Getting ghosted: D3O’s latest armour offers flexibility and comfort without sacrificing safety

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Armour is no good if it’s so hefty and restrictive that you end up taking it out – especially in kit like riding jeans – which is where the latest gear from British firm D3O comes into its own.

The Croydon operation’s ultra-thin Ghost armour is said to be the thinnest and most flexible limb protector available on the increasingly competitive and technology-driven market and is designed as ‘fit and forget armour’ for use in motorsports.

It’s now available as a CE Level 2 certified product (the highest level available for limb protection) after the existing Level 1 version proved to be such a hit with riders.

D3O logo

Remaining flexible under normal use, the low-profile, soft orange material, which D3O describe as “super-secret stuff” hardens when put under excess force, such as that created during an accident. Think of it as reverse chewing gum.

Its malleability is also, in part, due to its construction using something called Impact Print technology, which results in complete flexibility.

Richard Harfoot, Head of Motorsport at D3O, said: “This technology from the D3O lab is the process of printing D3O materials directly onto fabrics, integrating protection more seamlessly than ever before. It means riders can now get D3O protection with even greater flexibility and breathability.”

D3O Ghost armour detail

The original Ghost armour Level 1 limb protector, released in 2019, was the first to use Impact Print technology after years of research and development.

Harfoot explains: “This development started in our innovation lab where chemists and engineers were challenged to redefine the future of personal protection.

“Once the technology was proven, our product design and development team then explored how they could utilise it to make riders safer and more comfortable,” he continued. “All in all, it was a few years in the making, but the response we’ve had from end users and brands we supply has been fantastic.”

Richard Harfoot

He added: “It’s been such a hit that people asked us to make a Level 2 range as well, and we’ve been happy to provide a wider range of products to suit end-user requirements.”

The applications for the material are not confined to the motorsport/protection sector but have created interest from wide ranging industries.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Harfoot. “We’ve used it for back of hand protection for workwear gloves and army combat gloves; we have luggage brands exploring using it for laptop cases; it’s being used in protective base-layers by sports brands; and we are just launching a metatarsal guard for use in workwear boots.”

D3O Ghost knee armour in situ

Harfoot continued: “We’re constantly looking at pushing the boundaries. We’re obsessive about developing the most protective products in the world – but that also means ensuring you have a product that people want to wear, so it has to be comfortable, breathable and flexible.

“We have new chest and back protectors in development; but also look out over the next 12 months for technologies that enhance head protection and address vibration dampening.”

The Ghost 2 armour retails at £36.99 for all configurations.

D3O Ghost knee armour cutaway

D3O Ghost Armour in detail

Huge range: D3O was set up in 1999, and now has an armour portfolio of more than 30 technologies and materials, including the new Ghost Level 2 knee armour.

Heading in the right direction: Head of Motorsport, Richard Harfoot hinted at enhancements for head protection in the future. This could well relate to an AMP system revealed to MCN back in April, which would add a thin layer of their soft flexible protection within a helmet’s comfort liner, to help absorb low-level impacts.

Unlimited range of motion: Rate-sensitive, soft, flexible material with high shock-absorbing properties mould around a rider’s joints, blending optimum comfort with the highest level of protection.

Stuart Prestidge

By Stuart Prestidge