• AWS Rib Protector

    Kart Review Score: 6

    Olly Waind
    Brand: AWS
    Price: £40 inc VAT
    Retailer: Aws Direct

    First Impressions

    The AWS rib protector is an entry level product at the lower end of the price range. It’s not the prettiest of things to behold. Then again neither is a Ford Transit Van but it has a sense of purpose to it and seems to be of reasonable quality. It’s a simple design with hard plastic outer shell covering a high density foam inner structure with the usual adjustable Velcro straps.

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    General Use/Observations

    I bought this rib protector during my first season in Karting with what was left of my starting out budget. I wasn’t intending on buying one at all at first but after having a rather unpleasant first meeting with rib injuries I realized it was a must!!

    The first thing I noticed was just how much of a difference actually having a rib protector makes. I immediately felt more comfortable in the kart and was able to relax and just think about driving instead of constantly tensing up to protect my ribs.

    I got this in size large which is a little on the big size for me so as with any piece of clothing or safety equipment I would suggest taking the time to make sure you get the right size as it does cause a few problems with the front of the rib protector pushing forwards when you sit in the seat.

    Over the 18 months that I have used this protector I must say I have not experienced any problems with my ribs and it seems to be lasting quite well. There is a little deformation in the plastic shell where the seat has been digging in but it doesn’t seem to have affected the protection it provides.

    There is a negative to this product which could be expected for the price I paid for it, and that’s comfort. There seems to be a problem with the bottom of the back plate digging into your spine and leaving a sore, cherry sized lump half way down your back at every meeting and the straps have a habit of falling off your shoulders when you sit in the seat. This could be attributed to the fact it isn’t quite the correct size for me but I expect it to be more of an ergonomics issue with the design.

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    Summary

    Overall I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by this product over the time I have used it. It “does what is says on the tin”. However now I can afford to spend a little more, I will be looking a little further up the price range for my next rib protector. This is mainly due to the comfort issues I have experienced with this one and I expect, as with most things, you get what you pay for. So although this does the job as a budget option, I would suggest that if your wallet will allow it, look a little further up market.

    Pros

    • Good protection
    • Simple
    • Reasonable quality
    • Cheap


    Cons

    • Back plate digs in causing painful sore on the back.
    • Shoulder straps and basic shape cause comfort issues.

    Scoring

    Value: 7
    Quality: 5
    Performance: 7
    Appeal: 4
    Effectiveness: 7

    Kart Review Score: 6

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