No longer the preserve of freeriders or competitive downhillers, today there is no excuse for trail and enduro riders not to wear the extra bit of protection. Lightweight knee pads are designed for all-day, unimpeded protection – the perfect solution for long climbs and fast-paced after-work rides!
The lightweight category has seen many new entries over recent years, which explains the diversity of this test field. These types of knee pads are noticeably lighter than their heavy-duty cousins and usually offer better ventilation. There is a vast choice of protectors on the market – from classic foam pads to sophisticated gel materials. While the best performing models in this class can offer similar protection to heavy-duty models, the lightweight pads scored noticeably lower points in the lab on average.
Compared to our previous knee pad group test we decided to adopt much stricter test criteria: this time around we ditched all knee pads that don’t include proper damping material. The 661 Recon Knee is the only model in our test which doesn’t carry a certification and is therefore excluded from the actual group test, although it’s worth mentioning that its 153 grams are still able to offer some protection.
Designed for all-day usage, these lightweight knee pads tend to sacrifice the features that would help you put them on or take them off more easily. Gimmick-free, these are the best companions for long rides and scenarios in which low weight and ventilation are prioritised over maximum protection.
|661 Recon Knee|
|Dainese Trailskins 2|
|G-Form Elite Knee Guards|
|iXS FLOW EVO|
|Leatt AirFlex Pro|
|POC Joint VPD System Knee|
|SCOTT Soldier 2|
|Sweet Protection Bearsuit Light Knee Pads|
The lightweight category was considerably more diverse, but a number of very defined sub-groups formed during our test. For those who don’t want to compromise on protection you should opt for the Sweet Protection Bearsuit Light or the iXS FLOW EVO. In the lab they’re easily able to rival the more heavy-duty protectors. If you’re after something lighter and don’t mind compromising on the level of protection, the Leatt AirFlex Pro demonstrates the best compromise between protection, weight, packing size and comfort. On hot days the open construction of the Dainese Trailskins 2 will be a true godsend, while the POC Joint VPD System Knee delivered virtually unrivalled comfort. At the end the Bearsuit Light Knee Pads are best in test, with the lightweight Leatt AirFlex Pro being best value.