Hi all, i went down for some gear shopping today, and was quite lost as on to which jackets to get. I was basically shopping for a simple mesh jacket with kevlar body armour, which seems to be the recommended gear around. But the impression i got from the salesman was that a $150 mesh jacket offers no substantional extra protection over a $400 mesh, just a difference in branding, cut and design. I'm a little (???) about the whole thing, though i'm sure he's right to various degrees and extent. He did mention that leather would probably protect better from abrasions. But I'm under the impression that it's the armour which is more important, and since this will be my first jacket, thought that i should try to get something more affordable. Also, I noticed that some of the jackets have some sponge like material on them, especially on the back. Dosen't feel like kevlar to me. Do those pads have any armouring purpose at all? or is it simple ornamental? LAstly, when it comes to back protectors... are they really necessary? another thread suggested that 'they are the best $150 dollars you'll ever spend on motor bike gear'. True? I noticed that they sell seperate back protectors with a carapace like shell, instead of the usual spongy material which are sewn into the jackets. 2 of my friends have fractured their collar bones after falling off a bike. This tends to make me think that the collar bone region is the most susceptible area in the event of a crash. But I don't seem to see much protection offered around that area... Any comments/advise are welcomed! thanks!