7 Best MTB Knee Pads – Protection and Comfort Altogether! (Spring 2022)

In this guide, we’ll review 7 of the best mountain bike knee pads as well as highlight the top factors you should consider before making a purchase.
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Last updatedLast updated: March 28, 2022
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Mountain biking is now more exciting than ever, owing to the fact that modern models are very powerful and fast. This then enhances their downhill performance, and while this is thrilling, it also comes with an increased chance of crashing. Unfortunately, when it comes to mountain biking safety equipment, most people focus on helmets & shoes and often overlook knee pads until they need them most.

A great pair of knee pads is a critical element of your equipment arsenal. We reviewed the best MTB Knee Pads models in the market right now based on factors such as ventilation, peerless protection, and comfort. We have also compiled a comprehensive buying guide that highlights the top factors that you should consider before making a purchase. Let’s dive into it!

Top 7 MTB Knee Pads Review 2022

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9.9
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9.8
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9.9
1
Editor’s Choice

7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads

Features
  • Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Color: black
  • Material: SAS Tech, blend

Other features: slip-on design, 4-way stretch fabric, silicone leg grippers

Chances are that as you were looking for the best MBT knee pads, the 7iDP Sam Hill model showed up multiple times. Well, they’re so good that Sam Hill, the downhill legend, and Enduro World Champ had no option but to put his name on them. They come with protective knee caps that don’t impact your movements and a 4-way stretch feature to ensure your movement is restricted.

One of the main reasons why these knee pads are insanely popular is that they are race-worthy. Their padding is extensive, so more parts of your legs will be covered, and the fabric used is breathable, so you’ll stay cool as you cycle. All these features combined result in highly protective knee pads. 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads also have silicone leg grippers that ensure they stay on.

What are its best features?

  • Everything about these knee pads screamed quality, and we couldn't help but fall in love with them. They hit that sweet spot between protection, comfort, and affordability, which is hard to come by. We also love their SAS-TEC foam cup that's flexible enough to allow you to pedal with ease but also harden on impact to offer you maximum protection.

What could be improved?

  • While the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads are our top pick, we noticed that they can be slightly stiff, especially at the beginning of a cold ride. We also realized that they are primarily effective for downhill rides and can be slightly uncomfortable for uphill cycling sessions. Overall, these knee pads are the best in the market, and we enjoyed using them.
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Chosen by 3654 people in the past 30 days
9.7
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9.4
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9.4
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9.6
9.7
Features
  • Size: M
  • Color: black
  • Material: PU foam

Other features: D3O insert, Jacquard loop system, meets CE EN 1621/1 standards.

The Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads are our premium pick, and here’s why; even though they are relatively pricey, they’re worth every dime you spend on them. The manufacturer collaborated with D30, that’s a well-known impact protection specialist, to enhance your safety. These knee pads also come with a Jacquard loop system to ensure they stay in place all day long and meet meets CE EN 1621/1 standards.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing features of these pads is their ghost protection. This type of limb protection is one of the most flexible and thinnest, yet it exceeds the set impact standards. These pads also have a compact construction, so you can easily put them in your backpack when you don’t need them. They are also highly comfortable and have an open grid structure that enhances ventilation.

What stands out?

  • The Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads came with multiple features that we loved, including the D30 insert, which are not only lightweight but also offers sufficient protection and breathable shock absorption. These pads also have a hard shell that came in handy when we were riding on rough terrains, as well as Hook-and-loop straps that kept them in place throughout our cycling sessions.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Most features of the Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads are premium, but we noticed that they don't offer penetration protection. This means that if you fall on sharp objects, you could sustain injuries. We also realized that even though the closed cap knee pads provide sufficient protection, they don't offer much ventilation, and this can result in slight discomfort.
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3
Features
  • Size: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Color: black
  • Material: Cordura, dual-density DK Impact

Other features: CE certified, Polygiene Odor Control technology

The Dakine Slayer model is proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a good pair of knee pads. These pads strike the perfect balance between affordability and functionality and are available in most sizes. So rest assured that you’ll find a pair that fits. They come in a sleek black color and have effective foam padding that protects you against torn ligaments and broken bones.

In the past, Dakine’s knee pads were mainly focused on gravity, but the Slayer is all rounded. It guarantees all-day comfort and has an impressive minimalist design. For instance, the Dakine Slayer doesn’t come with buckles or straps, and you simply slide the pads on. This model has a pre-curved fit design that enhances comfort by ensuring the pads don’t bend against your knees when you’re riding.

What are its best features?

  • We were impressed by the Dakine Slayer’s minimalistic profile and its foam padding that ensures full-day comfort. We also loved the Polygiene Odor Control technology that allows you to ride for long periods without getting stinky. This is because the Polygiene tech absorbs the odor, keeping you fresh for longer. These pads are especially useful for long-distance riding sessions.

What could be improved?

  • Even though the Dakine Slayer offers the best value for money, we noticed that the main pads become stiffer as you ride. This then induces a slight feeling of discomfort and significantly makes it difficult to take off the pads. This is further enhanced by the fact that these knee pads don’t have buckles or straps. We also realized that the Dakine Slayer is a little warmer compared to other models.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 7705 people in the past 30 days
9.5
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.2
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.4
Features & Benefits
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9.1
9.5
Features
  • Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Color: grey
  • Material: flexible viscoelastic polymer, mesh

Other features: LoopLock closings, Flow Evo+

The IXS Unisex Flow Evo knee pads are one of the most popular and premium models in the market, and it’s not hard to see why. They guarantee high levels of comfort and are the perfect fit. They’re available in 5 sizes; small, medium, large, extra-large, and XXL. These knee pads are light, super thin, and compact enough to fit in any backpack. They also have  LoopLock closings for easy adjustments.

One of the features that sets the IXS Unisex Flow Evo knee pads aside from the rest is the Viscoelastic polymer that’s flexible enough to absorb force upon impact without impacting your range of motion. This foam is very strong and can take on impact multiple times and in the same spot without losing its shock-absorbing properties. Most importantly, we loved that these knee pads can also be used by racers.

Why did it make our list?

  • We really loved the aero mesh feature of these knee pads. This material is lightweight and has been fully optimized for moisture-wicking and breathability. This ensured that we remained sweat-free even after long rides. We also loved the great design and build & the fact that the pads kept us protected even in rough terrains without compromising on comfort.

What is not ideal about it?

  • Even though these pads are typically great, we realized that they run small. We recommend that you get the next size up if your fit is a little close. There have also been some complaints regarding product delivery, but other than that, they're a great buy, and we'd recommend them, especially if you're riding on rough terrains.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8503 people in the past 30 days
9.4
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.0
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.3
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.2
9.4
5
Best Color Variety

POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pads

Features
  • Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Color: black, brown, blue
  • Material: synthetic rubber

Other features: highly ventilated, anti-slip neoprene lining, Velcro fastening

The POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pads are flexible and can be used for all MTB rides. They’re highly durable and come with a tenacious shell that can withstand all kinds of abrasion abuse. They also come with an anti-slip neoprene lining that keeps them in place throughout your ride, as well as Velcro fastening. These pads also guarantee breathable comfort thanks to the perforated ventilation.

One of the elements that set these MTP knee pads aside from the rest is that they come with a VPD padding that is highly pliable but then stiffens during impact. This allows them to evenly distribute force, preventing you from fall injuries and heavy blows. These pads are also highly flexible and can be worn when riding uphill without feeling restrictive. They also have Kevlar-reinforced stitching for durability.

What do we love it for?

  • We were fully blown away by the visco-elastic polymer dough that disperses pressure upon impact. This kind of protection is hard to come by in similar models in the market. The POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pads are also flexible enough for uphill rides and are made with synthetic rubber that enhances comfort. We were also impressed by the quality stitching.

What were we disappointed with?

  • While the POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pads have impressive features, we noticed that the visco-elastic polymer dough part was a bit curved. This causes them to dig into the shins, which can get very uncomfortable, especially on long rides. We also didn't like the design, and while they work great and offer effective protection, for such a high price, the design could be better.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 3535 people in the past 30 days
9.3
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.1
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.9
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.9
9.3
Features
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Color: black
  • Material: D3O foam, perforated neoprene

Other features: woven upper elastic comfort strap, Kevlar front shield

Most knee pad models in the market have one shortcoming; basic designs. This is because manufacturers focus on functionality and completely neglect the aesthetic appeal aspect of the pads. Well, the Demon D3O Hyper Knee/Shin Mountain Bike Knee Pads are not only made of high-quality material but are also very comfortable. They have a woven upper elastic comfort strap and a Kevlar front shield for full protection.

The Demon D3O Hyper Knee/Shin Mountain Bike Knee Pads are unique in that they can also be used on motorcycles. The front shield, in particular, is critical when it comes to protecting you against injuries caused by rocks and hard dirt. These knee pads also come with a perforated neoprene that comes in handy when it comes to moisture control. They also have wicking that’s lined for enhanced comfort.

Why did it make our list?

  • We were extremely impressed by the quality of these knee pads. They have moisture control technology that prevents you from getting sweaty during your ride. These pads also come with a comfort strap that's woven & elastic to ensure that your knee pads don't ride down. Most importantly, we loved the design. Few models have a badass design, and the Demon D3O Hyper Knee is one of them.

What is not ideal about it?

  • These high-performance and shock-absorbing knee pads are undoubtedly one of the best in the market, but they have one major flaw; their sizing. We noticed that their sizes run small, so if your measurements are close, you should get the next size up. We thought the pads would fit, but they ended up being slightly smaller and a bit tighter than we'd have liked.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 3285 people in the past 30 days
9.1
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.9
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.0
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.6
9.1
7
Features
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Color: black
  • Material: D30 foam, mesh

Other features: pull-on closure, CE certified, hook and loop adjuster

If you’re looking for knee pads that offer the perfect combination of value focused-build and impact-absorbing protection, then look no further than the Fox Head Men’s Launch D30 Knee Guards. This model is available in 3 sizes; small, medium & large and are made from mesh and breathable D30 foam. These pads are also lightweight and come with a slip-on design.

Compared to most knee pads models in the market, the Fox Head Men’s Launch D30 Knee Guard offers more coverage as it extends slightly below the shin. This model also has impressive ventilation capabilities thanks to its open mesh design combined with a moisture-wicking build. This makes it the best option for long rides, especially when the weather is overbearingly hot.

What makes it stand out?

  • We loved the easy slip-on design and the hook and loop adjuster that kept the knee pads in place. The Fox Head Men's Launch D30 Knee Guards also have a beautiful design that's not only comfortable but also gives you a confidence boost all day long. Most importantly, the ventilation technology ensured that we stayed cool throughout the ride, irrespective of how hot it was.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • We noticed that even though the Fox Head Men's Launch D30 Knee Guards have impressive features, they don't offer sufficient protection against falls, especially on the sides. This is highly inconvenient, especially when you're riding on rough terrains. We also realized that these knee pads have poor seams and sometimes they require stitching after a session.

Things to Consider

According to CNN Trusted Source Bike injuries are on the rise, but there's still reason to ride Riding a bike as an adult, it’s just like … well, riding a bike, right? But for all its fitness benefits and trendiness among commuters, older cyclists are part of a big increase in injuries while biking. edition.cnn.com , cycling accidents are on the rise. You can, however, protect yourself by ensuring you have all the necessary safety gear, including high-quality knee pads. Interestingly, some mountain bikers consider their shin and knee scars as a source of pride, but if you enjoy having smooth shins, you should definitely get knee pads. They not only keep you warm on cold days but also help with insurance claims in major accidents as well as protect you from impact.
In this guide, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about buying the best pair of knee pads, including the top factors that you should consider.

How to Pick the Best MTB Knee Pads

If you’ve been researching the best MTB knee pads, then you’ve probably noticed that there’s an overwhelming number of models in the market. How do you choose the best ones? Here are the top considerations.

Your Riding Style

7 Best MTB Knee Pads - Protection and Comfort Altogether! (Spring 2022)

Make sure the knee pads model you choose suits your riding style

Every mountain biker is unique, and the riding style varies. For instance, there are hardcore cyclists, recreational riders, as well as shuttle-only gravity riders. Make sure you go for a knee pads model that suits your riding style. For instance, if you’re mostly a downhill race, then the perfect option is the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads. They will not only enhance your riding performance but ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the ride.

Size and Fit

Your preferred MTB knee pads should be greatly influenced by the size of your shin. This is the only way you’ll end up buying a model that fits. For instance, if you get knee pads that are too small, they’ll end up feeling tight and ultimately uncomfortable. On the other hand, if the knee pads are too big, they keep falling off, thereby impacting your riding performance.

The good news is that most knee pads, such as the IXS Unisex Flow Evo come in various sizes, so you’ll easily find one that fits. You should, however, be cautious because some sizes run too small. Go through the reviews to find out whether some customers have issues with the sizing and then choose the next size up where applicable. Some models come with fastening straps or silicon strips to keep the pads in place but even then, you need to get a model that is a snug fit.

Materials and Technologies

The kneepad’s materials and technologies have an intricate relationship with the protection they offer and their level of comfort. Keep in mind that the best knee pads should be flexible enough so that they don’t impact your motion but also have enough to absorb shock and perfect you from impact.

Pay close attention to the protective caps; what are they made of? If you fall, will they shatter from impact? Do they offer penetrative protection?

One of the most important considerations when it comes to the material is its breathability. Cycling can get really sweaty, and if your kneepads don’t provide sufficient ventilation, the moisture could build-up, causing extreme discomfort.

Straps vs. Sleeves

There are 2 main types of knee pads; those with a slip-on design, such as the Fox Head Men’s Launch D30 Knee Guard and others with straps & sleeves like the iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads. Most of the time, your decision should be based on your preferences, but you should factor in how well the pads fit. For instance, if you go for slip-on knee pads, they need to be a great fit; otherwise, they’ll keep falling off during your ride. On the other hand, if your preferred model comes with sleeves or straps, you should ensure that it’s not small; otherwise, you could sustain painful friction burns.

Other Features

7 Best MTB Knee Pads - Protection and Comfort Altogether! (Spring 2022)

Most knee pads models come with flexible protective foam that allows you to cycle comfortably and absorbs impact

Some of the other factors that you should consider include:

  • Comfort: no matter how good your preferred knee pads are, if they aren’t comfortable, then they’re completely useless. Some of the aspects that you should consider when determining comfort include the size of your shin, fit, and material of the kneepads.
  • Protection: the protective features of knee pads are critical in keeping you safe from impact and nasty falls. Most models come with flexible but protective foam that allows you to cycle comfortably but can absorb impact even when you’re riding on rough terrains.
  • Ventilation: riding on a hot summer day is very refreshing until your knee pads get sweaty. Make sure the material used to make the pads have moisture-absorbing qualities to reduce discomfort from moisture build-up.
  • Design: most knee pad models focus on functionality but completely ignore aesthetic appeal, yet it’s equally as important. Go for a brand that not only feels good but also looks good. This will give you a much-needed confidence boost.

FAQ

Yes. Mountain biking is very exciting, but it can be risky. According to the Telegraph Trusted Source Cycling more dangerous in countryside than cities, ONS figures reveal Cycling in the countryside is more dangerous than in city centres, official figures have shown as ‘mamils’ are more at risk of being seriously injured or killed in picturesque country lanes. www.telegraph.co.uk , the risk of riding in the countryside is much higher than in cities. This can be attributed to the fact that the countryside has rougher terrain, which increases the risk of falls. So, make sure knee pads are part of your safety arsenal.

Yes. Riding with knee pads is always slightly hotter than riding bare. However, you can ease the discomfort that comes with too much heat by buying knee pads made with materials that provide sufficient ventilation. This makes them more breathable and ultimately more comfortable.

Our Verdict

Based on our review of the best MTB Knee Pads, our top 3 picks are the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads, the Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads, and the Dakine Slayer Knee Pad. The 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pads are our top choice because they are comfortable, fairly priced, and have impressive protective features. The Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads come with premium features such as a flexible D30 insert that’s flexible enough that they don’t impact your motion but hard enough to absorb impact. Finally, if you’re looking for an affordable model that offers all the important features, we recommend the Dakine Slayer Knee Pad.

References

1.
Bike injuries are on the rise, but there's still reason to ride
Riding a bike as an adult, it’s just like … well, riding a bike, right? But for all its fitness benefits and trendiness among commuters, older cyclists are part of a big increase in injuries while biking.
2.
Cycling more dangerous in countryside than cities, ONS figures reveal
Cycling in the countryside is more dangerous than in city centres, official figures have shown as ‘mamils’ are more at risk of being seriously injured or killed in picturesque country lanes.
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