After a helmet and boots, a roost deflector may be the most important piece of gear for off-road riding. The ideal roost guard is a standout in protection, comfort, and affordability—but that’s not always easy to find. So we created a list of what we think are some of the best roost guards to help you sort out what’s available. We’ll break down each protector’s high points, what kind of riding it’s good for, and then offer similar alternatives in case our pick doesn’t work for you. Let’s get into it.

Fox Titan Under-Jersey Roost Deflector

Our first choice is for MX and track riders wanting solid roost protection from a low-profile deflector. We picked the Titan Race Under-Jersey because it focuses on staying ultra-light and moving with the rider as they ride aggressively. The deflector gets that flexibility from a body made of padding and breathable fabrics. The padding is made of dense, impact-absorbing foam that’s fused directly into the breathable backing material, creating large panels of lightweight protection that extend over the shoulders/collarbones and the sides of the torso.

 

fox racing titan under jersey roost deflector

Hard parts are minimal in order to promote movement, but two relatively large panels protect the chest and back. Both panels are heavily vented and backed by a mesh liner that improves ventilation even further, and the spine protector is articulated for unaffected movement. With everything put together, the Titan Under-Jersey is one of the few options that has both hard protection and a slim profile so it easily fits under a jersey. Riders like the deflector because it doesn’t ride up towards their throat and the adjustment straps on either side do a good job of keeping everything in place. A lot of riders also praise how comfortable the deflector’s fabric is against bare skin—meaning you won’t deal with chaffing. Similar deflectors to check out include the EVS Revolution 4 if you don’t need or want back protection, and the Leatt 3DF AirFit for seamless neck brace compatibility.

EVS Revolution 5

The EVS Revolution 5 Roost Deflector is our next choice, and while it shares some similarities with the Titan Under-Jersey, the Revolution 5 has more impact panels, substantial shoulder protection, and great compatibility with neck braces. The base material is an EVA foam that’s comfortable against bare skin and does a commendable job absorbing impact around the collarbones and ribs. There’s also a good amount of hard protection panels. The largest is on the chest. It’s a solid piece of armor with multiple ventilation cutouts that flow air through directly to your torso.

 

evs revolution 5 chest protector

The back of the Revolution 5 has even more protection from an articulated spine protector that covers everything from the small of the back up to mid-shoulder, with ventilation cutouts similar to the front protector. What distinguishes the Revolution 5 from similar deflectors is its modularity. It can be worn over or under the jersey, the shoulder cups are completely removable, and EVS makes the deflector fully compatible with their neck braces. A cutout just above the chest plate provides space for the front strut of a neck brace, and the top panel of the back protector is removable to accommodate the rear struts. With above-average modularity, good fit adjustment, and above-average integration with neck braces, the EVS Revolution 5 Under Jersey Roost Deflector is a great all-around option for track and light trail riding. If the Revolution 5 doesn’t work for you, look at the Acerbis Impact Roost Deflector for more back protection with less articulation, or the Alpinestars A-4 Roost Deflector if you’re willing to take a step up in price for substantially more protection and equally seamless neck brace integration.

 

fox racing chest protector roost deflector guide
Shown is Fox’s Proframe LC Roost Deflector.

Fly Racing Undercover II Pullover Roost Guard

Fly Racing’s Undercover II Pullover goes the opposite way compared to most options in this guide. It’s unique because the deflector steers away from traditional designs that use hard plates for impact deflection, and instead uses in-molded EVA foam that’s patterned all across a mesh/Lycra tank top. The Undercover II relies on this EVA foam to absorb roost, branches, and other small debris while promoting absolutely unrestricted movement. So while you won’t get the same level of protection as hard armor panels, the soft padding of the Undercover II is extensive and about as light in weight as is realistically possible. That lets the Undercover II fit like a t-shirt and feel virtually non-existent underneath your jersey. Lycra fabric extends down each side of the torso to give the deflector a bit of stretch, which really helps the guard fit riders with thicker chests and broader shoulders.

 

fly racing undercover 2 pullover

The materials on the guard are also highly ventilated, promoting airflow and making the Undercover II a great hot-weather roost guard choice—despite the fact that it’s a form-fitting cut. These design choices and materials make the Undercover II a roost deflector that’s drastically lighter and more low profile than anything else. So, if you hate wearing bulky roost guards, prefer freedom of movement instead of increased protection, or simply ride somewhere you don’t need to go overboard on protection, the Undercover II is your best choice. Alternatives similar to the Undercover II include the Undercover II Clip Entry (the same guard with side-buckle closures), Thor’s Comp Deflector if you don’t need any back padding, and the Leatt Roost Tee if you want bicep protection and a bit more padding on the shoulders.

Fly Racing Convertible II Roost Guard

With good protection and classic design, Fly’s Convertible II Roost Guard has solid torso coverage in a format that’s comfortable and familiar. The Convertible II’s construction consists of hard, plastic panels over the majority of the chest, back, and shoulders. It offers a solid amount of protection, and allows the Convertible II to be used for trail and enduro riding that some lighter, lower-profile guards can’t handle. So the Convertible II can take a hit, but the impact panels also keep weight down so you don’t feel overburdened or restricted in your movement. Biofoam padding supports each impact panel and makes the Convertible II even more pleasant to wear since it distributes impact out across your torso.

 

fly racing convertible 2 roost guard

Ventilation cutouts in each panel keep air flowing directly to your body, and with the small gap in space the biofoam creates between the deflector and your body, incoming air has a chance to swirl and spread out—greatly increasing cooling and ventilation. Size/fit adjustment is at the waist and shoulders so the deflector will fit unique body shapes, and if that’s not enough, the shoulders can be removed entirely—which is great if you wear a backpack or want more head movement while wearing a neck brace. All this gives the Convertible II some of the best versatility in regards to how it can be worn and what kind of riding it can handle. Remove the shoulders and cinch it down for a close fit under your jersey, or wear it over your jersey with other protective gear for full armor that’s good for enduro, trail, and technical riding. Alternatives to the Convertible II include the Fox R3 Roost Deflector , Moose Racing’s XCR Deflector , and the Leatt Adventure Roost Deflector.

 

leatt gpx 4.5 roost deflector
Shown is Leatt’s GPX 4.5 defllector.

Leatt 5.5 Pro HD Roost Deflector

Moving up to higher levels of protection, the Leatt 5.5 Pro HD Roost Deflector is the first protector in our guide built for aggressive, off-road riding. Two large layouts of impact-absorbing panels cover most of the chest and back—from the bellybutton and small of the back on up. That’s similar to other guards on our list, but the 5.5 has significant differences that make it more protective. Firstly, the chest and back panels both carry a CE level 2 rating—some of the best protection currently offered in motorcycle gear. The removable shoulder plates also have a CE level 1 rating. When used together, that’s a measurably higher degree of safety than most chest protectors. Secondly, all impact surfaces are backed by an energy-absorbent, perforated 3DF foam that promotes airflow and has impact attenuation that most padding can’t match. The 5.5 secures around your waist using two armored flaps that wrap around your midsection and buckle to the chest plate.

 

The flaps do a good job of holding the protector in place and spreading pressure across a wide area—providing a comfortable fit without pressure points or annoying straps that chaff your skin. The closure flaps are also lined with biofoam padding and hard impact plates, providing a solid 8 to 10 inches of flank protection that covers the majority of your ribs from side impacts—an easily damaged area that most deflectors don’t cover. These features make the 5.5 HD one of the few protectors that actually covers your entire torso. The modularity of the 5.5 HD lets you wear it over or under your jersey, and Leatt goes the extra mile to make sure it fits seamlessly with their 5.5 Neck Brace and other neck brace options. If you want other deflectors similar to the 5.5 HD, look at Fox’s Raptor Deflector for something a little lighter weight, the Alpinestars A-10 Full Roost Deflector if you want more ventilation, and Troy Lee’s BG 5955 Roost Deflector if you want a slightly slimmer profile that fits under a jersey more easily.

Fox Racing Titan Sport Jacket Body Armor

Our final choice goes to the extreme end of the spectrum with some of the most torso protection available from a single piece of gear. Fox’s Titan Sport Jacket Body Armor is a hybrid between a traditional roost deflector and full body armor. Similarities to traditional roost deflectors are seen on the chest and the shoulders from hard protection panels and comfortable, impact-absorbing padding. The arms also get protection from panels oriented on the lateral side of the arm over the bicep. The largest difference is that all the foam and paneling is attached to a mesh jacket that serves as the protector’s chassis. Meaning the Titan is worn like a regular jacket with a zipper at the front instead of a traditional deflector that slips over your head. This fit scheme makes the Titan very comfortable to wear since each piece of armor will sit exactly where it’s supposed to and you won’t deal with compression fabrics squeezing you.

 

fox titan sport jacket body armor

The spine protector is one of the largest available, reaching from the base of the neck past the small of the back, and from shoulder to shoulder. It has the same impact protection as the rest of the armor, but the spine protector is made of several individual armor pieces so you get unlimited motion and zero gaps in protection. It’s also completely removable in cases when you want to wear a backpack, hydration bladder, etc. When the back protector is attached, the lower portion secures via a waist belt that wraps around your torso and secures at the front—holding the protector in place and acting like a light-duty kidney belt/lower-back support. Finally, it’s rounded out by elbow/forearm protection and fit adjustment for almost every armor panel. The result is CE certified levels of protection, a surprising amount of air circulation, and a lighter weight that easily goes unnoticed. All these features make the Titan Sport Jacket Body Armor one of the best choices for full-torso, CE-rated protection that’s still highly versatile. For options similar to the Titan, look at the Leatt 3DF AirFit if you want soft armor with the same CE 2 rating, Thor’s Sentry XP Body Armor for non-mesh jersey material behind the armor, and the EVS G6 Lite Ballistic Jersey for torso protection you can wear without a jersey.

 

fly racing roost deflector
Shown is the Fly Racing Revel Offroad CE Roost Guard.

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Tell Us What You Think

That’s it for our favorite picks when it comes to the best chest protectors, roost deflectors, and body armor. But, let us know if we missed a protector and why you think it deserves to be on the list. You can leave your comments below, ask us a question, or even give us a call if you have questions about a protector you want to pick up.