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Charles Owen JL9 Vest

Charles Owen, Inc.
- Item #18957
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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

Why We Love This

A better vest for a better ride!  The Charles Owen JL9 Vest provides the feel of gel with the performance of foam. You'll feel free and flexible, instead of restricted and encased. The gel is much less rigid and molds more effectively to the body, especially in the ribs, for an optimal fit. This lightweight vest has an active joint, allowing the ribcage to expand without restriction. Certified BETA level 2, the JL9 vest provides the maximum in protection without the unwelcome bulk.  Imported.

Favorite Features

  • Constructed of Gelfoam® providing maximum protection without the bulk.
  • Ventilation holes covered in Coolmax® fabric for the utmost ventilation and wicking power
  • Active joint design prevents the vest from riding up
  • Lumbar support
  • Mobile phone pocket
  • Easy zip front with buckle closure
  • Outer cover is machine washable
  • Perfect for all riding whether out hacking, conquering a three day event, and anything in between! 
  • ASTM F1937/SEI

Sizing It Up

Safety Vest Comparison Chart

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    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend!
    Tell us what you think!

    SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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    Charles Owen JL9 Vest is rated 4.8148 out of 5 by 27.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I bought this in preparation for starting my OTTB over fences, just to be on the safe side, and thankfully I did! I popped off after he gave a tremendous buck and the vest lived up to expectations! It's hot (shocker, it's black and summer in NC), but really comfortable! Thrilled overall with the fit as well!
    Date published: 2015-06-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the vest, but did not fit. I loved the material and the protective feeling of this vest but it unfortunately did not fit. I am 5'8 and 125lb and the tightest fitting on the sides fit me perfectly (even though I measured a medium according to the size charts) but the back did not cover all the way down to my tail bone. I wanted so much for it to fit! I tried on a medium and it was longer but too loose on the sides even on the tightest settings. I ended up trying on the tipperary and it fit much better, just not as secure of a feeling.
    Date published: 2015-03-21
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Added protection I bought this a couple of months ago after a fall. I wish I had purchased the vest prior to the accident. Pros: seems well made, sturdy,beta certified, washable exterior. Cons: stiff material that feels like it restricts movementand is not that comfortable or attractive. I have only worn this vest in cool/ cold temperatures . It adds insulation. Overall, if you wear a protective vest this is a good mid priced option.
    Date published: 2015-01-06
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from safe , very warm The reviews said its stiff at first, but as you wear it the gel warms up/ it conforms to you. That is true. It was REALLY misshapen when it arrives. So lumpy in odd ways I could not get it zipped for some time....wore it unzipped doing barn chores before riding to get it closeable. After riding 3 horses most of the lumps worked out. I have it hanging over a chair trying to bend one last lump out of the gel. Once the lumps are worked out at least that won't be an ongoing issue, but it is a pain at first. It was a cool day today. I wore it with a windbreaker and I was toasty warm. Being fall with winter coming warm isn't a bad thing....but I think it would get pretty hot in the summer.I got a medium...I am 5 `8 / 164# 38 " bust and it fits snugly.
    Date published: 2014-11-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super comfortable I bought this vest never have worn one before and thought I would hate it but I prefer to wear it now.
    Date published: 2014-10-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better safe! I purchased this product to keep me safe while retraining my TB mare. It has given me a wonderful sense of confidence should anything go awry. It is comfortable, not weighty and molded to my frame. It's adjustability is also a big plus. Love it and I am really glad I purchased it and received a terrific price point as well.
    Date published: 2014-10-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable fit and secure feel After thinking about getting a vest for some time, I finally purchased the CO JL9 Vest. Glad I did. The fit was great (I'm 5'5" medium build and bought a medium). It is quite adjustable. The gel softened after wearing it for 20 minutes or so before riding, and I even forgot I had it on! Its protective ability is evident in the event of a tumble. If you are contemplating a vest, I HIGHLY recommend this one.
    Date published: 2014-09-11
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great vest I just bought this vest a few weeks ago, but have gotten the chance to school and show in it. It is GREAT! Once it gets warm it conforms to your body very nicely. Very comfortable and lovely to ride in.
    Date published: 2014-09-04
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great vest for the price This vest is not too bulky and I like that it is adjustable.
    Date published: 2014-08-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome vest! I've had my vest for quite a while, and figured I would share how much I love it. In the medium range for price of a protective vest, it's perfect. If I had all of the money in the world, I would still get these. On the other hand, if I didn't have much money I would save up to buy this (vs. the cheaper tipperarys, that aren't even allowed in some competitions because of their lack of protection). I've had my vest for years and it's still like new, the buckles and snaps hold up very well. While when you first put it on it may feel bulky, I assure you it molds to your body very quickly to the point you barely notice it's there. I also love how adjustable this vest is, it makes you feel even more secure and it can grow with you. I've fallen off twice with it on, and I will say you barely feel anything. The only thing I would be iffy about when buying this is the type of saddle you have. I love how the vest goes down lower in the back since it protects more, but when I had my AP saddle it would occasionally get caught on the back. With my CC saddle now though I don't have that issue. It's an awesome vest through and through
    Date published: 2014-07-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best vest you can get! Before buying this one I bought a cheaper, bulkier, very restrictive, pain-in-the-butt vest that I really (and I mean really) disliked. I decided to bite the bullet and take a loss on that purchase and spend a little extra to get a vest I could actually ride in. I could not be happier with this vest! The fit is fantastic, and the whole "molds to your body when it warms up" really is true. My favorite part is that I can take a full, deep breath in the vest, which is SO nice (it was terrible with my old vest). Yes, it may get a little hot in the summer, but it's really not that bad. Overall, it is the best vest that money can buy in my opinion--I could go on all day about how much I love it!
    Date published: 2014-06-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great protection I purchased this pad to offer some protection as I started my young horse under saddle. This vest is a bit heavy and can get warm, however it is very protective and unrestrictive. I like the fit, function and padding in this vest.
    Date published: 2014-01-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this vest I just got this vest last week and wore it in a hunter pace this past weekend. I wore it for two hours and it was really comfortable. It is flexible enough, cool enough (I wore a long sleeve shirt and a polo shirt and wasn't too hot), and it didn't feel bulky. It felt solid but comfortable. I am 5'6", 35" chest and 29" waist and got a small - I had to adjust it to the smallest size with the velcro on the sides. Anyone smaller than me would definitely need an XS. My only wish is that there was a second strip of velcro on the top side panels to secure the "extra" you get when you tighten the sides, but with the elastic belt I don't think it's moving. The material feels durable also. Can't wait for the next Pace to use it again!
    Date published: 2013-09-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid Vest This vest is solid and not too heavy. The range of motion is good. I would feel secure in it, but it is not Beta 3 approved. It is certified at ASTM level. If you don't need the higher rating you should try this.I say try because vests can be hard to fit. I tried four vest before buying. This vest in small was too big. I tried two other smalls and a teen ex large. I finally got a vest that is Beta 3 certified and comes in many women's sizes.I am an adult rider training a young horse. I will use it for daily riding and eventing when we're ready.
    Date published: 2013-03-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from sadly had to return Very nice vest. Many "barn buddies" wear this vest where I ride. I am an adult, medium build and 5'2" tall. This vest was too long for my body. It would have hit the saddle as I rode. So, if you are somewhat short this vest will not work for you.
    Date published: 2013-03-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from very comfortable vest I've tried others and found this one to be very comfortable. It is snug and yet I can breathe and bend!
    Date published: 2013-03-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I didn't expect to be a rider using a protective vest. After all, I'm a dressage rider and just how much trouble can we get in to? Then I found myself hugging Mother Earth when I least expected to. I researched vests and tried a few different ones on. I found the JL9 to have the ratings I wanted and the comfort I needed. I don't even realize I'm wearing it when I'm riding. It doesn't get in the way of sitting the trot. I also like the look because it gives a rather tailored look instead of a bulky appearance. Buy one.
    Date published: 2013-02-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable, non-restricting vest This light-weight vest stands up well to 4x week use. Comfortable and non-restricting once your body heat warms the gel up a little bit. Fits well under a Carhartt jacket during the cold months, but doesn't get suffocatingly hot during the summer (breathes well). It's BETA certified, which is why I chose it over the Tipperary. I haven't fallen off yet (fingers crossed!) with it on, so I can't speak to that. I did have to go down a size though, as they tend to run large.
    Date published: 2013-01-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from This vest saved me! I originally bought this for a pony club eventing rally for the XC part of it. The price isn't that bad compared to other vests. I was also debating to buy a Tipperary since it looked great, but this vest is BETA tested, unlike the Tipperary.The vest was a bit big on me (I purchased a small), and I wish there was more adjustability on the sides, because the sides were kind of big. When I actually rode in it, it felt great! It didn't make me hot, and it wasn't bulky at all. Unfortunately, I took a fall in it the first time I rode in it, and thank god I had this vest, otherwise I might have broken my back! I just brushed the vest off, and it was good as new.Overall, if you want a great vest, this is the one to get!
    Date published: 2012-11-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Nice Vest! This is my first vest and I couldn't be happier with it! This vest is really comfortable to ride in and isn't restrictive at all. The vest is amazing how it hugs to your body. I was concerned that I had too much room around my ribcage. I think I will just have to wear layers during the colder days and tighten up the sides on warmers days when I ride in a polo shirt. I do think that this vest is a little hot, but I tend to be hot blooded. Overall this vest was a big hit at my barn!
    Date published: 2011-10-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Second review! After riding in this vest several times, I absolutely love it. I was a little concerned about having a little extra room around the ribcage, but with layers it fits beautifully.It was a warm day, and I did not find the vest hot or uncomfortable at all. I totally love this vest!This is an awesome vest- its comfortable, adjustable, cool, and not restrictive.I highly recommend this vest!
    Date published: 2010-09-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Vest! So far vest shopping has proved to be both difficult and annoying. I have tried multiple vests and have either had fit issues or comfort problems. I first tried the AiroWear Outlyne vest, which I totally loved but they didn't make them in a size that worked for me.I decided to try the JL9 out of desperation and I am pleasantly surprised. Its very comfortable after its warmed up, and does not hinder your body at all when jumping or galloping. I found that although it was a little hotter than my Tipperary, it was by no means uncomfortably hot or miserable. I actually really liked it!My only hesitation is the fit. The length is perfect, but its a little big around the ribcage even on the tightest velcro allowance. But I am just difficult to fit.Its an exceptional vest, for a great price! I highly recommend it.
    Date published: 2010-09-19
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