Idea for body armor and need HELP

I am not a designer but I have an idea for modifying a padded motorcycle jacket for use in paintball. I know what it should look like but have no clue on how to make it happen. HELP!!![/b]

Hire a designer. There are a few of us floating around.

Look through the portfolios ( and see if someone has the know-how and technical background.

The next step is getting it made. That’s the slippery slope. Unless you have a patent I wouldn’t try to walk into a manufacturer with your idea. They will rip it off.

Good luck.

Seams to me that is the problem with game playing in this modern culture. There is no pain in playing the game. Sure you can go fast on a motorcycle game. No punishment except in time for falling. The best part of paintball is the fact that there is a slight punishment (and bragging rights the next day at your job) with those curious round bruises.

Padding should be light and protect only eyes head and groin areas. Everywhere else should be light and sleek to minimize size.

I think you should start from scratch instead of modifying a motorcyle jacket.

The things a motorcycle jacket is supposed to do are:

*not snag when sliding on the ground (smooth sliding is safer than snagging)
*pad the elbows, shoulder and spine to protect them from damage when the body rolls (those are the most critical parts)
*extend over the lower back to cover that portion while riding (ass-crack area)
*zip into pants, when motorcycle pants are worn
*high neck to keep wind off
*vents to allow perspiration to blow off at 60 mph
*velcro closures etc. to keep wrist portion inside riding gloves
*removable lining to allow winter riding, off-season riding
*remove the pads to wash the item from time to time

I know less about paintball jackets but I think that the design brief is going to be remarkably different, what you seem to want is some of that elbow protection, the general badass look, maybe neck coverage and velcro closures to fit under helmets and gloves

Start fresh! Start new!

true, true Design-Engine,

the coolest clothes for painball would be crap you bought at the thrift store or army surplus, other than actual safety gear (eye protection, something to cover your face/ears/nose/mouth and maybe elbow and knee pads to allow you to be bold in leaping and rolling around.

but, if he wants to make a consumer product for manufacture and sale, well… there are plenty of products out there that nobody really needs but that people like (um… corn holders, napkin rings, tea-making machines, hot dog cookers, dog clothing, etc)

so, more power to you, let the market decide if your product is worth stocking on the shelves, but in the meantime, start any design project with some kind of design breif that describes the problem you intend to solve and the parameters of your solution.

and, these days “body armor” usually means bulletproof, with all the publicity of the equipment being used in Iraq and Afghanistan etc.

Is it for the woods or for speedball?

Whats the purpose of the modification?

Thanks for all of the replies!! The padded jacket will be geared more towards the rec. players. Not everyone is ok leaving the field with 10 quarter size bruises. Field miss out on alot of return players because of the ouch factor. They are the ones that will benefit from the padding. As for why I choose to modify a motorcycle jacket, I agree not all motorcycle jackets are suited (even with modification) to be used in paintball, I see the potential in the one I have.


My motorcycle jacket for instance, has a spine protector insert, elbow and shoulder inserts… those are the most critical things to protect in a situation on a bike. It has reflectorized material built into the exterior.

For paintball, you probably want a fairly uniform softer spongy foam over most of the whole thing, will need more arm mobility, and fabric that is easily washed, and won’t retain too much old paint.

as I see it the froearms, ribs, neck and kidenys are the areas that need the protection. The jacket material needs to be light and breathable and most of all washable. Something not too bulky so it can be worn underneath a jersey.

fairly different design directions if it is meant to be worn as an undergarment or overgarment, yes.

Not really. The jacket I have in mind is more along the lines of a padded sweatjacket than a padded leather jacket. Paintball jersies a relatively loose. In fact durring the fall players and some first time players wear hooded sweatshirts under their jersies or t shirts, so if it was made right it wouldn’t be a big deal for a player to put on a protective jacket.

your goals should be outlined for your project.

Here are some that I thought of reading through the posts and reflecting on some of my own paintball experience in the past.

Style: Your goal it seems is to make it look like a motorcycle jacket (which are cool looking :smiley: )

Function: I think your sweatjacket comment is more precise for paintball. You’d want to look at creating a form fitting breathable jacket that has soft armor and flexible/expanding joints at the shoulders and elbows. The armor though should not be focused on preventing pain, but rather prevent ball breaks on the person and reduce the chance of being marked. An emphasis on reducing snags is also a big bonus for both speedball and woods play. You may even want to incorporate low friction material to enhance slides.

Never been paint balling, but I understand that you need to be marked to lose or get taken out of the game…what if you didn’t create armor, but some sort of body plates that had ‘target areas’ where you get marked only if you hit certain…bulls eye’s… and if you get hit elsewhere…the material is paint resisitant so you can last in the game longer… maybe the target’s should be where normal fatal hits are made…like the head the heart and the groin…Im not sure…am I being clear?
Or something a bit stealthy…reflective materials? so you’re harder to see when being aimed at? aerodynamic…for speed…maybe sensors that tell you at lightning speeds that you’ve been shot at from a distance.
Second life armors…where the ink shows at first but then disappears…?