Gear Guy

Back Protection for Skiers: POC Spine Ergo Bug

I'm looking to invest in some body armor for the slopes this winter. What should I get?

Back Protection for Skiers: POC Spine Ergo Bug

POC Spine Ergo Bug. Photo: Courtesy of POC

Swedish company POC— now owned by Black Diamond—designed this highly breathable and flexible armor to keep you moving downhill as fast and agile as an insect. It’s called “Bug” because the five polypropylene plates articulate with your body like an ant’s exoskeleton. These plates prevent penetration from sharp objects and diffuse impact force. An expanded polypropylene material inside the core bounces back from multiple impacts over the Bug’s lifespan. If you're accident-prone, the Bug can be purchased with additional modules to protect the neck and tailbone. ($100)

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