Top 10 Best Football Rib Protector Reviews and Guide 2019
Along with lower-body safety, helmets, gloves, and should pads – you’ll need rib protection for football.
This sport is one of the most aggressive in the world, and where injuries in the entire body are entirely possible. So, it’s important to play with the right defensive gear and prevent damage to your body.
For the torso, a varsity or youth football rib protector will be the best product you can get to keep yourself free of harm while playing. But choosing the right product won’t be easy. That’s why we’ve decided to make a buying guide for those who want to pick the ideal rib protector.
If you are looking for an excellent rib-cage, this article will tell everything you ought to know and more.
What Football Position Wears Rib Protectors?
When we talk about rib protection for football, you’ll see that not all players use it. While it’s mainly a thing of choice for most players, some positions need this protection the most.
Players in positions where speed, accuracy, or agility are the most critical factors, will always need the most protection. A quarterback, a defensive back, a wide receiver, a running back, a tight end, and similar ones will get the most out of a rib protection set.
This kind of protection is crucial for these usually thinner players when compared to linemen or in defensive positions. They are normally always looked after in the game by the sturdiest and strongest player to tackle them, so they need the most protection possible.
While players in these positions will demand rib-protective sets the most, these rib cages shields will also help any other player who needs it. Even linebackers or defensive backs can find these products useful.
So don’t think it’s only quarterbacks, but actually, almost all players who can wear protectors to increase their safety.
10 Best Football Rib Protector Reviews
When we talk about rib cages for football, we need to consider the number of options available in the market as well as the vast variety of features and quirks of each one. So, choosing the ideal one can be difficult.
That’s why we compiled ten of the best protectors out there and reviewed them. Here, you have everything you need to know about each.
1. Schutt Varsity
A rib protector with the design of the Schutt Varsity is the most common you’ll find, but you won’t find any with the quality this one offers.
It fits all kinds of shoulder pads, including the Hurricane, Lightning and Tornado pads from Schutt. Specially designed for adult & teenage players, this one will provide amazing protection so you can keep your rib cage always free of damage, even after the hardest of impacts.
You can make this rib-cage protector work alone so you can achieve excellent safety without losing versatility or movement that shoulder pads make. This adds to the incredible results of this product, increasing the number of accessories and at the same time making it an ideal choice for runners.
One of the main factors of this rib cage, though, is the excellent-quality attachment harness. It will aid you to fit the accessory tightly to your body and prevent damage more effectively. And of course, it will also help more players to wear it without issues. The attachment design will fit football shirts and other protecting accessories effectively.
As the perfect option for varsity players, those in high-school leagues up to veterans can find this rib protector an exceptional choice. It comes in Medium and Large sizes, so you have two options to choose from according to your needs.
2. Bike Xtreme
For those who are looking for a large and still useful rib protector, the Rib Xtreme can be the ideal option. Completely easy to use but highly protective & fitting for big users – this rib-cage pad won’t let you down.
It is a little different than other protectors, especially for its design that goes from the rib to the spine and in the kidney. Every high-contact zone will be completely safe when playing, even during difficult and harsh games.
But what really makes this excellent protector so amazing is the quality of its padding. It comes with a hard-shell plastic exterior that increases the effect of the product, making it difficult for any type of impact to harm you.
The padding is made with open-cell foam, which means the protection increases exponentially. You won’t feel anything when hitting the ground or other players. But this open-cell foam also helps at improving flexibility when playing and receiving a superb fit to prevent adjusting issues.
To fit the product in your body, you’ll only have to use the snap buckle. It will help you adjust the pad quickly and increase overall comfort when wearing.
If you want to improve overall safety when playing, a protector that fits well is maybe the most critical factor. And with the adjustable straps, users of different heights and contexture will fit easily & effectively.
3. Douglas SP Series
When you find something as good as the Douglas SP Series, you won’t have any interest in any other rib protector. The exceptional strength and durability this one offers are merely unbeatable, especially with its two size availability.
You can pick either the 4-inches or the 6-inches padding combo. This means you can choose something like the 6-inches if you want padding that protects a wider area of your body, increasing overall safety and preventing harm more effectively.
And when you pick the 4-inches option, you get a rib protection pad excellent for flexibility and movement, which runners and agile players will love.
The size of the protector also changes who can use the product. This way different players of different sizes can enjoy the overall protection of product according to their needs.
But whatever you pick, the protector is made to keep the lower and most weak areas of your body free of damage. No matter where the impact on the floor or with other players hits, you’ll be safe at all times.
Another significant advantage of this protector is the adjustable harness for attaching shoulder pads or moving the plates. It comes with three grommet hole levels so you can use it comfortably depending on what works for you.
The best of this rib-pad protector is the ability to fit the whole combo together with great results. You’ll achieve outstanding levels of defense that quarterbacks, running backs, and other players who need the most security will love.
4. Schutt Sports Lightweight
When it comes to choosing an ideal option for training, you won’t find any better rib protector than the Schutt Sports Lightweight vest.
It is not the most protective of all, or the most reliable – yet it offers enough protection and high-quality design to keep you safe in low-intensity training matches. You’ll receive all the benefits from its light design, which means you’ll achieve exceptional mobility so you can practice with comfort & free of constraints.
But still, when it comes to protecting this one doesn’t disappoint. Boasting a hard-shell outer construction, it will shield you from high-contact impacts without feeling much and reducing overall damage exponentially.
And with the addition of EVA foam inside, you’ll receive even better results, so training with it and playing in friendly matches will be entirely safe using this vest.
Apart from the protection levels and its light design, you’ll also get outstanding comfort and ventilation. The mesh fabric in the sides and back will keep the vest always fresh, so users won’t feel exhausted too fast. And with its excellent adjustable options, you’ll achieve great comfort according to your needs.
The straps are adjustable completely, and you can secure them with buckles to prevent any movement and fit them more effectively to your body. This will aid to receive all the safety from the protectors, increasing the level of protection & reducing looseness when playing.
Add all of this together, and you’ll get the perfect protector for training sessions or friendly matches. With its comfort & light design, you’ll play freely and without fearing any issue.
5. Douglas CP Series
Made with the whole purpose of improving protection to the torso the best way possible, the CP series from Douglas is easily one of the best rib-protectors in the list.This removable product comes as a combo part that you can use to fit your entire safety needs when playing football.
It works really well to keep damage away, using hard-plastic shell in the outer construction with soft foam in the inside, so you can play in the hardest of matches safely and with confidence.The wrap-around design keeps the most fragile parts of your torso safe at all times too.
When it comes to versatility, though, this product doesn’t stay behind either. You’ll receive useful extra-grommet holes availability so you can fit more shoulder accessories according to your needs. With the three levels of adjustment for accessories, you won’t have any place lacking protection, even for intense games.
These grommet holes also allow you to fit the product more tightly or loosely depending on what you prefer. You can also fit different parts of your body with it, and select either the 4-inches or the 6-inches version so you can achieve the ideal level of protection for your body.
But even with this fantastic protection and attaching options, this product doesn’t lack any comfort. You’ll feel completely safe but also cozy inside. It will even help you achieve great mobility with little to no restriction, even when you adjust it tightly to your body. And when you add the adjustable straps in the back, you’ll know this is a product not to dismiss.
6. Champro Adult Rib Protector
Champro is a brand that never disappoints when it comes to accessories for football, and this Adult Rib Protector is not an exception.
Perfect for all players over 160 pounds, this protector will improve defensive results and let players achieve high levels of confidence. Even in the most challenging games against the most violent opponents, you’ll feel fully safe with this protector.
It is the ideal option for torsos of about 34 to 38 inches, which means adults can find it exceptionally useful. With its wrap-around design, keeping the ribs and back safe will be a total piece of cake. It’s an excellent choice for almost anyone, especially for its levels of protection.
It boasts a high-impact outer layer with a soft foam internal cover. You’ll feel safe and comfortable when using, while still getting all the effects of its hard shell and overall impact-resistant performance. No matter how hard other players hit you, or how hard you fall to the ground, this protector will prevent damage and keep you almost pain-free.
For comfort, it comes with adjustable look-and-loop fasteners so you can fit the product to your body without problems. It also provides with anchoring points with grommet holes so you can attach shoulder pads or similar accessories for even more protection when playing.
7. Schutt Hard Shell
A protector vest is maybe the best choice when it comes to versatility & free movement, and this Schutt alternative doesn’t disappoint.
It is the ideal product for protecting your ribs, lower chest and lower back. The most vulnerable areas in these spots will be completely safe, even during the hardest of performances.
And all this is owned to not only to the design but also to the high-quality hard-shell outer shield, which alongside EVA perforated foam, will protect you from the harshest impacts with players or the floor.
Apart from its excellent protection, this vest doesn’t leave anything to be desired in comfort and overall adjustability. With the light design, you will enjoy superb speed and mobility while playing.
With the excellent design of straps and snap buckles, it will fit your body well enough to prevent any movement of protectors while running or falling.
For those who want to achieve superior protection with impact-absorbing EVA padding alongside great outer shell with hard-plastic, and exceptional mobility – this is a vest not to dismiss.
Everything about it has the purpose of increasing your performance level as well as protection & safety. Running backs and receivers will find this one perfect, so if you are one – don’t overlook what it can do.
8. Champro Youth Rib Protector
For kids below 100 pounds of weight, the Youth rib protector from Champro will probably be the right product to go for. This brand always delivers exceptional results, and when it comes to protection, it has almost no rivals.
One of the main features of this product is the wrap-around design. Parents who expect the most protection possible from a rib protector will have nothing to complain about with this one.
The hard-plastic shell in the outer layer plus foam in the inside will make the protector strong and highly reliable, even in really tough youth matches.
This product also fits without issues. Children want comfort and versatility the most, and this protector doesn’t leave any of that behind. Despite its sturdy construction and superb protection, you can enjoy a light design that will allow the most agile football players to get the performance they want at the youngest levels.
For achieving a tight fit, you can use the hook-and-loop fasteners in the front, perfect to prevent movement while playing or just to adjust comfortably to the body of the kid. Using it will be a total pleasure, especially for kids who are used to playing with low-quality equipment.
Finally, this rib protector delivers a highly convenient grommet-hole harness, ideal for shoulder attachments. For those kids who want to have the best protection possible at youth-league level, this product will undoubtedly deliver the quality they need.
9. Douglas Legacy
Douglas rib cages for football are undoubtedly among the best you’ll find – and the Legacy series is no exception. From high versatility and protection level, there’s probably not a better choice to go for.
This protector stands out for its design. It is the ideal option for an adult just because it protects everything from the rib to the lower back and more. This design also allows superior torso comfort, so you get all the defensive capacity to play safely without losing confidence playing tough matches.
The huge quality of the product comes mainly from the hardened plastic shell in the exterior, put together with a foam layer that adds the comfort and impact-absorbent capacity for damage reduction. Pair this up with the high-quality build, and you’ll obtain a product that protects but also lasts a lifetime.
Yet, it leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to comfort. It is completely easy to put on and highly convenient to achieve a tight fit. And for its defense level and excellent versatility, it would be the ideal product for quarterbacks and running backs, as it protects amazingly well without reducing movement freedom.
The best feature you get with this rib protector is the extra-grommet holes in the harness. This will help you place the protector at different levels of your torso, and fit the additional Legacy accessories perfectly. So, it helps you to prevent unprotected sides while reducing movement of the protector while playing.
10. Riddell Youth Rib Vest
Whether it is for maximum freedom when playing or because protection won’t be the most critical factor to consider at the time, the Riddell Youth Rib Vest is undoubtedly an option you don’t want to overlook.
For those youth players who want great coverage in their rib and torso with great protection but unbeatable mobility, this rib vest won’t fail them. It is entirely well-made, perfect to keep players safe but also offering incredible versatility to achieve better performance.
It is a low-profile option for developing kids in short words. But despite its low-profile design, it still comes with closed-cell foam padding that increases overall impact absorption and reduces hit damage from other players or the floor.
This rib protector is also amazingly light with a think construction, which allows the player to achieve higher speeds and have total control of their bodies. Despite that, it fits with most shoulder pads, even though it doesn’t come with harness for attachment.
Apart from all the protection and versatility, this is a durable & reliable product. It fits tightly on small users but also increases overall comfort for many years. So, if you need something that exerts mobility and comfort over anything else – this product won’t let you down.
What To Look For Before Getting One?
Buying rib protection for football is more important than people think, but choosing one can be a little confusing when you don’t know much about them. To make it easier for you, here are a few factors to look for when buying.
A rib protector for football may come in different types and designs. They all fit a specific player position or playing style, so it’s important to know about them before you buy anything.
The two types you can pick are compression vest and traditional protector. Here’s what you ought to know about each:
The traditional style protection is the one with straps, a harness for accessories, and hard-shell or plastic protectors that goes from the rib cage to the spine and sometimes even protects lower back.
This design is the most common you’ll find and works really well for players who want great protection over anything else, as it offers more attaching options.
If you expect more bulk for protection, something that won’t let you get hurt when hitting other players or the ground, a traditional model will be your best option.
And of course, there are still high-quality traditional-style protectors that offer the comfort, and mobility compression vests provide, while still delivering superior safety.
But what probably makes traditional models better is the addition of a harness, which helps you attach shoulder padding and other accessories that could help you a lot.
A compression vest, on the other hand, is like any other vest in sports but this time with side protectors. The protectors tend to be of foam instead of plastic or hard foam. Yet, they come integrated and fit more tightly than traditional-style options.
These vests are mostly made with compression materials and padding, which means they also provide performance and mobility boosts over the traditional model.
But a compression vest also comes with shoulder protections, which traditional models don’t have. This means you can protect your rib cage, back, and your shoulders at the same time. Yet, the protection is much weaker than the one you get with traditional models with hard-plastic shells.
For us, if you are someone who wants additional padding and compression with exceptional comfort, a compression vest will undoubtedly be your best choice. It will help you achieve more mobility and less sturdiness so you can play freely and without restrictions.
Strength & Durability
When it comes to protective gear, there’s maybe no more critical factor than strength and durability. You’ll want something that protects you as much as possible, and that lasts several months or years of use without fault.
Here, you will have to make sure it comes with the ideal construction, both in the fabrics/straps as well as in the protectors or padding cushions.
There are several materials to pick from though, but hard-plastic is always the best for protectors, while EVA foam is the best for padding cushions.
When it comes to fabrics for vests, for example, nylon are polyester are the two options you should consider. The same happens with straps, where it’s crucial to pick hardened materials with great flexibility.
Going for materials like this won’t only increase the chances of getting a durable product but also will provide the protection you need. Otherwise, you may buy a product that doesn’t last too much, that doesn’t protect you, or that doesn’t do either.
Comfort & Ease of use
A rib protector needs to be easy to put on as well as comfortable. But even more important than that, this defensive accessory needs to be adjustable so you can fit it to your body tightly enough, so it doesn’t move while you play. This way, you prevent unwanted damage while getting hit or falling too hard.
For all of these factors, go for something with enough movement allowance. It shouldn’t prevent you from moving your arms or torso freely. Straps and buckles are also critical, with adjustable designs so you can wear it comfortably but tight enough.
And of course, it should be comfortable, light/heavy according to your needs, and help you achieve the ideal performance according to your needs.
Versatility & Convenience
Finally, while it’s not the most important of factors, going for a rib protector with unique or additional features will give you a more enjoyable experience.
For example, traditional protectors come with grommet holes in the harness so you can attach different types of shoulder pads depending on your level of comfort or protection needs. This harness can also help to wear the protector in the right height.
Other features can be the design of the product. Wrap-around designs are far better than one-sided products, for example. So always go for something that seems not only unique but also useful without letting protection behind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you want a varsity or youth football rib protector, you have to be sure about it before buying. As we know having doubt is pretty standard, here are a few questions you may need the answer to.
Q: How tight should a rib protector for football be?
A: It should be tight enough not to move when hitting other players or running.
Q: Is it hard to put on a rib protector for football?
A: Not really. However, for first-timers, one of these accessories can be a little complicated, especially the traditional models that come with attachment harness and back fasteners.
Q: What size is the best one for me?
A: You’ll need to consider body frame, weight, and height. Someone who’s tall and over 160 pounds will probably need a sizeable varsity protector, while someone between 140 and 100 pounds may need a medium or small option.
For kids under 100 pounds, an extra small rib protector is always the best choice.
Q: Should I go for a rib protector with shoulder pads compatibility?
A: It all depends on your protection needs and kind of matches you’re going to play. For someone who plays casually in friendly games, a compression vest protector is probably the best idea.
Otherwise, if you play competitively with other tough players, a traditional-style protector with a shoulder-pad harness would be the right choice.
Q: Can I clean my rib protector for football?
A: Yes, you should clean the protector with a moist towel or washcloth with a mild cleanser. This way, you get rid of sweat, dirt, and other impurities that could damage the protector, no matter the type.
There so many rib cages for football out there that picking the right product can be utterly baffling. Luckily for you, this guide with reviews delivers every vital piece of information needed to prevent you from buying the wrong product.
If you are really interested in a rib protector that won’t let you down, follow our guidance, and you’ll surely go home with the perfect product.