Motorcycles have always been dangerous. Thankfully, the latest and greatest safety technology like ABS, lean-sensitive traction control, engine modes for rainy days, and even early-warning radar systems are keeping motorcyclists hedging their bets with each passing year. While it’s impossible to compete with the safety advantages of a traditional automobile—roll cage and seat belts won’t ever make sense for motorcyclists—airbags are an entirely different story. Enter the Dainese Smart Jacket.
I had no interest in the early days of wearable airbags, which looked goofier than high-vis rain gear, and relied on awkward rip cords for activation that didn’t do much good until you’d already come off your bike, but modern airbag systems have my full attention.
I added the Dainese Smart Jacket to my gear closet this season to see what all the fuss was about. This is arguably the most convenient, accessible, and modern street airbag system on the market today, so if you’re interested in one yourself, here’s what I’ve learned after wearing it around for the last month.
Dainese Smart Jacket Setup (or Lack thereof)
Your only job is to charge the battery and slip the jacket on. There’s no app or even an on/off switch. The jacket turns on automatically when you clasp the top magnetic button. A quick vibration in the chest indicates the Smart Jacket is on and a multicolor LED turns blue, indicating it’s entered “standby” mode.
This means the jacket is on, but not activated. This is an important distinction to make, because in standby mode, the jacket can’t deploy accidentally or otherwise. You can play in traffic, roll down a hill, start a bar room brawl, or partake in any other standard low-speed activity without the airbag deploying.
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