Motorcycle airbag vests are a neat, but expensive way to keep your body safer in a crash. One cheap airbag vest may be an attractive option, but it comes with a catch.
Search the web for motorcycle airbag vests and you’ll be presented with a plethora of vests as expensive as some running motorcycles. But among them are cheaper options like the Huanqiu “anti-dropping airbag vest” on Wish and AliExpress.
This vest is advertised as having EU CE certification in addition to passing some tough safety tests. Sounds great, right? Even better is the fact that you can get them for the princely sum of $100. Forget about a $679 Helite Turtle 2 and don’t even think about the $700 Alpinestars Tech Air 5. But you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true.
Dig into the Huanqiu vest’s ads and things start looking a bit off. Motorcycle News found the vest’s Declaration of Conformity, which claims that the vest has met test standards for BS EN ISO 12402-4.2006. This sounds awesome until you realize that is an outdated test standard for life preservers, not motorcycle garments.
That test standard confirms that a device has good performance in water. There’s nothing about impact protection or slide protection. Yep, that means that the Huanqiu is basically just a lifejacket.
Look how little the vest actually covers and how slowly it inflates:
Motorcycle News contacted the CE Marking Association to see what’s up with that certification:
But the story doesn’t end there as CE Marking Association Managing Director Tim Harrison explains: “Straight away, and without investigating the product, there are two things that jump out at me from the Declaration; firstly, the legislation is out of date. 89/686/EEC was repealed on April 21, 2018 and replaced with (EU) 2016/425.
“Secondly, the Declaration has been generated by the testing organisation whereas legally it should be generated by either the Manufacturer or their Authorised Representative.”
Wish initially removed the vests from its platform, however, you can definitely still buy them on there. These vests also fly under various generic brand names as they are drop-shipped with the option to have a custom brand name and logo printed on.
Some say that any gear is better than no gear and in general, I would agree that is true. A lifejacket is arguably better moto gear than a t-shirt. However, $100 is still a decent bit of change to spend. That $100 can also be spent on a better jacket, helmet, or any gear that can help when you need it most. I probably wouldn’t pick up a Huanqiu unless you plan on riding your motorcycle into a lake anytime soon.