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Knox Aegis review, the best back protector?

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Knox, probably most famous for, you guessed it, those gloves everybody has and loves, the handroid. Knox isn’t just famous for gloves though, they have produced many radical safety designs over the years.

Who are Knox?

From knee pads to gloves and, back protectors to base layers, Knox has pretty much covered it all from their Cumbrian headquarters. With products still designed and manufactured in house, what better products are there to test.

Knox handroid review
Handroids – picture from Knox

Having owned the Aegis back protector since 2016, it’s been an essential item, every time I ride. I don’t care if the journey is five minutes, an hour, or all day, it stays on.

Why the Aegis?

One of the prime selling point of the Aegis over other back protectors is the freedom of movement given by Knox’s clever sliding spine.

Knox Aegis review
Quality Knox gear

Instead of being a fixed sheet of material, Knox used a centralised column connected to protective armour-like plates which fix to small yellow pins. These pins are able to slide slightly, allowing the plates to move with a degree of freedom.

Read our review of the Handroids here, including a crash test!

Built around this spine are hexagonal impact absorbing and dispersing plastic pads with covers.

Knox Aegis review
Knox Aegis pins

Having hollow hexagons may seem like Knox’s attempt to save money, but in fact, open air spaces are much better at absorbing impact than you’d initially think.

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Remember that time you had to drop an egg and build a cradle around it to stop it from smashing? Imagine your back is the egg, and the hollow hexagons of the Aegis represent the straws.

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A winning strategy is to just layer the straws around the egg as best as possible. The open-air in the straws allow for the transmission of the force through all the straws, whilst also retaining the plasticity.

Knox CE level
Knox Aegis honeycomb construction

Anything inside the straws would interfere with the ability of the straws to absorb the impact. Utilizing these hollow hexagons, the Aegis can provide excellent protection against impacts.

Expensive comfort

Knox kit may seem expensive to start with, but it’s built to last. I’ve been wearing the Aegis back protector for four years, and it is still in perfect condition. Despite the price, the level of comfort and protection is brilliant. The sliding nature of the plates allows for full contact with the back when crouched or bending, where other back protectors won’t.

Supplied with a comfortable back pad (which is removable if your jacket or leathers are getting a tad snug), the kidney protection pads and straps are 100% adjustable meaning you have a tailored fit to your body.

Knox armour

Complete with the over shoulder straps and the ability to cross them if needed. The Aegis isn’t as simplistic as just shoving a thick foam board into your jacket. Knox even offers a chest protector that can fit onto the front via the two chest straps sliding through before buckling to the belt of the protector.

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Knox back protector

On and off road

Some would think, turning yourself into a half-armadillo half-human hybrid might be a tad uncomfortable. But due to the sliding nature of the spine piece and the clever flexibility it provides, I rarely notice it when I’m off the bike. I’ve sat through opticians appointments with it on and even sat in a cinema wearing it.

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On the road, the Aegis back protector will conform to your body and your riding position, be that upright and comfortable on your Africa Twin or hunched over the tank on a sports bike.

One small problem

Despite its many benefits, I’ve only encountered one problem with the Aegis, and it’s me using it wrong. Having worn this for years, I’ve assumed it to be one of the quirks of the kit.

Knox aegis
full length back protector

Occasionally, the Aegis will ride up a touch when on the bike, however, playing around with the kidney straps seemed to fix this.

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Usually, a quick adjustment at the back sorts the issue, but when it rides up, it pushes the collar of the outer garment up, which then interferes with my helmet. It could just be me. I may have the straps adjusted wrong, they may not be tight enough, or loose enough. With some fine adjustment this has been sorted, so getting that fine-tuning setup is essential.

This is a minor thing, and if you remember, a quick pull-down at the back can easily solve this in moments.

I wouldn’t ride without one

Despite its one minor issue (which is personal), the Aegis 7 has never done me wrong. It’s a solid piece of kit that’s lasted at least 4 years. Being CE level 2 rated protection, you can’t get any better.

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I’d hate to ride around with a stiff piece of board wedged in my jacket, and the aegis, despite being a belt/strap style back protector still clings and flexes with you, rather than preventing movement. If you want significantly good, sturdy protection, and turning yourself into something reminiscent of sewer-dwelling mutants from the 1990s isn’t a big worry for you, then the Aegis is 100% something to consider buying.

Find out more on the Knox website!