Anytime you choose to play a physically demanding sport that involves many aggressive actions like football, injuries in any part of the body is entirely possible. It is, therefore, essential that you play wearing the right protective gear. While lower body pads, gloves, shoulder pads, boots, backplate, and helmets are great football defensive equipment, they often leave other parts of the body exposed. For that matter, it is logical that you invest in a piece of equipment that reduces the chances of you getting knocked out –the best football rib protectors.
This is an optional, but very essential accessory attached to the shoulder pads. A rib protector ensures that players engaged in one of the most physical tackles remain active and safe when playing. This gear usually has a harness, straps, or both, so the player can properly apply it to their football equipment.
That said, there are tens of hundreds of these items out there in the market, making an overwhelming task for first-time buyers.
Of course, you will have to conduct thorough research to help you choose the best football rib protector. If this is your concern, then worry no more since we are here to help you out. Well, after testing and trying 50 plus pieces guided by the latest consumer reports, we have narrowed down to the top ten best rib protectors for your consideration.
List of the 10 Best Football Rib Protectors
10. Sports Maxx Air Football Rib Protector by Schutt
With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from customers, the Sports Maxx Air Football Rib Protector by Schutt will never disappoint you with its special design and solid construction. The beauty of this item is that it comes with ventilated high-density EVA and highly breathable fabrics that provide a user with exceptional protection and comfort. Besides, this piece of defensive gear offers corrugation for additional strength, giving wearers 360-degree full protection of the stomach/rib area. It comes with a harness so you can wear it separately or attach to an existing gear using its straps for a more secure fit.
- Construction material –EVA fabric
- Available sizes –medium, large
9. Youth Football Rib Protector
The Youth Football Rib Protector by Schutt Sports is incredibly excellent when it comes to protecting ribs, kidneys, and liver of youth players. Featuring high-density EVA material, this wraparound item provides all-round protection to the user. Besides being one of the most durable and strongest protectors out there in the market, this gear is also highly breathable according to players the much-needed comfort during a fast-paced game. The awesome element about this rib protector is that it comes with a harness so a user can choose to use it by itself. Alternatively, it can be attached to the shoulder pads using its straps.
- Construction material –EVA
- Color –neon green
- Available sizes –small, large
8. Schutt Sports Varsity Football Rib Protector -Ventilated
Are you looking for a rib protector that fits all kinds of pads, including Lighting, Hurricane, and Tornado pads from Schutt? If so, then the Schutt Sports Varsity Football Rib Protector –Ventilated is the right choice. Best suited for teenage and adult players, this football gear provides amazing protection to the rib cage against the hardest of impacts thanks to its energy block transfer system, which disperses hit energy over a wider area so the player feels less or no impact. It features a 5MM vent holes to help air circulate freely so players can feel cool and comfortable when wearing it. Besides that, it has raised corrugations for additional strength. This great quality protector attaches to shoulder pads easily utilizing its top-notch attachment harness.
- Color –black
- Shipping weight –one pound
- Available size –small, medium, and large
7. Lightweight Youth Football Rib Protector Shirt by Schutt Sports
The Lightweight Youth Football Rib Protector Shirt by Schutt Sports is an extremely beneficial protective gear for your players. This item provides thick impact-absorbing padding, which ultimately protects users from a rib injury. Made of comfortable and light fabric, this rib protector shirt takes away the overheating concerns thanks to its perforated material. Appearing like a sleeveless compression shirt, this item has protective pads (high-impact EVA foam) on the lower torso section.
- Size –X-large
- Color –black
- Item weight -11.2 ounces
6. CP Series Football Rib Combo Protector by Douglas Protective Equipment
Over the years, Douglas is a leader when it comes to making high-quality football protective gear. The CP Series Football Rib Combo Protector, one of their products, is an award-winning rib protector combo offering a wraparound protection experience. With a hard-plastic shell in its outer construction and inside the soft foam, you can play in the most physical matches with the confidence of torso safety. This highly versatile rib protector comes with grommet holes so you can attach it to other shoulder accessories based on the player’s needs. Besides protecting entirely the torso area, it also feels cozy and comfortable inside providing great mobility with little or no restriction.
- Color –black
- Item weight -1.5 pounds
- Product dimensions -14 by 14 by 8 inches
5. Hard Shell Football Rib Protector From Schutt
Like other rib protector models from Schutt, the Hard Shell Football Rib Protector is arguably one of the best defensive football gears. This one outshines others as far as padding is concerned. With huge EVA perforated foam padding inside the hard outer shell, this gear can absorb all impact energy for the player’s safety keeping the ribs and lower back protected. Besides protecting shoulder pads, it does not restrict mobility whatsoever. The good news about the Hard Shell Football Rib Protector is that it is highly ventilated, meaning players can wear for an extended time without feeling any overheat.
- Color –black
- Available sizes –large (34-40 inches), X-large (40-46 inches)
- Item weight -3 pounds
4. Lightweight Football Rib Protector Vest by Schutt Sports
When looking for an ideal rib protector for training or low-intensity matches, then the Lightweight Football Rib Protector Vest by Schutt Sports is the best choice. This item provides a reasonable amount of protection to the rib and back area thanks to its hard-shell outer construction.
Besides receiving the benefits of its light design, users will achieve exceptional mobility with a rib protector allowing them to play with comfort and free of constraints. Apart from its light design and protection level, users will also enjoy outstanding ventilation and comfort from this vest for the simple reason that it features mesh fabric at its interiors. With completely adjustable straps with buckles, users can achieve the right fit according to their needs.
- Available sizes-small, medium, and large
- Color –yellow, black
- Item weight –one pound
3. Nike Pro Combat Hyper-strong 2 Padded Football Shirt
The Nike Pro Combat Hyper-strong 2 Padded Football Shirt is a great rib protectors if you are looking to invest in a product that offers ultimate protection and a natural range of motion. It features a strategically placed double foam padding that helps protect users against impacts. With ergonomic and flat seams that move smoothly against the wearer’s skin, this lightweight gear provides the much-needed mobility. Its dry fabric used for compression gives the user a tight but flexible fit with sweat-wicking capabilities, making users comfortable throughout the play.
- Size –X-large
- Color –white
- Construction materials –blend of polyester, spandex, rubber, and polyethylene
- Shipping weight -12 ounces
2. Gear 2000 Youth Rib Protector
The Gear 2000 Youth Rib Protector is one of the best football rib protectors out there in the market. Similar to other gears already discussed, this one features a hard outer shell so it disperses hit energy equally, this protecting the target area. Its interiors are highly padded with top-quality foam ensuring that the wearers stay comfortable even during the hardest hits. It comes with straps with buckles for easy fitting and removing. Overall, its construction materials are lightweight and durable.
- Available sizes –medium and large
- Color –black
- Item weight –one pound
1. Men’s Padded Compression Protective Rib & Chest Protector T-Shirt for Football By TUOY
The Men’s Padded Compression Protective Rib & Chest Protector T-Shirt for Football By TUOY is not only ideal for football players, but also basketball, paintball, rugby, cycling, skiing, or any other contact sports. It is well-known for providing extra support and protection to shoulders, back, chest, and ribs. This all-rounded protector features a highly breathable material so it delivers maximum comfort. It also features high-density soft pads to keep balance during any exercise, which helps reduce muscle pain and swelling. Besides that, its elastic material allows for greater flexibility and motion. Unlike other protectors of the same class, this one is warm on cold days and cool on hot days!
- Color –black
- Available sizes –medium, large, X-large, and XX-large
Tip How to Choose the best football rib protector:
We all agree that you need to protect your essential body parts when playing fast-paced high contact games like football. While there are many gears to invest, the rib protector takes the top slot in your football gear need list. Well, there are dozens of these products out there in the market to pick. However, choosing the best one can be a daunting task when you have little information about rib protectors. Of course, you can easily navigate through any flooded market when you have some buying or choosing tips at your disposal. To make your work easier, here below are some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for the best football rib protectors:
The very first factor you need to consider when choosing the best football rib protector is the product’s size. It is important to note that a given brand or model may be available in many sizes and hardly do we have one-size-fits-all rib protectors. Because of that, ensure you pick an item of the right size that fits appropriately to your body. Remember, too big rib protectors can become bulky defeating its role. On the other hand, too small gears can hinder your mobility.
When shopping for the best rib protectors, you need to know something about type in your mind. More often than not, these defensive devices come in different designs and types, perhaps to fit a particular playing style or player position. You can choose between traditional or compression vest protectors. It is, therefore, important to know more about these types before you buy anything.
Convenience and versatility
Choosing a football rib protector with distinctive and additional features will go a long way in ensuring that you get the best out of the gear. For that matter, you should consider protectors that give you the much-needed convenience. For instance, great gear features grommet holes in the harness so users can easily attach it to different types of shoulder pads based on the level of protection they need or comfort. Highly versatile rib protectors are also remarkable as they serve the role of protecting the ribs as well as other sensitive parts of the body. Wraparound rib protectors, for instance, are much better than the conventional one-sided gears.
There is no doubt that you are in the market looking for an item that will become useful for many years to come. Well, during these hard economic times, getting a durable rib protector is highly recommended. Although they might be quite pricey, it becomes cheaper in the end. It is easier to tell whether a rib protector is durable or not by checking at the construction material. More often than not, those made with an outer hard shell and featuring polyester or nylon are incredibly durable.
When it comes to choosing the best football rib protectors, there may no more essential factor than its strength. After all, you are looking for something that will offer you maximum protection against hard hits during intense or fast-paced games. For that reason, you will want to ensure the item you are going to pick comes with ideal construction comprising of hard outer shell cushioned with foam padding and breathable fabrics. The best rib protector offering ultimate strength is the one with several materials including hard plastic and EVA foam.
As we wrap up this post, it is worth repeating the point that the rib protector is essential for players who need to protect their bodies from sustaining injuries arising from physical and blindside hits during a play. Well, you will have some options when it comes to choosing the best rib protectors gear, as you may have seen in our review. Whether you are the lot that loves a T-shirt, vest, or the traditional protectors, you will find a product on our list that matches your needs. The good news is that you will find options that will effectively serve teenage, youth, or adult levels. Get one today and stay safe from vulnerabilities associated with physical football play.