The vest is reusable. After the vest is inflated, simply deflate the vest by removing the CO2, squeezing out the excess air, and snapping back the airbags. Once the trigger mechanism has been reset and a new CO2 is installed, the vest is ready to be used again. At this time, there is not a way to reuse C02 cartridges.
A tensile force of about 30kg (66 pounds) is needed to release the key ball to activate the airbag. Normally, riders will feel a strong tug when dismounting, signaling that they forgot to unclip. If you jump off without unclipping the vest will go off.
The air vest has been around for over 20 years. HIT-Air was the first air vest. However, there are new vests on the market that have not been through the years of testing as we have.
For cross country, if you are using a pinny with ties, simply tie it a little looser. It is becoming more common for shows to use paper pinnies that are inserted into the new pinny holders made for air vests.
Hit Air has sold over 250,000 air vests and jackets. We have no reports of riders being hurt simply due to the vest inflating. It will feel like a tight hug, giving your body security in a fall.
No, you just replace the canister. We do recommend however, if you were to have a hard fall, six or more falls, that you send the vest to Hit Air to be serviced. We also offer annual servicing so we can check everything is operating as intended.
There is not an expiration date on the CO2s. Just ensure they are kept in a dry environment so the canisters will deteriorate or rust. You can always check the weight of the canisters to be sure. You must use Hit Air canisters as they are filled with the exact air and pressure required for proper function of the air vest. Using knock off co2s will void the 1 year manufacturer warranty as they will likely not inflate the vest properly in the event of a fall.
We have inflated the vest around horses for years. The sound is fast so your horse and others will not give it a second thought. If your horse is one that stays by you after you fall, he/she will probably still be there. If they are the type of horse that heads back to the barn or heard, you will know where to find them.
You can wear the Hit Air vest with or without a foam vest underneath. Most riders prefer the lightweight and convenience of the air vest vs the traditional bulky foam vest. However in eventing, the XC phase the associations require a foam body protector to be worn underneath.
We cannot guarantee protection in all circumstances. Unfortunately, if the rider never leaves separated from the saddle then the keyball can not pull out to activate the vest.
Yes, they can be in carry on or checked luggage, however it is up to TSA discretion. You may bring your vest with the CO2 installed and up to 2 extra canisterss with the vest. It is important you tell TSA that it is a “life vest” as seen in link. We suggest you print the following form, found on the TSA website, and bring it with your vest if using as a carry-on or placed in the top of luggage bag if checking the vest.