It’s not news that the amazing game of football has a reputation of putting its players at risks of injuries as long as they’re on the field of play. It’s likely that any junior high or collegiate player will experience some kind of injury throughout their career. However, you can reduce the chances of acquiring permanent trauma and being bedridden by wearing the right protective gear such as football back plates.
Back plates are very important because they shield your spine and internal organs such as the kidney from the impact of collisions. Therefore, getting the right football back plate is a must for every football player regardless of the years of experience playing the sport.
This article is dedicated to showing you the ten best football back plates that football folks swear by. Let’s take a look at them!
1. Battle Backbone Football Back Plate (Editor's Choice)
The first back plate on our list is the Battle Backbone Football Back Plate. this is one of the football back plates that we think should be included in any review of the best protective gears designed for the game of football. This particular back plate is manufactured in a way that it can deal with all the action on the football field.
Its high-impact foam interior proves to be effective in providing additional protection all throughout the game. Plus, this football back plate features sturdy attachment straps to keep it secured in the right place in any intense match.
The Battle Backbone Football Back Plate has an impressive sleek and curved design. Such design offers a huge advantage as it ensures that the energy and impact taken from hard hits can be efficiently and evenly distributed over the back plate. With such a benefit, we can safely say that this back plate offers maximum protection to the wearer’s back.
The Battle Backbone Football Back Plate’s universal fit makes it compatible with players of all ages. It is also made to be totally comfortable. It will never weigh you down nor limit your movements throughout the game.
2. Schutt Sports Varsity Football Back Plate
Coming in at number two is the Schutt Varsity Football Back Plate, which is good for players that prioritizes both strength and quality in a shoulder pad back plate. The ruggedness of this back plate is an added advantage because it helps withstand harsh impact and pressure. The raised corrugated plate design also offers superb durability and strength.
Another impressive benefit of the Schutt Sports Varsity Football Back Plate is its ability to disperse high energy hits that usually happen when playing the game. The heavy padded structure of the back plate offers security and utmost comfort.
The structure of this football shoulder back plate also promotes proper air circulation with its 5-mm vent holes. This feature is effective in letting you stay cool throughout the game. Plus, the back plate only weighs around 16 ounces to maximize the football player’s agility on the field.
Another positive thing about the Schutt Sports Varsity Football Back Plate is its flexibility to be easily attached and removed. It comes with screws required to attach it to any branded football shoulder pads.
The versatility and flexibility of the Schutt Sports Varsity Football Back Plate is extremely impressive. Not only is it suitable for almost, if not all shoulder pads. But it also features the design and built required to ensure that it fits the majority of varsity players.
3. Schutt Sports Air Maxx Football Back Plate
The third back plate on our list is the Schutt Sports Air Maxx Football Back Plate. This back plate can help retain your focus when playing football as it extensively gives protection when it comes to receiving hits from behind. Thus, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting injured. The rugged and sturdy built of this back plate makes it ideal for varsity use.
The Schutt Sports Air Maxx Football Back Plate has a great look and is visible when worn on the field. In addition, it has a corrugated design which maximizes the level of protection it offers to players. The design combines a block padding known to be super-absorbent to offer safety and comfortability during gameplay on the field.
This football back plate is also lightweight–weighing only 12 ounces. Another benefit it offers is its highly effective system modeled to manage and disperse air properly. With such system, you will surely stay cool all throughout the game.
Another reason why the Schutt Sports Air Maxx Football Back Plate is favorable is that it’s suitable for the majority of any brand competitor football shoulder pads. Plus, the single size of this back plate also works appropriately for majority of players. There are also an extensive range of colors to choose from, so rest assured, you can find a Schutt Sports Air Maxx Football Back Plate that complements the design and color of your shoulder pad.
4. Schutt Sports Neon Varsity Football Back Plate
The forth back plate on our list is the Schutt Sports Neon Varsity Football Back Plate. This is your best bet if you are aiming to make a statement while playing as this back plate has an appealing bright color. It comes in a wide range of bright colors, including red, orange, green, and yellow. Aside from making a statement to the audience, it’s also effective in boosting your visibility on the field.
The Schutt Sports Neon Varsity Football Back Plate is made with high-quality materials. Its inner cushioning provides maximum comfort and protection especially in the exposed blindside areas of the should pad.
Its corrugated exterior is an assurance of added capability of taking more hits and impact. This back plate also offers a good ventilation system, which is crucial for most players, especially those who play football for longer periods. It helps them to stay dry and cool throughout the game.
The Schutt Sports Neon Varsity Football Back Plate is capable of offering impressive protection on all sides. Besides maximum protection, the features also makes it convenient and suitable for long use.
5. Schutt Sports Youth Back Plate
The fifth product on our list of the best football back plate is the Sports Youth Back Plate from Schutt. It’s a youth back plate designed to provide utmost security on the field. We can assure you that this football back plate is capable of providing a high level of protection when paired up for use with a high-quality rib protector.
We greatly appreciate the high-density EVA foam used in this back plate. This material provides comfort and adequate ventilation to avoid the risk of sweating too much during gameplay.
The Schutt Sports Youth Back Plate is equipped with straps and fabrics that are not only comfortable, but also provides maximum protection. It also features a raised and corrugated back, which is a big advantage to protect potentially exposed areas.
Lastly, the Schutt Sports Youth Back Plate can fit all youth shoulder pads. It also comes in a bright color, which makes it perfect if your young footballer wants to make a statement. There are also options for a low or high attachment to meet the preference of your youth football player.
6. Schutt 79922100 Sports Football Back Plate
At number six is a football back plate that is solely designed for youth football. The Schutt 79922100 Sports Back Plate is your go-to option if you are looking for one of the best back plate for young footballers. It is effective in giving a player’s back the protection it requires. It can substantially handle impacts, hits, and pressure on the field.
Another benefit of this back plate is that it easily attaches to all youth shoulder pads, especially the ones offered by Schutt. This proves the versatility of this protective gear.
The Schutt 79922100 Sports Back Plate also offers unmatched protection to various football players. Its design makes it fit well to any shoulder pad, plus it’s easy to attach and install. All the screws and hardware required for its proper installation and attachment are already included in the package.
The well-ventilated, high-density EVA form and the breathable fabric used for its overall construction makes the Schutt 79922100 Sports Back Plate breathable too. This makes this particular back plate one of the most comfortable choices for your youth football player.
7. Douglas Custom Pro CP Series Removable Football Back Plate
The Douglas Custom Pro CP Series Football Back Plate can reliably protect your back with its ability to prevent players from experiencing painful hits caused by harsh impact, strong pressure, and possible blindsides. It protects not only the lower back but also your spine and the kidneys from hard impacts.
Another reason why this shoulder pad back plate stands out is that it has built-in grommets. Such grommets are proven to be an advantage because they let players raise or lower the back plate. It gives freedom to obtain a really comfortable and convenient fit based on your preference.
The Douglas Custom Pro CP Series Football Back Plate is also available in different colors. This gives you the opportunity to choose one that perfectly matches your team jersey. It will also allow you to stand out on the football field. Furthermore, it has a durable padding in conjunction with a hard shell, offering comfort and sturdiness at the same time.
8. ADAMS USA Youth Football Back Plate
ADAMS USA is a reputable brand in the football gear industry. Their Youth Football Back Plate is a popular product that consistently receives good reviews from users. Considering the fact that it’s offered by a highly reputable brand, we are one hundred percent sure of its excellent quality and performance.
The ADAMS USA Youth Football Back Plate weights only around 5 ounces.The lightness of this back plate ensures that it doesn’t add too much pressure on the player’s shoulders and backside. Therefore, it will never limit your movements nor slow you down on the field.
Another benefit using this back plate is its fiber pad which you can effortlessly attach to the shoulder pad’s straps. Plus, you can make adjustments based on your fit even after you attached it. Apart from its versatility and being easy to attach, the presence of the fiber pad also offers a proper cushion for the back plate.
This football back plate also suits your lateral movements during gameplay, so rest assured, it won’t negatively affect your playing performance.
Lastly, the ADAMS USA Youth Football Back Plate is appropriate for and compatible with all shoulder pads from the same brand that are currently in your football gear collection. However, it is mainly manufactured to suit youth football players as it could be small for players who have larger physique.
9. Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Varsity Football Back Plate
Another back plate that we would suggest to anyone who is on a hunt for a high quality football back plate is the Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Varsity. An amazing part of this football back plate is its Z-COOL moisture transfer system which works efficiently in promoting good air circulation and ventilation.
We also noticed the effectiveness of the Z-COOL system in wicking away sweat, thereby ensuring you stay dry and cool during the game. The Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Varsity Football Back Plate also makes use of a 3-D flow system, which is quite amazing because of its ability to boost the comfort level of the plate when worn through evaporating sweat.
We are also glad to inform you that a reinforced vented plastic is used in the interiors of this back plate. This is because such material makes it it more lightweight and comfortable while keeping you protected for a long time.
Probably the best part about the Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool Varsity Football Back Plate is its built-in attachments designed to let you lower or raise the back plate based on your torso’s height. Plus, with the adjustable straps, it offers football players with ultimate comfort.
10. Gear Pro-Tec Foam RAZOR Football Back Plate
This back plate does a pretty good job when it comes to lower back protection. It can absorb hits, impact, and pressure well, so the specific parts of the body it purposely protects are definitely safe from possible injuries. It’s small in size, so it works well for players who require narrow protection.
The HEX foam material used for its side panels ensures that it offers maximum protection. This material also works along with SAS TEC foam, which is helpful in secure your spine from harm. The exterior of this back plate is also known to be corrugated, making it really strong.
You are also guaranteed of the Gear Pro-Tec Foam RAZOR Football Back Plate’s durability. It can serve its function for quite a long time. Plus, it’s easy to attach to different kinds of shoulder pads with the help of the T-nuts and attachments included in the package, making it a really good investment.
Buyer’s Guide - Things To Consider Before Buying Football Back Plates
#1 SIZE AND FIT
Size is quite essential in making a final buying decision when it comes to football gears. Before you make your final decision, find out which among the back plates you are looking into specifically fits your size and will perform the function you intend it to perform.
Always remember that back plates come in different sizes and fits. Some are ideal for teenagers, while some are perfect for adults. You can also find a youth football back plate in case you need the one for kids who are into football.
With the different variations of back plates as far as size and fits are concerned, you need to consider where you will be using it. That way, it will be easy for you to pick one that is really appropriate for the intended purpose.
The quality of a back plate depends on different factors which includes the materials it was made of, the construction process, durability, and effectiveness to perform its function.
To guarantee these factors, it’s always advisable to buy from reputable brands with good track records of offering only quality protective gear. Brands like Schutt, Douglas, and Gear-Pro are a good examples of brands you can buy from. They produce back plates made of high-quality material that makes them durable.
The weight of the back plate has a direct impact on your performance on the field. Before you buy a back plate, ensure that it’s lightweight that even kids can handle it with ease. This will help you determine whether it will weigh you down while wearing it. You can also wear a friend’s back plate to know the type and weight of the back plate that fits your needs before buying one.
Go for a back plate that is not too heavy to the point that it causes you to have a hard time moving during the game. You should be able to move freely and it should never limit your range of motion once you get into the field to play.
#4 STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
How strong and durable a back plate is will determine if it will effectively protect you against injury while playing on the field. You need a really strong one that can prevent you from the adverse effects of collisions and falls because of the physical nature of football. However, the strength and durability is, as mentioned above, dependent on the materials used to make it.
Avoid going for a back plate that is too flimsy as it might result in breaking and losing its function even after encountering only a single collision. Choose one that is also comfortable enough to let you move with ease. If possible, go for a back plate with vent holes because they will make you feel cool during gameplay due to the proper ventilation they offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DOES A FOOTBALL BACK PLATE DO?
The ultimate job of football back plates is to protect your back, spine and certain internal organs from hits, collisions and falls during a football game. Its relevance is amplified knowing that it’s one of the required protective gear every football player should wear before they play the game. Without this gear, you’re bound to sustain some severe back injuries and traumatic pain.
You can fit a back plate over your lower backside once you attach it to a shoulder pad. Once fitted, it can be a big help in protecting your lower back as well as your spine and kidneys as it lessens the impact and pressure that those areas obtain in case of a collision. It’s no news that you cannot play a professional football match without wearing a back plate because it is essential.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE OF FOOTBALL BACK PLATE?
You can get the right size of the football back plate you need by measuring the length and width of your back. You should then check the sizing chart of the manufacturer or brand where you intend to buy the football back plate.
Ensure that your chosen size feels comfortable based on your personal build. The right size is one which is snug and not restricting.
Also, ensure that the back plate is compatible with your football shoulder pad as this is where you will be attaching it. Make sure that you get the right size because if the back plate doesn’t fit you comfortably, it will have a negative impact on your on-field performance.
WHY DO FOOTBALL PLAYERS WEAR BACK PLATES?
Football players wear back plates as a means of protection against lower back and related injuries. It’s also designed to provide protection for vital organs of the body such as your kidneys. The truth remains that every football player needs this gear irrespective of their level in football.
However, there is a higher rate of injuries among high school and collegiate players than NFL professional players. The goal will always be to avoid unnecessary collisions as much as possible. But football, being a contact sport, is a sport that is baptized with collisions. Therefore, it’s essential that you wear a back plate that is authentic and within standards.
DOES A FOOTBALL BACK PLATE COME WITH SCREWS AND NUTS?
In most cases, highly reputable brands like Schutt and Douglas provides screws and nuts of football back plates that are essential in attaching this gear to your shoulder pad.
You can also buy the screws and nuts required to attach the back plates to your shoulder pad separately from stores in case they are not included in the package.
HOW TO WEAR/ASSEMBLE A FOOTBALL BACK PLATE?
Before you wear your football back plate, you’d have to assemble it first by attaching it to your shoulder pad. To do that, all you have to do is to look for the two metal holes that always situated at the shoulder pads’ back. You should then align the holes found on the back plate to the ones found on the shoulder pads.
Ensure that the holes are well-aligned up or down to the point that the back plate already covers the lower part of your back. Get the screws and insert them through the lined-up holes on the shoulder pads and back plate. The screws should be tightly locked in to secure them.
Repeat this step for the other shoulder pad, do the same steps involved in screwing and inserting the bolts or screws just in case you notice that there is an imperfect fit or in case slipping takes place. Make sure that you install them correctly and that they fit properly to prevent it from becoming a hindrance once you start playing.