How many of you out there have ever experienced back pain? How many experienced it after sitting for long periods of time? How many of you have recurring back pain from old injuries? Well, according to our friends at Bowfit, 8 of 10 people will experience back pain in their life. The leading cause of this back pain is from prolonged periods of sitting. I for one know the pain of sitting in a tree stand for hours on end. Eventually your back muscles just need a break and you find yourself hunched over which causes even more discomfort. Back pain is second only to the flu in the United States for missed work days and the final statistic is shocking. Less than 20% of back ailments occur at the workplace while a whopping 80% occur away from work.
I have to admit that I'm way behind on this product testing for a few reasons. One of which is that I don't usually sit very much at work or at home until hunting season begins and I wanted to give the Sportsman's Back Brace a full test. Recently I went to visit my mom in Northern Minnesota where she now lives. I live an hour east of Chicago which means that with decent traffic, I have right around ten hours to drive each way. I couldn't think of a better way to test the back brace out than to wear it for 20 hours of total drive time on the road. I knew from previous experience that not only my derriere would end up in pain from this particular drive. I knew I had a sore back to look forward to as well. So, I strapped on the Sportsman's Back Brace and off we went! I have to admit that it worked! I arrived safely at my destination with little more than a wet shirt where I had sweated a bit from wearing the belt. (Which probably didn't hurt me a bit either.) The cushioned lumbar pad really kept my back from sinking into the seat making me "hunch" over. It does work well for prolonged sitting.
I also wore it out setting up stands the other day and it was comfortable although bending over was restricted however this is what the back brace is designed to do, provide sturdy back support to protect against injury. It is fairly wide and is made to keep your posture straight for lifting and sitting. The closure is Velcro and easily opened in under a second. I hung my pruners and machete from the D loops and they held up very well. This winter I will definitely try out the pockets for the body warmers. I've shoved warmers in my jacket before and had them fall out of my stand. This will be a handy feature I'll be sure to try out!
Quality on the product itself is exemplary. The stitching is strong and the entire belt is very well made. They added D rings to the lower part of the belt to hang items from which could also come in handy when hunting, fishing, or any other activity you can think of. Of course it is camo, so it fits right in with your other gear.
Bowfit lists the following as items of interest:
Orthopedically designed for total comfort and optimal back support.
Perfect for hunting, fishing, and all outdoor activities
Built in pockets for placing hand and body warmers on cold days
Removable foam back support for desired comfort
D loops for hanging accessory bags or game calls
Healthy back tips and low back exercises included on convenient wall chart
The Sportsman's Back Brace will lesson your chance of back injury and make your time afield more enjoyable!!
I found the Sportsman's Back Brace to do what Bowfit says it will do. It made sitting for a very long time much easier and provided good support while lifting with much less pain. I will definitely give it a shot in the tree stand as soon as the opening day comes around. I also like the fact that they do teach the importance of strong abs and back muscles with good exercise tips. I think the Back Brace should be a part of your equipment to help prevent back injury. I think this belt is a good idea and can definitely help.
Product Quality: 5 of 5 Ease of Use: 4.5 of 5 Pain Reducer: 4 of 5 Cost: 3 of 5
My overall impression of the Sportsman's Back Brace from Bowfit: