Having tried nearly every iteration of Leatt’s impressive MTB-specific neck brace (most recently, the 5.5), it’s fair to say the latest design is the comfiest yet.
Though the DBX 4.5 doesn’t have front and rear adjustment allowing you to tailor the range of head motion like the top-flight 6.5 brace does, we had no issues with restricted movement.
Getting the fit right doesn’t take long either. Leatt provides a variety of spares that allow you to tailor the feel with minimal faff, though you do need to use an Allen key to install or remove the wedges used to adjust the size of the neck opening. One of the neatest adjustments can be found at the top of the rear strut – by swapping the four small, angled rubber bumpers, you can adjust the angle at which it sits on your back.
In use, the brace didn’t move excessively, even without using the supplied chest straps and when riding really rough, steep trails. There was plenty of helmet clearance with all the lids we tried it with too, with very little interference even at extreme angles.
If it weren’t enough that this bit of kit could potentially save your life, it’s now also a cinch to clean thanks to the wipe-clean padding used.