Most people don't enjoy the feeling of rocks pelting their skin.

It hurts!

Similarly, putting on a bullet proof vest and willingly taking a chest full of buck shot, just to see what it's like, probably isn't on anyone's bucket list. So, if you race dirt bikes put on chest protector.

Roost - the wicked spray of dirt kicked up from the rear tire of a dirt bike - hurts like a mother and it's a fact of Motocross racing. It's something every rider must manage therefore limiting its effect on your body is paramount when competing and trying to stay in the race.

You've got a helmet and goggles which help protect your face, eyes and head but look at your riding stance. Both arms spread out with an open invitation for anything and everything to take aim at your upper body. Chest protectors also offer significant trauma absorption in a crash so in addition to deflecting high-speed rocks you just might save a rib or two.

But some riders don't wear a chest protector. It's not like putting on an undershirt. It's bulky, can limit movement and just feels heavy. However, manufacturers have also addressed riders' concerns and today's chest protectors offer maximum protection with lightweight materials designed to contour your body - if you buy the right one.

Some protection is better than nothing but if you want to head into battle with a coat of armor then check out the best Motocross chest protectors available:

Alpinestars A4 Roost Guard

Alpinestars doesn't just make great feet and ankle protection. The company's A4 Roost Guard protects you front and back without weighing you down or inhibiting movement. The front and back shells come with CE certification and include perforations for maximum cooling effects. An adjustable kidney elastic strap incorporates rib protection panels.

Other features include:

  • Optimized for use with BNS neck braces
  • One size fits broad range of body types
  • Removable and adjustable shoulder pads
  • Thermoformed EVA tail extension extends coverage to coccyx area

Fox Racing Raptor Roost Deflector

The Fox Racing Raptor Roost Deflector offers complete unrestricted body coverage that includes side plates, adjustable and removable shoulder and bicep coverage and CE certified back protection.

Other features include:

  • Full-wrap body coverage
  • Neck brace compatible
  • Adjustable front plate
  • Integrated buckle system

Leatt 3DF AirFit Chest Protector

The 3DF AirFit Chest Protector by Leatt uses soft impact foam rather than a hard shell composite and uses a multi-layer multi-plate articulating design for maximum coverage and comfort. It's CE tested and certified for chest, back and flank protection.

Other features include:

  • Ventilation slots for maximum airflow
  • BraceOn neck brace fitting system
  • Removable front and rear plates allow over/under the shirt Leatt neck brace fit
  • Weighs 740 grams (1.63 lbs.)

Troy Lee Designs Shock Doctor CP5900 Chest Protector

The Troy Lee Designs Shock Doctor CP5900 Chest Protector provides protection for the chest, ribs, back and clavicle but the contoured, low profile, and ergonomically designed fit makes it virtually unseen when worn under the jersey and unnoticed by the rider.

Other features include:

  • Compatible with leading neck braces without compromising fit and protection
  • Circulates air through flexible channel over the skin surface to cool the rider
  • Vented soft-yoke connection between front and back plates offers unprecedented fit and comfort
  • Hinged chest plates provide extended rib coverage, better fit and maintains proper positioning in crash situations

Leatt 5.5 Pro HD Chest Protector

Leatt designed the 5.5 Pro HD Chest Protector with maximum safety incorporating the 3DF AirFit impact foam with a hard shell to cover the chest, back, shoulder and flank. It's a bit heavier than others (4.4 lbs) but is designed for optimal protection in the event of a crash. Roost has nothing on it!

Other features include:

  • 53 ventilation slots for maximum cooling
  • Fits under or over the jersey with Leatt neck braces
  • CE tested and certified chest, back, shoulder and flank protection
  • Adjustable over-the-shoulder straps ensure a great fit

OK, so you're a minimalist. Like we said some protection is at least some protection but that doesn't mean you can't get top notch defense to save your chest from looking like you're coming down with some type of rash inspired disease.

Fox Racing 2017 Proframe Roost Deflector

Slim and sleek, Fox Racing's Proframe Roost Deflector offers neck support compatibility and uses a race inspired integrated buckle system. The low profile frame is adjustable to all body types and the adjustable shoulder straps offer a precise fit with or without a neck brace.

Other features include:

  • Easy-to-use buckle system integrated into chest plate
  • Removable back plate allows rider to wear chest plate only
  • Two position adjustable back plate for a precise fit
  • Soft Biofoam chassis against body for a comfortable fit

Fly Revel Race Roost Guard

The Fly Revel Race Roost Guard incorporates a full upper plastic roost deflector with a biofoam chassis system that eliminates injury-causing plastic rivets by using soft plastic and rubber. The neck brace compatible design allows for wearing under or over the jersey.

Other features include:

  • Removable thermoformed soft biofoam chassis for increased comfort and easy washing
  • Easy-to-use waist belt buckles integrated into the chest plastic
  • Air channels molded into the biofoam allow hot air to escape
  • Multiple vents for maximum airflow

Atlas 2016 Defender Lite Chest Protector

Atlas made their Defender Lite Chest Protector to integrate seamlessly with the Atlas neck brace. It's waterproof and features no gaps, loose parts, fasteners or protruding plastic features thanks to an innovative design that bonds that padding to the plastic shell.

Other Features include:

  • Five possible configurations and can be worn under or over a jersey
  • 52 intake and exhaust vents
  • Waist straps include built-in magnets to help keep the straps in place during use
  • Simplified fasteners

Leatt Adventure Lite Chest Protector

The Leatt Adventure Lite Chest Protector offers stripped down protection by removing the shoulder and upper arm guards while integrating perfectly with a Leatt neck brace. The Adventure Lite offers the exclusive BraceOn elastic strap system that attaches the chest protector to the neck brace yet provides independent movement for your body, the brace and chest protector.

Other Features include:

  • Close fitting allows for over or under the jersey use
  • Made of extremely tough HDPE plastic and washable biofoam
  • Best for riders weighing approximately 120-190 pounds
  • click-in adjusters provide a secure fit

Check out the rest of our "Best of" in Motocross protection: