Good spine and tailbone protection?

I’m looking to find some rather specific protection gear. My hope is that some of you guys can recommend an item or 2 from experience.

I am looking to find:

  • Spine protection in the form of a vest. Doesn’t need to be extreme. Not really interested in external spine protectors that strap on, I’d like something built-in. I sweat a lot so I like to use a minimal amount of layers.
  • Tailbone protection. Hopefully built into a pair of riding chamois shorts. Don’t really care too much about the outer protection, the tailbone is my main concern.

I’ve found some various options that look nice, but it’s hard to tell without being able to try them on, use them, and see how they work with unicycling in particular.

Here’s some of the kind of vests I had been eyeing:

Don’t know much about shorts. I need something flexible, thigh pads aren’t too important to me. Just wanna protect my tailbone, I’ve fallen on it so many times. Any kind of padding there, doesn’t need to be hard plastic or anything.

For spine/back protection I have:


  • Race Face Ambush Core
  • Demon D3O Hyper X vest [/LIST]

    I got #1 because I really like d3o protection and was also looking for shoulder protection. When I tried out skateboarding ten years ago I was dropping into 8ft bowls and landing repeatedly on my shoulder. This product may not have as good puncture protection as some of the other products.

    I never have actually worn #2. I got it to protect myself against higher speed downhill trails with lots of protruding branches and sharp rocks and haven’t quite worked up to that yet. I’ve been thinking about getting something with more of a hard shell but I probably should just go ahead and wear this for the added chest protection.

    For the items you linked, the Demon Vest X and POC Spine are similar to my #1 (without shoulder protection) although the Demon Vest has an optional chest insert which looks interesting as well as a kidney belt and rib padding. Note that any type of back pad is going to be sweaty. If I were getting something new I would probably get the Demon Vest X with SAS-TEC chest plate. One thing I really like about my #1 is that the pads are all removable which is not the case for the Demon products I have. There are some backpacks with built in back protection, too.

    I also have two types of shorts that I occasionally wear. The first are some old bulky bomber shorts and the second is these football shorts. The football shorts have good hip and tailbone protection and are not bulky to wear but I’m looking for something with a little more protection and am planning to get the Burton Total Impact Padded shorts.

  • I wear a medium sized camel back, but my back sweats just driving in a car or standing around, so nothing is going to change that. My back will be sweaty no matter what.

    The Demon Vest X is the one that really caught my eye as well. Looks more flexible.

    As for shorts I refuse to wear anything without a chamois. So far this has proved troublesome, as a lot of these sites list snowboard and skateboard leg protection in the mountain bike/bmx tabs. Well you don’t need a chamois to skateboard or snowboard, so this is making it rather annoying while looking for shorts.

    These are shorts so far I’ve found that have, or I think have chamois: - Specifically lists chamois

    I just put in my order for the DINNERDEAL (15% off through Friday, December 27th): ankle braces, G-Form elbow pads, and the Burton Total Impact Padded Shorts. A chamois is not in my list of requirements. Besides the ones you listed a couple more pop up if you search “chamois”. There’s also the Demon X Protective Belt.

    You can always wear the protective gear over normal bike shorts. You don’t want to be washing them after every ride, anyway.

    I actually made my own by sewing some rollerblade pads onto a pair of super heavyweight Canari bike shorts (that I removed the chamois from!). That let me get the placement perfect, to make sure that nothing got in the way when riding. I have a pair of factory-made protective shorts from, I think, T.H.E., but I like the homemade ones better.

    I might go with these 2 then:
    Shorts: - apparently the outer thigh pads are removable, which is a big deal for me as well.

    Eh, I don’t mind being a bit dirty. I let my gear go for a few rides before a wash. It all just gets soaked in sweat the moment I put it on anyways. I’ve actually started putting my shinguards on while I drive to the location, just so my legs are already sweated up and cooling off when I start riding.

    I like to modify my own gear so that is interesting.

    I like g-form products for light protection. I’m using only knee pads at the moment, but I was considering the shorts as well:

    Well I got all my gear in the mail today! I really like all of it.

    My thoughts so far:

    Demon Vest xd30. It feels very comfortable, and the kidney straps really make that make spine protection feel like it’s part of me. It keeps it flush to my back. The spine protection nice and flexy and covers more of the back than I thought it would. This vest also has small rib protection under the arms, and the kidney belt itself is thick enough to keep you from doing some damage. Doesn’t feel hot, vest material is pretty lightweight. I opted to have the extra chest protection piece, just to have it around… seems nice, but I doubt I will ever use it. Maybe next time I go snowboarding, or if I start mountain biking again.

    TLD BP7605 Shorts. These things are amazingly comfortable, and I can’t even notice the padding on the sides, it’s really well made. Padding seems really tough too. Chamois is just the way I like it, nicely padded, and soft :slight_smile: The only issues I have with these shorts is that everything fits except the lower opening, which is pretty wide. I could probably lose 2 inches off the opening on each leg, but JUST at the opening, 1 inch higher up my leg and it fits perfect. Also has no draw-string, I’m going to have to try and add one as I need to keep them up at the right height on me. Anyone know how I could add a drawstring to the waist? I don’t think I could add it directly to the current waistband, but I could perhaps add a fabric tube around the waist just below the current waistband.

    Demon Podium full-face helmet. I’ve wanted a full-face for a long time. This one is very lightweight and has a decent amount of vents. I wore it around the house while I did some cleaning and watched some TV, never bothered me, very comfy. My ears felt very free, which is usually the issue I have with helmets, I hate squishing my ears. Visor has nice angles to adjust to, and is removable, which I prefer. I got mine in white to avoid as much heat as possible, love it!

    All in all a happy camper I am! Just need to find out how to modify my shorts a little bit.


    I even got 20% additional off my helmet for a small molding defect it has (which I don’t care about) :slight_smile:

    You’d be surprised how many places will give you % refunds when you find stuff like this.

    I have sewn in dense 1" elastic bands from the fabric store for stuff like the legs. It can be a bit tricky knowing how much elastic to use or how much to stretch it so I put it on w/ safety pins (if you put them close to the end of the elastic, it pulls out easily). Once I’ve figured how much and where to put the elastic, I sow in a vertical line joining the elastic and material at each end, stretch it out then at my best estimate of the middle. I then I repeat this on one half but secure w/ safety pins so they end up being every ~ 3". Then I sow a row using a zig zag pattern, careful to not get the threads too tight or the elastic won’t expand, and repeat on the other half.

    I use upholstery thread, quadruple layer it, and a knot every few inches to reduce the likelyhood of it breaking and pulling out. I think it’d be more comfortable to sow it on the outside but it’ll look kind of crumby unless you use a sowing machine and do a good job. If doing by hand, black thread on black is really hard to see what I’m doing. White on white is easier, so I’d use white elastic and thread (or some other color).

    If I wanted a chord on the waist I’d do the same but w/ 2" elastic, it would take two rows of sowing (one above and another below the drawstring) and take FOREVER unless you have a sowing machine. (one row on the waist takes me 1.5-2 hrs by hand.)

    So in other words I should visit a seamstress? haha. I’m all for sewing stuff up myself, but it often looks like a hackjob… which usually doesn’t matter too much.

    Mine don’t look nice but they are always hidden by other clothes or a belt so I don’t care. If I had a sowing machine they’d look a bit nicer. If my Grandma had done it it would look like it came that way & done it in 1/10 the time (she made slip covers & reupholstered furniture).

    Reopening this thread…
    After rock hopping and landing on my back and tailbone multiple times I’ve discovered I really need spine protection. Preferably something like a backpack/water bladder with a reinforced plate. If not that, then something I can wear under my shirt. I’m actually kind of surprised this topic isn’t discussed more. Landing on your back on a rock during frequent UPDs is dangerous. Any recommendations would be appreciated

    Rob Urban

    I agree 100% with you. I mostly fall on my butt/tailbone: not often but when it happens it is so quick that you don’t have much time to break the fall. I didn’t used to wear back/tailbone protection but I had a bad fall on my back (on concrete!) two years ago and since then I’ve been having problems around that area. To make things worse a year later I think I pulled something on my lower back and it took many months of recovery and physiotherapy before it got better. Once you get a weakness somewhere things go downhill quickly if you twist it or fall on it again!

    Anyway: I am pushing my boundaries with my Muni and Trials at the moment so I’ve got myself some back and tailbone protection just in case. They will avoid the shock of the impact if I happen to fall badly (obviously protection gear only protects to a certain degree).

    I bought myself two items and so far I am very happy with them. I’ve fallen twice on my butt/back with them and I didn’t feel a thing (they were falls on forest type ground though rather than concrete/rocks type). I purposely bought protective gear that is light to wear and can be used all the time without being cumbersome:

    POC Hip VPD 2.0 Shorts: quite expensive but it’s got some good Tail bone protection (and loads of hip protection). They are quite light (D30 type material) and as they are cycling shorts (with chamois included) you don’t need to wear anything else underneath (or over). They don’t bother me when riding (the padding is flexible, you can feel is there but you quickly get used to it) and find them very comfortable:

    Scott Recruit Pro II Compression Gear: riding vest with D30 protection on your back, shoulders and elbows. It is light and cool. When I ride with it I don’t really notice I have it on. I haven’t tried any other back protectors but I have to say that this one feels great!

    If those falls are bothering you I would say go ahead and get yourself some protective gear :smiley:

    I find myself I am improving my riding because I am not so worried about hurting myself if I fall on my back (I nearly sprained my ankle today though but I don’t think there is much I can do to prevent that…)

    Rob Urban,
    For my lower spine, I stick a folded piece of foam into the back of my Pearl izumi riding shorts. The foam piece is from an old yoga mat. It’s simple, it stays in place and it is working. However, it only protects my tailbone.

    Other than that, I don’t have spine protection. I’m wondering if there is a backpack that can serve a dual purpose - back protection and carrying light supplies for a muni adventure. If anyone has any suggestions, please share.

    Be well and keep your UPD cushioned.

    Alright, these look like some good hydropack/back protector combinations. Most of us carry hydropacks on our backs as we ride so it makes sense to just pay a little extra for the back protection.