The Kidney Belt; that mysterious overlooked member of the armour arsenal.
You may be asking what the hell is it? Do I need one?
Here we review what’s available and explain their benefits:
Best Motorcycle Kidney Belt Reviews
Lets look at our top options.
HELD Tri-Trec Kidney Belt
The most expensive belt in our review, the Tri-Trec contains a reinforced back, removable SAS-Tec armour, dual velcro straps, a stretch fabric outer layer and something called a 3D comfort lining.
These features create a very stretchy comfortable belt that has the bonus of top end protection, whilst offering a high level of warmth (from HELD’s outlast fabric layer) and lumbar/back support.
- High quality (it’s going to last)
- SAS-Tec armour
- Could have more back support
Dainese Belt Tiger
Made from a soft/warm material, the Belt Tiger offers improved lumbar support and an ergonomic design.
Most riders experience a good fit and it will sit happily under your existing clothes. Many users like the support it offers, whilst the soft material ensures a nice warm contact on skin.
- Great looks
- Soft feel
- May need to ‘order up’, as sizes can be marginally small
- Only available in four sizes
HELD Mago Kidney Belt
This twin ribbed belt is lined with HELD’s proprietary fabric called Outlast, which claims to control temperature. The Mago comes in seven size options, and has a hook and loop closure system (velcro to you and me).
Provides good insulation for your back, but it’s lack of stiffness means it falls a tad short in the support department.
- Caters for XS to XXXXL waists
- Good width to cover exposed back areas
- Reasonable price
- Not stiff enough to allow lumbar support
- Can get warm if used in hotter temperatures
FLM Airsteam 2
Made from neoprene, the Airstream is a lightweight belt with a polyester comfort lining. It has a good range of waist sizes and includes large 3D mesh inserts.
It has a velcro strap and it’s features allow for a breathable well supported belt that is reasonably priced.
- Great value
- Good support
- May not offer any additional warmth
As well as warmth and insulation for a bare back, kidney belts have two key benefits:
1) Lumbar Support and Posture
Lumbar and back support is delivered via hardened inserts. This effectively prevents your back from bending incorrectly and supports your weight.
This offers benefits to anyone with a weak back or recovering from an injury. They can also help correct poor riding posture and build muscle memory (something I really found useful when riding a sportbike for the first time).
Kidney Belts offer abrasion protection in an area of your back that will often be exposed during a slide if your jacket rides up.
However, the best feature you can have in a kidney belt is armour, to protect your lower back and spine from impact, which can be a vulnerable area during a fall.
The better belts do contain armour, so it’s worth seeking the best material possible (note: Kidney belts don’t cover outer limbs so they are not certified under current CE standards).
For a full guide including armour materials, see our: Armour Guide
Kidney Belt prices do vary, but our advice is to spend the extra £20 and gain good quality armour. Which is why we have nominated the HELD Tri-Trec (with SAS-Tec armour) as our overall best pick.