So far, we’ve had nothing but great things to say about Slippery’s products in our weekly “Real Reviews” section, and for good reason. Slippery, part of the Parts Unlimited family and younger sibling to motocross gear and apparel maker Thor, uses nothing but the best materials, molds and stitching to provide the utmost comfort and durability to its product lineup.
Now, it’s with a degree of bias that we admit that side-entry vests aren’t our favorite. While almost universally popular among the more svelte racers, freeriders and freestylers, side-entry vests typically don’t fit larger riders; particularly thicker or more protective race- or high performance-grade side-entry vests fit little better than clunky sandwich boards. Thankfully, such was not the case with Slippery’s eye-catching Rev Side-Entry Vest.
What qualms we had with the Rev Side-Entry Vest were overshadowed with the pluses, but again, we’d be remiss not to air what we thought were some shortcomings. Surprisingly, the Rev, unlike other side-entry vests we’ve reviews, fit too snuggly. Although the same size as our Switch Molded Vest, the Rev required a little more tugging and coaxing to get zipped up.
Relaxing the two 1.5-inch straps all the way, which are tastefully hidden inside of the neoprene body, helped, but we did feel a little squeezed. We suggest ordering your Rev Side-Entry Vest a size larger and cinching up the belts rather than what we had to do. The Rev features the same heavy-duty zipper with a snap-over zipper buckle. While the USCG-approved Type 3 vest required some pulling to get on, the stretchy neoprene construction had plenty of give and was comfortable on bare skin, which is rare.
Apart from Slippery’s use of comfortable materials, is its commitment to improving life vest mobility. This is accomplished in the Rev by employing several “hinges” in the foam throughout the back and chest molds. The chest and back are broken up by these “breaks” in the foam allowing a rider to bend and twist, as well as ride seated on their runabout without the vest bunching up. There’s ample room around the armpits and shoulders to free up mobility.
Overall we enjoyed the Rev Side-Entry vest, but found ourselves wishing we had our standard front-entry vest if only for the extra breathing room. The Rev is attractive, made from the best materials around, is surprisingly lightweight (even when sopping wet), and very forgiving. We just found it a little too snug, which is probably a reflection on our eating habits rather than Slippery’s products.