Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O review – MTB armor with serious protection, comfortable and freedom of movement

Impact-hardening D3O panels resist impacts and a clever ‘spacer mesh’ keeps the vest just off the skin to greatly aid in cooling and airflow

Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D30
(Image: © Mick Kirkman)

BikePerfect Verdict

Balancing protection, fit and cooling is a difficult formula in MTB protection tops, but Fox has totally nailed it with the Baseframe.


  • +

    Stability and fit are superb

  • +

    Excellent range of movement for upper body

  • +

    Solid protection

  • +

    Stretchy fabric wicks exceptionally well

  • +

    Retains shape and looks over multiple wash cycles


  • -

    Heavier than many rivals

  • -

    No pockets or hydration bladder storage

  • -

    Price is at the top end

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Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

The Fox vest features a Level 1 certified chest protector   (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

The top performer in our best MTB body armor roundup, this Fox vest has both front and rear protection with a shaped chest guard and longer back plate extending almost from neck to coccyx. The rear panel has a removable upper insert for downhillers using neck braces and separate, smaller pads that also protect vital organs on the flanks above the waist.

Fox’s seriously thick pads are removable and hang off a super-soft and stretchy fabric that’s extremely good at wicking moisture and breathing. The vest uses different zones and types of material to target fit and ventilation and underneath each of the main panels there’s a ‘spacer mesh’ that very slightly lifts it off the body to allow cooling air to get to your skin.

Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

The Level 2 certified back plate extends almost from neck to coccyx (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

Design and specifications

The main armor panels use one of the original impact-hardening polymers called D3O. It’s soft and conforming enough to flow with the body’s movements until it’s striked, at which point it instantaneously locks together and becomes rigid to resist penetration and defend against impacts. It’s arranged here in an open webbing mesh for better ventilation and airflow and is also pre-sculpted into a form-fitting shape.

The Baseframe front pad has Level 1 certification and the rear full CE Level 2 motorcross protection. Once in place and zipped in – you need to thread your arms inside – you feel really protected and wrapped up with the chest panel covering your heart, lungs and ribs yet still seeming to leave more room around the side of the pecs and underarm area to really rotate your shoulders and upper body better than other protection vests too.

Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

The vest has elasticated adjustment straps for a secure fit (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)


The Baseframe fit is superb with a highlight being absolutely no impact on freedom of movement despite a snug, almost compression-like-fit that doesn’t move an inch, whatever shapes you throw. 

The addition of the ‘spacer mesh’ means that cooling air can circulate closer to the body when you’re working hard and it's key to good comfort here (this doesn’t impact the fit and stability at all as you might expect either).

Both chest and spine protection are perfectly cut and exactly mirrored and traced body shape (on two different riders) with an ideal amount of coverage on the back to shield a big area. This means your upper and side ribs are well covered and it also feels like your kidneys and liver are going to get some get protection if you have a big crash. 

Fox’s back panel also hugs in tightly to the spine’s curves without ever riding up, interfering with the back of your helmet or digging in the back of the neck, even sat in an uplift van. 

Breathability and comfort are superb, and this thing fits so well it’s low profile enough to not look like an American football player despite offering loads of coverage. 

Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

The fit is superb and there is no impact on freedom of movement, despite the level of protection (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)


Fox’s Baseframe Pro 3DO is a superb, class-leading product in the front/rear protection category. The fit’s almost invisible and, especially considering how safe you feel in it, mobility and comfort are superb. Fox’s jacket never moves a muscle while you’re riding without restricting freedom of movement, plus all the fabrics used are quality and as effective at wicking moisture as any rivals.

Since it's more of a DH than enduro product, the extra protection adds weight, and there are no pockets or stashes for hydration bladders either. The price is also top dollar, but acceptable considering how well Fox has nailed fit and function.

Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

To don the vest, thread your arms in and do up the zipper (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

Tech specs: Fox Racing Baseframe Pro D3O

  • Price: $179.99 / £179.99 / €220.00
  • Weight: 1,053g (large)
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors: Black/orange only
  • Rival products: Leatt 3DF Airfit vest, 100% Tarka Protection vest
Mick Kirkman
Freelance writer

An ex-elite downhill racer, Mick's been mucking about and occasionally racing mountain bikes for over twenty years. Racing led to photo modelling and testing kit for magazines back in the day, and, nowadays, he's mostly riding enduro-style terrain on conventional and electric bikes. As curious as ever about products and tech, he's as likely to be on the other side of the lens or computer screen rating, reviewing and shooting all the latest gear. Mick's list of regular clients includes Bike Perfect, MBR, MBUK, and most of the leading UK MTB publications at one point or another.