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SixSixOne Evo LS Jacket and Shorts – Review

Dec 1, 2016
by Paul Aston  
Morzine - Paul Aston

As a kid, I was often armored up to the eyeballs in massive Dainese turtle suits at the local downhill tracks. Passing through my twenties, I went through the 'too cool for school, I don't need any armor phase,' regardless of what silly speeds we planned on surpassing, or stupid lines we wanted to ride in the wrong conditions. Entering the third phase of self-preservation as I age, I'm taking more interest in body armour and protectives, not full turtle suit again, but lightweight, comfortable safety gear.

The SixSixOne Evo jacket and shorts represent some of the latest technical armor featuring D30 padding, a compression fit, and their new Padlock System; which links together a range of protection jackets, shorts, knee and elbow pads with simple press studs. There is a short sleeve version of the Evo LS jacket, which has the option of Padlock elbow guards. I used the shorts in conjunction with the 661 Rage Hard knee and shin guards.

At $189.99 USD for the jacket, $89.99 for chamois shorts and $85 for the knee/shin guards, less that four hundred dollars for full body protection.

Evo LS Jacket Details

• Removable D30 shoulder, elbow and back meeting CE 1621:1 standards
• Back D30 pocket doubles as a hydration holder with hose routing
• Full zipper
• Laminated EVA in chest and hip areas
• Back storage pockets
• Padlock connection system
• Price: $189.99 USD
/ @sixsixone

Evo Short Details

• Removable D30 hip pads for CE 1621:1 protection
• Comfortable lycra construction with laminated EVA foam for thigh and coccyx protection
• Premium moisture managing gel chamois
• Silicon printing to keep leg openings from creeping
• Price: $89.99 USD

661 SixSixOne Evo D30 inserts
Between the jacket and shorts, there are seven chunks of D30 foam.
661 SixSixOne Evo D30 inserts
The back protector is certified to CE 1621:1 standards

If your habitation consists of a sub-igneous hideout and you don't know what D30 foam is, it's a non-Newtonian foam, Clever Clogs. In other words, it's soft and flexible in its normal state, but hardens upon impact. Bottom line, it's comfortable when riding, but said to offer better protection in a crash than other foams of the same thickness.

Morzine - Paul Aston
The back protector could be longer, my lower back felt exposed.

On the Trail

The fit of the Evo LS jacket and shorts was comfortable; completely uninhibited by sharp zips or straps that build pressure points. What you experience is simply the snug feeling of compression clothing. Regarding bulk, the Evo LS is much slimmer than the old turtle set-ups, but not as slim as some other recent models on the market. Then again, the thickness of these particular D30 pads give you confidence that you have a good chance of survival on the way to say hello to terra-firma.

Temperature wise, body armor is always going to be warmer than wearing a wife beater out on the trail with 'all the lads,' but the Evo jacket isn't massively hot. A full-length zip makes the jacket easy to take off, even when sweaty. The back protector is removable (along with elbow and shoulder pads), and its pocket doubles as a hydration carrier with routing for the hose – perfect for summer alpine epics.

The back protector is wider at the top, covering the upper back and shoulders, then tapers downwards. The protector could be a bit longer, as it stopped higher up my spine than I would have liked, leaving my lower back feeling exposed.

The elbow pads extend down the forearm enough to protect well on high-speed slide-outs. I did cut off the
Morzine - Paul Aston
661's new Padlock system connects matching pieces of armor together using press studs.
velcro adjustment straps on the forearms, they weren't needed for a good fit and could potentially inhibit blood flow to the hands.

The Evo shorts have a quality gel chamois, with removable D30 hip pads and EVS foam on the thighs. The padding is hardly noticeable on the bike, and when riding downhill, I would always choose them over standard undershorts.

Using the Rage Hard knee/shin pads in conjunction with the rest of the kit, I didn't experience the same issues as Vernon Felton in his review regards the pads sliding down – with or without the Padlock system engaged – though I did have the longer knee/shin version. Hard plastic knee protectors which should slide better than fabric against the dirt should be more commonplace in downhill, and I like the light EVA padding around the shins for glancing off pedal pins and wayward rocks.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesMid-weight body armour I could happily spend the day downhilling in. - Paul Aston


  • 55 6
 Anyone else have hockey gear? You could literally drop off of a whole mountain with a full face, and hockey gear.
  • 132 1
 Level 5 Canadian
  • 42 0
 My goalie stick keeps getting in the way.
  • 70 0
 @bishopsmike: don't get me started about how hard it is to pedal in skates
  • 22 0
 The gloves work great for punching trees when your bars are a bit too wide.
  • 12 1
 If you slick your hockey pads up with maple syrup you can slide all the way down the kootenays, eh?
  • 4 0
 @Boardlife69: Thats great to know, I'm having a hard time fitting my hockey stick bars through trees!
  • 17 0
I took a hard crash this year in the vest version of this. I landed directly on my back onto a bunch of sharp rocks and can verify that D30 is legit. I put about 10 days on it, some of which were very hot and I was always comfortable. The only negative I'd say is it seems like the fabric is a bit lightweight compared to similar offerings from Dianeese and Alpinestars. Not a factor if you plan to wear a jersey over it but as the outside layer I'd be reluctant. Also, I'm a "big boned" type at 190 lbs and 5'9" so the large version more than covered my spine at the bottom. Like anything else, you'll want to try it on first as I choose it over the 2 companies above due to fit in the shoulders and chest. Definitely happy with my purchase and will likely pick up the shorts for next season.
  • 11 4
 no neck brace compatibility without removing that back pad entirely, back protection that doesn't cover the base of the spine, insufficient rib protection at the back, and the only protection that covers the sternum is the zipper?? subpar, 661. subpar
  • 2 0
 Good point. I am tired of cutting chunks out of foam with a hot knife or Dremel to make the brace compatible.
  • 4 1

Check out this link. Gives a few reviews on compatibility of armor with neck braces.
  • 1 0
 @lbz215: absolutely none of those look right. I will stick with my Leatt under jersey chest protector left from my moto days. If I am going to bothering wearing protection, might as well wear the protection.
  • 2 0
 The shop crew at Highland fit me for a Leatt this fall and we got it set up to be on the outside of my armor. Don is listed on Leatt's site as an authorized rep, so I trust his judgement on these matters. I wear an Evoc Protector+ jacket and like the idea of the thoracic struts having a load path across my entire back rather than just my spine.
  • 1 0

yeah, it was really meant more as a "hey check this out" FYI than take it as gospel. Hahaha... I have the Fox Titan Armor, and no neck brace. There are some armor that have integration pockets for neck braces. So take it for what it's worth I guess...
  • 2 2
 Neck braces are mostly overrated - most of the research shows that cervical fractures during MTB are compression which won't be prevented by a brace which CAN impair your mobility and vision, which may lead to an unnecessary crash. It'd be cool if it WAS brace compatible to meet ALL of our needs, but frankly this doesn't matter to me. The reduced lumbosacral coverage DOES bother me a bit, but I wouldn't use this for full on DH anyway... would want level 2 CE for that. This seems like a great Enduro race option, and I'm very tempted. I just wish that for certain coverage spots they'd go back to EVA... D3O can be kinda uncomfortable and not very good at shock absorption for certain impacts, and EVA is way more comfortable for non-nasty impacts.
  • 2 0
 @erikkellison: by compression do you mean axial loading? Would you be willing to share some of the sources you're referring to? Always looking to educate myself...
  • 1 0
 The way to go

Neck brace compatible, good sternum protection (well too much, I ended up pulling out 2 of the 3 layers), and rib protection. Breathes reasonably well. The way to go for big dh days
  • 6 2
 I wear the TLD core protection vest every time I pedal up the hill, and though at times it is scratchy, sweaty, adds some weight and isn't entirely flexible, it's entirely worth it. I'm completely used to wearing it now, it's not even a second thought. I'd like to try this setup and see how it feels on a full day of pedaling.
  • 4 0
 doesn't look really comfortable, especially in the hip-aera.
i trust the Bliss ARG top, no superfluous velcro and stuff.
  • 2 0
 I switched from 661 Evo (5-year old model) to the Bliss ARG top and it is absolute heaven. So much lower profile, cooler, and snug without being restrictive. Best investment in body protection I've made. The only improvement I could hope for would be if it got lighter.
  • 1 1
 Because the lower spine is not as important? This logic seems to be comparing the Bliss ARG Top to my normal riding t-shirt.
  • 1 1
 @meesterover: Well the lower spine is less important than your upper spine. Would you rather lose the use of your legs, or the use of your neck, arms, muscles to breathe and legs? Personally I want it all, but if I had to pick......
  • 1 0
 @Andrewlunka: Appreciate the anatomy lesson Captain Obvious. If you are going to wear protection, you choose stuff that, well, protects you. If you want to choose half-ass protective gear, be my guest. It is your half spine after all.
  • 2 0
 I really want to see a image of someone with their arms above there head , to get a perspective of how little protection most of these jacket provide to the lower ribs under extension . I broke several ribs due to the fact my chest plate slide up my chest when my arms where above my head , this exposed the ribs on impact , not a practical design
  • 3 0
 This protection uses and rubs my elbow. I resold it. Not very confortable for me. I buy a Dainese Rhyolite a lot more confortable and lighter.
  • 2 0
 I have 2 Diagnese Manis 1 jackets , one that I took the chest protector off , one with it . Super ventilated with hard shell pads . Biking is so behind Moto in protection attitude .
  • 4 0
 "Quality gel chamois," huh? Was that in the press release? Is that like a premium straw mattress?
  • 1 0
 so i have owned and used this set up for the past park season and all fall season. it is a comfy set up that protects well in crashes on rock gardens and groomed jump lines. my only complaint is that the elbow guards are flat on the inside, not cupped like my TLD speed elbow guards. it causes elbow pain after about half day. i thought about cutting the straps off like this article suggested, now that i know someone else did it i will too. other than that, you don't know you're wearing it, its that comfy.
  • 3 1
 This jacket is super nice and comfortable and I recommend it to anyone. I had a few crashes with it on and didn't feel a thing. 5/5 review in my opinion
  • 4 0
 again short spine Frown little longer or adjustable would be much better
  • 3 6
 maybe it is a problem of this particular guy cause he is toll and skinny
  • 4 0
 no protection for the ribs?
  • 3 0
 The shorts actually seem like a good deal, considering they come with a chamois. I would try these.
  • 3 0
 Still wearing my 2002 Dainese Safety Jacket 'Turtle Suit'. Italian gear. Makes me look swoll up.
  • 4 1
 This would have made it so much easier for my deadpool costume a month ago
  • 3 1
 If you are going to wear armor like this, don’t you want it to be level 2 protection?. CE 1621:1 is only level 1 right?
  • 1 2
 Plenty of street moto gear is CE level 1 and while it's not the best protection it's certainly good enough for mtb in most cases.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why there is never any protection for your stomach and diaphragm? BFT to those areas can be dangerous, and one else feel the same way?
  • 1 0
 you cant protect your stomach with plastic or anything
  • 2 1
 I have their older stuff and it's saved my ass more than a few times. I think this will be a worthy upgrade.
  • 4 1
 It's Morphin Time....
  • 2 0
 How does it work with a neckbrace?
  • 1 0
 New RedBull rampage body armor 661)
  • 1 0
 Robocop Is back !
  • 1 2
  • 12 14
 God. Get a haircut Paul.
  • 5 14
flag nickkk (Dec 2, 2016 at 0:44) (Below Threshold)
 It was a joke you pricks
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