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Serious skin protection

By Michael Mihalevich

Kevlar Draggin’ Shirt Review

Fast Company

$109.95
www.dragginjeans.com
877.DRAGGIN (877.372.4446)

Have you heard the expression “Dress for the crash”? It means that the jacket with the protective armor does you no good hanging in your closet when an inattentive motorist intrudes into your riding space and knocks you off your scoot and slides you across the asphalt.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew ahead of time that today is the day you’re going to go down, so you could wear all of your protective gear to minimize potential injuries? Doesn’t happen, does it? Fortunately, Fast Company has an alternative for the prevention of potential road rash in warm weather that is far superior to a T-shirt, but not quite up to the standards of a fully armored jacket, and that alternative is a cool mesh Kevlar Draggin’ Shirt.

The Draggin’ Shirt is a comfortable long-sleeved mesh pullover, with a slightly longer shirttail in back. The woven mesh allows for good air circulation, so the shirt is not as hot as it looks when you are wearing it out under the summer sun. They have added an additional layer of Kevlar at the shoulders and the elbows for extra protection in those areas.

I chose the “Natural” color Draggin’ Shirts for my wife and myself, since I figured they would be cooler than the black shirts. We would primarily be wearing these in the summer and we were going for the potentially cooler option. “Natural” is bright yellow when new and gradually changes to a golden amber color after worn outside in the sunlight.

Since Kevlar is susceptible to breakdown from ultraviolet light (such as sunlight), I inquired with Fast Company about the life expectacy of their Kevlar Draggin’ Shirts. They indicated that they have been making the Draggin’ Shirts for more than eight years and have had no problems so far. They did, however, recommend for best possible protection that the Draggin’ Shirt should be replaced after four or five years of regular use, similar to the recommendations of helmet manufacturers. So for me, that means that I probably won’t worry about replacing my Draggin’ Shirt for eight years or so. Yeah, I know, but I’m betting in my favor that I’m not going down again. Optimistic, huh?

The Draggin’ Shirt sleeve cuffs have a pair of two-square-inch Velcro tabs for snugging the sleeves around your wrists. In my opinion, they went a little overboard with their Velcro sleeve fasteners. They could have been only about a half inch wide and still function adequately. I’m guessing they intended them to keep the sleeves from riding up on your arms in case of an accident. The one time I went down on an elbow, the long shirt sleeve did not slide up my arm, the pavement just ate a hole through the regular cotton shirt and the skin on my elbow. I’ve never fastened the Velcro tabs on the Draggin’ Shirt for riding because even when riding a “naked” bike (no fairing, no windshield) at highway speeds (or maybe more) the sleeves of the Draggin’ Shirt have never slipped up my arms.

Despite my optimism of not going down again, I have been a little more conscientious in my older age regarding protective gear when riding motorcycles. Fast Company’s cool mesh Kevlar Draggin’ Shirt fills a niche in the protective riding gear for me, to go along with the boots, jeans, gloves, helmet, and eye protection. Check out the Draggin’ Shirts and other Fast Company products and gear up to protect your precious hide. Sizes are available from small to XXXL and fit comparable to your regular T-shirts. Wearing a Kevlar Draggin’ Shirt, you may not be bulletproof, but you won’t be peeled like a grape either.

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