Last year ( 2010 ) on Moab’s Sovereign Trail I managed the “Mother of all Endo’s” off a 4 foot ledge, face planting myself in luckily the only bit of sand in miles. The end result was a cracked sternum and 3 cracked ribs. The cause of all these cracked bones, was …. my camera!. I always wear my camera fastened to my camelback chest strap, and I landed on my face and chest, and the camera pushed directly into my sternum, cracking it along with the 3 ribs.
I realized how lucky I actually was by landing in a sandy section, if I had landed on the slickrock, the damage would have been very severe.
I really needed to look into investing into some form of protection. The best option for me seemed to be the lightweight 2011 SixSixOne Core Saver
SIXSIXONE 2011 CORE SAVER
Articulating armor that is adjustable with removable back protector caps allow for the rider to use the Leatt® brace, while built in shoulder protection and hard capped chest provide a unique middle ground that is not offered by anyone else in the market.
- Dual density vented EVA impact shoulder pads allow a combination of protection and mobility.
- Back area has CE-certified injection molded high-impact plastic articulated armor.
- More lower internal organ coverage than any other suit.
- Comfortable and adjustable elastic Velcro® waist belt for greater support and stability.
- Re-designed for 2010 to be compatible with neck braces with lighter chest plate, better fit.
- Top three armor plates are removable for use with all neck braces.
- Durable yet comfortable vented mesh main body.
- No need to refrigerate! Cools itself through evaporation.
- Vented EVA foam protective under layers keeps you cool.
My Opinion :
I have been wearing the SixSixOne Core Saver for 10 months now, and the good thing is, I have never really needed it. Not needing it is a good thing, just like a helmet, hopefully it’s something you are never gonna need, but it’s something you have to have just in case.
I paid about $120, which is not too bad for a peace of mind. The SixSixOne Core Saver looks pretty sharp, and is lightweight enough for you to forget you have it on. It seems the chest and spine are pretty well protected, and would do a decent job if needed. If I was wearing this protection when I had my mishap on the Sovereign Trail I have no doubt it would have protected my sternum and ribs.
I do feel that the SixSixOne Core Saver does what it was made for, however there are in my books a lot of room for improvements.
I ordered from the SixSixOne Size Chart on their site, however in general I feel the Core Saver is too short, I have spoken to others, and they all agree that SixSixOne should make this product “longer”, the elastified belt should go around the waist and not lower stomach. It would also be great if SixSixOne added some extra support in the elastified belt, after a few uses the belt becomes “stretched” and half of it’s original width.
A really nice feature would be if you could “remove” the spinal protection from the vest, and only use when needed, I feel that in my case my CamelBak offers enough back protection.
All in all the Core Saver is a great product that I’m sure will only get better in the coming years. I would not go riding without it any more. I hope I will never really need it, but I feel good knowing I have it on, just in case..
For more info visit : SixSixOne