Vest harness

The vest restraint viewed from the side

Vest harnesses are restraints used by Bolliger & Mabillard for their Flying Coaster product and some more modern installations of their other products, such as dive coasters and newer inverted coasters. Vest harness are also used on some Vekoma products.

They are less bulky than over-the-shoulder harnesses (which they have replaced on some Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters) and the thinner vest reduces headbanging. However, they fit tighter than an over-the-shoulder restraint, which can feel more restrictive. They also may tighten during the ride.

Design

The harness consists of a rigid lap-bar that closes from above, with a flexible "vest" attached that restricts the upper body, leaving arms free. A seat belt is fastened between the bottom of the restraint and the front of the seat.

History

The restraint system used on Air at Alton Towers

Vest harnesses were first used as part of the restraint system on the Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster product. The prototype, Air, opened at Alton Towers in 2002. The vest harness is used alongside shin restraints to hold riders in a flying position.

The first non-flying roller coaster to use vest harnesses was Raptor, a Bolliger & Mabillard winged coaster which opened at Gardaland in 2011. It was also the first Wing Coaster - all Wing Coaster installations use vest harnesses. Since this time, some B&M roller coasters have used vest harnesses while others have used the older over-the-shoulder harnesses.