Alpinestars recently came out with the Sequence chest protector and a couple of us here at Keefer Inc. Testing have been passing it around to give it a go. One beefy guy, one skinny dude (with no butt), and one meat and potatoes eating rider all have ridden with this chest protector at some point. The Sequence shell is constructed from a high performance lightweight thermoformed material blend that is very soft to the skin and flexible, yet is supposed to offer the same level of protection as a hard-shell protector. The shell feature perforation zones and air channeling for breathability and ventilation, thermoformed textiles are used for the construction, and it’s highly abrasion resistant as I found out the hard way. Lastly, the Sequence is constructed with a soft 3D mesh on the body side of the protector that offers ample comfort and breathability.
Immediately what I noticed when I put on the Sequence is how it formed to my body and actually felt like it was wrapping around me and not just sitting on top of my shoulders. The M/L sizing fit a wide range of riders, including my 170 pound body and the other two testers (200 and 190 pounds). The mesh that wraps over your shoulder area stays glued to the tops of your shoulders and doesn't have that raised “boob” look when you wear it under a jersey. Speaking of wearing it under your jersey, yes, to me this is meant to go under your jersey and not over, but we tried both. The CE certification gives this a slightly heavier feel than that of the Alpinestars A-1, but that also isn't a “chest protector” as it is a “roost deflector”.
Even though I had some qualms about the velcro only closure system, I never had an issue with the Sequence not being snug enough around my body nor did I have it ever come loose on me while moving around on the bike. I like that the flaps protect the velcro from moisture and even though I have washed the Sequence several times with a power washer, it still adhered itself nicely. For the sake of trying, I did manage to test the Sequence with three different neck braces (Leatt, Atlas, Alpinestars) and all of them fit just fine with zero issues while riding.
The thick CE certified back plate is a little warm on hotter days, but nothing out of the ordinary. I also appreciated the lack of weight the Sequence has for a CE certified chest protector. This is one of the lightest CE certified pieces that I have worn yet. The comfort that the Sequence has on my skin (yes, I raw dog this sucker under my jersey) makes me happy because it doesn't irritate me or leave me with chaffed nips. Boom! Winning!
I have crashed and took the handlebars to the chest and the Sequence did its job without me having to spit up blood or get checked out at the ER. As flexible as this chest protector is, I found out it’s pretty damn strong. The downside it’s a little pricey at $154.95, so be ready to fork over some dough for the protection. I don't mind spending money on something if it works and is comfortable and this Sequence is both. I also don't have to go up a size in a jersey to wear it and some people don't even think I am wearing a chest protector at all. I approve!