. But versatile, and low key. May be supplied with cheap armour without a CE mark. Bin it and replace it with quality armour. Hein Gericke have some lightweight flexible stuff which is easy to fit (no sewing required) and comfortable to wear.

4) A Dainese Safety Jacket and Pants. This is a lightweight mesh armoured undersuit, which you can combine with absolutely anything you like over the top. Wear what the locals wear and blend in if you want to. Or an old army surplus jacket or what have you. Could be a cheap and versatile solution. Have a look at www.sondel.co.uk and click on Back Pro's.

Hope this helps.

Julio 3 Sep 2002 02:59

Hi Geoff

I've used the Hein Gericke Turaeg Rally jacket twice in the desert and found it to be most excellent. I have also used the Rally pants and the lightweight ones and also found these excellent.

As you'll be sweating very heavily in the desert you will need something that is comfortable and also you'll probably doing many miles with it on so it'll need to be comfortable to wear for long periods.

I find the padding in the Tuareg jacket is good but sometimes wear my AXA Full Coverage body armour which is a foam type material which gives good protection to your chest and back and is very comfy and light to wear.

I always wear a kidney belt when overlanding as find it really comfortable to support the back and holds you insides nicely when you are riding on the corrugations for long periods.

Also you'll need to make sure that your neck is covered too as it'll get burnt really quick and get sunstroke

Hope this is of some help.


Geoff van de Merwe 6 Sep 2002 04:56

Thanks for your advice,
I 've spoken to a few more people who have re-inforced your opinions, so have been looking around for more decent body armour.


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