Using a neck brace in kid karting is a given. Crashes can happen on the track, and your kid might suffer from a nasty neck injury. So, buying a go-kart neck brace for your kid is somewhat of a necessity.
Go-kart neck braces are the best way to protect your kid’s neck if they crash. And while picking the best one can be a hassle, I’ve gathered 6 neck braces that are amongst the best in the market. Most of them have youth and adult sizes, meaning you can also pick up one for yourself.
That said, before I review each product, let’s see how you can pick the best go-kart neck brace for your kid.
How to Choose the Perfect Go Kart Neck Brace for Your Kid
Choosing the perfect go-kart neck brace is essential, especially for a young driver. While I’ve already talked about several factors you should consider when buying a neck brace, here are certain ones that mainly apply to kid racers.
Even though go-kart neck braces can be as cheap as $30, the most reliable ones for your kid will set you back at least $100. I know, that sounds like a lot for a piece of karting equipment, especially when you have to pay so much for a racing suit and a helmet.
But, as you’ll see below, these neck braces are great at shock absorption; plus, they’ll keep your kid’s neck safe if they get in a crash with another driver. On top of that, the more expensive neck braces can be life-saving in the rare case that the go-kart flips.
Comfort is crucial when buying a go-kart neck brace, whether you’re an adult or kid racer. Imagine having an annoying donut-shaped piece of foam around your neck for a whole race while trying to overtake your opponent. Nobody wants that!
That’s why you should look for one that has some form of padding, as well as pick the correct size. One complaint I often hear from kid racers at my local track is that their neck braces are too big, so they slide around their necks.
That won’t only make the karting experience more dangerous but also very uncomfortable; thus, your kid won’t improve their racecraft. So, the most comfortable neck brace won’t just keep your kid safe; it’ll make them a better driver in the long term.
Range of Motion
At their core, neck braces will prevent you from injuries like whiplash and neck hyperextension. This often comes with a significant issue; reduced range of motion. As someone who’s been racing for almost a year, I’ll admit that moving your head around during a session is necessary.
The circle-shaped go-kart neck braces usually don’t provide as much range of motion, so you should avoid them, even though they’re cheaper. You can look at some of the affordable options I’ve mentioned below, which have a better shape while costing the same.
My Top Picks for Go Kart Neck Braces for Kids
Now that you know what to look for in a neck brace for your kid let’s see my top picks. It’s worth noting that the options I mention below might not be the best choice for your kid. So, I’d suggest you take the time to try a few neck braces at a local store before you make the final choice.
Best Premium Neck Brace for Kids: Leatt Brace GPX 3.5 Neck Brace
The Leatt GPX 3.5 is a fan favorite for go-karting professionals. It was one of the first neck braces to implement its unique design, which Alpinestars and EVS later used. In my opinion, it’s the best neck brace for kids if your budget allows you to buy it.
The plastic outer shell with a durable EPS foam inner shell stands out with the Leatt neck brace. This durable construction will ensure that your kid’s neck isn’t injured and their collarbone and back remain untouched.
On top of that, the internal padding is excellent in terms of comfort, and the clasp closure system used is the safest on the market.
Best Affordable Neck Brace for Kids: EVS Sports R2 Race Collar
If you don’t wish to splurge a couple of hundred bucks on a neck brace, the EVS Sports R2 one is your best option. It features a simplistic design and a PU foam build, which is great for shock absorption. The foam will disperse the force from the helmet in case of a crash, saving your kid’s neck.
The R2 has enough internal padding to be comfortable and comes with a buckle closure system. While I think velcro straps are better since you can open them up while wearing your gloves, the buckle system is more secure.
Best EVS Neck Brace for Kids: EVS Sports R4 Race Collar
A significant upgrade from the R2, the EVS Sports R4 neck brace is one of the top 3 neck braces on the market. Featuring a similar design, build, and closure system to the Leatt one, the R4 is cheaper and used by all kinds of drivers.
Despite being made from plastic and having a bulky design, it weighs a mere 0.4kg (0.882 lbs), which is lighter than most neck braces I mention. This is great since the heavier a neck brace is, the more strain it’ll put on your kid’s body in the long term.
But, one complaint of the R4 that you should consider is that the clasp isn’t the best. Many drivers I asked had no complaints about it, but I went through some reviews that criticized it for malfunctioning.
Best Alpinestars Neck Brace for Kids: Alpinestars Youth Neck Support
Since I’ve not mentioned Alpinestars thus far, let’s start with its best neck brace: the Alpinestars Youth Neck Support. A direct competitor to the EVS R4, the Alpinestars neck brace uses different materials, making it more sturdy.
That extra durability, however, comes with an additional cost and a reduction in comfort. Still, unlike the EVS and Leatt neck braces, this one can be paired up with the brand’s body armor, which acts as a rib protector.
Best Reviewed Premium Neck Brace for Kids: Alpinestars Sequence Youth Neck Roll
While the Youth Neck Support might be pricey, Alpinestars Sequence Youth Neck Roll is a much more affordable option. Despite being slightly more expensive than the EVS R2, the Sequence neck brace has much more padding and a velcro strap closure system.
Apart from that, the neck brace is also wide enough for the helmet to fit on it. This will improve the shock absorption, and reduce any excess motion in case of a crash.
One drawback of this neck brace is that the extra padding insulates more heat, which might be more uncomfortable if your kid races in a humid area.
Best Reviewed Affordable Neck Brace for Kids: Bohn Neck Brace
Despite not being made by a well-known brand, I think the Bohn neck brace is among the best for kids. It’s the cheapest one I could find that features a similar design to the EVS R2 while also being very lightweight.
It comes with velcro straps, which are easy to open and close even for a young child, while it also has a great inner lining for sweat absorption and extra comfort. Overall, it’s a great alternative to big-brand neck braces, but it doesn’t have anything too extravagant to offer.
That’s everything about the best go-kart neck braces for kids. At the end of the day, most neck braces on the market will protect your kid from any neck injuries, no matter how cheap or expensive they are.
In my opinion, the best go-kart neck brace for kids is the Leatt Brace GPX 3.5, so if you have the budget for it, it’s definitely worth it.
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FAQs for Go Kart Neck Braces for Kids
How Do I Wash a Go-Kart Neck Brace?
Most neck braces should be hand washed only. Regarding the ones I mentioned above, you can generally wash the outer layer with a detergent, and the foam on the inside can be washed in the washing machine.