Hello Molly! I wasn't really interested in airbag protection until I discovered the one from Oscar & Gabrielle, during a show in France. They are really light and pleasant to wear! But I don't know if they are selling their products out of France..
although the air vests are comfortable and lightweight, id say traditional vests are much safer and should be worn more often- especially on cross courses
At first, buying an air vest seems too expensive and not necessary! You rarely see professional horse riders wearing them during their rides, except in cross country, but the same happened with helmets! What's best is to be safe. For cross country I recommend a stiff vest, since the air vest can not inflate for whatever reason. If you want to wear it on a regular to daily basis I highly recommend an air vest. It is super comfortable and light, it doesn't make you feel too hot and after a while you even forget you're wearing it! One time I dismounted with unplugging it, but gladly it didn't go off (the cord was too long)!
I hope I helped somehow!
Stay safe and protect your melon 😁
I think the airbag system is quite safe and more comfortable (because it turns out to be lighter than normal vests) but at the same time quite expensive. In addition to the price of the airbag vest, air pumps are not exactly cheap either. In my opinion investing in an airbag vest for an unexpected rider is a bit unnecessary. But if it is for a rider already with some experience, I do not see the problem of making that investment.
An airbag vest is very useful but also a big investment, for a beginner an investment of such a sum is not necessarily easy. In my opinion, a simple back protector may suffice. That said horseback riding is dangerous and one is not safe from a big fall, the airbag vest can be a way to reassure yourself.
One of the drawbacks of the airbag waistcoat is that in case of fall of the horse and therefore also of the rider it is possible that it does not trigger. After that, there are still rare falls but we're never really safe, I think it's a personal choice to make. Because for me safety comes before you, and the air bag is a great evolution in terms of protection of the rider, but I do not use ....
Have a good day :)