There are so many rib protectors out there, wondering which ones are the best bang for your buck. What rib protectors would you all recommend?
The answer is always Bengio.
To be fair, the USA children use the armadillo since it has integrated chest protector, which is required for the lil ones.
Fashionable European racers seem to like the tillet but that’s mostly because they havent used the bengio. Or because they are British and like to argue.
There’s new homologated ones that are chest/rib or something that are required in euro pro stuff now, I think, but who wants to spend 500 bucks on an optional bit of gear.
Which one is the standard good enough or should I get a carbon one, raceway park is pretty rough.
Standard is good. The carbon is just for show. The bengio, though expensive, is best bang for the bucks.
I still think the Alpinestar unit doesn’t get near enough attention for what it is. I ran one for 3-4 years without a single rib injury and it served me well. Ultimately the adjustment strap got to the point where it wouldn’t stay tight and the vest was coming lose all the time causing me issues so it had to be retired. I almost bought another one because of how pleased I was with the AlpineStar unit.
I “upgraded” to the Bengio because it’s thought of as the gold standard here and let me tell you, it’s one uncomfortable SOB for my body type. Don’t get me wrong I can see how it offers next level protection for my ribs, but as I stated I never had an injury with my old one either. The Bengio I have to get down in my seat, make sure it’s fully down around my lower rib cage and then re-adjust the Velcro to make sure it’s almost uncomfortably tight for it to not ride up in my armpits while I’m driving. Once in place it’s easy to mange and works quite well but it’s a process for sure.
Bengio is amongst the best you could buy, I had my old protector for 8 years without a single problem. I’m on my second now
Like any piece of gear make sure you get something that is going to fit properly and conform to your body type because Andy makes a good point. If something isn’t fitting you, it’s going to make more pressure points and possibly cause other issues.
I swear by the Bengio in all 39 threads like this on here, as it’s what kept me karting after my bad rib injuries, but there are other options too that are nice. The new Stilo is good, the Tillett is good.
My only experience with the AStars vest was one of my drivers I coached had one and had chronic rib paint using it and he actually took it off and was able to drive more comfortably, because it wasn’t fitting his body type correctly and was creating pressure points.
I’m 1000% a Stilo Carbon Curva guy. Prefer it to Bengio any day of the week, but a Bengio would b my second choice if cost is a factor.
I use the Tillett P1. I used to HATE every single rib protector I tried before that. Bengio and Greyhound are also very good.
i have the carbon and its a bit nicer to the finish and it has like a pillow soft memory foam on the inside wich the normal doesnt have, But idk i think its worth it, i have tseted both
If ever there was an accessory that screamed out for bespoke fitting, custom molded, etc.
I think Nik might have linked that tillet does something like that.
Never tried a Bengio. I use the Armadillo, it was affordable and it’s comfortable, it’s not falling apart, so I’ll probably be sticking with it.
We bought a Bengio for my 12yo this season. He outgrew his Armadillo. He technically won’t need the chest protector after next month (turns 13), but we went with the integrated rib/chest protection. He loves it. It’s expensive, but don’t go cheap on safety gear.
I love my K1 carbon, except this past weekend was my fastest yet and I cracked both panels but no rib pain. I also am investing in a pad fpr my right elbow…
The alpinestars served me and Nick well. It’s on the thinner and more flexible side though, so I still prefer the beefier Bengio.
I picked up our Bengios during a visit to Orlando Karting Center. If you have the opportunity to visit a brick and mortar location to try on the ribvest, I’d recommend doing that, with the understanding that’s not always possible. As others have pointed out upthread, proper fit is a combination of the shape/construction of the vest and your body shape. It’s definitely not a one size fits all proposition!
Tillet definitely used to do custom molding. I’ve seen images of Bengio doing custom something but I suspect it sizing. Certainly when I got my first Bengio they sized it for me (i.e. trimmed off bits and straps).
Both offer custom graphics on the rib protectors.
I’ve used Bengio, probably the best, arrox, did the job but didn’t last long, and I used a tillet last race. Pleasantly surprised given how thin and flexible it is compared to the Bengio.
I also have a lacrosse protector I’ve been intending to try, just because they are way cheaper and look the same. Karters get ripped off.
You have pictures of the trimmed bits on the Bengio?