Best MTB Knee Pads

by John Wren

Mountain biking is a great hobby – exercise, adventure, fresh air, endurance, mental and physical alertness combined in one.

But you know the truth. It doesn’t matter much how good you are – the very nature of the hobby means there’s a chance you’ll come off your bike, and if and when that happens, you need to protect all the extra vulnerable parts of your body.

First of all the head, but next and almost as vital, all the joints that mean if you come off your bike, you’ll still be able to peddle home, rather than being stranded on the trail.

Knee pads are no joke. They need to be strong and they need to be effective in keeping your knees safe.

But as with everything in biking, there’s a myriad of companies out there making knee pads.

How do you choose which are the best for you? Let us help you out and keep you peddling, with the best MTB knee pads on the market.

Best MTB Knee Pads – Reviews

Bestseller No. 1
Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Pro
  • Super slim and lightweight, AirFlex impact gel protection
  • Side and upper knee impact protection
  • Pre-curved design for optimal fit and function
  • Silicone printed, cupped knee grip
  • Premium comfort using MoistureCool and AirMesh wicking fabrics
Bestseller No. 2
POC Joint VPD Air Knee MTB Armor Aragonite Brown XSM
  • Lightweight and impact absorbing comfort pad
  • No unnecessary bulk gives exceptional freedom of movement
  • Won't scuff and tear in a fall
  • Keeps the pad securely in place during a crash
  • Keeps the pad secure and comfortable while pedalling
Bestseller No. 3
Fox Racing Launch Pro D3O Mountain Bike Knee Guard, Black, Large
  • LAUNCH PRO D30 KNEE GUARD: The Launch Pro D3O Knee Guards leverage our relationship with D3O and combines that technology with a removable hard cap for bulletproof durability and top tier mountain...
  • D30: The D3O CE certified build allows the MTB knee guard to stay flexible for ease of movement and comfort, but upon impact, they instantly harden to dissipate the force of the crash.
  • ALL DAY COMFORT: The Launch Pro D3O Knee Guards have a breathable, moisture wicking construction for all day comfort.
  • NEOPRENE FABRIC: Features a perforated neoprene and stretch material. Provides optimal function for the best performance.
  • FOX RACING: Fox has maintained its position as the innovation leader in the MX industry by designing and producing motocross gear and apparel for the worlds best riders
Bestseller No. 4
Fox Racing Launch D3O Mountain Bike Knee Guard, Medium, Black
  • LAUNCH D30 KNEE GUARDS: The Launch D3O Knee Guards offer an excellent combination of impact-absorbing protection with a value-focused build
  • D30: The CE certified D3O insert works seamlessly with the slip-on design to provide all-day comfort and confidence
  • Order one size up. Guard runs small and should fit snug
  • NONSLIP: Slip-on fit with hook and loop adjuster
  • STAY DRY AND COOL: The moisture-wicking, open mesh design improves airflow and helps to reduce overheating hot rides
Bestseller No. 5
G-Form Pro-X3 Mountain Bike Knee Guards - Knee Pads for Men & Women - Black/White, Adult Medium
  • May Run Small: Please consult the size chart and check your measurements before ordering; this item tends to run small
  • Mountain Bike Knee Pads: Body-mapped, impact-absorbing SmartFlex pads offer form-fitting protection that stays flexible during rides but hardens on impact
  • Knee Compression Sleeve: This pad for knee support has a ventilated inner foam layer that allows for maximum protection, comfort, and breathability
  • Adult Knee Protector: Knee sleeves have grippers at the top and bottom to keep guards in place; compression sleeve is PPE II certified and ideal for BMX
  • Padded Mountain Biking Knee Guard: These biker knee pads help you stay cool with moisture-wicking, UPF 50+ fabric; waterproof pads are machine washable
Bestseller No. 6
100% Teratec Mountain Biking Knee Pad - MTB & BMX Protection - Ultralight Nylon Slip On Sleeve with Built in Padding
  • Impact tested and certified to CE EN 1621-1:2012 Level 3
  • Sleek, comfortable slip-on sleeves
  • Completely pre-curved chassis for attack position
  • Nylon, anti-abrasion, outer skin
  • Mobility flex joint for smooth articulation
Bestseller No. 7
Dakine Slayer Knee Sleeve - Black, Large
  • Our lightest, lowest profile, most breathable knee pad
  • Perforated DK Impact energy absorbing foam technology
  • Aramid ripstop shell
  • Polygiene Odor Control technology
  • Seamless calf band and silicone gripper elastic keep pad in place

Best MTB Knee Pads – Buyers Guide

When buying MTB knee pads, you need to ask yourself a handful of questions before you click the ‘buy’ button.

Where Are You Going?

Consider the terrain over which you intend to travel – it’ll have an impact on what elements of knee pad protection are most important to you. Jagged, rocky terrain? Splash out for the heavier tech solutions with their shock-dissipation systems.

Sunny, sweaty endurance riding? Look for sweat-wicking, breathability and light weight in your knee pads to keep you as cool as possible for as long as possible.

How Big’s Your Budget?

This ties in to the question of what kind of riding you intend to do. How much can you afford to invest in a set of knee pads? But also, how much do you enjoy falling down?

It would generally be a false economy to prioritize cheapness over protection, because the feeling of inadequate protection, when you need something more, is the feeling of ‘Should have spent a little more’ coming back to haunt you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better? Velcro straps or silicone strips?

Honestly, there’s no ‘better’ about this division, and both make it onto our list. As long as you can be sure the pad won’t move at a crucial moment and take its protection with it, you’re fine.

Why is ‘breathability’ a factor?

You’re working your knees hard, for long periods, inside a protective capsule. You’re going to sweat, which will be wet, hot and uncomfortable. The more breathable your knee pad is, the less uncomfortable it will be. That translates to more riding for longer periods in greater comfort than is possible in an entirely enclosed knee pad.

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