I have tried numerous body armor and pads to take the edge off the burly tumbles. There are many terrible applications out there. Unfortunately it seems whoever is designing a fair amount of these pieces has little to no communication with the tester or consumers. Poor designs, bad construction and limited mobility are all factors. Demon has been my go to shred armor after a spinal fracture a few seasons back. If you want to progress and go bigger, you need to also take the counter measures. There isn't any piece of armor that will keep you from getting hurt but this here vest has saved me numerous times from bruised/broken ribs and further spinal determent. It does have a bit of protection up front as well which has come in handy during the occasional rail taco incident. I really love it for the hard shell spine protector. The armadillo like plate structure on the back allows total mobility in terms of bending back and forth. It also has a comfortable padding under it as well. It would recommend throwing a base layer under it so you don't feel scratchy or uncomfortable. The only real downside is the arm openings aren't really spacious. I'm not real beefed up top but it seems a little snugger this year. I'm about 5'10" 180 lbs and the Large seems to be a good fit for me. One of the best vest style spine protectors out there.
After many uses I have definitely confirmed this version runs a fair bit warmer than previous models. It's also stiffer especially when bending over. If you run hot and or need some spine protection on warm days, I'd recommend the Salomon Flexcell. SAL2643
I took a major spill and bruised my lumbar spine area and most likely cracked a rib while tumbling down the hill snowboarding soooo I started looking into body armor and butt pads etc.
Nice and helpful ppl at backcountry directed me towards this product although my mind was set on another piece that was out of stock at the time. Man was I glad because the protection offered on this vest is superior compared to more expensive ones!
There is foam padding thru out the chest albeit not the thickest, foam padding that runs the length of the rib cage with what feels like hard plastic on top of the foam for impact absorption (not alot of other comparable products offer this), excellent articulated plastic spine protector that runs the length of the spine and does not restrict motion along with moderate lumbar spine protection (most other armor have protection up and down the spine but offer nothing in terms of lumbar protection.
Only thing I would have to say is demon products tend to run a little small so maybe size up what you would normally wear. I'm usually a L but ordered this in an XL,also did the same thing with the demon d3o butt protector shorts