SISU NextGen 1.6mm Aero Guard review
SISU is a brand who have built a brilliant business around one simple guarantee: More protection, less mouthguard. The company was started in the USA, based in Saline, MI, with the founders originating in Sweden. The company were named one of the fastest growing companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine in 2016, which isn’t surprising considering the sheer amount of research and originality in their mouth guards, as these are vastly different from anything else on the market. SISU sent us one of their NextGen Aero Guards to review.
About the Mouth Guard
SISU revolutionised the mouthguard market when they brought out their original mouthguards due to their remarkable thinness – we’ve previously reviewed the original SISU Max Guard and were amazed at how unobtrusive it was, as close to not wearing anything as you could get.
Now SISU have redeveloped their original designs and brought us the Next Gen mouthguards, we gave our opinion on the SISU NextGen Max Guard a couple of weeks ago, but they also supplied us with the Nextgen Aero Mouthguard as well, which we’ve been testing out.
The NextGen Aero measures up at the same thickness as the original, an insanely thin 1.6mm. However according to The Science of SISU, despite feeling insignificant, the guard actually offers 32% better protection from dental damage, because it absorbs 94% more energy from strikes than a standard mouthguard. Essentially SISU have managed to offer massive improvements in protection, but still make their mouthguard smaller and less intrusive – you can hold a clear conversation with one in. This is slightly less than the level of protection offered by the SISU Max, but still well out performs existing mouthguards.
The protection comes from the perforations in the mouthguard – they look unimportant but they’re what dissipates the shock through the mouthguard, and not through your teeth. You can read all about the science behind it on the SISU Blog.
The first thing you notice about any of the SISU mouthguards is that they come completely flat, in a boomerang shape. You then need to follow the instructions included to heat it up and mould it. Unlike a boil and bite mouthguard, you don’t quite want to bite down hard and suck. Instead, it’s a slightly more delicate, lining up your teeth to the bite pad and shaping the guard mostly with your fingers and a little bit of suction.
Helpfully SISU provide a great video of how to mould it for the first time.
It is a tricky process though, and it’s very easy to make a mistake. It took me several goes to get the moulding right as the sections kept crossing and leaving a ridge, which would make a mess of your lips if left. Luckily you can keep heating the guard and reshaping it until you’re completely happy with it.
The SISU NextGen Aero Guard is available in white, black, light and dark blue, red, light and dark green, purple, orange, yellow and pink (a portion of the profits from each of the pink goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in America). The solid colours are all crisp and bold, but there’s no fancy graphics or customisation options at the moment.
This was the first SISU guard I’d ever tested, and it did take some getting used to. But that’s the beauty of the SISU mouthguards, they’re so thin that once you get over the initial strangeness of having something so small in you end up forgetting you’ve got a mouthguard in at all.
The unobtrusiveness of the mouth guard allows you to have a conversation, drink easily and even breath during rounds. I’ve even done end of class conditioning sessions with the guard still in, and it doesn’t hamper your breathing at all.
What I liked most about the SISU guard though is that you can get such a tight fit that you don’t need to bite down to keep it in place, in fact it’s often a struggle to take it out at the end of class. As we said in our review of the SISU NextGen Max, this will prevent the mouthguard from being knocked loose in the ring, which nearly lead to Michael Bisping being KO’d by Anderson Silva.
There are a few drawbacks to the SISU Guard though. Firstly the perforations in the mouthguard, while essential to allow them to be so thin, can be slightly uncomfortable against your lip, almost creating a little suction and pulling on your lip. But this is a tiny complaint, and you don’t notice as soon as you start sparring. The other issue I found with the guard was that, because of how tight it fits, when you take it off after a long training session it feels a bit like taking out a retainer – like it’s pulled on your teeth slightly. This quickly goes away, and again is quite a small complaint.
Overall the mouthguard is a fantastic product to use, and once fitted correctly just improves the experience of using a mouthguard all round.
The SISU NextGen Aero Guard is available for $24.99, which reflects the slightly lower protection offered compared to the NextGen Max, but makes the Aero a very affordable mouthguard. It may even be a better option for those who look to use a mouthguard when training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or a similar low-impact combat sport.
The Aero Guard also comes with a $35,000 one year dental warranty, slightly higher than warranties offered by companies like Shock Doctor and Under Armour. Clearly SISU are confident in their product.
You can find cheaper mouthguards, and way more expensive ones, but at the end of the day though, it’s about finding protection that you can be confident in. You want to make sure when you get punched, kicked, elbowed or even kneed in the face that your teeth are going to be as protected as can be.
+ Tight fit allows easier drinking, talking and breathing
+ High dental warranty
+ Re-mouldable if you get the fit wrong
– Can be slightly uncomfortable
– Tricky to mould
– No graphic design options
Looking to buy this?
If you’re interested in trying out the SISU Aero Guard, or even one of their other guards, such as the Max Guard or the children’s guard, head over to their website.