Best MTB Knee Pads In 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Riding mountain bikes may be not the coolest thing in the world.

But, if you are fond of adventures, with a fine Mountain bike, you may get thrilled. But hold on your imagination for a while.

Imagine the scenario, you are riding on a Mountain bike with blazing speed, all of a sudden, a little bump on the road and last thing you remember hitting the ground pretty hard. 

A bicycle rider from the Best MTB Knee Pads

This is fair enough to ruin your day and may be the last thing you would want in your ride.

But this scenario could have been avoided, if you have taken proper safety measure for your ride. Along with other safety gears, a good pair of knee pad is required. Because, in most cases, when you hit the ground, hands, head and knees take the most of the hit. These three parts of your body need to be protected properly, while you are riding.

So, here, as a mountain bike enthusiast, using my long experience of bike riding safety, I have done a complete review about Best MTB Knee Pads for you. Stick with me, you will find this review really helpful.

If you do not have enough time to read the whole review or just need a suggestion, here is your sneak peek. Have a look at it.

How To Find Best MTB Knee Pads

After getting over the confusion of whether knee pads are necessary or not, you may go straight to shop or order it online for a pair of knee pads.

But, hey, since you are spending money on this, it is better to get the best one. And for that, you should know, what are the things to consider before buying MTB knee pads. These facts below can help you find ideal knee pads for you.

Good Fit

Things are worthless, if it does not fit you good. Nicely fitting a pair of knee pads help you to get a good and tight grip on your knees and prevent slipping away. 

In short, for good fit, you have four things to consider.

  • Have a sound grip on your knees
  • Do not slip off your knees
  • Do not rub continuously on your raw skin
  • And you feel comfortable with it. 

Different brand applies different approaches to ensure good fit. But do not get confused with them. Consider four criteria I mentioned above. If the knee pad satisfies all four and obviously your budget, go for it. 

Comfort

Like the good fit, same thing applies for comfort. If the stuff you bought does not make you feel comfortable, what is the use of it?

Good fit and comfort are quite interrelated but not the same. If knee pad fits you well, chances are you feel comfortable with it but not the hundred percent. So, here is something you should look for when you seek comfort.

  • Flex along with your knee smoothly
  • Lightweight
  • Proper ventilation
  • Do not interrupt blood circulation through your knee

Durability

Durability depends on the material and the way it crafted. For knee pad, you need to put some serious attention to durability. Because every time you pedal, it flexes along with your knees, every time you hit the ground, your knee pad absorbs the lion’s share of shock. 

Generally, modern knee pads are foam padded inside for comfort. It helps to absorb the shock too. On top of that, neoprene is perfect for covering the foam protector and ensuring proper venting inside your knee area.

Brand

Best brand provides the best quality. Not just for knee pads, it is true for everything. If you are concerned about the quality or let somebody take care of all quality issues, stick with best-known brands. It may cost you a little bit more but you will get the finest product.

Best MTB Knee Pads For Money

Okay, enough preaching about how to find a great pair of MTB knee pad. Time to dive deep into the review. Below there, you will find top 10 knee guard for mountain bike that is suitable for you.

This edition of Demon Enduro knee pads will surely make a lasting companion for high impact mountain biking addicts. The neoprene material knee guards come with abrasion-resistant Kevlar front panel to safeguard your knee caps during your rides throughout the rough grounds.

Despite the sturdiness, the pair of knee pads are surprisingly lightweight, making it an ideal alternative to the strong and bulkier ones.

Superior Breathability

The sturdy bulge in the front of the knee caps may seem to be air blocking to a few. But the neoprene material makes it possible to allow plenty of airflows to add to its outstanding ventilation system. The cloth also stretches with your movement to make sure adequate air gets inside the sleeve.

Anti-Slip Silicone Bands

The sleeve doesn’t come with velcros, raising the eyebrows to a few potential customers. But you won’t have to worry about the adjustability, as both its top and bottom have been integrated with anti-slip silicone bands. The bands restrict it from hitching up or sliding down whether you’re pedaling fast through rough terrains or snowboarding.

Comfortable EVA Foam Cushion

Along with the Kevlar front, the pads are incorporated with comfortable EVA foam cushions. The cushions not only provides a soothing feel to your knee caps or skin but also prolongs the pads’ lifespan.

Pros:

  • Sturdy build
  • Comfy interior
  • Abrasion and moisture resistive

 Cons:

  • You may encounter fitment issues if not checked properly

If you happen to lose confidence while riding your bike worrying about bruised limbs, you may want to take a look at this pair of Fox Racing Launch Pro knee guards. They are designed to offer an accurate balance of comfort with the utmost protection.

Let’s take a look at some of its mentionable features down below.

Ideal for Long Rides

You can roam with your bike continuously for more than five hours, putting these knee guards on without having to worry about the wiggling of your knees. The makers have dexterously designed it with high-grade elastic materials in a way that your knees will merely feel it a bit. 

Instead, when padded on, it’ll keep your knee caps and ligaments firmly in place throughout your ride for effortless movement of the legs.

Neoprene Straps

The pads are bolstered with neoprene straps, doubled up with a velcro strap that covers them for lighter compression support. As a whole, the neoprene sleeve assures perfect fitment and additional safety around your calves.

Durable Kevlar Front

Similar to the Fox MTB knee guard we’ve discussed earlier, it comes with a  Kevlar front. The panel makes sure neither of your knees or the protection gear itself gets bruised. Also, a pre-curved protector along with a knee gripper ensures maximum safeguard to your wiggle-prone knee caps.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic fit
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • High durability
  • Exceptionally comfortable

 Cons:

  • Bulky look

If you’re up to invest in a lightweight pair of knee pads with the best ventilation system, Kali Protectives might be a decent solution for you. The fierce-looking exoskeleton is meant for those aggressive riders having a zeal for dynamic aesthetics.

Take a look at the specialties that the knee guard has to offer.

Unmatched Ventilation System

Apart from its look, the exoskeleton offers outstanding breathability with high airflow conveyance. It ensures cool and comfy knees throughout your rides while also reducing the weight for added convenience. The perforated memory foam inside it will hardly let you sweat even when you’re on the hottest trail.

Highly Protective Xelion Armor

The central protective unit of the Strike armor is Xelion-made, which refers to a futuristic nano-carbon elastic compound. Its innovative technology helps absorb the impact energies by immediately altering into heat. It then dissipates the heat across the entirety of the pad.

This dissipation of energy adds moldability to its perforated design without compromising safety. Xelion also holds up its effectiveness in extreme temperatures better than TPR, PU, or NBR foams. So you can expect it to provide inimitable flexibility beyond the harshest riding circumstances.

Anti-Slip 3D Fit

A pre-curved Xelion knee cup utilizes a 3D design for precise fitment and functioning. The makers have also designed it with the adjustability to keep the pads in places even when you pedal, crash, or tumble. It also has extra padding on its sideways for added support and grip.

Pros:

  • Outstanding breathability
  • High flexibility
  • Accurate fit with durable adjustability

 Cons:

  • Tends to get stiff in cold weather

Dakine Slayer knee pads, better known to all-round performers for the amazing comfort, breathability and protection. 

Despite not being the lightest weight on our list, the Slayer knee guards are Dakine’s most lightweight to date, having similar sturdiness like Hellions, their previous heavy-duty pads.

Thick Abrasion-Resistant Fabric

The tube-style build of this Dakine Slayers provides an adaptive, snug fit, thanks to its four-way stretch fabric. The thickness of the aramid fiber offers outstanding abrasion resistance with exceptional durability.

Soft and Flexible

Unlike EVA foams of some bulkier knee pad models, the Slayer comes with DK impact, Dakine’s very own foam material. This foam pretty much resembles VPDs and D30 materials that most brands use to provide softness and flexibility to your skin, ligaments, and shin. And it also hardens up similarly when it faces an impact.

Intelligent and Secure Bend

The pad articulates to cup around the kneecaps while the astutely designed flex points help it bend accordingly with your pedaling. No matter if you're riding or tumbling in between over-the-bar excursions, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across fitment issues.

Pros:

  • Soft-shelled sleeve style
  • Polygiene odor control
  • Superior breathability

 Cons:

  • Pulling it off can be a fuss

POC- Joint, the name may not sound compelling enough, but it has what it takes to provide both protection and coolness to those who love adventures through the dirt. The all-around knee pads promise a high level of safety, coming from a Swedish company that is dedicated to producing protective apparel.

The pads share a few similarities with the VPD Air-line range, the DH-orientated model that was released prior to this version. The combination, therefore, makes it super lightweight with an unmatched level of protection.

Let’s take a look at the noteworthy characteristics of these pads down below.

Highly Impact Resistive

Visco-elastic polymer dough (VPD) takes most of the attributes regarding the impact protection of these knee pads. The soft, pliable material blends easily with your knee structure, yet hardens up whenever there’s an impact.

Durable Polyamide Exterior

The deftly stitched fabric on its outside is a polyamide yarn, which is highly tenacious. It renders exceptional resistance to tears and cuts, playing the vital role of making it durable. This polyamide yarn is borrowed from the company’s protective line of ski-gears, where the chances of tears and cuts because of sharp edges are remarkably high.

Squishy Feel

The Joint VPD system boasts a combination of elasticized cuffs and silicone grippers that makes it soft and squishy while also providing adequate slip resistance. You’ll hardly feel anything when wearing these pillowy-soft knee pads. What makes it different is that it hardens up immediately to absorb the impact whenever you hit the ground.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Moisture resistant
  • Highly slip resistant
  • Super-soft feel

 Cons:

  • No-velcro straps and wearing requires shoe removal.

RaceFace Ambush Guard seems a bit costly for knee protector but it will pay you off with its bunch of handy features. It comes with perforated neoprene for proper venting and moisture control. The protector is built with high-performance D30 shock absorbing foam. Moreover, sides are padded with foam as well for extra comfort. 
Most of our readers reaction to this knee guard is, “Do not think twice, Just go for it”.

Here is some feature of this knee pad need to put on the limelight.

Open-Back Construction

Open-back construction allows you to remove your knee guard without removing shoes. This knee pad is super comfy, you feel like it is part of your body. But, in hot summer and long trail, you may want to put it off for a moment while you are resting. With the open-back feature, you can do this easily. No annoying shoe removal, just open the back and put it off. Save you some time too.

High-Performance D30 Foam

D30 foam both save you from the shock of crash landing and give you ultimate comfort. Using D30 foam is a brilliant idea. It remains soft and cozy until it collides with something and after then become hard and protect your knees from any unpleasant situation.

Accurate Knee Grip

During cycling, what can be more annoying than slipping knee guard of your knees? If it is extremely hot which produces excessive sweat, that has nothing to with knee pad straps. But in normal condition, slipping off is pretty annoying. 

This type of annoyance happens, when pads do not snug fit and straps are not well engineered. 
RaceFace Ambush guard ergonomic shape fits the knee very well and its rubber grab tabs will help you stick your pads with knees as long as you want.

Venting And Moisture Control

The whole guard is covered with perforated neoprene. It provides breathable space inside the guard which makes using knee guard in hot weather extremely comfortable. Also produces less sweat which helps to hold your guard in place.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • No awkward shoe removal
  • Ideal for rough trail

 Cons:

  • Gets a little hot in very long use

It is expensive and a little bit bulky. But tell you what, the day of sacrifice one thing to get another thing is over. Troy Lees Raid knee guard maintains the perfect balance between comfort and safety. In a long and crazy trail, safety is the topmost priority. But at the end of the day, you may not want a sore knee either. To ensure both concerns, Raid knee guard can be the best solution.

Let us have a look at some of its noteworthy features

Abrasion Resistant 

Raid knee pad provides high durability with its abrasion resistant front panel built with D30 high-performance material. As a devoted cyclist, you will use your knee pad often. This guards not only protect your only two knees, with abrasion resistant feature keep the knee guard itself unscathed too. 

Fit lock Calf  Band

Fit lock calf band with silicone strip is more than enough to keep the guard in place perfectly. The Fit lock is a simple idea. Slightly bent protector cup for ergonomic shape and pair it up with silicone grip, that is the recipe. More than enough gluing your kneepad around your knees.

Neoprene Cover 

Generally, all prominent brands use vented neoprene for covering the bare protector. Neoprene is not just a cover, say, it is protection layer on top of knee guard. 

Raid knee guard goes with the same neoprene cover but meshes on the back panel. It helps flowing air inside and not getting too much sweaty

Compare With Similar Items

Pros:

  • Constructed with durable material
  • High safety and comfort
  • Fit lock prevents slippage

 Cons:

  • Slightly bulky
  • No open-back construction

Before reading this review, you should know, Fox Head Launch Enduro knee pad provides light duty protection. So, if you do not want to compromise with your pedaling rate and you need some protection for your knees at the same time, this pair of guard is ideal for you. 

This lightweight knee pad comes with abrasion resistant knee cup and silicone gripper inside for preventing slippage. In simple word, it is a budget knee pad. Everything you want from a knee guard, you will get all of it at a cheap rate and obviously, quality is assured. 

Lightweight

All high budget knee pads seem to be somewhat bulky although they try their best to comfort you. These guards are comfortable to wear indeed, but any MTB enthusiast will agree with me, at some point they feel a little bit weary about these bulky high budget knee pads.

FHL Enduro Knee pad is light enough to make you feel comfortable in long ride and provide your knees best protection at the same time. Moreover, this lightweight feature enhances your pedaling efficiency by letting you spend as minimal energy as possible.

Prevent Slipping  Off

Incorporating silicone gripper may seem a little bit ambitious in this price range. Yet they incorporated this feature and works just fine with its lightweight knee pad.

Honestly, I have had some doubt about this feature whether it really works or not. So, I ask around some cyclist who used this gear and guess what, they are really satisfied. Not in one case, it slipped off. 

Comfort And Protection

At first glance, this knee pad looks like just a pair of knee warmers. But it is not. Though not the best shock absorber, it protects your knees perfectly while its abrasion resistant facility enhances the durability of the product.

Articulated and perforated neoprene wrap up the whole gear and add some necessary comfort too. 

Pros:

  • Pedal friendly
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Abrasion resistant

 Cons:

  • Light duty protection

Launch Pro knee guard from Fox Racing is one of the finest knee protection gear you will find in the market. It offers ultimate protection for your knees in any toughest mountain bike trail you will find around the world.

Launch Pro MTB knee guard comes with the pre-curved protector for ergonomic fit and perforated neoprene for proper venting facility. With the combining effort of silicone gripper on the back of the knee and elastic straps on top and bottom, you do not have to worry about slipping off of knee pads from your knees.

Pre-Curved Flexible Protector

Curved protector does two things, makes it super comfortable and ensure snug fit. It fits and flexes along with your knees so ergonomically that you will not feel like dying to take it off after an hour of ride. Adding perforated neoprene for ventilation, you have nothing left to concern about comfort and best fit.

Perfect Knee Gripper  

Sliding down the knee pad is the last thing you may want in your mountain bike trailing. What can be more annoying than babysitting an ill-fitting knee pad? 

Perfect knee gripping requires excellent fit and most importantly, enough facility to stick the pad up with legs. Launch Pro offers silicone grip on the back of knees for firm grip of knee pads. Moreover, it provides two elastic straps on top and bottom of knee pad to double ensure perfect grip on the knees.

Durable Kevlar Front 

Launch pro built for lasting long time. It adds up extra kevlar front panel to save both your knees and knee protection gear getting smashed. Along with pre-curved protector and perfect knee gripper, this high-performance kevlar front panel confirms maximum security for your only two knees.

Pros:

  • Abrasion resistant
  • Comfortable
  • Ergonomic fit

 Cons:

  • Little bit shorter below the knee

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Question: Will these pads fit perfectly to skinny legs?

Answer: Mostly, yes, as the pads come in compact sizes and stretch out according to the wearer’s knee shape. But it still depends on how skinny the legs are.

2. Question: How can I determine my size when buying a pair online?

Answer: The general measurement of knee pads are-

  1. Extra small - 15 to 17 inches.
  2. Small - 16 to 18 inches.
  3. Medium - 16.5 to 18.5 inches.
  4. Large - 18 to 21 inches.

However, the sizing may vary as per manufacturers.

3. Question: How many types of MTB knee pads are available in the market?

Answer: Basically, there are two, strap-on, and pull on. Strap ons are those, which require you to slide the sleeve on and then fasten with the given straps. Pull-on pads, on the other hand, only requires you to slide it on to your knees.

4. Question: What if I use my road bike knee pads while riding my MTB?

Answer: Well, we won’t recommend doing so unless you’re commuting with your MTB. Riding through the rough terrains and dirt are far riskier than commuting on roads or graveled pavements; hence it requires additional safeguards that your road bike knee pads most possible can’t ensure.

5. Question: Are these MTB knee pads gender-sensitive? Would it fit my girly legs?

Answer: It doesn’t actually matter as long as aesthetics is your prime concern. Also, the manufacturers produce them targeting both male and female bikers. However, you’ll find plenty of ladies knee pads out there in the market as well.

Conclusion

I am so glad that you read the whole review with patience. Last thing, I want to say, buying a MTB knee pad is not rocket science but if you do some research before getting one, it will help you a lot.

These Top 10
Best MTB knee pads are handpicked by me. I used almost all of them and wrote what I felt while using them. You may not or maybe agree with me on this list. I just tried to help you find a pair of MTB knee pad.

Good luck with your trailing!


5/5 - (1 vote)

Last update on 2022-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API