K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector Review

If you’re a go-kart racer who is looking for added support to your upper body, specifically the rib cage, a rib protector may be the ideal piece of safety equipment for you. The K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector will prove to be a great addition to your safety kit, as it’s regarded as a great entry-level rib protector. 

It is a lightweight and yet highly durable rib protector that not only provides safety against smaller knocks and jolts but it can also prevent damage to your body in case of a more serious collision. 


Features

  • Great entry-level rib protector
  • Well-padded foam interior
  • Velcro and strap adjustments

With an overall soft and comfortable build, the Pro-Lite Rib Protector doesn’t feel too hard and stiff against your upper body, but rather provides just the right amount of rigidity to make racers feel at ease. This rib protector is excellent for motorsports with open-wheeled vehicles such as go-karts.  Since go-karts are open and exposed, it’s extremely important to keep your body well protected throughout the race.

Features

The K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector is equipped with plenty of features that make it a great option for go-kart racing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Durable hydro-formed material.
  • Velcro front closure that is flexible
  • Easily adjustable shoulder straps
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Modern mesh design

Build Quality

The K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector is made out of a hydro-formed material that is sure to provide a lot of strength and will last a long time even under rough use. The inner lining of the vest is made of a lightweight foam so that it provides the best possible level of comfort while the rib protector is in use. Generally speaking, the foam in rib vests is usually prone to soften over time. However, the foam used in the Pro-Lite seems to be very rigid and durable.

The internal padding is made out of Jumbolon sheets that are firm and durable – they’re not the kind of foam sheets that will start to tear apart after just a few races. The exterior is constructed of a strong mesh, which holds the padding well in pace. 

This combination of a rigid exterior and a soft interior is what makes this a great entry-level option for those looking for chest and rib protection. Of course, you won’t be able to compare the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite to premium rib protectors that have a carbon fiber outer shell. However, the rigid material used here is as good as it gets for entry-level gear. 

Comfort

As far as comfort goes, the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector has plenty to offer. With the foam padding on the inside, you won’t feel that it is too harsh on your rib cage and chest. As you’ll also be able to  adjust it easily, it allows for easy movement during races. No one wants to wear something on their body that feels uncomfortable during a race, as it can distract you from all the action. This is especially true when driving high-speed go-karts.

The exterior of the vest has a rigid mesh finish which. Being made of a softer material on the inside also means that you won’t feel any stiffness while making sharp turns which allows you to do some quick and unpredictable body movements without it getting in the way. 

Adjustability

Would you want to invest in a rib protector that provides you with comfortable support while you’re racing. Therefore, it goes without saying that it needs to fit perfectly. That’s why having a rib vest that is adjustable is crucial to ensure a solid fit for maximum comfort and protection.

The K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector comes with adjustable shoulder straps that you can easily alter, in order to give you the perfect fit. There is one strap found on each side of the shoulder flap, that is secured via a robust strap and a D-ring. On the front of the vest, there is an additional Velcro closure that is elastic in nature, providing yet another way to carefully and securely fit the rib protector around your midsection.

Having multiple straps like these that are easy to adjust make all the difference in something that provides actual support and protection. A rib protector that is too loose has the risk of detaching and slipping out, whereby a fit that is too tight can make you feel extremely uncomfortable during a race. 

Design

The design of the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector can be described easily as understated. The overall look of this equipment is simple, yet effective. This is to be expected of an entry-level rib protector, and you won’t find any fancy materials or features – it gets the job done and it’s design reflects this. 

It is black and gray in color so it easily fits well with any kind of racing gear. It’s also designed to be relatively thin, compared to more premium versions. This allows for a great fit, while its design is kept simplistic.

Sizing

The vest comes in various sizes to make sure that every type of kart racer can find the right size. To be more specific, sizes range from a 3X-Small to XX-Large, which is a very wide range. Whether you are an adult or a youth kart racer, chances are that you will find the exact size and fit you’re looking for. 

And don’t forget the aforementioned shoulder and Velcro straps that help with achieving the right fit. It goes without saying that you should always ensure to get the sizing right. You may refer to the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector sizing chart below for reference.

SizeMeasurements (Inches)
4XS26 - 29
3XS27 - 31
2XS29 - 32
XS30 - 33
S34 - 38
M38 - 40
L40 - 42
XL42 - 48
2XL48 - 52

Certification

As this is an entry-level rib protector, it doesn’t come with any notable certifications. Premium or professional rib protectors can be FIA 8870-2018 certified, if intended to be used for FIA-CIK sanctioned races.

Therefore, the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector is a great choice for beginner and intermediate go-kart racers who are thinking of taking the motorsport a little more serious. If you’re looking for rib protectors that are homologated, you should take a look at more professional ranges. 

Conclusion

Overall, the K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite Rib Protector is a great entry-level rib vest for go-kart racers. With a light weight of just 1.03 pounds it feels comfortable to wear and doesn’t get in the way of racing. It’s equipped with just the right amount of features to make this a perfect fit for novice and intermediate racers. 

Another great feature of this rib protector is that it’s relatively affordable compared to others, while offering a high build quality and superb padding. If you’re looking for more options, make sure to check out the review and buying guide of the best go-kart racing rib protectors.


Features

  • Great entry-level rib protector
  • Well-padded foam interior
  • Velcro and strap adjustments

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