Well-known armor manufacturer HRP Sports has thrown a wild spin on the standard kidney belt to create this product it calls the K-Rib Wrap. In a nutshell, this biofoam/plastic creation features removable suspenders that allow it to be worn either as a mid-back/rib protector or as a lower back and side-protective kidney belt. Available in five colors and six sizes, pricing on the K-Rib ranges from $54.99 to $59.99.As a rib guard, the K-Rib Wrap is surprisingly comfortable. It doesn’t cover a particularly large portion of your body, but it does cover your lower ribs well. Sizing is spot-on. What’s more, the K-Rib works with just about anything-neck braces, other chest protectors, riding jackets, hydration packs, fanny packs, whatever.
I wasn’t as big of a fan of the K-Rib when used as a kidney belt. It was difficult for me to find a spot on my hips to wear the Wrap so that the plastic didn’t push uncomfortably, and it caused several different brands of well-fitting riding pants to barely fit (a perma-user of the HRP setup would likely have to up-size his or her gear to accommodate the plastic). That said, I was pleased with the added protection around my waist/mid-back. I can show you plenty of scars on my hipbones from sliding across a variety of surfaces, and the K-Rib covers these areas perfectly. If extra armor is your thing, I’d recommend this product, especially when used as a rib guard. But if you are a full-time kidney belt user, try one on at your local shop first to make sure the setup jives with you.