Practising snow sports in the mountains can sometimes be traumatic for the back.
Back protectors are the obvious solution!

Back protectors are a fundamental piece of kit for beginners who want to learn to ski or snowboard in safety, and are crucial for experienced/expert skiers and snowboarders who love a jump and can't resist the thrill of speed. They protect the spine during dodgy landings, and more particularly, in the event of nasty falls.

A ski and snowboard back protector is quite simply a shell that protects the spine and absorbs shock across the entire surface of the back, preventing serious fractures and bruises. But there are some subtle differences between the back protectors currently on the market, which we are going to explain to you, to help you find the back protector that's right for you.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BACK PROTECTION

the different types of back protection.

As you can see, protecting your back is essential when skiing or snowboarding.
Now let's take a look at the different types of back protectors available on the market.

There are various types of back protection available. They can vary in terms of:

1. The materials used to design the protection and the outer vest:  
These components will vary the comfort, the vest's breathability and the overall freedom of movement.

2. The body area protected:
You basically have a choice between "FULL BACK Protection" and "CENTRAL BACK Protection"

1) back protection vest

Designed as a pull-on vest with built-in protections, the back protector offers the perfect support as well as optimum comfort. It's the most popular solution for snowboarders, whatever their level or type of use!
This type of protection is made with lightweight materials that provide excellent freedom of movement. The vest keeps the back protector in place and guarantees good ventilation and aeration. 

Decathlon back protector
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BACK PROTECTION

2) Back protector with straps 

This type of back protector is made up of an adjustable belt and shoulder straps, which guarantee excellent support but limit the movement of the torso.
The protective plate is made up of several articulated ergonomic polypropylene plates.
There are short models that cover the lumbar area and longer protectors that cover the entire back.

3) BACKPACK with back protector 

This is a backpack that features a built-in back protector at the section in direct contact with the back. The protectors are removable so the bags can also be used without this protection.
They are most often designed for freeriding and touring, with straps to attach the helmet or the skis and snowboard, as well as a specific section for safety equipment (shovel, probe).
It's a backpack specifically designed for skiing and snowboarding, but with an added plus: back protection. It's an extremely practical solution. 

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BACK PROTECTION
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BACK PROTECTION

4) BUILT-IN BACK PROTECTION 

This is a 3-in-1 jacket fitted with lightweight, flexible and invisible protection, so comfortable that you won't even remember it's there!

This type of protection gives you excellent freedom of movement as well as complete protection for your back, without even having to think about it...

You can wear the protector on its own or with the jacket, so you have the option of removing it when you no longer need to protect your back. (when hitting the dance floor with friends at the après ski for example...).

5) ADVICE BEFORE BUYING...

The back protector needs to fit the wearer perfectly. If the size isn't right, the back may generate discomfort.
To be both efficient and comfortable to wear, it must meet the following criteria:

- Protects against impact
- Allows good freedom of movement
- Is easy to adjust
- Facilitates ventilation and perspiration wicking

DIMENSIONS
The size, of course, depends on the length of the back.
It is therefore advisable to try them on before buying. The aim is to find the protector that best matches your morphology and does not hinder movement. Basically, you need to check that you'll be comfortable when you're out on the snow!

6) HOW TO WEAR YOUR BACK PROTECTOR

Depending on the outside temperature, you have several options...
You can wear the back protector directly on top of your thermals so you can manage your temperature with a hoodie on top, then your jacket.

Or, if it's more comfortable, and if you don't plan to take your hoodie off, you can also wear the back protector directly on top of that.
Be aware, however, that these products are generally developed to be worn as close to the body as possible.

In short, if you're a freestyler, freerider or just a lover of speed, protect yourself by slipping on your protectors whenever you go out!
(The whole DREAMSCAPE team wishes you an excellent season!)

If you liked this article, please rate it. If you have any questions, post them in the comments, we will be delighted to answer.

How to choose your back protection

Yohann Kelkel

DREAMSCAPE product manager and snowboard enthusiast