Backprotector Test 2016 – This is how it is done

How does a back protector actually work? This question can best be answered by TÜV Rheinland, as it carries out these tests according to the same scheme. To understand this, one has to know that there is a European standard that applies to the protectors. The certification according to the EN 1621-2 standard applies only if the test results meet certain test criteria. But what does it mean in the norm? What can a protector have to do and are the conditions under which the protectors are tested? An answer to these questions can be found in the corresponding standard.

Here it is stipulated that the test of the back protectors has to be carried out in such a way that a 5 kilogram heavy punch is dropped from a height of one meter. The force that would be passed on from the protectors to the back may not exceed 18 kilonewton (at level 1) or 9 kilonewton (at level 2).

Almost all protectors on the market are, however, certified according to the level 2 safety standard for the wearer. The fact that with a back protector the test results were so bad that this was only certified with Level 1 comes due to the elaborate construction and modern materials, hardly any more.

The principle of action simulated during the tests, which also reflects the classical applications of a backprotector, is always the same. A force (impact) acting from the outside is spread over the protector as evenly as possible on a larger surface, because it can cause less damage in this way than if it is punctual. It is basically comparable to a snowshoe, which is also attracted only in order to avoid falling into the snow due to its own body weight by distributing this weight to a larger area.

An additional effect of the back protectors, depending on the type of materials used, is in a pick-up of the acting energy in a kind of crumple zone, since partial foams are used which absorb some of the energy through the compression. However, the foams can not offer the same type of protection in a really hard impact, such as a back protector made of hard plastic.

However, this knowledge is already achieved with a healthy human understanding. In general, a target conflict between the manufacturers can be found, moving between safety and comfort. To build the protectors as large as possible from hard plastic would be the most reliable, but a restriction of freedom of movement could hardly be prevented with such a design. Foams offer a high degree of comfort and little movement restriction, but a protection that can not keep up with the values of the hard plastic protectors.

A completely new compromise could be offered by vests that inflate themselves in the fall in a fraction of a second like the airbag of a car and in this way protect their carriers from the consequences of a collision. First models are already available for the sport of riding and motorcycling, also for children. For wintersports, even models with avalanche protection are available.Since these vests can hardly disturb the driver when driving and still offer a high degree of safety, it is to be expected that these will gain more and more in the coming years. Possibly, the test of the protectors must then also be adapted accordingly, since questions such as the duration required by the vest for inflation or the period in which it remains inflated may also be important criteria. To date, however, these criteria are not included in the European standard cited.
TIP: It is advisable to wear a functional underwear under the protection.It is comfortable, but still tight and transports sweat reliably to the outside. This increases the wear comfort considerably.

By the way, the back protectors are tested for skiers, snowboarders, motorcyclists, downhill riders and the rest for all other sports, all according to this European standard. Thus, in principle, a back protector, which you bought for the motorcycle ride in the summer, is also a good companion in the winter on the ski slope, which in case of emergency can reliably protect against injuries.
Back protector test – Sweet Protection back protector Grinder

Test protectors under the back protectors, the Sweet Protection comparisons or test standards must not fear this specimen. On the contrary, due to its massive construction, it is like a protective helmet for the back. In the event of an impact, the hard plastic panels reliably distribute the forces acting on the entire surface of the protector and a special technology also prevents the penetration of pointed objects. It is also worth mentioning that it is pulled down far enough to reliably protect the coccyx in an impact. This is also the feature that could make the protector a bit uncomfortable for motorcyclists. The protectors must not go too far down here as they could otherwise impair the sitting position. But that also comes back to the motorcycle and will deliver a different performance on a chopper.


The Sweet Protection back protector gives a good feeling on enthusiastic winter sportsmen.

To the savings offer of the back protectors on Amazon.de
Backprotector Test – Ortema Ortho-Max

The test winner of the largest German motorcycle magazine. The magazine Motorcycle chose this protector vest surprisingly because it provides a successful overall package that combines the most important advantages of a good protector. It is particularly pleasing that the Ortho-Max only passed on a residual force of 5 kilonewton to the back during the backprotector test. The level 2 is almost double (9 kilonewton). The Mash fabric also ensures a comfortable fit as well as good ventilation of the protector. Especially on hot days in summer season, the protector gives you totally comfort.

The Ortema Ortho-Max was convinced with its good damping values. Since this is a vest, slipping is reliably prevented during the impact. This is a back protector, which is equally suitable for motorcyclists and winter sports enthusiasts.