AMPLIFI is a Bavarian sports equipment brand that specialises in the manufacture of protectors, bags and accessories for ski, snowboard and mountain biking. With its Level 2 certification, the Havok Knee Zip should ensure a high level of protection. In our lab test, it ranked second right behind the POC Joint VPD 2.0 Knee, measuring 11 kN residual force at 3.8 ms. However, at 213 g and €119, it also ranks alongside the heaviest and most expensive pads in the test field.

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

Weight per pad 213 g | Price € 119.99 | Certification Level 2 | Removable Insert No
Fastening System Velcro Strap thigh end | Lab Test Results 11 kN at 3.8 ms | Manufacturer’s website

The sleeve combines a firm, abrasion resistant Kevlar fabric at the front and sides with a slightly lighter material on the upper calf, while a thin mesh covers the hollow of the knee. The Level 2 protector is sewn firmly into the sleeve and is complemented by smaller foam pads – but these add very little to the protective qualities of the pads. A Velcro fastener keeps the Havok Knee Zip firmly attached to the leg while embossed foam rubber along the hems of the pad prevent it from slipping. As a special feature, the AMPLIFI added a zip on the side of the pad, which makes it easier to put on and take off with shoes.

The lateral zipper allows you to put on and remove the Havok knee pad without having to take your shoes off.
The Velcro fastener on the thigh-end is very long, making it hard to secure the strap tightly.
Despite using a very light mesh at the back of the knee, the AMPLIFI Havok presses against the skin when bending the leg.
The calf-end of the sleeve has a rather loose cut.

The AMPLIFI Havok Knee Zip on the trail

Not only does the lateral zip make it easy to put on the AMPLIFI Havok but also allows you to remove it quickly without having to take off your shoes, for example before starting a long climb or when you have already put your shoes on before you remembered your pads – and let’s be honest, we’ve all done that at some point! The Velcro fastener on the thigh-end is very long, making it hard to tighten the strap properly. On top of that, the sleeve’s calf-end is cut wide, which makes it easier to secure the zipper but also creates a loose fit, causing the pads to slip on rough bike park descents and while pedalling. Unfortunately, the shape of the sleeve creates some pressure at the back of the knee, which can be uncomfortable on long rides.


  • Zip makes it easier to put on and take off the pads


  • Loose fit
  • Pressure points at the back of the knee

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The test field

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

All kneepads in test: 100% Teratec Plus (Click for review) | Alpinestars Paragon Plus (Click for review) | AMPLIFI Havok | Chromag Rift Knee Guard (Click for review) | Fox Launch D3O (Click for review) | Ion K Lite (Click for review) | iXS FLOW EVO+ (Click for review) | Leatt AirFlex Pro (Click for review) | Ortema GP5 Knee Protector (Click for review) | Pearl Izumi Elevate Knee Guard V1 (Click for review) | POC Joint VPD 2.0 Knee (Click for review) | Rapha Trail Knee Pad (Click for review) | Scott Soldier 2 (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage (Click for review)

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Words: Lars Arendt Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Lars Arendt

Show Lars a drop and he'll be in the air a few moments later. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and his three children compete at downhill races on their enduro bikes. There's got to be a side to him that balances out all that action and it's largely hidden in the backend of websites and communication tools. Lars converts our articles into beautiful HTML so that you can enjoy the content of our websites at the standard of quality you've come to expect.