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Riding With the Best Kidney Belt – Everything You Should Know

The Answer is "Yes". If you don't want to end up with problems peeing - A kidney belt is one of the most underrated pieces of MX gear.
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Here’s a fun fact: the waiting list for kidney transplants is long enough that you can expect to wait for up to 5 years (and in some cases even longer) to find a matching kidney. Now, that’s not a scenario anyone wishes for. There are some easy steps to take in keeping your kidney healthy: hydrating, healthy eating, regular exercise, but, one of the easiest ways to secure your kidney is by wearing the best kidney belt – and since it’s so hard to find a new kidney, why would you take the risk of not looking after it.

Best Kidney Belt Review

Here are some of the best kidney belts for riding motorcycles, enduro dirt bikes and motocross.

Top Choice: Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt

Are you hell bent on taking on the toughest trails and tracks you can find? You probably shouldn’t be riding without a kidney belt…
First Checkpoint

1. Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt

Also available on Amazon

Best kidney belt for motorcycle riding

Bigger size? Here’s a belt that’s extra wide and expandable. I’m not a big guy – well, in physical form at least (in my head I’m much bigger). But I’ve had a good amount of trouble finding gear that fits friends who are bigger in size and they usually end up getting a keychain from me. This is a kidney belt for motorcycle riding that fits every size.

It’s tested for impact resistance and is padded with 3D foam for ventilation, as well as increased protection. For ultimate safety, this is one of the few kidney belts certified for its lumbar impact protection feature. This is probably the best choice if you’re hell bent on taking on rough trails, motocross tracks and hard falls.

  • Extended sizes
  • Interior foam padding
  • Impact tested
  • CE certified
  • Price

2. Fox Racing Kidney Belt

Also available on Amazon

Fox Racing 2021 motocross kidney belt

The latest innovation in kidney belts by Fox Racing. It’s designed with a sleek minimal look and feel. This helps to maximize rider both comfort and while still keeping you protected. The low profile design also minimizes any kind of rubbing and friction against the body or other riding gear.

The material is made from a special Biofoam which helps to move air around the belt and keeps the circulation flowing in the lower back area. The snug strap system using three retention straps to help find the optimal fit for riders of different sizes.

The Turbo kidney belt offers a huge amount of lumbar support which is perfect for riders like me who suffer from lower back problems.

Fox is a highly reputable motorsports brand and the kidney belts that come out of the Fox Racing manufacturing plant are top quality. Definitely a piece of gear you won’t go wrong in buying.

3. EVS Sports Celtek Kidney Belt

Also available on Amazon

A kidney belt costs less than buying a new kidney. WAY less. Don’t take a chance.
First Checkpoint
motocross kidney belt

This is a good value buy if your budget is running a little tight. Luckily, the lower price with this belt doesn’t reduce its effectiveness as a protective piece of gear for motorcycle riding. There’s a dual pull Velcro retention system for a secure fit and hex-foam for better airflow. The lower spine area is reinforced so this is especially suitable for riders who are concerned about back injuries.

It’s nice to get a decent piece of gear at a reasonable price. It’s even nicer to buy a piece of gear that’s well-priced AND multi-functional. This kidney belt for motorcycle riding will serve equally well for weightlifting (any bodybuilders out there?) and other activities where the back needs support.

  • Ergonomically designed
  • Strong lower spine panel
  • Dual-pull Velcro system
  • Great price
  • Sizing runs small

4. Fox Turbo Belt

Also available on Amazon

Kidney belts are not clingy riding partners. They should at least give you some flexibility and space for movement.
First Checkpoint
best kidney belt

Fox went for comfort when they created this belt. There’s a big emphasis on flexibility and adaptability: the torso panels are flexible and anatomically refined to move with the body as you shift and move while riding. They were extra thoughtful in the design and made sure that the belt fits easily into racing pants for motocross riders. There’s a three-strap retention system for a tighter fit and the rubber back support is contoured for extra comfort.

If movement is really important for you, this would be a good choice for a motocross kidney belt. The belt will move with you as you veer around corners and should you fall, the belt will be there to protect the most vital organs and soften the blow.

  • Full mesh body
  • Flexible
  • Biofoam ventilation
  • Narrow belt

5. Alpinestars Saturn Kidney Belt

Things that drive me crazy: riding in rainy weather, cars that don’t look out for motorcyclists and gear that doesn’t fit right… actually, anything that doesn’t fit right.
First Checkpoint
Alpinestars motorcycle kidneybelt

Alpinestars seems to know that fit is important so they’ve added supplementary elastic straps. I hate a piece of gear that doesn’t fit right. Actually, I hate anything that doesn’t fit right – even socks. A seam that’s not lined up right is scratchy and when things in pairs aren’t the same size… drives me crazy. And that drives my wife crazy, and that’s no good.

This belt might not cater for larger sizes as it only fits up to a 34” waist but if you fall within this range, this belt will fit quite well. The material comprises a metal mesh for added stability and is lightweight at 1.35 pounds. You really don’t want to add more weight with all the other gear that you’re piling on so this is a nice breezy option for long rides.

  • Metal mesh reinforcement
  • Great for long rides
  • Affordable
  • Not machine washable
  • Doesn’t Fit Large Waists

6. Troy Lee Designs 3305 Kidney Belt

Motorcycle gear is not the place to be a penny-pincher. You are what you wear!
First Checkpoint
mx kidney belt protection

Troy Lee is well known for creating quality sports apparel. Their kidney belt is well-designed and incorporates rubber and molded foam for good protection against impact and collision. The ‘Shock Doctor Technology’ used supports the lower back and kidney area well – a piece of equipment that’s expensive but will serve exceptionally well for its intended purpose.

I’m a strict budget man but buying proper gear is not the place to save. I’ve had a few hard falls – you probably have, too – and you really do feel the pain for days afterwards, especially in the organs. After my last big off, my parents bought me a kidney belt (do my parents love me more than my wife??) and I actually wore it because I just did not want to feel that internal discomfort again. I’m a wild guy, falls are inevitable – but the next tumble was much better and didn’t hurt my organs. Kidney belts work. I’m not the cool kid on the block anymore, but I still have kidneys.

  • 3-strap retention system
  • Shock Doctor Technology
  • Hex-mesh for ventilation
  • In the higher end of the price range
kidney protection

Why You Need A Kidney Belt

We’ll start off with a brief description for those of you who haven’t heard of a kidney belt before. Basically, it’s a wide band that’s made from reinforced material. It’s meant to be wrapped around the lower torso and extends upwards and downwards over the lower torso to protect vital internal organs. Aside from motorcyclists, it’s often worn by manual workers, weightlifters and recovering medical patients.

Kidney belts, like other protective motorcycle gear worn underneath the clothing (chest protectors, knee braces and elbow pads) are elusive – you’ll hardly see someone racing off, proudly showing off their kidney belt. However, it’s a really important piece of gear that you should consider adding to your collection.

kidney belts for sale

Even if you don’t get involved in a motorcycle collision, your body feels the strain of riding a motorcycle. Poor posture, sharp movements and bouncing due to rough roads are just some of the factors that can result in lower back injuries and pain. You’ve probably woken up with a stiff, sore or burning back following a long day of riding over rough terrain. That’s your lower back, where the lumbosacral spine is located, expressing its discontent.

Accidents pose an even bigger danger to your back and vital organs. In fact, one study in Brazil showed that out of 129 patients admitted to the ICU, the main cause of trauma with 30% prevalence was motorcycle accidents. Acute kidney injury was a frequent and fatal complication following trauma in a majority of the cases.

This is where the kidney belts come in: they can be used for added protection and to provide support for a better posture while riding. Kidney belts wrap firmly around the lower waist without restricting breathing and force a straight upper body. It’s downright difficult to slouch while wearing one.

man jumpin dirt bike riding with kidney belt

Many of the vital organs are surrounded by fatty tissue, making them extremely vulnerable to impact and jerky movements. There’s a sort of stigma surrounding kidney belts – they are reportedly for old people. I think the cool kids on the block would rather lose a kidney than be seen wearing one (that used to be me – more on that later).

Here are just a few instances where the protection and support of a motorcycle kidney belt for riding could help:

Racing along dirt tracks and trail rides
Reducing the internal bounce when hitting jumps
Sharp turns and sliding (these happen all the time, as any rider knows…)
Hitting a rock, root or uneven stretch of pavement (this happens anywhere, even when touring)
Accidents (even a minor collision could cause kidney bruising)

Now, you’re probably wondering if it’s really necessary to wear a kidney belt. After all, there are a lot of riders who seem to overlook it. It can be uncomfortable wearing a kidney belt all the time but in terms of safety, it’s hard to dispute the protection and posture correction that it offers. Choose a motorcycle kidney belt that sits properly and you’ll get used to it quite quickly. Our verdict is yes, especially if one or several of the following apply:

You live in a wet, icy area (pavement is hard, but ice is harder)
You often partake in off-roading, motocross or enduro rides
You are prone to back problems/have previously had back injury
You are going for long rides over several days
You are a racer (in fact, kidney belts are mandatory for racing!)
Your back is regularly stiff, sore or painful after rides
You regularly ride on back roads and/or roads that are not well maintained
You ride at high speeds on the highway
You want to protect your internal organs

What to Look for in A Motorcycle Kidney Belt

Kidney belts need to meet a few specifications to ensure that they’ll keep you safe on and off the motorcycle. Here’s what to look out for:

Materials

The kidney belt needs to be made of a strong, durable material for maximum protection. Foam padding is preferable, as is an interior material that’s moisture-wicking since wearing a thick belt can really heat things up (hello, ventilation!).

Keep in mind that the kidney belt shouldn’t be too bulky. A lightweight belt would be a better option to prevent extra weight and potential strain while riding.

Fit

Look for a kidney belt that’s adjustable and fits well around your lower back and sides. The belt needs to fit comfortably without restricting breathing or limiting movements while riding.

Make sure that the kidney belt has a retention system that’s easy to use and adjustable. It would be good to have a double- or even triple-strap system to make sure that the belt fits snugly, especially if your style is closer to that of racing.

There are a lot of riders who have back injuries and are forced to wear a kidney belt every time they ride. In fact, you probably know a lot of people who wear kidney belts but just haven’t realized or noticed that they wear one. If you’re really concerned about the comfort aspect of wearing a motorcycle kidney belt, ask around and hear from a friend what it really feels like to wear one all the time. Maybe they can even give you a few tips about which is the best kidney belt – don’t forget to share your info with other riders down in the comments below!

Last Checkpoint – The Best Motorcycle Kidney Belt

The Leatt kidney belt gets our vote for the best kidney belt available online. In comparison to other belts, it doesn’t have a size restriction and seems to offer the most versatile fit. The materials used are strong and offer good resistance to impact, while the safety certification for lumbar impact protection really stands out – after all, the main purpose of a kidney belt is to protect the vital internal organs and support the spine while riding.

Although it’s definitely amongst the more expensive belts available and costs more than other riding gear, we’ll leave you with the reminder that vital organs are priceless and that’s not even mentioning the years that you’ll wait for replacement parts. Be responsible and take the appropriate measures to stay safe on your ride, it’s the cool thing to do. Being safe is the new wild.

References:

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/transplant-waitlist

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