As I get ready to embark on my first cross country outing tomorrow, it occurs to me that I do not own a vest. Trainer is lending me one for the schooling day, but if all goes well and we manage to not die on our first outing I will eventually be needing my own.
I’ve done some preliminary research because who doesn’t hate that person who goes online to ask a question they could have just googled instead. Or is that just me? Anyway… I’ve read about the difference between the BETA and ASTM requirements and have looked up lists of available vests on the market today. This just made my head spin.
From what I have read and the little I have seen out and about, I have gathered a very short list of things I know I want and the rest is so up in the air that I am taking to the blog to ask all you for suggestions on where to even begin. The big issue I have is that the local tack shop only carries the Tipperary ASTM certified vest and that goes against one of the items on my list, so I can’t go try on bunch and see what I like.
The AECs aare back in Tryon next month and I have signed up to volunteer two days. Last year they had a small vendor area and I am hoping it returns as well. If I can get some good opinions here then I can go armed with some info to try on as many brands as I can get my hands on.
Here is what I know I want (or at least think I know I want):
1.) BETA approved
2.) Not air
3.) Off the shelf. I am pretty average in my measurements and do not need a custom vest as my starter
4.) Some basic color choices would be nice, but it does not need to get fancy
5.) At least a little cool. It is so insanely hot and humid here that I worry most about heat stroke in a solid vest than how I look or what color the thing is. I know they will all be hotter than not wearing one (much like a helmet), but safety is more important. If I can find one that offers a little better heat dissipation that would be great.
And that is about it.
So…any pointers, tips, suggestions, recommendations? Please lay it on me so that I can go armed with information and ready to try on all the things.