10 of the Best: Back protectors

Don't get a pain in the back, check out these 10 CE-approved back protectors

The back protector: many claim it was invented by Barry Sheene, who inspired by a lobster shell, crafted together a crude version using old visors and gaffa tape.

Since the original, back protectors have developed into something more comfortable and safe with impact absorbing material and an ergonomic shape moulded to the arch of a back.

The increase in their level of protection has seen them gain high standard CE-certified ratings. There are two levels of standard which are measured through the amount of peak force recorded after rounded triangle anvil is dropped onto the back protector, below 18Kn for level 1 and 9Kn for level 2.

There are different options available for back protector types, mainly slip-on or the standalone featured here. Whereas slip-ons are more affordable they can be time consuming to transfer between each piece of clothing and the benefits of the latter is that they can be used across your biking wardrobe.

Here is a selection of standalone back protectors that come with CE-certified protection priced between £89.99 and £139.99.

The cheapest and also the lightest in the line-up at £89.99 and 560g, the Spidi Back Warrior EVO boasts level 2 CE-approval in a slim and flexible package. Perhaps governed by its low price tag it lacks the comfortable elements of its more pricey counterparts in this showcase, with no mesh or foam paneling only the hard polystyrene material.

It is the only back protector here that is one size fits all. The method is simple with a height adjustable Velcro panel attached to the back of the shell, this allows for the waist belt to be shifted up and down depending on your height.

Price: £89.99
Weight: 560g
Size: One size fits all


Like it’s name says the Soft-CR, is soft. Despite this it still has a level 2 CE-rating as the orange peeking through on the £90 back protector is D3O padding. In short the D3O material is soft and flexible but hardens to a solid when subjected to a high impact whilst repelling the force energy across its surface area.

The Scott Soft-CR is one of the shortest and slimmest back protectors in this showcase but still covers the main area of the back. However, this it makes ideal for those who are put off by bulky back protectors. It has a Velcro waistband and adjustable arm straps.

Price: £90
Weight: 840g
Sizes: S - XL


Alpinestars’ £99.95 Bionic Air is a slim back protector with a level 1 CE-certificate. The Bionic Air covers the vital area of the spine and the hard plastic external portion is split into seven shifting plates. These all have a honeycomb structure, which is designed to protect the back from penetrating injuries along with dissipating the impact force over a wider area.

For brand loyalists the Bionic Air features a push stud connection that will attach it to the majority of Alpinestars jackets and suits, ensuring its position is maintained. It has adjustable braces, a Velcro waist strap and is available in either black or white.

Price: £99.95
Weight: 709g
Sizes: XS - XL


Hein Gericke's own £99.99 Hiprotec is a no-frills back protector that comes with a level 2 CE-standard. It is one of the longest in the selection, stretching across the majority of the back.

The Hiprotec has a sturdy plastic exterior combined with a soft and comfortable performated foam padding, which is designed to wick away any sweat. It has a Velcro waist strap and adjustable braces.

Price: £99.99
Weight: 768g
Sizes: S - L


The Back-Pro 4 from Clover is a top back protector at a great price, with level 2 CE protection for £99.99. Coming in a pre-curved fit for comfort, the Back-Pro 4 is constructed from a tough plastic resin for protection from high impact falls.

It has a slim build and is flexible enough not to restrict movement, it also includes air intakes spread across the middle of the outer shell and a ventilated mesh fabric against the back. To fasten there are adjustable arm straps and a Velcro waist belt.

Recommended: What sets the Back-Pro 4 apart in the line-up is it offers the top standard in back protection in a sleek, attractive package that is both comfortable and comforting and at a decent price.

Price: £99.99
Weight: 977g
Sizes: S - L


Priced at £119.99 the Held Zelda has a soft overall construction using a tough multilayered foam that has earned it a top CE level 2 approval. It has a long length that widens at the shoulders for a greater overall coverage of the back with additional support at the neck and a removable pad near the coccyx.

The Zelda features breathable lycra mesh panels, adjustable arm straps and a Velcro waist belt.

Price: £119.99
Weight: 775g
Sizes: S - L


Not only do Leatt make neck braces they also make armour. The Adventure is the back protector offering from their range, priced at £119.99. With a level 2 CE-rating the Adventure is constructed from a tough but light plastic, it also features secure kidney support at the waist strap and is lined with a vented, energy-absorbing biofoam.

The Adventure works as a standalone back protector, but is also designed to work with the firms neck brace as there is a removable panel at the top to accomodate it.

Price: £119.99
Weight: 1013g
Sizes: S - XXL


The Tryonic Feel 3.7 is one of the thickest back protectors we have featured here, but it is also one of the trickest. The main feature of the £129.95 Feel 3.7 is the hinged vertebrae assembly, constructed of a hard plastic and containing a sturdy foam liner internally.

Against the back, the Tryonic back protector features a mesh fabric lining for to improve airflow. Securing the Feel 3.7 is an adjustable brace and a waist strap.

Price: £129.95
Weight: 769g
Sizes: S - L


The Meta-Sys from Knox looks like something out of Tron, the main feature on the £129.99 back protector is an articulated, four-part outer shell that is designed to twist and turn with the movement of your body, maintaining full coverage whilst in a crouched riding position.

With level 2 CE-protection, each element of the outer shell is made of hard plastic to dissipate impact with a softer inner layer offering energy absorption and comfort. Extra consideration is given to the area around the upper back as Knox has included armour at the shoulder blades.

Price: £129.99
Weight: 1455g
Sizes: S - L


The latest from Forcefield is the £139.99 Pro Sub 4, it is sturdy level 2 CE-certified back protector that offers comprehensive coverage of the back.

The armour in the Pro Sub 4 is constructed of Nitrex Evo, a protective material that is lightweight and tough but flexible and comfortable to wear. It has a removable and washable outer cover and adjustable waist and shoulder straps.

Price: £139.99
Weight: 1034g
Sizes: S - XL