Best Football Rib Protectors and Back Plates (Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews)

Playing football is a contact sport. That is why the risk of getting an injury is high. In order to avoid injuries, you need to have the proper protective gear.

Rib protectors and back plates can help lessen the intense impact you get from other players. Read on to know the best football rib protectors and back plates.

How to Choose a Good Football Rib Protector and Back Plate

When buying a football rib protector and back plate, you cannot just rush to a sports goods store and choose through instinct.

It is important that you know what you are looking for. Not only will you get the protective gear that is fit for you, but you will also save time.

This is the criteria for choosing these protective gears:

You must choose a protective gear that is comfortable and easy to move. You also need to consider how you will use it.

There must be a proof that it is durable since there will be body contact.

The protective gear must not be heavy on the body. If not, it may limit your movements during a game.

For any physical sport, you should choose a protective gear that has passed quality standards. Having the proper accessories is the key to prevent physical injuries.

The size should be as snug as possible. If the gear is too small, your movement will be more difficult.

Football Rib Protectors

Benefits of Football Rib Protectors

For quarterbacks, it is highly important to put on a rib protector. They are tackled a lot since they have the ball.

This leaves the ribs without protection. A rib protector can protect the ribs from being directly injured.

Other players such as tight end, wide receiver, and defensive back can benefit from this gear.

These players are usually thinner than linemen and linebackers. Without much fat to protect their bones, there is a higher possibility of getting their ribs hurt.

This can cause a broken rib or worse, a damaged lung.

It is indeed better to have protection whatever position you play. Accidents happen at unexpected times, so you better not wait for it to happen.

When used with a compression vest, you can avoid being hospitalized.

The Best Football Rib Protectors

McDavid Hexpad Hexmesh Shirt for Sternum

One of the key features of this shirt is its hex pad and hex mesh that protect the sternum.

McDavid assures that the chest, body organs such as the heart, and the body in general are all well-protected.

The hex pad stretches on the body well for maximum protection while the hex mesh increases the circulation of air in the body.


  • It is easy to wash.
  • The fabric is excellent because sweat evaporates well.
  • It is not heavy on the body.
  • It provides great muscle support, so you feel less fatigued.


  • The sizes are slightly smaller. When you purchase it, you should avail one size larger than the size you want.

Our Rating

Schutt Sports Rib Protector for Youth

Aside from protecting a young player’s ribs, this gear also protects the liver and kidneys.

Its wraparound provides complete protection to the player. It is made of EVA material that is highly dense.

It is also breathable and durable, making it the perfect gear for playing football. If you want, you can attach it to the shoulder pad or the harness.

It is suggested that it is used with the shoulder pads since it makes moving more comfortable.


  • The material is remarkable because it is strong and comfortable.
  • It is virtually compatible to all shoulder pads.
  • You can use it without shoulder pads.
  • It is available in many sizes.
  • It gives full protection because you are protected from all angles.


  • It does not work well for adults since it is made for young people.

Our Rating

​​Young and Adult Padded Compression Shirt by EliteTek 

This padded compression shirt is great for providing support and protection to the rib and chest area and the shoulders.

The position of the pads is well-designed, so it gives the wearer better mobility.

It has been tested, ensuring wearers of the quality of this product. Because professional coaches and athletes approve it, you will feel more confident when you wear it.


  • It is comfortable to wear.
  • There are 2 colors to choose from: neon green and black.
  • It gives reliable protection on your upper body.


  • It is a quite a challenge to clean.

Our Rating

​​Black Rib Protector for Young Players by Riddell

A snug fit and comfort are two of the best features of this rib protector. It absorbs force and prevents intense impact in one part of your body.

This is made possible because of the open cell foam material.

One accessory that makes it stand out among rib protectors is its straps. These straps can be adjusted according to the wearer’s torso and height, so it is positioned properly.


  • Its fitting is spot on.
  • The straps are adjustable because the points of attachment can be low or high.
  • It performs well in protecting the upper area of the body.


  • Because it is a bit bulky, you might not be able to wear some jerseys over it.

Our Rating

CustomTech EvoAlpha Rib Protector Shirt by EvoShield

Evoshield’s rib protector is specially designed to protect the ribs. Its Nancocell AC pads which are fitted gives optimal mobility and protection to the wearer.

The fabric is cool, so you do not to worry once you start to sweat a lot.

Unlike other rib protectors that are limited in size, this protector shirt can be worn by players of all ages and sizes. If you will buy one, make sure you try it on to get the right size.


  • It is available in many sizes.
  • It protects the upper body effectively.


  • You need to shell out more money to own it.

Our Rating

Varsity Rib Protector by Schutt

Schutt is known in the industry of sporting goods for it has kept its reputation of producing high quality items and accessories for various sports.

Thus, purchasing its rib protector is an option you may want to consider.

Its quality is undeniably good, and the shoulder pads can be removed with ease. Wearing it separately or with shoulder pads is possible.

The package also includes an attachment harness saving you time searching for spare harnesses.


  • It provides protection from all sides.
  • You can choose from its many sizes.
  • The shoulder pads and extra harness are exceptional.


  • You can only avail it in 1 color which is white.

Our Rating

Football Back Plates

What Are Football Back Plates?

Football back plates keeps the spine, kidneys, and lower back safe from injury. These plates absorb the impact or strong pressure on the back part.

Similar with rib protectors, back plates can be attached to shoulder pads. Most of these back plates can be easily removed.

They are also light and not bulky. Some players even have this protective gear personalized.

The Best Football Back Plates

Varsity Back Plate by Pro-Tec

This back plate boasts its moisture transfer feature. It has been proven to ventilate and circulate air in the wearer’s body and absorb moisture.

Thus, it is great to wear in intensive physical activities like football.

Another interesting feature it has is the foam with 3D Airflow system which effectively evaporates sweat giving the wearer additional comfort.

Inside this back plate, you will see vented lightweight reinforced plastic.

If you use it together with a rib protector, you can play more confidently. It is because you know you have more than enough protection.


  • The package includes straps for height adjustments.
  • This gear provides enough ventilation and good air circulation.
  • The wearer is protected from all sides.
  • It is comfortable to move because it is not heavy.


  • Grommets are not included.

Our Rating

RAZOR Back Plate by Gear Pro-Tec

Similar with its sister product, Varsity back plate, RAZOR back plate also does well in keeping the lower back from being injured.

Nevertheless, it is smaller and narrower. It is not different with the technologies as other Pro-Tec products have.

HEX foam and SAS TEC foam are used to protect the spine. With a corrugated exterior, it lasts for a longer time.

It also attaches to shoulder pads easily due to its T nut and screw attachments.


  • Besides being lightweight, it is also flexible.
  • The compressed Hex foam walls gives you cool feeling.
  • T nut and screw attachments are included.
  • It has a tough exterior.


  • Its size is somehow small.

Our Rating

Air Maxx Back Plate by Schutt

What people like about this back plate is that it is comfortable and light. You can play for a long time without feeling worn out from this protective gear.

You do not have to worry it being bulky underneath your jersey.

Moreover, the circulation and ventilation of air is worth the attention as well. A few attachments are included for the shoulder pads.

As a result, you can make it high or low depending on your height. The ruggedness of this gear ensures protection from strong physical contact.


  • It can be used for a long time.
  • You will have no trouble attaching it to different shoulder pads.
  • It does not cause discomfort.
  • Because it is available in various colors, you can choose your team’s color.


  • It is not advised to be used by people who have wide backs.

Our Rating

Shoulder Pad Back Plate for Young Players by EvoShield

Although the design of this light back plate is a bit different, its main purpose is for spine protection. It also works better with a rib protector and performs well in absorbing strong impact. Grommets for shoulder pads are included in the package.


  • It is compatible with most shoulder pads.
  • It is made of breathable, comfortable, and light material.
  • Provides enough protection to the spine.


  • It does not do much in providing good ventilation.

Our Rating

4 Inch DP Series Removable Back Plate by Douglas

This back plate is not well-known in the market. Nonetheless, it has a lot of surprising features. It is one of the lightest and snuggest back plates.

It is not bulky, so it can be worn underneath a jersey.

The package also includes grommets for adjustments. It works with most shoulder pads, but it works best with Douglas DP shoulder pads.


  • It has good ventilation.
  • It does not give additional burden to the wearer.
  • List Element


  • The product is not popular.

Our Rating

Sports Back Plate for Youth by Schutt

Here is another back plate that offers optimal protection. It is made from EVA foam. You will definitely like this material when you play for a long time in hot weather.

The other accessories like the straps provide protection and comfort. It is safe to say that it is one of the best football protective gears. You will not have a trouble with size because it is a one-size-fit-all back plate.


  • Since it corrugated, it gives superior protection.
  • There are attachments included.
  • Ventilation is not a problem with this product.


  • This is fit for young varsity players. Thus, it might not be as effective for older players.

Our Rating

Final Thoughts

Playing football is a fun and recreational sport. Nevertheless, staying safe should always be your priority.

Thus, it is important to purchase protective gears like rib protectors and back plates that are dependable.

You should know what to look for when you buy these. Then, you can check out the best football rib protectors and back plates given so that you can compare and contrast them.

Although this kind of purchase may seem trivial, you should be prudent in choosing.

When you know you are well-protected, you can focus more on playing and winning.

Most of the products mentioned will not hinder your movements. If you are also extra careful in the field, you can surely avoid injuries.