Top 5 back protectors

One piece of kit which we recommend is a decent back protector.

Much like a lid, they’ve become a riding essential for the MCN team and although not specifically required by law, it's added protection.

The first thing to consider with a back protector is its CE approval rating. The protectors will generally come with either a level 1 or 2 rating depending on its protective qualities with a level 2 being considered to offer better protection. 

To achieve a level 1 rating the back protector needs to let through less than 18 kilonewtons (kN) and to achieve a level two status, it needs to let through half of that, with a 9kN threshold.

A back protector can be included in the purchase of a riding jacket and many brands offer a pocket to fit a variety of protectors. The alternative – and a good option for those who own multiple jackets – is to use a stand-alone protector that you simply wear under your riding gear. 

With that in mind, here are our MCN's top 5 standalone back protectors picks for the week, available now on the MCN Shop. 

Forcefield Pro L2K Evo

Forcefield Pro L2K back protector

One of the most popular back protectors currently on the market. The Pro L2K Evo offers full CE level 2 protection and is also reinforced with Kevlar. Forefield claim it to be able to withstand multiple impacts with no loss of performance too.

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Knox Track Vest

Knox Track Vest

The Track vest from Knox is ideal for those who might regularly do trackdays or race. It allows the rider to wear optional chect protectors for added protection and can be used on as a standalone back protector by simply unzipping it from the vest, and uses the Knox Aegis back proctor. It’s approved to CE level 2 standard and features raised channels to help promote airflow and keep the rider cool.

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Alpinestars Nucleon KR-1

Alpinestars Nucleon KR-1 back proctector

The Nucleon is a CE approved level 2 back protector that Alpinestars claim to features good ventilation to help keep the rider cool. It features hard-shell vertebrae protection that covers a high energy absorbing memory foam. 

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Forcefield Pro Sub 4K 

Forcefield Pro Sub 4K back proctector

The Pro Sub 4K has been engineered to meet the highest CE level 2 standard but goes another step further – instead of simply meeting the minimum 9kN requirement, the Pro Sub has been engineered to transmit just 4kN of energy. This is apparently considered by medical experts to be the maximum amount of transmitted energy that should be transmitted to prevent severe back and rib trauma.

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Dainese Manis D1 49 

Dainese Manis D1 49 back protector

The Manis back proctor has articulated external plates that help to improve movement and is certified to CE level 2. The lightweight design helps to keep the protector comfortable and the perforated design help regulate body temperature.