Review: Poc Spine VPD Tee Body Armour

POC is a relative new comer not only to the world of bikes but only started making skiing products 4 years ago. They are based in Sweden and have broke into the bike market with an array of protection products. POC has had great success with their previous products and are trying to truly innovate with their offerings. By employing the help from top experts in the fields of sports medicine, back specialists, and brain scientists POC is able to apply their expertise and proven research into making safer riding equipment.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Features:

  • Mesh chassis
  • Polypropylene shoulder cups and breast plates
  • High density Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough (VPD) in spinal area of back protector
  • Low density VPD in surrounding area
  • Breathable waistband
  • Snap on Cervical top
  • Level 2 (high performance) rating of motorcyle standard EN-1621-2

The POC Spine Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough (VPD) system is a short sleeve jacket that has shoulder cups, breast plates, a back protector, and a waist band. It is certified at Level 2 (“High performance”) of the motor cycle standard EN 1621-2 The armor overall is quite light and the armor mesh itself is quite flexible and breathable. POC set to create body armor that supports mobility and it shows as soon as you put the jacket on.

VPD backplate

The backplate is unique in that gives the armor some unique characteristics. It offers a high level of protection but has a unique characteristic in that it is flexible to help adapt and shape to the contours of your body. This helps give the POC armor a weightless feel to it as it conforms to the body quite well. It is very easy to forget that the jacket is on at times. The flexible backplate has a harder plastic around the center of the backplate that helps prevent any intrusion from sharp objects.

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The difference with the POC VPD backplate is that he is designed to be flexible but when exposed to an impact will stiffen. Typical plastic backplates usually offer a static impact absorption curve but the POC design was created to adapt to an impact. In our use with the VPD packplate, it performed as they said and certainly felt like it did its job during impacts while still conforming to body contours.

the backplate is pre-formed in a curve to better fit the riders back (click to enlarge)

Not everyone has the same body types so having the VPD setup certainly doesn’t hurt as it can conform to various body types without modifications.

The breast plates and shoulder cups provided basic protection that we had no issues with. They stayed in place and are pretty low profile so it helps reduce untimely accidental impacts when you’re in tight areas. With other armor I’ve often felt my shoulder graze rocks / trees as i rode by since I usually vary my armor level. With the POC armor I noticed that since the armor is slimmer fitting, and its body conforming features, it gives a bit more control and predictability. It feels like an extension of my body in tight situations due to its ability to conform and slim fitting pads.

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The waist band is secured with a velcro enclosure that is semi elastic. It provides pretty good mobility while still offering a good snug fit holding the jacket in place. The waist band connects to the jacket itself with a velcro tab on the back of the jacket. Adjusting the waist tension is easy and intuitive.

rectangle behind the waist belt secures the belt to the jacket (click to enlarge)

The fit of the jacket overall felt good even during hot days. The backplate slips inside the jacket and I noticed does have some movement once installed. When riding steeper terrain the VPD spine sometimes would move upward and I could feel it at the nape of my neck. Adding an attachment for the VPD spine to attach securely to the waist band or the jacket itself would be a nice addition to help quell this from happening. The only other complain I had with the jacket would be the white color of the vest itself. After usage, I have noticed that it isn’t quite as white as it used to be.

installing the backplate (click to enlarge)

backplate installed (click to enlarge)

Sizes:

  • X-Small/Small
  • Medium
  • Large/X-Large

Price: $299.99

Conclusion:

It isn’t every day you get impressed with armor but POC has got an impressive design with their adaptive spine tee setup. The VPD backplate works as advertised and the jacket as a whole performed quite well for us. The armor conforms to the body well and as such helps you feel more connected with it. It feels like an extension of the body and reduces the bulky or clumsy feeling like some armor. While not cheap, the POC Spine VPD Tee offers something worth trying out in our opinion if you’re in the market for new body armor. Body armor is best tried on at a local retailer to get correct fitment.

POC clearly has got something here with their VPD Spine Tee and we look forward to seeing them bring other technologies to the bike industry.

[POC Spine VPD Tee Gallery] [POC Website]

Be sure to check out our other Protection articles in the Review section.