Issue #036 Review

The Lab: Bluegrass Skinny D3O Knee Pad in review

In the “The Lab” we present the latest products and put them through their paces for you. Some undergo long-term tests, while we check others out only briefly. This time we reveal how the Bluegrass Skinny D3O Knee Pad fared.

There are many occasions when less is more; where simplicity and clarity lead to good design. Nowhere is that more evident than with lightweight knee pads. We don’t want to ride round in uncomfortable hard plastic pads anymore, looking like players in an ice hockey match. Luckily there are now a huge range of pads on the market that offer lightweight protection and a very comfortable fit. Unfortunately, some of these offer as much protection in a crash as a car made out of egg-shells, and are basically just expensive knee warmers. The Skinny D3O pads are different, they are Bluegrass’ premium ‘lightweight’ pad, and feature a full length D3O insert, a material that performed very well in our lab tests.

The D3O padding performed very well in our tests and is far superior to the standard closed cell foam used in some pads.
A long sleeve helps keep the pads in place, ensuring they don’t spin round and helping avoid the dreaded ‘gap’.
The contoured knee pocket is supremely comfortable, without any rubbing or chafing.

UK tester Trev has been testing a pair of medium pads for the last two months. After a number of big knee operations, Trev will not leave the house without knee pads on, and has a pathological hatred of uncomfortable pads that slip down or pinch behind the knee. He was pleased with the Skinny D3O pads from the start. A highlight is the long breathable sleeves which extend further up (and down) the leg than many other options, for more security, holding the pad in place when pedalling and stopping them spinning round when you crash. Sizing seems a little on the small size and the firm silicone cuffs mean they feel a little tight when first pulled on, but once they soften up a little you forget they are there. The thickness of the D3O pad insert is confidence inspiring and the 3D shaping cups the knee beautifully without rubbing your knee cap. In fact the body contouring design is exceptionally well executed, looking great and fitting close to the skin. The pad is stitched into the lining but there have been no issues with many trips through the washing machine and tumble dryer.

Conclusion

The Bluegrass Skinny D3O is a fantastic knee pad, the D3O pad insert is reassuringly thick but conforms beautifully to the shape of the leg. On the trail they don’t slip when pedalling and look great, but limited adjustability means correct fit is crucial. Top gear.

Strenghts

  • long sleeves boost stability
  • excellent balance of protection and comfort
  • minimalism perfected

Weaknesses

  • No adjustment so correct fit is vital

Tester Trev
Duration 2 months
More information bluegrasseagle.com
Price € 99

Words & Photos: Trev Worsey

About the author

Trev Worsey

Trevor loves adventure. Whisky, riding his bike and everything in between. Though he was born in England, he believes he should have been Scottish. Besides being accustomed to bad weather he's a specialist when it comes to steep and demanding trails. Once, he was in love with competition and raced in the early years of the EWS, but now, at 41-years-old, he no longer has anything to prove. Nonetheless, demonstrating that you can teach an old dog new tricks, he continues to hold his own against the wild and fearless youth. As a reminder of his new role as a father, the words “Think about Brook." (his son) are inscribed on his top tube as a gentle warning against unruly riding. Together with his young family and two crazy dogs, you will almost always find him outdoors. Whether it's teaching Brook to ride trails, hammering out gravel loops, surfing, skiing or canoeing, he’ll be there no matter the weather, like a true Scotsman.