Leatt’s Body Tee AirFlex Stealth is an upper body and back protector that’s designed for ultimate comfort and breathability, while also offering useful protection. Thanks to the top’s slim and minimalist design, it firmly lives up to its claims, remaining comfortable and reasonably cool on lengthy rides. Even though its chest protector pad lacks the breeziness found elsewhere, it's still one of the best MTB body armour options you can buy.
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Leatt Body Tee AirFlex Stealth body armour - Technical details
The Body Tee AirFlex Stealth is built to blend all-round comfort with its protective elements. As such, it doesn’t get as high a protection score as the brand’s burlier offerings -however, with shoulder, back, and chest pads made of two different materials, this one racks up a protection score of 9, out of a possible 25 (using Leatt’s system).
Certifying to CE standards, this top boasts four protectors with the two shoulder (EN1621 - 1) and the single back protector (EN1621 - 2) offering level-one protection, both of which are made of Leatt’s AirFlex ventilated soft impact gel. There’s a chest pad to offer a bit of cushioning against frontal impact. There are also a couple of handy pockets found on either flank.
As expected from Leatt, the MoistureCool and AirMesh wicking fabric built top gets the BraceOn neck brace fitting system that should work well with the brand’s range of neck braces. There’s then a compression zip that runs down the full length and there’s an elastic chest strap to help with pad positioning.
Leatt Body Tee AirFlex Stealth body armour - Performance
Leatt has been in the protectives game for a long time and that shows in the AirFlex Stealth’s performance. First off, the fit is seriously good. On this medium-sized top, the proportions are spot on with absolutely no tight spots or pinching. The pads are well placed, with the shoulder pads sitting more forward on the shoulder than expected. This is ideal as it matches the body position over the bike, comprehensively covering the shoulder against the most likely direction of impact.
Back protection duties are shared between an AirFlex panel that stretches from the lower shoulder blade right down to where the hem of the trousers would sit. It’s wide enough to cover the spine and harder, bony bits of the back. The very upper back section uses coverage from a firmer pad that’s held on with Velcro, allowing easy removal for is and when you do want to ride with a neck brace.
While comfortable from the first few minutes of wearing it, the AirFlex pads get super malleable with body heat which boosts comfort to the point where the whole body protector is barely noticeable. Though the pads benefit from a bit of body heat, the AirFlex Stealth does an excellent job of regulating temperature, allowing for good airflow through the AirFlex pads and the fabric itself.
Even though the protection it offers is pretty comprehensive (shielding the shoulders, chest and back) this protector simply doesn’t feel bulky as the padding itself is super slim. This helps the pads conform to the body but allows for easy fitting under a range of jerseys without feeling over-encumbered - it weighs in at a reasonably svelte 730g.
Thanks to the MoistureCool fabric, wicking is also impressive. Granted I haven’t used it on the hottest of days but, even when it’s got reasonably toasty outside, I’ve had no issues with sweat and excessive moisture.
However, the chest pad doesn’t use Leatt’s cool AirFlex pad and instead uses a dense foam with a number of holes cut through it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t breathe as effectively as the rest of the protector, so moisture and warmth are quick to build in this specific area. Instead, it would be great to see another panel of AirFlex which will improve general comfort, but I imagine that would impact the price.
Leatt Body Tee Airflex Stealth body armour - Verdict
There’s no getting away from the fact that £220 is quite the investment but the Leatt Body Tee AirFlex Stealth represents money well spent.
Coming in at £140 is the Race Face Flank Core D30. Its construction is more basic, coming as more of a pull-over t-shirt with D30 padding but it offers all of the padding that’s found on the AirFlex Stealth. However, it does feel bulkier on the body and is tricky to take off due to the fact it’s there’s no zip.
There’s also the G-Form MX360 Impact Shirt. Here we find G-Form’s own SmartFlex padding that’s machine washable, as well as a SmarFlex multi-density foam back pad. However, this product isn’t quite as refined as Leatt’s offering and could do with a bit more thinking around the placement of the pads. Its back pad is pretty bulky, too.
If you’re looking for light, breathable and slim body protection, the Leatt Body Tee AirFlex Stealth is definitely worth a gander. It offers comfort by the bucketload and considerately placed protection. While the chest protector can get a little hot and sweaty, it's a slimline body armour option I highly rate and recommend.