Buying a body protector is an important aspect of safety for horse riding. Horse riding disciplines such as eventing and cross country require the use of a body protector for safety. Many horse riders choose to wear a body protector for their daily rides to prevent their body from serious injury should an unfortunate incident occur. A body protector will help to reduce the impact of a fall and help to protect the delicate parts of the body such as the rib cage, back and vital organs. Finding the best body protectors for horse riding can, however, can be somewhat challenging.
There are so many different varieties on the market with stiff competition from brands. You must choose wisely since some types are far safer than others. There is also the factor of comfort and getting the right fit to consider. After all, body protectors that do not fit correctly will not likely have the desired effect should an incident occur.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the very best body protectors for horse riding on the market today and discover more about their key features, sizing and safety factors.
Best Back Protector for Women 2021:
Our current favourite back protector is the perfect blend of value and safety. With the Gatehouse Superflex Sport.
Safety shouldn’t cost an arm and a…well a back…and with the GateHouse superflex you’re getting premium safety features and a lightweight, comfortable and good looking back protector.
Why GateHouse is Horse Reviews #1:
In terms of back protection, Gatehouse is rated to the BETA testing 2009 level 3 and BSEN 13158 standards.
- Flexibility from it’s block foam construction. This keeps the vest a snug fit, and makes you feel protected. But also allows maneuverability and comfort and crucially protects you where it matters most.
- Waterproofing and breathability means you’ll stay as dry as possible (English downpours I’m looking at you) and even be comfortable in the summer weather as it helps stop some sweating. It’s not as waterproof as others on the market, but if you’re like us you’ll have a coat on anyway!
- Easy on – the durable zips make this easy to put on and take off. We know it’s not a big selling point, but saves a bit of time wrestling your protector. It also means it’s easy on and off for a long day in the saddle.
There are a couple of minor drawbacks with the GateHouse Superflex Sport:
- Basic construction – This is a strong yet basic back protector. Built to protect, not to walk down a catwalk with.
- Premium Pricing – This back protector might still be a little pricey for some. But is worth it if you can afford the extra splurge.
- Limited Colours – Colour wise you can currently get it in black, black or black.
Best Back Protector for Men 2021:
For men we have the Champion Flexair Body protector. A robust choice that has a couple of colours and comes from a high end brand. This is actually a Unisex product, due to it’s tabard build and so if you’re not sold on the superflex sport above ladies, the Champion Flexair could be the choice for you.
Combining comfort and full protection, the Champion FlexAir is a great choice for the male rider and is rated to EN 13158: 2009 Beta standard level 3, 2018.
Why Champion FlexAir is our #1
- Sizing options and various colours mean it looks good and gives you options
- Good fit and feels robust without being too clumsy
- Antibacterial and breathable lining to help prevent sweating and keep you cool
- Available for children
- Long wait time for order – but worth it if you can get one
- Have to pay extra for shoulder protectors
Get the best price on the Champion FlexAir Body Protector
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Here’s the rest, Our 1 – 10 Favourite Back Protectors available online:
Racesafe is without a doubt one of the very best body protectors on the market today. This fantastic safety feature has been manufactured and designed in the UK and is considered one of the safest body protectors to buy for horse riding activities. It is clear to see why this body protector is the choice for professional horse racers where safety is paramount.
The Racesafe Provent 3.0 is a super lightweight body protector which is ideal for those that want to feel like they aren’t wearing safety equipment strapped to them at all. This lightweight option has been designed for ultimate comfort and is an ideal option for the summer months.
When it comes to sizing options the Racesafe Provent 3.0 quite possibly has it all! This body protector comes in a huge array of sizing options (10 to be exact) which can be a great tool for ensuring you get a snug fit. There really is something to fit all shapes and sizes with this brand. Gone are the days when one size fits all!
The Racesafe Provent 3.0 is a great choice for those looking for the comfortability factor. The strategically placed breathable mesh allows for complete ventilation thanks to the barrier around the outer shell. This provides you with a feeling of coolness. Ideal for anyone that tends to get hot and sweaty whilst in the saddle.
Racesafe is one of the most popular premium brands of body protectors on the market and therefore it is fair to say the price reflects this. This is one of the most expensive on our list however in this case you do truly get what you pay for.
Airowear is one of the most popular equestrian brands. They are known for their well-made products and good value for money. The Airowear women’s body protector does not disappoint. It comes with a huge range of features that you would expect from such a big brand.
The Airowear Women’s body protector is made from high-quality breathable mesh. Ideal for keeping you well ventilated and cool during your rides. Many brands only include mesh panels within the design. However, this popular body protector has been designed with a complete mesh covering for ultimate comfort.
Regular and Slim Fit Options
Finding a body protector that fits well can be challenging. We all come in different shapes and sizes and therefore finding the correct fit is not always possible. The Airowear women’s body protector has been designed with this in mind with both regular and slim fit sizes available.
Body protectors are notorious for being uncomfortable around the shoulder area. This can leave you feeling cramped and can easily restrict movement. The Airowear Women’s body protector has been designed with sections to easily add in shoulder pads which can provide you with much greater comfort. Although these sold as an added extra we still think this a great addition to an already wonderful product.
We would categorise Airowear as a mid-range brand. This is a quality body protector that sells at a price that would suit the majority of buyers. There are some great features included in this product and we think the cost is worth every penny.
USG is a German brand that aims to provide high-quality products at very reasonable prices. This a popular brand of body protector and can be seen worn by many professional riders in a variety of equestrian disciplines. It provides all the great features of its competitors, but with a much lower price tag.
One of the best features of the USG Eco Flex body protector is how it has been designed to ensure a snug fit. The two separate tape closures at both the shoulder and waist allow you to mould the body protector to the shape of your body. This is much more secure than that of a single zip seen on lots of other rival products.
Equestrian products in general are notorious for being difficult to clean. This is quite ironic since horse riding can at times be a messy sport. Particularly if you are into cross country or out battling all weathers. Body protectors can often become sweaty and dirty very quickly. The USG Eco Flex has been cleverly designed with a polyester outer casing that is super easy to clean. All it requires is a quick wipe down for ultimate convenience.
Having the flexibility to move sufficiently when riding is vital. So many body protectors on the market restrict movement and are uncomfortable to wear. The USG Eco Flex has been designed with a shock-absorbing block structure. This easily moulds to the shape of your body providing you with free movement and ultimate comfort.
The USG Eco Flex body protector is without a doubt the best value for money on our list (and the cheapest too!). This is a well-known brand with all the features that can easily stand up to the competitors. We would consider this to be a budget price as far as body protectors go, that doesn’t compromise on quality.
Champion is a well-trusted brand with a huge customer following. They stock a large range of body protectors to suit any taste and budget. The Champion Titanium body protector is considered to one of their premium products with some great features. Many choose this design in particular for eventing and can be a great option for children thanks to their wide range of sizes available.
The Champion Titanium comes in a regular fit as well as a short and long fit. With so many different shapes and sizes to cater to this can be the difference between buying a body protector that fits and one that doesn’t. Those with longer bodies have the peace of mind knowing they are completely covered whilst those with shorter bodies will find the fit much more comfortable to wear.
Body protectors are not a cheap purchase and therefore choosing one that is likely to last you a long time is preferred. The Champion Titanium is a long-lasting option. Made from heavy-duty YKK zips and military-grade outer mesh, you can sure of a highly durable product for lasting long wear.
The Champion Titanium body protector is ideal for those that find they get sweaty and hot during riding sessions. It has been uniquely designed with comfort in mind. With strategically placed holes to channel out excess heat and encourage airflow, you can be sure that you will stay cool and comfortable at all times.
The Champion Titanium body protector looks pretty expensive at first glance and we were surprised to see that this product actually fell into a mid-range budget rather than the higher price tag we were expecting. This is great value for money and looks like a super expensive product which is a win-win in our eyes.
Shires is a brand that you will no doubt heard of before. They sell a wide range of equestrian products including protective wear. The Shires Karben body protector is one of the very best on the market right now. Great features, fantastic quality and all at a price that will cater to most budgets. What more could you ask for!
4 Point Adjustment
The Shires Karben has been designed with 4 points of adjustment. This allows for a very snug fit and prevents any gapping which can compromise the safety level of the product. The 4 adjustments provide a fit that ensures you stay comfortable whilst still adhering to fitting guidelines.
The breathable foam padding is a great feature and beneficial to riders in numerous ways. Foam is a lightweight material that ensures you do not get weighed down by a heavy safety device. It is also fully breathable which can help you stay cool. The foam padding can conveniently be removed allowing the outer shell to be cleaned and washed.
The Shires Karben has been made with varying levels of thickness. This allows your body to be fully protected in key areas by thicker padding whilst reducing bulk on areas such as under your arms which can restrict movement. If you wish to stay fully protected and comfortable at the same time then the Shires Karben body protector is a win-win.
Shires don’t usually disappoint us on price and this product is no exception. The Shires Karben is a great value for money body protector. It isn’t quite as cheap as the USG, however, we would consider this to be a much more popular brand in general. It has some great features too which can easily compete with some of the other big brands. We simply couldn’t leave this beauty off our list!