Football / Lacrosse Rib Pad instead of dedicated racing rib protector

Does anyone think one can supplement a lacrosse or football rib pad to supplement a dedicated a rib protector from a racing product manufacturer. They are far cheaper and seem to offer the same type of protection without the carbon fiber of Tillett.

I would say that they tend to be a bit larger, and might not be as form fitting. However, if you have one, please let us know - they look darn close to what we use in karts.

When it comes to safety equipment, I’d suggest budgeting for proven equipment. Busted ribs are no joke.


Taking a cursory look, the football and lacrosse pads appear to be designed to protect the chest, clavicle and shoulders. What little lateral chest wall protection they offer is minimal with respect to karting, and may only serve to create pressure points and/or a fulcrum effort, potentially causing pain and injury while under a sustained or abrupt lateral load.

There’s a few guys local to myself who use the GAIT hard plastic lacross rib vests without issue. Having played lacrosse for years they will fit differently to traditional karting rib vests. I don’t personally use a lacross vest but it seems like a viable alternative at least close to the actual thing.

I found this Sparco TPS for $75

Does anyone know the sizing? I want it to be snug - 200lbs, 6ft tall with 34 waist

There was a company (can’t remember the name) that was trialing football-style padded shirts for karting a few years ago, and I tested one out for a bit. It was basically a shirt with two side pockets to custom pour your own ‘shells’ that would be molded specifically to your ribs.

For me, it was uncomfortable in the seat and never really gave me the same protection that a real vest did.

I always recommend the Bengio Bumper for a rib vest. I physically cannot race without it. I tried every other major brand name when I hurt my ribs, and the Bengio was the only one that solved my rib pain completely and allowed me to run a standard seat again.


I tried the cheaper football rib pads when I started last year. I quickly learned that was a bad choice when the grip levels picked up. I moved to a K1 Carbon look Karting rib vest. It was better but started breaking down on the outside plastic and still had a painful pressure spot on my ribs. I eventually followed TJ’s advice from here and bought the Bengio Bumper. Rib pain gone and lighter less bulky compared to the K1. Go Bengio and don’t mess around with ribs.

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Sorry to hijack slightly but how much better are h Bengio Bumper protectors over the no name Kevlar equivalent?

I have a very sore rib that is being difficult after hitting a curb in January.

It’s not the Kevlar or hard material that’s the key, it’s the memory foam that Bengio uses for padding, and also the construction of the Bengio vest which means there’s no pressure points. That was the big issue for me, other vests hit pressure points on my ribs and actually caused more pain sometimes.

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If you haven’t caught it already… grab your favorite beverage and give this a read:

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Rib vests are fine and well but if you really want to not have rib problems, it’s the darn seat.

The deepseat and ribtect go higher up on sides so no rib issues.

(To clarify, the seat isn’t a replacement for a rib protector, it could be used alone but you normally still use a rib protector as well).


I have to agree with your statement on this. Bought a used carbon fiber at the beginning of season thinking I needed it before actually getting in the seat. It is a ribtech. I hated it!!

Rubbed 2 holes in my new suit first time i tried it. Hurt my ribs more with it than without. So now I just run without. My seat comes up high enough that for now…I don’t think I need one.