The electric skateboard and rideable industry is still a fairly small world, with most products falling outside of traditional skateboard and bicycle categories and becoming more specialized to the use cases of each respective vehicle. The Onewheel has a growing segment of companies building accessories for it, electric skateboard manufacturers are augmenting parts to suit high speed powered riding, and the safety gear that riders are looking to is becoming increasingly specialized.
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For a long time, the closest thing to riding electric boards has been the sport of downhill longboarding. Riders mount a longboard and ride down winding roads at speeds well over 30mph. Crashing at speeds like that is remarkably dangerous, and so protective gear for those riders tends to be pretty robust. A quick search of downhill longboarding helmets will show that they aren’t anything like a casual skate helmet, and the full-face variety are widely adopted by high speed electric riders. Similarly, it was from the focus of high speed downhill longboarding that the electric skateboard industry has the LazyRolling Armored Hoodie and the rest of the Armored line of protective clothing.
The 2020 LazyRolling Armored hoodie is quite the piece of clothing. Fairly heavy, extremely protective, and quite cozy, the hoodie is lined with Kevlar, fitted with impact pads, and can take quite a beating. And it should…considering how much it costs. At $169 USD without pads and $199 with pads, this is not a cheap sweatshirt. However, having fallen several times in this hoodie, I would say that it is certainly worth the price. The outer fabric is only slightly scuffed, and my elbows and shoulders came away with only slight pain. My last fall before receiving the hoodie was a bit more abrasive on my skin, with some road rash that I could have avoided if I were just wearing the hoodie. My opinion is that if you intend or expect to ride fast or in less than ideal conditions, this hoodie is a worthwhile investment in your safety. Especially if you’re the type to occasionally forget to put on your elbow pads or wrist guards. A high price, but money well spent.
What’s New With The 2020 Model?
The main improvement to the 2020 model of the Armored Hoodies (regular and warm weather) over the previous model is the addition of zippers under the arms, down the sides of the hoodie. These unzip, and reveal a mesh material that provides extra ventilation through to the inside. There are some minor styling changes (such as a relocation of the branding badge), however the addition of the zippered ventilation is the main feature. I cannot compare whether this hoodie is more or less ventilated than the previous generation, however with these zippers open, you can catch a very nice breeze when you’re cruising at about 15mph in the skating stance (I do not ride an electric unicycle, so I cannot comment on the forward stance).
Protection and Safety Features
A common mentality when it comes to riding protection is that anything is better than nothing. This is certainly true. I’ve experienced falls from my Onewheel while wearing a regular zippered hoodie, and while I still got hurt, it was not to the extent that I was hurt when I fell in shorts and a t-shirt. Fingerless eSkate gloves are better than no gloves even if your fingers get hurt. And so, while it may be natural for some riders to just wear a helmet, it is very much worth your time to consider wearing a bit more. Traditionally, elbow and knee pads are standard gear for more full coverage, along with wrist guards or protective gloves. The LazyRolling Armored Hoodie offers you the protection of elbow pads, as well as another couple of layers of protection without the hassle of strapping on extra gear.
Focusing on the padding, the Armored Hoodies have pockets for padding in the elbows, the shoulders, and a single pad on the back. While the back pad seems helpful for riders, I haven’t personally taken any impacts or abrasion there. However, it is nice to have, in the event that I have a crash in a way that’s new to me. The elbow and shoulder pads have been the real stars of this hoodie, with a good firm foam layer between me and the impact surface. There is no hardened plastic shell, but after a fall at about 14mph that left me rolling on to my elbow and shoulder, the pad saved me from possible broken bones and severe bruising.
In addition to the pad pockets (which you can choose to fill with the pads or not to), the interior of the hoodie is lined with a yellow Kevlar material. It sits sandwiched between the outer cloth of the hoodie and an interior sports mesh material that shields your body from the Kevlar (as it may not be the most comfortable material to have on skin). This Kevlar layer protects your skin from road rash in the event that you slide along the pavement. Having had several falls from both the Onewheel and electric skateboards that led to fairly severe abrasions, I will say with certainty that this feature alone makes the Armored hoodies worth buying. The recovery from road rash is a horrible, lengthy, and often debilitating thing. It can compromise the wearing of clothing, the use of one’s hands, and it impacts the daily living of life for a while until the skin begins to heal. Having your arms, elbows, shoulders, chest or back, sliding over pavement after being tossed at almost 20mph is an awfully damaging situation, even if the impact itself wasn’t substantial enough to cause much injury. Only a few feet of travel over pavement with bare (or barely covered) skin can be catastrophic. This is why the Kevlar layer is one of the greatest safety features this hoodie has.
Lastly, on the focus of safety features, it’s important to note that the exterior fabric of the hoodie is very robust. After about three falls, there is only minor scuffing on the outside. Granted, Onewheel riding isn’t very high speed. However, this isn’t an article of clothing that will have holes after a minor fall and need replacing. It will likely last many miles of riding, especially if you don’t fall often. And remember, the trick is to not fall.
Fit & Comfort
The hoodies are sized such that they have a “regular” fit. This means that they fit slightly loose, and aren’t an athletic or fitted type of build. It’s a hoodie, and so it fits like a hoodie. A very bulky hoodie. Personally, I wear a medium in everything (t-shirts, jackets, etc.) The medium sized hoodie feels more like a large, however it’s not too long beyond the waist or in the arms. It’s just a bit baggy. I don’t find this a problem, and it’s quite comfortable when you’re riding. It lets some air flow around when you have the ventilation zippers open. I am more used to tighter fitting clothing, however this doesn’t feel very out of place from my general riding wardrobe. It also looks quite nice, and the outer cloth is a very soft and cushy material.
The main warning I have in terms of comfort is that this hoodie is heavy. Very heavy, for a hoodie. It’s heavier than my leather winter jacket, and the weight makes it a bit cumbersome to put on. Putting on the hoodie means lifting it, realizing how heavy it is, and then sliding your arms through the sleeves which house interior mesh and possibly elbow pads. It’s a bit awkward feeling, but frankly only when you’re putting it on. Once it’s on and zipped, it feels perfectly normal. I haven’t felt any issues with movement while wearing the hoodie, and it feels only slightly like safety gear. The pads can be felt when moving your arms, however considering their level of protection, I’m more than satisfied with the comfort of the hoodie.
Style and Look
I’ll admit it, I’m a hoodie person. I have a lot of them, from several places, of all different styles. My preferred style of hoodie is a front zip up, which the LazyRolling Armored hoodie is. For me, it’s perfect. They offer it in grey and black, my two favorite colors. Sure, I am guilty of having a plain style. Loud colors and flashy branding don’t appeal to me (I have surprisingly few graphic shirts). And the subtle branding of this garment appeals to me. It’s there to be seen by riders who care to look, but doesn’t act as a billboard. I personally don’t care to be conscripted as an advertisement for brands, and LazyRolling keeps the styling subtle, classy, and in my opinion, perfect.
As was mentioned above, I’ve had three falls with this hoodie, and it’s still in great shape. The outer fabric itself is only slightly scuffed and worn, and I cannot tell of any issues with stitching. There were no loose threads when I got it, and none that I can see now. The pads aren’t flattened, and the pockets that hold them haven’t worn or lost their retention. This means that as of now, the pads won’t shift away from their needed location and risk undue injury. This Armored Hoodie commands a premium price, but you are certainly getting a premium product.
Storage and Pockets
This Armored Hoodie has two outer side pockets in the places where you’d expect a zippered hoodie to have them. The zippers of the outer pockets are flawless, with a nice pull and just the right amount of tension on the open and close. The outer pockets aren’t massive, but could still easily fit my iPhone 11. Although, there are interior pockets that I prefer to use to hold more sensitive items like my phone and/or car keys. These internal pockets offer quite a bit of space, and are placed nicely to accommodate personal items that pants pockets might be too hold.
LazyRolling is a small business that operates in a niche market. This means that generally you can expect quick and accommodating customer service to most inquiries. Their operation is handled by a couple of people, and they handle the online mechanics of their store as well as the merchandise management with shipping and receiving. All things considered, my experience with Robin at LazyRolling was positive, friendly, and quick. I haven’t had the need to contact them about any product failure because their product hasn’t failed me.
Pricing & Conclusion
I think it’s fair to put these two things into the same final category because the price is taken into consideration when I look at this Armored hoodie on the whole. As I had said, it is certainly expensive. However what you get for the money is worth so much more in protection. And this is something that can be looked at in terms of pathos (appealing to emotion) and logos (appealing to logic).
Recently, I had a fall on a V1 Onewheel. I was not wearing any protective gear. My head hit the sidewalk despite my attempts to run out the fall, and I sustained a mild concussion. You can, if you’d like, see my accounting of it on my YouTube channel.
The resulting concussion had me acting differently, seeing the world a bit differently, and generally worried for my long term health. This was from a relatively low speed fall. A simple piece of protective equipment would have spared me all of this had I bothered to put it on.
Similarly, a fall from much longer ago left my right arm without about 30% of its skin, and some chipped cartilage at the elbow. Also, I sustained a bruised rib, and more road rash on the side of my body. The resulting emergency room visit and weeks of recovery were torturous, and I would never wish that experience on anyone. My wife and I are fortunate enough to have health coverage that is some of the best in the U.S., and an emergency room visit leaves us with a $300 USD copay that we are responsible for. This is quite the value, considering many other people would be in debt for thousands of dollars from a similar visit.
Lazyrolling Armored Hoodie Pricing Table
|Hoodie with Pads||$199|
|Hoodie with Pads preinstalled||$209|
|Hoodie with Crash Replacement||$199|
|Hoodie with Pads & Crash Replacement||$229|
|Hoodie with Pads preinstalled & Crash Replacement||$239|
Would I pay $200 if it meant that my next fall would be without the hospital visit and weeks of recovery? Absolutely. I would personally pay that for each fall. However seeing as though this Armored Hoodie has seen three falls and only has a bit of scuffing to the outer fabric, this is a price that is covering so much more. As I’ve said, it is worth the price, especially since LazyRolling now has models for warmer and cooler weather.
Use the code “E-SKATEBOARDER” to get $20 off.