Skip to Content

ATV Neck Brace Buyers Guide: Should You Wear One?

ATV Neck Brace Buyers Guide: Should You Wear One?

Wearing a neck brace while riding is a highly debated topic. Some people won’t ride with them because they have been blamed for collarbone breaks in the past. Some riders won’t ride without them because of the added neck and spine protection they offer. A neck brace isn’t a must-have like a  helmet and goggles, but if you want to be completely protected in the event of a crash, you should be wearing one.

Wearing a neck brace is recommended for ATV riding, but it’s ultimately your choice. I personally only wear one especially when I’m going to be trying jumps or tricks that I’m not good at yet. If you do decide to wear one, I recommend the Leatt DBX 5.5 Neck Brace (link to Amazon).

I like this neck brace because it’s all-around easy to use. It has a push button for opening and closing it, and it has an emergency quick-release system built in. This neck brace is super durable and fits nicely with the Leatt 4.5 Chest Protector (link to Amazon) that I use. It is CE certified and I like how easy to clean it is.

Let’s dive into the details of the subject. Keep reading to learn more!

How A Neck Brace Helps

The main purpose of a neck brace is to limit the amount your neck moves during a crash or accident. It does this by working together with your helmet. They sit under the helmet like a restrictive base, only allowing your helmet to move so far in any direction. 

Any good neck brace will have failure points that allow the brace to break in certain areas under enough pressure. That is helpful because it will soften the blow from a crash.

The Leatt brace is the original neck brace and is one of the most tested neck braces you can buy. They’re mostly made out of carbon fiber and kevlar, or reinforced nylon. They’re designed to fit nicely with most body armor and helmets.

Overbending your neck or spine can result in spinal cord or spine injury. Your spine has 24 vertebrae, supported by ligaments and disks. Your spinal cord, however, is just nerve cells and nerve fibers mixed with cerebral fluid. The neck brace is meant to prevent both of these types of injuries, spinal cord injuries and spine injuries. By over-stretching your neck in any direction or getting hit by an impact, you could tear ligaments and fracture vertebrae, or worse, tear nerve fibers in your spinal cord.

Is There A Downside?

The use of neck braces has raised concerns about their potential benefits and drawbacks. Leatt, a leading manufacturer, conducts extensive testing in various scenarios to address these concerns. While a neck brace may be helpful in some situations, it could potentially pose risks in others.

One potential risk involves the strut of the brace that rests on the rider’s back. It has been suggested that while a neck brace may protect the neck, it could transfer impact to the strut, potentially causing a thoracic spine injury. However, the strut is designed to break away before causing harm to the middle spine.

Some riders question whether wearing a neck brace could limit their ability to tuck and roll out of a crash. However, it is possible to raise one’s arms over the head for a tuck and roll even while wearing a neck brace.

Another concern is the possibility of a helmet getting hooked over the edge of the neck brace, which could exert additional leverage on the neck. Leatt neck braces are designed to prevent helmets from reaching over the edge and getting hooked.

There have also been concerns about potential collarbone injuries. Leatt has addressed this by designing the neck brace with a clavicle relief area, ensuring that no pressure is directed onto the collarbone.

While there are questions about the overall impact of neck braces, current research suggests that they are a valuable addition to riding gear. However, due to the limited number of studies and evidence available, the decision to wear a neck brace ultimately remains a personal choice.

In my personal experience, I choose to wear a neck brace when attempting new jumps or tricks I’m not familiar with yet. Nevertheless, the final decision on whether to wear one is up to you.

Neck Braces

Leatt isn’t the only company making neck braces anymore. Alpinestars, EVS, and Atlas are just some of the companies joining in on creating and testing neck braces. It makes sense too, neck injuries have always been a problem in off-road sports like ATV riding and dirt bike riding. These companies are trying to take steps to reduce the number of neck and back injuries, and that’s a good sign.

One of the neck braces I found made by Leatt is a chest protector and neck brace combo. The Leatt Fusion 3.0 Vest is found here on Amazon. This is a great option for anyone worried that their neck brace and chest protector won’t match up or feel comfortable to wear. Completely CE certified for torso and neck protection together. This piece of gear is a bit more expensive than just getting a chest protector, but you’re getting a neck brace built in. The Fusion Vest comes in a variety of sizes in either black or white color.

EVS makes a neck brace in either adult or youth sizes that has been getting some pretty great reviews lately. The EVS Sport R4 Race Collar (link to Amazon) is made of a hard molded upper surface, with a foam liner for comfort and extra impact absorption. I don’t know how well this one fits with a chest protector because I’ve never tried this one on myself. But based on the reviews, it seems like people like it.

Alpinestars makes a couple of options, the Bans Pro Neck Support and the Carbon Bionic Neck Support on Amazon. The carbon bionic neck brace is made of high-quality materials, but it’s a bit expensive for a neck brace with fewer features and safety than the Leatt. They do offer a 1-year warranty on manufacturer defects, but a good neck brace should last you 5-10 years.

There are a few different options for neck braces nowadays, and they are becoming more acceptable and being used more and more even by the pros. I stick with my recommendation of the Leatt DBX 5.5 Neck Brace, it fits me comfortably with my chest protector on, and I get used to wearing it after about 5 minutes.

Final Thought!

The decision to wear a neck brace while riding an ATV is a personal choice that depends on individual preferences and concerns. Some riders believe that the added protection for the neck and spine outweighs the potential risks, while others opt not to wear them due to concerns about collarbone injuries. 

While not considered a must-have item like a helmet and goggles, wearing a neck brace is recommended for comprehensive protection in the event of a crash. The Leatt DBX 5.5 Neck Brace is a recommended option due to its ease of use, durability, and compatibility with other riding gear. Other reputable brands such as Alpinestars and EVS also offer neck braces that have gained positive reviews.

Remember to consider factors like fit, comfort, and safety features when choosing the right neck brace for individual needs.

Thanks for reading to the end!

Sharing is caring!