Rapha was founded in London as a fashion-focused clothing brand for road cyclists. However, in 2021, the Brits have officially jumped on the MTB wagon. The aptly-named Trail Knee Pad is made of a stiff yet stretchy material with a removable insert. This is lined with SuperFabric, which is far more robust than the main sleeve material but still very thin and light.

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

Weight per pad 182 g | Price € 95.00 | Certification Level 2 | Removable Insert Yes
Fastening System Elastic Strap | Lab Test Results 14 kN at 2.1 ms | Manufacturer’s website

Both on the thigh- and calf-end, an offset elastic strap with longitudinally arranged silicone strips prevents the knee pad from slipping – Rapha forgo Velcro fasteners altogether. As one of the few protectors in this test, the Rapha Trail Kneepad is Level 2 certified, measuring an impressive 14 kN residual force in the lab and thus offering an excellent level of protection despite its thin insert. Moreover, the Rapha tips the scales at 182 g and retails at € 95, placing it in the midfield both in terms of weight and price.

The Rapha Trail Kneepad forgoes Velcro fasteners and relies on a slip-on sleeve design with anti slip silicone strips, thus ensuring an excellent and secure fit.
The SuperFabric on the front panel might look thin but is surprisingly robust.
The protector stretches far down the shin, providing excellent protection.
The thin insert of the Rapha Trail Kneepad ensures a discreet look but still offers one of the highest levels of protection in the entire test field.

The Rapha Trail Kneepad on the trail

The Rapha Trail Kneepad is easy to slip on, but the long thigh-end makes it harder to put it on if you’re already wearing shorts. Once it’s in place, the Rapha has an excellent fit without causing uncomfortable pressure points. The sleeve also extends far down the calf, offering additional protection both on the lower section of the knee and the upper shin. Rapha’s Trail Knee Pad offers the highest level of comfort in the entire test field, even on a long day in the saddle – and you could probably leave it on for dinner and completely forget about it! However, the slightly sturdier sleeve material doesn’t let much air through, which leads to a relatively warm inner climate. Nevertheless, all testers were impressed with the overall performance of the Rapha Trail Knee Pad, which offers a high level of protection, top wearing comfort and an excellent fit, thus striking the best balance in the entire test field and securing the coveted Best in Test badge in our 2022 trail knee pad group test!


  • High level of protection despite the thin protector
  • High level of comfort
  • Secure fit
  • Protector stretches far down the shin


  • Not the best ventilation in this test

You can find out more about at rapha.cc.

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 (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 | Scott Soldier 2 (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage (Click for review)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

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.