Dainese D-Air: Revolutionary Safety or Overpriced Gimmick?

Riding a motorcycle comes with inherent risks, so wearing proper protective gear to mitigate potential injuries in a crash is essential.

While armor inserts help cushion impacts, airbag systems provide an advanced option that actively deploys a protective barrier around your body.

After seeing this technology used extensively in the MotoGP circuit, I was eager to try it out myself.

The Denizy Smart Jacket immediately caught my attention thanks to its innovative, self-contained airbag system with no subscription fees.

Dainese D-Air Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Expensive but highly protective
  • Airbag safety breakthrough technology
  • No subscriptions or added components

I’ll break down how it works, sizing and fit, comfort, safety ratings, charging, onboard electronics, and more.

My goal is to provide fellow riders with a comprehensive review based on real-world testing so you can determine if this jacket aligns with your needs and budget.

Overview of the Denizy Smart Jacket

Denizy offers two versions of their Smart Jacket:

  • Smart Jacket – A vest worn over other clothing.
  • Smart Jacket LS – A full jacket with integrated sleeves.

I tested the Smart Jacket LS, which provides abrasion-resistant coverage over your entire upper body. It uses Denizy’s D-air technology with an airbag that inflates around your chest and back in the event of a crash.

Here are the key features that make this jacket stand out:

  • No subscription fee – One-time purchase price includes the airbag system.
  • Fully self-contained – No need for an external airbag vest under your jacket.
  • Fast inflation – Deploys in under 45 milliseconds.
  • Multiple sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, and GPS track motion and impacts.
  • Full upper body protection – The airbag surrounds the chest, back, and shoulders.
  • CE Level 2 safety rated – Exceeds minimum armor requirements.
  • Machine washable – The outer shell is water-resistant and durable.
  • 26-hour battery life – Enough for multi-day trips before recharging.

Next, I’ll break down my in-depth evaluation of wearing and testing this jacket on everyday rides.

Design

The trim silhouette of this jacket lacks adjusters for the waist, arm, or cuff, limiting customization. While the jacket’s form-fitting design provides a sleek look, it may not accommodate all body types.

However, the LS fits well for a rider with dimensions of five feet, 10 inches, and 160 pounds. The mesh construction enhances airflow, keeping the rider cool, except around the airbag bladders where ventilation is restricted.

Design FeaturesFitVentilation
Trim silhouetteForm-fittingMesh construction
No adjustersLimited customizationRestricted around airbag
Sleek lookFits well for specific dimensionsEnhances airflow

Overall, the design of the Smart Jacket LS prioritizes style and a snug fit, which may limit comfort for some riders.

However, the jacket’s ventilation system and mesh construction help maintain airflow, ensuring breathability during rides.

Sizing and Fit

Finding the right size is crucial for proper airbag deployment, so consult Denizy’s size chart and measure carefully.

The Smart Jacket uses an adjustable waist belt and stretch panels for a flexible fit. I typically wear a size large jacket, and the large Smart Jacket LS fits me well with room to layer underneath.

The airbag and sensors add minimal bulk compared to a regular jacket. I didn’t feel restricted moving my head or raising my arms. For maximum coverage, the airbag also extends over the tops of your shoulders.

Dainese Men’s Jacket Sizing

ALPHA SIZEUSA SIZECHEST (IN)WAIST (IN)ARM (IN)NECK (IN)HEIGHT (IN)
XS3232.3-33.927.6-29.121.7-2214-14.464.2-65.4
SM3433.9-35.429.1-30.722-22.414.4-14.865.4-66.5
SM3635.4-3730.7-32.322.4-22.814.8-15.266.5-67.7
MD3837-38.632.3-33.922.8-23.215.2-15.667.7-68.9
MD4038.6-40.233.9-35.423.2-23.615.6-15.968.9-70.1
LG4240.2-41.735.4-3723.6-2415.9-16.370.1-71.3
LG4441.7-43.337-38.624-24.416.3-16.771.3-72.4
XL4643.3-44.938.6-40.224.4-24.816.7-17.172.4-73.6
XL4844.9-46.540.2-41.724.4-24.817.1-17.573.6-74
2XL5046.5-4841.7-43.324.8-25.217.5-17.974-74.4
3XL5248-49.643.3-44.924.8-25.217.9-18.374.4-74.8
4XL5449.6-51.244.9-46.525.2-25.618.3-18.774.8-75.2

This table displays the Euro size, alpha size, USA size, and various chest, waist, arm, neck, and height measurements.

Comfort and Materials

This jacket combines abrasion-resistant mesh panels with microfiber leather accents to balance protection and comfort.

I found it breathed well during hot summer riding without excessive heat buildup. The mesh feels smooth and flexible while still providing good slide resistance.

There’s a basic waist adjustment system with Velcro straps to cinch it tighter if needed. It won’t match the customization of premium riding jackets, but it offers enough to tweak the fit. I rode for several hours without discomfort or chafing from the jacket.

Rain Protection

While the outer shell resists light moisture, the Denizy Smart Jacket is not fully waterproof. In a prolonged downpour, you’ll want to add a rain jacket on top.

The good news is the sensors housed along the bottom of the jacket are fully waterproof.

Just be aware that heavy rain can penetrate the outer mesh material over time. But it proved sufficient in lighter precipitation during my testing.

Armor and Safety Ratings

This jacket doesn’t include any separate armor inserts. Instead, the integrated airbag system provides the impact protection equivalent to wearing multiple armor pads. Specifically, Denizy states it equals:

  • 8 chest protectors for the front.
  • 7 back protectors for the rear.

Independent testing by accredited labs confirms the Smart Jacket meets Level 2 safety standards for motorcycle protective apparel. That’s the highest rating for armor inserts under the CE certification process.

The airbag itself also appears well-constructed with rip-resistant material and strong seams. Denizy injects a proprietary filament design that makes the airbag stiffer and more shock-absorbent compared to standard inflatable bladders.

Charging and Battery Life

The Smart Jacket LS uses a rechargeable lithium battery sealed into a compartment at the lower back of the jacket.

A full charge takes around 2.5 hours and lasts for approximately 26 hours of riding time. That’s an entire weekend trip without needing to plug it in again.

Charging uses a common USB-C cable that you can connect to a wall outlet, power bank, or computer. The jacket is smart enough not to activate when plugged in, so you can’t mistakenly wear it while charging.

The only downside is you can’t charge it while riding since that would disable the airbag. So you’ll need to remember to charge it at the start of each trip fully.

Operating the Airbag System

Activating the Denizy Smart Jacket is simple and straightforward. Secure the magnetic clasp around your neck, and the system turns on standby mode, as a blue LED light indicates.

It remains on standby until you start moving on a motorcycle faster than 6 mph. Vibrations from the engine detect motion, and the airbag fully arms itself, changing the light to green. This prevents accidental deployment off the bike.

In the event of a crash, the sensors trigger near-instantaneous airbag inflation without requiring you to pull a cord or take any action.

After deployment, the jacket deflates in about 10 seconds and is ready to re-arm once disconnected and charged.

Onboard Electronics and Sensors

This jacket’s “smart” technology comes from extensive sensors and processing power built into the hardware. An advanced algorithm analyzes data 1000 times per second from:

  • Gyroscope – Detects orientation and angular motion.
  • Accelerometer – Measures linear movement and force.
  • GPS receiver – Tracks speed and position for context.

This allows the airbag to deploy only during actual crashes and not from false positives. Based on sensor input, the software is sophisticated enough to discern different types of impacts like low sides, high sides, or rear collisions.

You can update the firmware and settings through a smartphone app or Windows/Mac software. That way, you’ll get the latest algorithm improvements that Denizy rolls out over time.

Care and Maintenance

One of the benefits of the self-contained Smart Jacket is that it’s machine washable since there are no separate airbag components. Just remove the battery pack first; all the fabric is washing machine-safe.

I’d recommend washing it every few months to keep the mesh material clean from grime and road debris. The outer shell showed no signs of wear after my testing.

Denizy advises bringing the jacket in for servicing every 3 years to confirm everything still functions properly.

This preventative maintenance is free under their warranty program. If you do deploy the airbag after a crash, replacement costs around $235.

Cost Comparison

The Denizy Smart Jacket costs more than many traditional motorcycle jackets equipped with CE-rated armor.

But keep in mind you’re paying for the integrated airbag system that provides a level of protection exceeding basic foam or composite pads.

And unlike airbag vests that must be worn underneath your jacket, the Denizy integrates everything into one complete package. There’s no need for additional components or paying a recurring subscription fee.

In return for the premium price, you get advanced safety technology proven through years of development and testing.

While not inexpensive, it does offer good value compared to other airbag jackets and vests currently on the market.

Pros and Cons

Based on my testing, here are the key advantages and disadvantages of the Denizy Smart Jacket:

Pros

  • Integrated airbag for full upper-body protection
  • Machine washable and durable construction
  • No monthly subscription fee is required
  • Deploys in under 45 milliseconds
  • Over 25 hours of runtime per charge
  • Self-contained jacket without separate airbag vest
  • Waterproof crash sensors
  • Advanced gyroscope and GPS tracking

Cons

  • Expensive initial purchase price
  • Not fully waterproof in heavy rain
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 1-2 days max
  • Only available in men’s sizes currently
  • Cannot recharge the battery while riding

FAQs

Does the airbag ever deploy accidentally?

No, the smart sensors only trigger the airbag during an actual crash, not from normal riding vibrations or bumps.

Do I need to buy a subscription plan?

No subscription is required. All costs are included with the one-time purchase price.

Can I ride in the rain with the Denizy jacket?

Light rain and mist are fine, but heavy downpours can soak through the outer material over time. A rain jacket worn on top is recommended.

What happens if I crash and the airbag deploys?

After deploying, the jacket deflates in about 10 seconds. Denizy will repack the airbag and recharge it for around $235.

How long does the battery last between charges?

Expect around 26 hours of actual riding time from a full 2.5-hour charge. You’ll need to recharge it at least every other day.

The Verdict

Is this the best motorcycle jacket? The Denizy Smart Jacket brings genuine innovation to the motorcycle gear market by integrating an advanced airbag system into a standalone riding jacket.

After thoroughly testing it in real-world conditions, I’m convinced the technology works as advertised.

Riders who prioritize safety and value premium protection will find it well worth the price. Yes, it costs more than standard jackets, but it outperforms them when it counts most.

For those seeking the latest advancement in airbag tech, the Denizy Smart Jacket delivers impressive performance and peace of mind.

Considering the protection it provides in a crash and the lack of subscription fees, it earns high marks in my book. Just be sure to order the correct size and keep its battery charged.

So, in summary, while not inexpensive, this jacket features clever engineering and extensive research to provide a huge safety boost out on the road.

I’m excited to see this airbag technology become more accessible to mainstream riders. Check it out yourself if you want a glimpse at the future of smart motorcycle gear.

Conclusion

This detailed review helped explain the key advantages and tradeoffs of the Denizy Smart Jacket.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any other questions! I’m happy to provide more info about sizing, comfort, charging, safety ratings, and real-world performance.

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