Ski, Freeride, Snowboard, Ski touring, Freestyle | Dec 6, 2021

More safety for your mountain adventures

thanks to protective gear
More about the author
* Advertisement

As opposed to only a few years ago, almost every skier and snowboarder nowadays wears a helmet. In many countries, it’s even compulsory to wear a ski helmet for everyone below the age of 16.

However, is a good-quality helmet enough to protect you in case of an accident? After all, most of our favourite winter sports do come with a certain risk attached. And there’s a vast selection of additional protective gear out there – ranging from back protectors to wrist protectors, padded shorts and knee pads.

But what kind of safety gear is really necessary for “normal” resort skiing? To answer this and other questions, we sat down with the experts of ATOMIC. Read on to find out how to make your mountain adventures safer – and even more enjoyable!

When should you wear protective gear?

The short answer: It’s never wrong to wear it! You might think that you only need protective gear if you’re headed for the park, but this is not strictly true. For instance, back injuries – although not the most common kind of ski injury – do happen to all types of skiers and snowboarders, especially if you’re an adventurous rider. And when they do occur, they can have severe consequences.

So keep in mind: Back protectors are not just for freeriders or freeskiers – they also make all other types of skiing and snowboarding safer!


Why should you wear a back protector?

As we said before, back protectors can prevent serious back injuries caused by skiing accidents. They can reduce the severity of injuries sustained from …

  • awkward falls,
  • solid impact or
  • falling objects.

This makes back protectors count among the most viable tools for enjoying safe and carefree days in the snow.


What type of back protectors are there?

There are four types of back protectors:

  • harnesses
  • protector vests
  • jackets
  • backpacks with integrated spine protectors

While the jacket style offers all-round protection, vests are usually more lightweight and less bulky. Our favourites in this category: ATOMIC’s AMID Technology vests. Thanks to its unique construction, the Live Shield Vest AMID M is ATOMIC’s thinnest and most flexible level-2 protector. Its key features:

  • ergonomic slim fit
  • highly breathable
  • ultra-flexible
  • removable and height-adjustable belt
  • excellent wearing comfort

What materials are back protectors made off?


In the case of ATOMIC, all back protectors are made from AMID Body (Atomic Multi-directional Impact Deflector). This type of construction is a genuine breakthrough in top-level protection, combining functionality with flexibility and breathability. The tubular foam system that absorbs energy right at impact features high-quality materials:

  • Elastic Air Mesh: for a perfect fit and breathability
  • 4-Way Stretch Lycra: for flexibility and maximum freedom of movement

How do you recognise a good back protector?

This one’s easy: If you don’t even know it’s there, it’s perfect! The special construction of the ATOMIC Live Shield Vest AMID will make you forget you’re even wearing it. Flexible like no other, it adapts to your movements in any temperature.

Its excellent breathability prevents you from sweating, making it feel as though you were wearing a base layer. The perfect preconditions for long and eventful days in the snow!


What other types of protectors are there?

In addition to back protectors, there is an array of additional protective gear you can use to make skiing and snowboarding even safer.

Depending on your activity level, skills and preferred type of terrain, it makes sense to get one of the following:

  • wrist protectors
  • forearm guards
  • knee pads
  • shin pads
  • elbow pads
  • padded shorts

For instance, if you’re looking for high-quality padded shorts to go with your back protector, we recommend the ATOMIC Live Shield Shorts. The protective shorts with removable pads protect your coccyx from impacts, for instance during falls or slaps from a race gate.

Their key features:

  • active thermo fit
  • multi-density 3-layer foam
  • removable coccyx pads
  • ultra lightweight
  • breathable

How do you care for your protective gear?

To ensure that you can use your protective gear for as many mountain adventures as you have in mind, you should take proper care of it.

  • Store your protectors in a cool, dry and well-ventilated place.
  • Avoid high temperatures (above 40 °C).
  • Keep them away from direct sunlight.
  • Don’t leave your protectors in the car overnight.
  • Keep them away from direct or indirect heat sources.
  • Don’t place any weight on the protectors to avoid damage and deformation.

Need to wash your protectors? With ATOMIC products, you just have to remove the protective pads (except for the Live Shield AMID and Live Shield Shorts protectors, as their pads are not removable), wipe them with a wet cloth and let them dry at room temperature. The fabric can be washed according to the care instructions on the label. Don’t forget: Never use cleaning liquids, solvents, varnishes, glues or oils on your protective gear!

When do you need to replace your protectors?

Quite obviously, holes or tears can damage the structure of your protective gear, making it potentially less resistant to falls and impacts. That’s why it makes sense to regularly check your protectors for cracks, tears or discolouration.

Remember: Always replace your protective gear if you had a severe fall, crash or collision! Even after serious accidents, the damage to your protectors may not be immediately obvious. So at least take them to your nearest retailer or service expert to have them checked!



Did we convince you to step up your game in terms of safety? That’s great! The good news: If you don’t want to get your own set of protective gear, you can rent state-of-the-art products at INTERSPORT Rent.

From back protectors to helmets, we offer everything that makes your days in the snow safe and enjoyable. Plus: With our RENTertainers, you have our on-site winter sports experts right at hand – they’ll be happy to answer all your equipment questions. See you in the mountains!

Related articles

You may also be interested in:

* Advertisement

Ski helmet size & fit: How to find the perfect helmet

Are you looking for a new ski helmet? Read our blog article to find out what to keep in mind to find the perfect size helmet!
© Mammut Archive Freeride
* Advertisement

Everything you need to know about avalanche training courses

Safety first! The pros of Mammut Alpine School told us all about avalanche training courses, why they’re important and what to look for. Learn more now!
© Mammut Freeride
* Advertisement

Choosing and using an avalanche transceiver

Do you have the necessary safety equipment for your next freeride adventure? INTERSPORT Rent and Mammut tell you all about avalanche transceivers!