The MX360 Impact Shirt from G-Form uses the brand’s interesting SmartFlex impact-resistant tech to create a flexible and slimline body protector. The result is an upper body armour that is among the most comfortable and breathable around. That said, it could benefit from more time in the oven, as the pad placements and back protector could do with refinement.
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G-Form MX360 Impact Shirt - Technical details
G-Form’s MX360 Impact Shirt takes the cool padding we saw on the Pro Rugged 2 knee pads and applied it to an upper body protector. But here, the SmartFlex pads have been altered to enable them to stretch and conform around the body’s curves thanks to carefully situated cuts in the pads.
SmartFlex Stretch is found at both shoulders and two chest panels, offering comprehensive protection against all manners of tumbles.
At the back of the protector is a much thicker but ventilated back pad that’s made up of layers of the aforementioned SmartFlex paired with multi-density foams which the brand says offers comfort and protection. All of the padding results in a garment that reaches CE 1621-2 certification and only the back protector is removable.
All of that padding is stitched onto a moisture-wicking mesh fabric and it’s closed up thanks to a full-length front locking zip that features reinforced seams. As for use, G-Form says that it’s designed for downhill, enduro, moto, all-mountain, and BMX riding.
G-Form MX360 Impact Shirt - Performance
With its full-length front zip, slipping into the MX360 is very much like pulling on any outdoor jacket. Because the pads are split throughout, the shoulder and chest pads clearly conform to the shape of the body which immediately boosts comfort. They’re also seriously thin, which means a rider can wear this under almost any jersey.
The fit of this shirt is pretty good, too, with sleeves that don’t poke out of short-cut jerseys, and a decent compression fit. Nowhere does the top feel overly tight, or too long which makes it an ideal base layer.
However, while the SmartFlex Stretch panels are quickly forgotten about when worn, and actually provide a bit of ventilation, the much thicker back panel is especially prominent, both in feel and looks. It’s very much a slab of material that’s super noticeable on the bike and struggles to breathe as well as other pads elsewhere on the top. Though, I wouldn’t say that this makes it completely uncomfortable. I can understand why G-Form has boosted protection over the spine, but I would love to see the MX360 exhibit more of its body-conforming SmartFlex Stretch material here, which would make it more breathable, and comfortable.
As you may have guessed already, I believe that G-Form is definitely onto something with its SmartFlex Stretch pads. Though their placement and sizes on this protector could do with a bit of reworking (the shoulder pads especially). It’s no lie that as they are currently, the rider will benefit from their protection. I would say that a rider’s body position seemingly hasn’t been thought through which is made apparent by the very ‘on top of the shoulder’ position of the shoulder protection.
It would be good to see these pads rolled forwards onto the shoulder to provide more protection in the areas that are more likely to suffer from impact. Imagine hitting a tree while in the attack position. I think the MX360’s pads are placed too far on top of the shoulder to provide the best coverage during such a common collision. There’s also no protection above the sternum.
Even though there’s clear room for improvement here, G-Form has done a good job. The MX360 is fairly comfortable for the most part, it fits well and breathes mostly effectively. The fabric feels high quality and it has shrugged off multiple washes. It’s remained comfortable during longer rides, too.
G-Form MX360 Impact Shirt - Verdict
While a friendlier price than others, £185 still poses a serious investment and, for that money, I’d expect something that feels a little more refined. It does pose a considerable saving against the Leatt Body Tee AirFlex Stealth but the clear level of Leatt’s protectives experience and its wide but slim back panel puts it head and shoulders above the MX360’s design.
Race Face’s Flank Core D3O offers an excellent cheaper alternative at £140. Its D3O shoulder pads are bulkier, meaning it’s not quite as suitable for long days on the pedals but the thinner back panel and mesh fabric mean that it’s more comfortable.
With that in mind, G-Form is definitely onto something with this version of its SmartFlex tech. Even though a few small tweaks would transform this body protector from something mediocre into a tough-to-beat product, it's a great start, offering good comfort with decent breathability.