Should You Buy A Back Protector Jacket For Motorcycles?

Most experienced motorcycle riders have concerns about back injuries. That’s why they often want to buy a back protector jacket for use on the road. The problem is that very few motorcycle jackets already come with a built-in CE-rated protector. Instead, they usually just include a pocket in the back with a piece of foam. Besides jackets, there are also vests, harnesses, and other types of back-safety gear that you might consider.

What To Look For In A Motorcycle Back Protector Jacket?

If your jacket already has this sewn-in insert, you can remove the foam and easily upgrade to a true back protector. The important thing to know is that just because the jacket advertised it came with back protection, it doesn’t mean that the included piece of foam is a truly effective solution. If you’re comparing prices, you should understand the difference.

Naturally, jackets that don’t come with true back protection — but only the ability to upgrade — will cost less to buy. However, if you have to also purchase a rated back protector, you may night actually save money in the long run. You can usually buy a rated insert for less than $100. Still, it might cost you less and provide better protection if you just bought a jacket that included rated armor in the first place.

Also, these inserts won’t usually cover as much of your back as the shielding inside of an armored jacket. You may end up spending about the same money for better protection if you just go ahead and buy the shielded jacket in the first place, but the choice is up to you.

The kind of shielding you will find usually seems to be fairly soft and flexible. However, it absorbs energy and firms up upon impact. The fact that it is flexible means that it should not restrict your ability to move around.

Also, there are three types of back protectors that you can buy if you don’t already have a back protector jacket:

* Inserts: As the name implies, these inserts are simply meant to replace the piece of foam that may have come included with your jacket.

* Harness styles: You don’t need to have a jacket with an insert or even wear a jacket at all with a harness-style back protector. These are usually larger and more expensive than the inserts.

* Vests: These just circle your torso and chest, but they don’t provide much protection for your exposed arms.

Choices For Back Protector Jackets

There are several different companies that produce the kinds of „armored“ jackets that can protect your back. Most of these also include extra protection for your chest and arms. These were first developed for motorcycle racing, however many safety-conscious riders wear them for casual riding and even while they are out on the street. Most of the newer models have a sporty and attractive look, so they can be worn comfortably with casual clothes almost anywhere.

Expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a quality dirt-rated jacket. A street-rated jacket might start at over $200. You might be able to find a better deal online if a company is holding a sale. However, you might suspect that these kinds of jackets aren’t actually providing truly rated back protection if they are a lot cheaper.

Fox Racing

The Titan Sport Jacket from Titan Racing is one example of a jacket that was developed with back protection and full-upper body shielding. Despite offering this kind of protection, the jacket still allows the wear to move easily because of the way it is constructed. The company makes these jackets in sizes from small to 2XL, so it’s possible to find one that will fit most youths, men, and women. This jacket is fairly lightweight, but it’s only rated for dirt and not the street.

Leatt 3DF

The Body Protector jacket from Leatt offers CE-rated protection for your upper body. It’s rated for the street and for dirt. The special fabric holds the armor in place but has still been designed to keep you cool on hot days. This jacket also comes in sizes from small to 2XL, and the company says that a size will fit people from about 5 foot 3 inches up to six foot six inches.

Despite the amount of protection that the Body Protector offers, one purchase of this jacket said that it felt as comfortable as a lightweight jacket to wear.

Why Is Having Back Protection Important On Motorcycles?

First, your back is actually the largest part of your body. If you fall off of your bike, there is a good chance that it will hit sometime. Even if you have a strong back and body, backs are actually very sensitive and delicate. Your spine and central nervous system are very vulnerable to injuries, and the health of these parts of your body is also essential to your overall health.

Experienced motorcycle riders know that spinal injuries are serious risks of motorcycle accidents. Back protectors are designed to provide an extra layer of protection around your spine, ribs, and back. Not only can they help shield you from abrasion, they can also help keep the bones in your spine, your spinal cord, and your muscles free from excessive damage.

In many ways, good back protection is as important as wearing a helmet. This is because your spine connects with your entire body. A damaged spinal cord could impair your ability to walk and even to breath. Also, back surgeries tend to be expensive, lengthy, and difficult. They usually also require a long recovery period. When compared with the risk of suffering a back injury, wearing good pack protection is a very low price to pay.

What To Look For In Back Protection Jackets?

It’s important to understand how these back protection jackets, inserts, and harness shields work. Manufacturers design them to absorb as much energy as they can. Any energy absorbed by the back protector won’t have to get absorbed by your back.

These are things to look for when you compare different back protection options for motorcycles:

* Coverage: You need the most area of your back covered as possible. The problem with inserts, as opposed to jackets, is that they may only cover a small area of your back.

* Good fit: Most jacket makers offer their products in a variety of different sizes. The right size could depend upon your height and weight. Most manufacturers will have a fitting guide on their site that you can refer to. If you order a jacket online, you should also check into the return or exchange policies in case the size doesn’t work out for you.

* Comfort and convenience: Naturally, you will want to choose a jacket that suits your own personal style. Racers might choose a different look and feel of jacket than touring riders who also plan to wear their jackets when they are not on their bikes. Some good jackets look a lot like other types of athletic jackets.

* Confidence: Your quality back protection jacket will help keep you safe when you ride on the street or on dirt. Because of this, you should gain more confidence because you know that you’re better protected. No back protector can guarantee coverage against every type of injury, but they are very effective.

* CE Ratings: CE is a governing body that rates many different kinds of equipment. You might find ratings for different uses of these jackets. For instance, a protective jacket that’s rated for dirt may not provide adequate protection if you plan to also wear it when you ride on hard streets. It’s best to look for protective jackets that have been rated at the level that you plan to use them for.

Back Protection Jackets Are Not Just For Motorcycles

Of course, lots of times you will find back protection discussed in motorcycle forums. In addition, companies that market motorcycles and accessories often sell a variety of different kinds of protective clothes for riders. However, these are useful safety items for other kinds of sports and activities too. In some cases, you might be able to use the same sort of jackets, but in other cases, you may find that it’s better to purchase equipment that was designed for each unique use.

Some other activities that use back protectors could include:

* Winter sports: Winter sports can be hazardous. Companies sell jackets that include protection and specifically made for such winter sports as skiing and sledding. While most motorcycle jackets are designed to help keep riders cool, these may be insulated for warmth as well.

* Horse riding: People who engage in equestrian sports have learned that they are as vulnerable to back injuries as other kinds of athletes. Some companies design riding jackets that include back protection to help prevent spinal injuries. Very often, these come in the form of vests as ell as jackets.

* Bicycles: Surely, people usually talk about wearing jackets when they are riding a motorcycle. However, falls from old-fashioned bicycles can also injure backs and spines. Just as many careful bike riders now wear helmets to protect their heads, they also buy lightweight jackets that include either inserts or shields.

* Other activities: Some other activities that you might buy back protection for could include exercise and rough sports. Falls that cause spinal injuries are common in football, and a back protector can provide some extra assurance.

Why Is Most Back Protection Marketed For Motorcycle Riders?

Certainly, you could engage in many activities that could require back protection. Most people think of motorcycles first. When you ride a motorcycle, you are moving at the same speed as cars and trucks. Unlike people who ride in cars or trucks, you don’t have the luxury of a seat belt and plenty of well-designed metal around you. Of course, many people enjoy riding their motorcycles just because of that sense of freedom that they can enjoy. However, that sense of freedom brings with it extra risks.

You might have lots of experience riding your motorcycle. You probably took safety classes and probably try to ride as carefully as you possible can. However, you are seldom along on the street. You also have to depend upon every other driver. Are they texting and driving, distracted by glare, or thinking about work? It’s hard to say, but in the end, you can’t assume that you will never have an accident just because you are a good and careful motorcycle rider.

That’s why you should take responsibility for your own safety and that of your fellow riders. It’s a good idea to wear adequate back protection. Of course, you’d probably be wise to wear the right pants, boots, gloves, and helmets too. This kind of back protection can help protect you from serious injuries. If you set a good example by wearing armored jackets and other gear, you might also influence other riders to be more careful of their safety as well.

Which Kind Of Back Protection Is Best For You?

Again, you have different choices for back protectors. Your best choice is probably a jacket that comes with padded armor set inside of it. In other cases, you might simply choose inserts or a protective harness. Instead of a jacket, you can also find vests that will protect your back and chest but leave your arms exposed.

Also, you should make sure that the product you are buying has been rated by an organization like CE. This will confirm it has been tested to meet certain standards, so you can be confident that the protection will actually protect you. Remember that there are different levels of CE ratings, so be sure to look for the kind of rating that matches your kind of activity.

With a good jacket that includes back protection, you’re going to enjoy safer rides. You’ll also enjoy the extra confidence of knowing you did what you could to protect yourself, so that should make riding more fun.

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