Fox Racing is an American manufacturer that specialises in the manufacture of technical clothing and protection for motocross and mountain biking. The Launch D3O® is their medium-gauge, Level 1 certified knee pad, which is designed for daily trail adventures. The sleeve is made entirely of a sturdy material and features a Velcro fastener both at the thigh- and calf-end.

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

Weight per pad 207 g | Price € 84.99 | Certification Level 1 | Removable Insert No
Fastening System Velcro strap thigh top and bottom | Lab Test Results 19 kN at 2.7 ms
Manufacturer’s website

Despite the opening at the back of the knee, we recommend slipping on the Launch D30® before you put your shoes on. Both the € 84.99 price tag and our lab test results (19 kN at 2.7 ms) place it in the middle of our test field. The insert is sewn into the sleeve and can’t be removed. At 207 g, the Launch D3O® is one of the heavier pads in this test. The main protector is complemented with smaller lateral pads, but these provide minimal additional protection.

The thigh-end Velcro strap can be secured tightly but is a little short for muscly thighs.
The cut-out at the back of the knee pinches your skin and doesn’t look great either.
The sleeve of the Fox Launch D30® is pretty robust, which prevents the pad from slipping but at the same time makes for a rather warm inner climate.

The Fox Launch D3O® on the trail

The firm material of the sleeve makes it rather hard to slip the Fox Launch D3O® over the knee. The sturdy Velcro fasteners can be secured tightly, ensuring a firm fit on the leg. However, the top strap is relatively short, which could be a problem for riders with muscly thighs. Once it’s on, the Launch D3O® offers an excellent fit and doesn’t slip, even on rough descents. Hot summer rides and long climbs, however, expose the dark side of the sturdy material, which offers poor ventilation and makes your legs sweat under the pad – and the cut-out in the hollow of the knee doesn’t make much of a difference either. Moreover, the fabric pinches your skin when you bend the knee and the cut-out at the back isn’t a great look.


  • Excellent fit


  • Very warm
  • Cutout at the back of the knee is uncomfortable and doesn’t look great

You can find out more about at

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 (Click for review) | Chromag Rift Knee Guard (Click for review) | Fox Launch D3O | 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: Simon Kohler Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.