Body Protectors - USG, Racesafe, Aerowear

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
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Hi all
So I recently posted about body protectors asking which was a good choice. Over the past 3 years I've had 3 different ones as I've been losing weight and also begun to have back problems and stiffness making one very uncomfortable to wear. I know body protectors are very personal to the rider and really depend on shape etc but I thought it may be useful to someone to give a bit of an evaluation of my experiences with the ones I've had, since I'm becoming somewhat of a connoisseur of them...

Airowear Outlyne
This was my first one and I still have it now. When my back problems initially began I was wearing this body protector for riding 2-3 times a week. I find it comfy once I've been riding for 30 minutes or so but initially stiff and uncomfortable. We cross a busy road early in each ride so turning to check for traffic was always a challenge in this one. Once I got going though and on the way back, no problem. Times I was aware I was wearing it were getting on and off and turning round as it is one sheet of memory foam.
My other issue with it was getting a very sweaty back 😆. It has no breathability so in the winter, the last thing I would do before heading home was take it off because I was so conscious that I was going to end up freezing! I've even had to put spare clothes in my tack room!

Racesafe RS2010
So I bought the RS2010 when my back got bad and the ability to move in it was so much more noticeable right from the start. I could turn at the road straight away and definitely noticed reduced stiffness after riding. What I did find more difficult was whereas the Airowear had more adjustment straps, this literally had 2 laces up the sides (I think these are elastic straps now) so as I lost weight and my body shape changed, there wasn't much adjustment. In the end I sold it as I was worried if I got into an accident it would cause more harm than good - it had become loose as I'd lost weight and I needed the next size down. I must say the Airowear had fitted me throughout and still does now so much more adjustable if your weight changes.
In terms of breathability, it wasnt much better than the Airowear - as it wasnt one solid sheet it didn't feel like I was peeling it off after riding but it certainly was bulky and I felt clammy after riding.

USG - I cant remember the exact model
After I sold my RS2010 I decided to save my pennies for the provent 3.0 from RaceSafe. One day whilst searching for it, I came across a USG bodyprotector that someone was selling for £30 - like new condition. Research told me you can pick up USG protectors for about £90 new - a bit of a price difference from my £230 RS Provent. Like the RaceSafes the USG body protectors are made up of smaller individual squares of memory foam - something that helped with my stiffness. So I decided to buy myself the USG while I saved up for the Provent. It came a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe from the weight of the parcel what was inside. Trying it on, it felt light and I felt like I could move. Ive ridden in it a few times and I really can't fault it at all - I dont even feel clammy while wearing it. I'm completely taken aback and actually considering just sticking with it. The only thing I will say is that in terms of materials you can tell its more cheaply made and I would be concerned that eventually the zip will go as its definitely not as robust as either the RS or the Airowear. However I guess that remains to be seen. What I do know is that USG meet the same safety requirement as the other two which suits me down to the ground. Time will tell if it remains my favourite but for now I've actually surprised myself!

Anyway I'm chuffed with my £30 bargain. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone else looking - especially if like me you can't find anything much about USG. Consider me suitably impressed.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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That’s great feedback, I’m not a bp wearer, I learnt to ride before they were a thing and every time I’ve tried one I’ve felt so hugely restricted that I felt more at risk of coming off! But me ole bones don’t bounce as well as they used to and I’ll be backing the baby in the next year or so, so perhaps I should be rethinking! I might have to find somewhere to go and try one on 🙂
 
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domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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I've recently upgraded my Racesafe RS2010 to a Provent and the difference is amazing! It's a totally different shape, much more ventilated and even more comfortable.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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That’s great feedback, I’m not a bp wearer, I learnt to ride before they were a thing and every time I’ve tried one I’ve felt so hugely restricted that I felt more at risk of coming off! But me ole bones don’t bounce as well as they used to and I’ll be backing the baby in the next year or so, so perhaps I should be rethinking! I might have to find somewhere to go and try one on 🙂
From what I learned on two yards from RIs whose daughters backed and rode youngsters, an air jacket is what you need. OH has one but as they dont need to fit very precisely, some yards have them for lending out.
Mind you I do always ride in a bp. In winter I put it on in a warm house before leaving home and when riding, I dont even know I am wearing it.
However, a professional working with new horses at a big yard that makes money from buying and selling on, is massively different from the very gentle small pony backing I have watched at Mark Rashid clinics.
Or Michael Peace. There are quite a number of Michael Peace videos on line and you might like to watch.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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From what I learned on two yards from RIs whose daughters backed and rode youngsters, an air jacket is what you need. OH has one but as they dont need to fit very precisely, some yards have them for lending out.
Mind you I do always ride in a bp. In winter I put it on in a warm house before leaving home and when riding, I dont even know I am wearing it.
However, a professional working with new horses at a big yard that makes money from buying and selling on, is massively different from the very gentle small pony backing I have watched at Mark Rashid clinics.
Or Michael Peace. There are quite a number of Michael Peace videos on line and you might like to watch.
I already have an air jacket, backed all my previous ones with nothing but I’m not as young as I was lol
 
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