Welcome to our very first Myth breakers feature. In this series of articles we’ll look at a specific product and break down the facts, separate from any emotion, and look at what either is or isn’t going on with a certain tool or product.
A few issues back we ran a Tough Test on the new BackPro tool belt and posted the video on our Facebook page. There were comments along the lines of the BackPro looking like a ripoff of the Buckaroo product, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do our first Myth breakers piece.
So here we go.
Myth #1: Is The Backpro A Buckaroo Copy?
I own a full-leather Buckaroo belt. It was the best belt I could find at the time of purchase, and I’m a fan of the product. The Buckaroo has served me well.
To the general public who haven’t held, worn or researched the BackPro tool-belt system, it’s easy to think tool belts look pretty much the same. They’re black-leather which can be customised with a range of bags, holders and frogs.
But it doesn’t need much closer inspection to see that’s where the resemblance ends.
The Buckaroo is a good piece of equipment, but the BackPro has undertaken significant scientific research and testing, using state-of-the-art dorsaVI machines to test muscle activation with various BackPro prototypes, until the company arrived at the perfect design shape, which turned out to be similar to the shape of a weightlifter’s belt.
The testing and research produced significant data which was then submitted to both the Australian Chiropractors Association and the Australian Physiotherapy Association, and resulted in BackPro belts being the only tool belt endorsed by those two Australian professional associations.
So while belts do look similar, it’s the research and evolution of the products that mark the difference. The BackPro now has an Australian Design Registration which makes it a truly unique product, as well as patents pending in Canada and another design registration for the US.
The winner after all this behind-the-scenes activity is you, the customer.
Myth # 2: Backpro Is A Cheap Overseas Product
The BackPro is made overseas, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap.
The materials for the belts are sourced from the best suppliers around the world. Rivets and hardware are from Italy and Germany. The webbing belt is Australian-made and the leather used in the belt system comes from BackPro’s own tannery. That allows Backpro to ensure all leathers used in construction of its products are fully tanned, full-grain, or premium top-grain, leather and BackPro’s tannery even provides premium leather products to other top-shelf companies. Other tool-belt makers often use a general-purpose top-grain leather.
It’s probably worth mentioning no other tool-belt manufacturer produces leather in Australia. Every tool belt in the market today uses internationally sourced leather. Even companies manufacturing in Australia use imported leather from overseas tanneries. Typically countries like India, Pakistan and South America are the largest suppliers of leather worldwide.
Myth #3: These Tool Belts Are All Made From The Same Materials
Several top-shelf tool-belt companies in recent years have added a layer of woollen felt to add comfort to the belt, and this layer allows the belt to breathe and improves comfort.
BackPro has taken the comfort factor one step further by adding a layer of super foam between the woollen felt and the rubber backing. This not only improves comfort, but adds back support. No competitor tool belts have this extra comfort-and-support layer.
After putting the BackPro product in the hands – or should I say around the waist – of Sydney chippy Andrew ‘Bouges’ Bonello, his words echoed that of our WTW product tester Matt Page. “From the first time you put on the belt you instantly feel the support and comfort. Even when climbing ladders or crouching with bags full of screws and both drill and impact drivers hanging from the belt system, you can feel the support and comfort. Those days of taking off your tool belt at the end of the day with red, worn marks on your hips from your belt are gone. Even after 2-3 weeks of using this product I can feel the improvement in my back which has been an ongoing issue for me over my time building houses.” Bouges shared.
As they say, the devil is in the detail, and in the case of the BackPro tool belt, there really are a lot of impressive details and changes. With back problems being so prevalent within the trades it’s of the utmost importance you do what you can to stay strong and healthy.
Will the BackPro system stop you from having back issues ever again? Of course not. Correct lifting techniques and not carrying too much weight are important factors, along with regular stretching and exercise. But it’s all the little things that add up to create a safer working environment.
We will leave it up to you to decide if the BackPro system is something that could help you and your back, but I think it’s fairly safe to say the idea the BackPro tool-belt system is a knock-off of other tool belts has been thoroughly myth broken. It’s by far the most advanced, scientifically tested and developed tool-belt system on the market today, as well as the only tradies’ toolbelt which has been endorsed by the Australian Chiropractors Association and the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
BackPro has those endorsements precisely because it’s not like other tool belts.
For more information visit www.buildprogear.com.au