I knew a few bods with them, and they all swore by the brand Forcefield. The reviews online completely reinforced this, the best choice for me looking to be the Pro L2K (http://www.forcefieldbodyarmour.com/product/pro-l2k-back-protector/2382) and so my mind was set.
Next step was to find a stockist. So … I went to Infinity Motorcycles, who as well as an online store (http://www.infinitymotorcycles.com/shop/ ) have a number of London shops (http://www.infinitymotorcycles.com/stores/). My nearest was Great Portland Street, whose staff were most lovely and helpful; I tried on the ladies’ fit Pro L2K that they had ready in stock, and despite initially strapping the Velcro around my ribs not my waist (much to their amusement in the store) it seemed to be the right size and I went for it.
Always one for diving right in, the first couple of rides with the protector were a good two hours each, in full leathers. Shortly after this I also did a couple of one hour rides with the protector on under textiles.
I am pleased to say I got on well with this new bit of kit! I found the protector very quick to get used to (I do forget that I have it on whilst on the move), and not limiting at all in terms of movement on the bike. Also, after some trial and error I have discovered that strapping it much tighter around my middle is still comfortable and stops it riding up too far into a hunchback, which it did first time round. I am not a massive fan of the increased size it makes me look, but I know that is just me being a classic girl. I also don’t particularly like looking more hunchback: again, a female foible that I will just get over in my own sweet time. The safety is definitely worth it.
Each time I wear it, it is getting slightly more moulded to my shape and so I can only guess it will continue to get even more comfortable. I do find it more difficult to get a rucksack on and off with it, but have adopted a rather strange but effective shrugging technique; I may well find myself resorting to a tailpack more in the future.
Lastly, I do actually like the additional warmth and support I feel it giving my spine, although whether I’ll say that still if we are fortunate enough to get any hot days in the UK this summer, who knows…