If you’re researching dirt bike gear, you’ll see tons of guides covering protective products: helmets, goggles, knee pads, boots, neck braces and more. But, one piece of protective gear you won’t see much talk of, are kidney belts.
Below we’ll cover what a kidney belt is, if you need one, and which ones are the best.
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What is a motocross kidney belt?
Whether you race, or just ride at your local practice track; you’ll be jumping, bumping and falling. A kidney belt doesn’t just keep your kidneys from bouncing around (which can be painful), it also offers protection when you crash.
Do you need a kidney belt?
Most riders wouldn’t consider a kidney belt to be essential, but it’s certainly advisable to wear one. I started wearing one around 12 months after I started riding, and I’m glad I did. If you’re subjecting yourself to heavy landings, and the odd crash, you’ll notice the difference.
More importantly, if you get caught up in a first turn pile up at your next race, your kidney belt is going to protect you from A LOT of pain when someone else’s handlebars come slamming into your side.
Put simply, I’d certainly advise wearing one like this. The only reason some riders don’t wear them, is because they take a while to get used too. Like elbow pads, initially, they can feel restrictive. But I’d rather save my elbows, kidneys and a lot of pain by wearing as much protective gear as possible.
The Best Motocross Kidney Belts
Chosen to go all out on protection? Good choice. Below, we’ll list the three best kidney belts on the market today.
Bear in mind when making a purchase. Cheap kidney belts tend to offer support, but not outright protection in the case of a crash. More expensive kidney belts (like the Leatt below), will offer not only great support, but top notch protection in the event of the inevitable, a crash.
1. Leatt 3DF 3.5
If you’re looking for ultimate protection, as well as support, the Leatt 3DF 3.5 kidney belt is for you.
Leatt are well known in the dirt bike industry for producing the best protective gear that money can buy. Most notable; their range of neck braces.
But they produce plenty of other gear, including: knee braces, elbow pads, and of course, kidney belts.
With the Leatt 3DF 3.5, you’ll get maximum support via the elastic enclosure that is dual action. Impact protection is better than most, thanks to the 3DF foam which is impact tested and CE certified. Basically, it’s going to protect your kidneys in the event of a crash.
The problem with a lot of kidney belts, is they’re not particularly breathable. And, that’s going to mean you get extremely sweaty around the waist area. But, that’s not the case with the Leatt 3DF 3.5. It comes inclusive of 3D air channels which are thermo foamed. The end result? Maximum ventilation and a distinct lack of sweating!
Everything about the Leatt 3DF screams “buy me”, apart from the price. You’ll be able to pick up a cheaper kidney belt (admittedly, with less protection, ventilation and support), for less than half the price. Thumbs down!
Should you buy the Leatt 3DF 3.5?
Of all the motocross kidney belts on this list, this is the one I’d buy. You’ll get the best protection, support and ventilation when compared with kidney belts of similar quality, and a heck’ of a lot more compared with the cheap kidney belts on the market.
Price is a let-down, but motorsport (and motocross in particular), isn’t cheap. And in my opinion, you should always get the best protection possible.
If you want to go all-out, the Leatt is for you…
2. Alpinestars Saturn
Next up on our list, is the Alpinestars Saturn.
Alpinestars need no introduction; they’re one of the leading motorcycle boot manufacturers in the world. They also produce a range of quality dirt bike gear, as well as protection, like helmets and knee pads.
However, they’re not a protection specific brand like Leatt, which is why we’ve placed the Alpinestars Saturn in the #2 spot on our list.
A quick look at an image of the Alpinestars Saturn, when compared with the Leatt, shows it doesn’t offer the same side protection.
However, it does have an ergonomic fit, meaning you get a ton of support across not only your back, but your lower abdomen too.
Its flexibility could be considered a good thing, for those that feel a product like the Leatt might restrict them in terms of movement on the bike. However, what this means, is you’ve got less protection in comparison to the Leatt.
You’ll not need to worry about sweating. Alpinestars have incorporated waist straps that have mesh inserts in them, maximum ventilation!
You’ll pay in the region of $20 more for the Alpinestars Saturn, in comparison to the cheapest kidney belts on the market. However, it’s still a chunk cheaper than the Leatt 3DF 3.5.
Should you buy the Alpinestars Saturn?
Compared with the Leatt 3DF, the Alpinestars Saturn is going to be suitable if you’re looking for a little more flexibility on the bike. However, that flexibility is going to come at the expense of protection. On the plus side, by purchasing the Saturn kidney belt, you’ll save a little cash too.
3. Fox Racing Turbo Belt
We’ve already mentioned the Alpinestars Saturn offers visibly less protection than the Leatt. And, again, you’ll see another step down in protection when you look at the Fox Racing Turbo kidney belt. You simply won’t get the side, kidney and lower back protection that you would with the two kidney belts mentioned above.
The Fox Racing Turbo Belt’s worst feature is also its best. Because it’s a minimalist kidney belt, you won’t be restricted at all on the bike.
Its slim profile design means it fits like a glove. And, there is some protection, in the form of small torso panels, and a rubbered back.
Naturally, the price matches the fact this is a no frills motocross kidney belt. You can expect to save around $40 in comparison to the most expensive kidney belts on the market.
Should you buy the Fox Racing Turbo Belt?
If your focus is solely on support, rather than protection, the Fox Racing Turbo belt is for you. It offers maximum movement on the bike, and enough support to protect you when it comes to heavy landings.
You’ll also save a ton in comparison to the most expensive kidney belts on the market.
Thanks for reading our guide to the best motocross kidney belts.
Got a kidney belt you use, that you rate, and it’s not listed? Drop us a line via our contact form, we’d love to hear from you.