Poc_VPD_Rueckenprotektor_Testbericht_Headerbild.jpg
Poc_VPD_Rueckenprotektor_Testbericht_Headerbild.jpg

Review: POC VPD Back Protector – A real unisex back protector with perfect ventilation

The POC VPD back protector provides excellent protection while being more minimalist and airy than other protector vests or shirts. Isa has put it to the t

The right back protector must fit without slipping or causing irritation. When it comes down to it, it should above all protect against serious back injuries. I realised how important this was when I injured myself a few years ago: I broke three vertebrae in an unfortunate fall at a bike park in Belgium. However, my subsequent search for the right protector proved unsuccessful for a long time, as very few are cut to accommodate a feminine physique. When I had the opportunity to test the VPD Back Protector from POC Sports at the bike park, I was very excited. 

Technical Details, Wear System and Testing Standard

From the moment I put the VPD on, I had a good feeling about the fit. In this case, I opted for size M. The protector itself is a large, grid-shaped plate made of flexible plastic – long enough to cover the lower back vertebrae. It nestles against the contours of my back and follows my movements seamlessly. According to the manufacturer, the material hardens upon impact, absorbing some of the force and distributing the rest over a larger area instead of letting it act on a single point. The protector meets the strict EN 1621-2 Level 1 test standard for back protectors. This means I didn't have to test the level of protection myself, and could fully concentrate on its comfort and fit. The protector holds onto the back with two shoulder straps and a wide hip belt. I was sceptical about the straps at first, and was worried they would cut me under the arms. On the first day of testing, I rode with a top underneath, but quickly realised that this wasn't necessary at all. The wear system can be adapted quite well to the body. You can change the height at which the straps and the hip belt are attached to the back plate simply by repositioning them. The hip belt is very wide and fastens with a hook & loop closure. This way the protector barely slips, even if you change your position.

After a long search finally found: The POC VPD back protector felt great right from the moment I put it on.

After a long search finally found: The POC VPD back protector felt great right from the moment I put it on.

The protector is long enough that it also protects my lower back vertebrae.

The protector is long enough that it also protects my lower back vertebrae.

The straps height adjustable, so I can adjust the protector perfectly to my needs: it fits perfectly and does not slip even with a lot of movement.

The straps height adjustable, so I can adjust the protector perfectly to my needs: it fits perfectly and does not slip even with a lot of movement.

Superior Ventilation for Downhill and Enduro

I wore the VPD over the course of four hot days at the Leogang bike park. As summer temperatures climbed (up to 32 °C), I immediately noticed a significant advantage: the protector is very well-ventilated thanks to numerous openings, which means you don't sweat so much underneath. If sweat does build up, there isn’t any fabric aside from the hip belt and straps that could become soaked. The VPD’s ventilation and level of comfort have impressed me so much that I would recommend the POC back protector even outside of bike park use. This means you don't have to forego extra protection either when riding enduro or on fast trail rides without a backpack.

Highly Sought-After: A Back Protector for Feminine Anatomy

Before I found the VPD by POC Sports, my search for the right protector had been futile for a long time. There are, of course, many good protectors on the market. However, not every protector fits every biker. My main obstacle throughout my search: I'm a woman. At 1.79 meters I am not exactly small, and I have rather broad shoulders and chest that also need to be taken into account. Most protector shirts and vests seem to be made for men or smaller, slenderer women. For this reason, I know many women who have problems finding suitable bike wear. I kept asking around for tips for finding the right back protector. The most important thing I realized throughout my search: many people feel the same way I do! We are not alone! Sadly, most of the women I talked to told me that they hadn't found anything suitable yet, so they usually rode without a protector. Or, if they did ride with one, they wouldn’t recommend it because they were unhappy with the fit. As my options at the time were limited, I decided that I would first invest in a decent protector backpack. While I was never without it on roads or trails, it was simply too much to deal with at the bike park. There I just wanted a pure protector, and not a backpack. After testing the VPD, it became clear: I had found the one! Why hadn't I try it earlier?

Conclusion:
Unisex in the Best Sense: A Protector for Everyone
Now before you think that the VPD is a protector for women only, let me reassure you. My buddy Marcel also tried it out, and really enjoyed the feel of it. He is 1.85 meters tall, and the size M also fit him very well. This is a truly unisex product that accommodates a feminine physique with flying colours. Overall, I cannot recommend the POC VPD back protector enough!

Isa, Customer Service