If you’re looking to take your protective gear to the next level, a new neck brace may be the ticket. Ranging from budget-friendly to premium, read on to learn about some of our favorite, consistently high-performing neck braces.

EVS R4 Neck Support

Price: $121.99

For effective neck protection on a budget, you can’t do much better than the R4 Neck Support from EVS. At $121.99, it costs over $100 less than the next closest brace in the lineup. That said, the lower price tag does come with a few tradeoffs – the R4 is minimalistic, checking only the most fundamental boxes. It’ll provide the protection you want in the event of a crash, just not as much comfort or customization as some of the other braces on this list.

The R4 comes as a one-size-fits-all, though EVS designed and recommends it for riders 5’3” and over or riders over 105 lbs. A Velcro tab and button make opening and closing the brace easy, while thick padding and rubberized edges keep the brace comfortable. A rear strut and a strap sizing system offer some adjustability, but not much.

All in all, the EVS R4 just covers the basics, but that’s a pretty good deal for only $121.99.

Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2

Price: $299.95

Alpinestar’s Bionic Neck Support Tech 2 is a popular neck brace for a few reasons. Sitting just under $300, it’s high-quality, high performing, and the trusted brace of riders like Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia, and Tim Gajser.

One notable feature of the Tech 2 is its Size Adapter System (SAS). Interchangeable plates allow for multiple length configurations, and all of the padding can be swapped out for a more personalized and versatile fit. The Tech 2 also boasts a huge convenience factor – it has one of the best systems for opening and closing the brace. A pull cord opens the brace while a strong magnetic closure closes it. For extra safety, the brace’s rear struts rotate and pivot to stay in place with the rider, and the flex of the brace’s back allow it to break away in extreme impact to drive the forces away from the rider’s neck.

A potential drawback of the Bionic is its weight. At 1 lb. 10 oz., the brace is 6 oz. heavier than the EVS. That said, the extra weight is only noticeable when you first put the brace on. After you start riding, the weight becomes inconsequential and certainly isn’t a deal breaker of any kind.

Jason Anderson at Anaheim 1 2020
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2 Colors
Black/Cool Grey Black/Yellow
Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2 Neck Brace Colors Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2 Neck Brace Colors: Black/Yellow

Atlas Air Neck Brace

Price: $296.99

Next in the lineup but similar in price is the Atlas Air neck brace. Riders like Ryan Villopoto and Chase Sexton have worn this brace in their races, and we at Rocky Mountain have worn it during several of ours. With its sub-$300 price tag and low profile, minimalistic design, it’s no secret why this is the Atlas Air’s 5th consecutive year on our MX neck brace buyer’s guide.

Some standout elements of the Atlas Air are its flexibility and adjustability. The brace’s Split-Flex Frame design allows for vertical flex, upping the mobility and comfort of the Air as it mimics natural body movements to improve its fit and range of motion. What’s more, the split design helps mitigate the forces of impact, directing them away from the sternum. Another flexible aspect of the brace is its chest support. With added flex in the back, the chest of the brace boasts 30mm of travel, acting as suspension for the brace to absorb more force upon impact.

Meanwhile, Smart Mounts work with different degrees of adjustment – -10, 0, or +10 padding– to offer support in any position or angle. There is a total of six adjustment points for the back support, and the padding can be swapped based on personal preference. For more information, check out our in-depth review of the Atlas Air neck brace.

Chase Sexton at Arlington SX 2019
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Atlas Air Neck Brace Colors
Aqua Athletica Camo
Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Aqua Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Ahtletica Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Camo
Fire Ghost Nigtshift
Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Fire Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Ghost Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Nightshift
Orange Tundra Virus
Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Orange Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Tundra Atlas Air Neck Brace Neck Brace Colors: Virus

Leatt GPX 3.5

Price: $269.99

Leatt may be a full-blown gear company now, but they found their start in 2001 with just one product. After witnessing a devastating death at his local track, general practitioner Chris Leatt took it upon himself to design and develop a piece of gear that could’ve prevented it all: a neck brace. Leatt’s innovation led to the first ever MX-specific neck brace, a product he’s honed and refined with each passing year.

One of these legendary braces in Leatt’s lineup is the GPX 3.5. Lined up with the other GPX braces (the other two braces on our guide), the 3.5 is the budget-friendly option. Even with its lower price, though, the 3.5 still packs a punch of premium features. For starters, the brace is incredibly lightweight – at just 1 lb. 2 oz., it’s the lightest brace included in our guide. The 3.5 also offers Leatt’s signature protection with features like collar bone cutouts, shoulder supports, and a back support that is designed to break away on extreme impact.

Compared to the GPX 5.5 and 6.5, the biggest area the 3.5 lacks in is adjustability. While there is a tab on the thoracic strut that allows for some minor adjustability, the 3.5 is just not as customizable as its Leatt counterparts. Even so, the 3.5 is still a widely popular and effective neck brace that pros like Marvin Musquin, Garrett Marchbanks, and Ryan Sipes all prefer.

Marvin Musquin at Oakland SX 2019
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace Colors
Black White Royal
Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace Colors: Black Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace Colors: White Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace Colors: Royal

Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5

Price: $369.99, $499.99

Steps up in price but also in features, the GPX 5.5 and 6.5 are Leatt’s premium neck brace offerings. The two are identical in technicality but differ slightly in construction – the 5.5 features a fiberglass reinforced polyamide chassis while the 6.5 boasts a carbon construction. Those different bases give the braces divergent weights: 1 lb. 10 oz for the 5.5 and 1 lb. 5 oz for the 6.5. That sounds like a wide range, but it really isn’t – the extra ounces are only noticeable when you first put the brace on, not when you’re riding.

With those differences out of the way, there are several mutual, key features of the 5.5 and 6.5 that set them apart from other neck braces on the market. One such feature is the braces’ adjustability. Alpinestar’s proprietary SureFit adjusters offer a unique fit with a thoracic strut that has multiple degrees of positioning. Simply fold down the strut to access the braces’ red tabs that can then be pulled to six different points to slide the strut back and forth. On the strut, an angled rubber inset can be moved or replaced with an alternate piece that comes included with both braces. The front of both braces also comes equipped with SureFit adjusters, allowing both the 5.5 and 6.5 to fit a range of body types while remaining quick and easy to adjust – a hallmark feature of any premium neck brace.

Another leading feature of the premium GPX braces is an emergency release mechanism implemented on the left side of the braces. Should a rider wearing either the 5.5 or 6.5 crash and need the brace removed as quickly as possible, the little red screw on the side makes it easy. Simply undo the screw, press the button, and the neck brace will come apart, meaning both side of the brace can be opened.

There are so many other features packed into these top-of-the-line neck braces, but you can watch their product spotlight videos for more information.

Martin Davalos at Anaheim 1 SX 2020
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors
Black Royal Steel
Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors: Black Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors: Royal Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors: Steel
White Hologram
Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors: White Leatt GPX 5.5, 6.5 Neck Brace Colors: Hologram

Keep Shopping

These braces may be some of our favorites, but they’re only a few of the high-quality, high-performing ones we carry. We can only fit so much on the table, so check out our full collection of MX neck braces for even more great options. And if you loved this buyer’s guide, check out the other MX guides we have for 2020.