Iris and I travel with a Dainese protector vest, a kind of a kevlar net with GOOD protectors on all the right places including a very good backprotector. Under this you can wear nothing or a T-shirt; over it you can wear anything baggy and airy e.g. a long Iranian shador ;-) or a shirt, or nothing (like we sometimes do here in Europe) - though it does make you look like Ninja Turtle. This is the "vest" many Dakar racers wear underneath their light-coloured vests.
Sizes are Italian and S is indeed women's small.
Check it out on http://www.dainese.it
The English doesn't work, but under Italian, "I nostri prodotti", "Linea moto", "protezzione", the vest is registered as "Safety Jacket 20".
Does not come cheap, but we've had it for over five years, and it still looks new. However frail it might seem: it's solid stuff.
We've worn it in the hottest conditions --for instance over 50°C on the Indus plains-- and were very happy with it.
Also: get the new version (the one on the photo on the Internet). Maybe some dealers might want to sell you the 'old' type: larger backprotector, closed foam instead of foam with large holes. The new one certainly is cooler (Iris has a new one, I'm doing with the old for the moment). They come with or without a breast"plate" (in the dealer's catalogue - not on the Internet).
Have a safe (!) journey to NZ !
Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, usually travelling on bikes (now on DR650SE's)
Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE\'s)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002