D3O is a protective material made by D3O Labs , British company specializing in impact protection technologies. It’s a flexible and pliable material which solidifies in the event of collision. It is used as a low-profile impact protection for phones, laptops and other electronic devices, motorcycle riding gear, defense products like helmets, body armor and footwear, etc. Held has it’s own palette of D3O based protectors in association with D3O Labs and we are going to review most of them in this article. I want to mention that this article is not sponsored by anyone and I bought all the stuff myself. I kept just protectors that I liked and needed and returned all the rest.

Back protector

Held Exosafe by D3O Back Protector is a great Level 2 insert protector for your jacket. As very large piece of D3O this is the best example how flexible, pliable and soft this material is. Thanks to many holes it will allow perspiration and keep your backs dry and protected. It is made in three sizes S (41 x 33 cm), M (45 x 33,5 cm) and L (50 x 29 cm). Before purchasing take care that it can fit into the back pocket of your jacket. Manufacturer of your jacket might have their own line of D3O protectors which might fit better for you jacket, check it out. I am very happy with this protector and it fits very comfortable in my Held Sonic mesh jacket.

Chest protector

Similar as the back protector, Held Exosafe by D3O Chest Protector is also ventilated to allow the air flow and keep your chest dry. As you can see at the pictures, this Level 1 protector comes in two pieces inserted in supplied velcro pockets. It can be inserted into your jacket if it has chest protector pockets or velcro attachments at the right places. If not, you better skip it as it is not that crucial as back, shoulder and elbow protectors. The size is 24.5 x 17.5 cm. As this can’t be fitted into my jackets, I returned it.

Shoulder protectors

On this picture you can see two D3O shoulder protectors and two standard protectors (black) which I took out from my jackets. The orange protector on the left hand side is Held D3O Ghost Shoulder/Hip Protector, protector with size of 23.9 x 14.7 cm and thickness below 1 cm. Besides being this thin, it offers Level 2 protection and it is almost invisible inserted into your jacket or pants. I liked it so much that I ordered two additional pairs to use in both my jackets and one jeans. The orange protector on the right hand side is Held Exosafe by D3O Shoulder Protector which looks very robust and protective, but in the same time it is well ventilated and flexible. However, I returned these because I liked Ghost much more even though they are probably a bit less protective. However, they make you feel much more comfortable which probably gives better safety at the end.

Elbow protectors

Same as on the previous picture, here you can also see two D3O protectors, but this time for elbows. Then also two standard, black protectors that I took out from my jackets. The orange one on the left hand side is Held D3O Ghost Elbow/Knee Protector, again my favorite. Same as with the shoulder/hip Ghost protector I ordered two more sets and put them in the same two jackets and one jeans. Now basically all motorcycle clothes I have are equipped with D3O Ghost Level 2 protectors and this makes me feel much more comfortable but still having in mind that I have quite good level of protection. Since I can move much easier than having a hard and big protectors, I pretty much believe this is a safer option because I am more flexible when riding and my moves are quicker and more precise. The orange one on the right hand side is Held Exosafe by D3O Elbow Protector. Same as with the shoulder protectors, I returned these for the same reason even they might be safer on impact. Being able to move easily is probably more important in order not to crash.

Hip protectors

From left to right, in this picture you can see a standard hip protector that I took out from my Trilobite jeans, Held Exosafe by D3O Rib/Hip Protector and Held D3O Ghost Shoulder/Hip Protector. I don’t have anything new to say here, the same I commented about the Exosafe and Ghost versions apply here as well.

Knee protectors

Finally, on these pictures you can see Held Exosafe by D3O Elbow/Knee Large Protector, standard knee protector from Fastway textile pants, Held D3O Ghost Elbow/Knee Protector, standard knee protector from my Trilobite jeans and finally Held D3O Ghost Elbow/Knee Small Protector. Exosafe Large is probably too big for elbows and Exosafe Small is for sure too small for knees. However, the later one might fit kids’ knees very well. All the comments I had on Exosafe and Ghost versions apply here as well.

Final Words

To summarize this article, I want to repeat that in my opinion comfort is very important for safety and crash prevention so this is why I choose my equipment to be flexible and allow pretty good range of movements. On the other hand, more robust protection is probably better in case of accident so at the end we have again to make compromises. In my case this is better comfort and maybe a little bit lower level of protection rather than having difficulties to move and have a bit higher level of protection. You choose yourself. šŸ™‚