Best Motocross Neck Brace – Review of Leatt, Atlas, Alpinestars, & EVS
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This does NOT cost you extra.
Serious MX racers wear a motocross neck brace to prevent spinal injuries, collarbone injuries, and even some chest injuries. But are they necessary and do they actually work? In a word, maybe and yes. OK, so that was two words. My bad.
In reality, most trail riders and many amateur racers don’t wear neck braces when riding. So in that sense, no, they’re aren’t necessary to go riding. I’ve got to say, I do see more young riders wearing neck braces than adult riders, so that’s good.
Dad Mom. 😉
The reality is – if you’re pushing your limits, hitting jumps, whoops and ruts – you’re going to go down. It’s inevitable.
Whether you choose to wear a MX neck brace or not is up to you, but yes, they do work.
As with most protective gear like chest protectors and knee braces, neck braces are not the most comfortable to wear. Having said that, they can mean the difference between a few bruises and a career-ending injury. Let’s face it, even the best motocross helmets aren’t designed to protect your neck or collarbone.
Below are a few of the best motocross neck braces you can get.
Most are not cheap, however, I think you’d agree that it’s worth spending a few extra bucks for something more comfortable and more reliable.
Leatt – Top MX Neck Brace
The Leatt GPX motocross neck brace is the cream-of-the-crop.
The cool thing about the Leatt GPX 6.5 neck brace is the ultra-lightweight design. The frame and pads are made from a MaxiWeave carbon matrix. This cuts down on weight and may offer even more protection than hard plastic neck braces.
The large pads and overall width of the GPX 6.5 neck brace is one of the things that make it excellent at dissipating energy. The impact is spread out evenly and the fit is much more secure because the brace covers a larger portion of the body.
The overall design allows for maximum comfort and plenty of helmet clearance. The side clearance is near perfect and the low profile further prevents contact between the two pieces of protective gear.
Leatt offers the GPX 6.5 in two sizes to cover all riders. One brace can be used as a small or medium brace while the other version covers large and X-large.
Leatt Neck Brace Sizing Chart
|6.5 Neck Brace||Small / Medium||Large / xLarge|
|32.5 – 37 inches
|37 – 48 inches
(94 – 122 cm)
Atlas – Best for the Money
The Atlas Air MX neck brace is one of the most comfortable available.
The Atlas Air has an improved front suspension that’s stiffer and can handle a wider range of impact forces and angles.
In terms of protection, the Atlas Air sets itself apart by being larger than other braces and covering more of the rider’s body. This helps in dissipating the force of the impact and minimizing the risk of injury.
At the end of the day, it’s still the comfort level that gets the most attention. The combination of straps, mounts, pad adjustments, and weightless design is what gives the rider extra neck freedom. This promotes good spatial awareness which in some cases is enough to prevent injuries.
Atlas Neck Brace Sizing Chart
|Atlas Air Neck Brace||Small||Medium||Large|
|33” – 36 inches
(84cm – 92 cm)
|37 – 41 inches
(94 cm – 104 cm)
Alpinestars – Easy to Remove
This neck brace is around 1.6 lbs. It’s not the lightest on the market but it’s not heavy by any means. The extra weight is made up of extra padding which increases the rider’s level of comfort.
This carbon brace is made up of two front pads and a single back piece. The front pads sit on both sides of the sternum while the back piece rests on the spine.
The main lining is EVA foam. It also eliminates the contact point between the shoulder and the neck brace, which is one of the reasons collarbone injuries occur during crashes even while wearing protective gear.
Alpinestar offers this carbon fiber neck brace in two sizes. However, the adjustable Alpinestar actually covers four sizes:
This makes these braces very nice for us full-grown adults and (still-growing) young-adults.
The magnetized front closure system makes these a solid choice for anyone that needs to get in and out of them quickly.
Alpinestars Neck Brace Sizing Chart
|Alpinestar BNS Neck Brace||xSmall – Medium||Large – xLarge|
|29.25 – 41.75 inches
(74 – 102 cm)
|41.75 – 52.75 inches
(106 – 134 cm)
EVS – Cheapest (Still Good)
The EVS R4 race collar weighs close to 1.4 points. It comes in two sizes, one for adults and one for youths. The frame is a bit rigid at first but the customizable rear strut makes it easier to adjust the collar accordingly.
On the front of the collar is a rapid lock closure mechanism that allows a one-button operation for entry and exit. The frame of the collar is padded with bio-foam liner which helps improve the fit, comfort, and impact absorption.
The design is somewhat different from what you may see from competitor’s products. The closed-cell PU core distributes the energy of the impact throughout the collar. However, instead of using padding to disperse the energy in the front, there are just two sleek pieces of closed-cell reinforced molded nylon.
This helps prevent sternum injuries but also improves the neck’s freedom of movement which makes riding more pleasant.
The back piece is called a rear axial load absorber. This is what EVS uses to direct impact forces away from the spine and shoulders and into the PU core. The design is both efficient and highly affordable, and it fits well despite having just two sizes.
EVS Neck Brace Sizing Chart
|EVS Neck Brace||Youth||Adult|
|5’3” & under
104lbs and less
|5’3” and over
105lbs and more
Choosing the Right Size
Although most motocross neck braces offer some degree of adjustment, it’s usually best to check the manufacturer’s sizing chart to make sure you’re getting a brace that fits. The differences from one company to another may vary, which is why I included a sizing chart with each of the recommended MX neck braces.
In order to figure out which size you need, simply measure the circumference of the largest part of your chest, under your armpits, and around your back – keeping the measuring tape parallel with the ground.
You will find anywhere from X-small to X-large when going to order a motocross neck brace. In some cases, the sizing may not be as obvious. Having said that, some are even easier to size as they only come in either adult or youth sizes.
The good news is that a neck brace will still work even when it’s not the absolute perfect fit. The bad news is that it won’t be nearly as comfortable.
Do MX Neck Braces Work?
Because the padding limits head movement during a crash, the impact force dissipates. This means that for braces that have struts, the struts break off during impact to further reduce the force.
The material is not as important in terms of protection. Therefore, both hard plastic and carbon fiber neck braces can offer the same level of protection as long as the design is good enough to capitalize on the material’s strengths.
There is no guarantee that even the highest quality motocross neck brace can keep you completely free of injuries. However, wearing a neck brace can significantly reduce the severity of neck and collarbone injuries.
In the end, if you’re into racing supercross or motocross, you need to wear a neck brace. The price of this protective gear is nothing compared to a neck and/or collarbone injury.