Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (2023)

The new mountain bikes out there are now faster and even more powerful. More so, the biking sport has evolved over the years and has now been taken a lot further with modern downhill techniques. But with these techniques come higher risks of crashing and sustaining injury particularly around the knee region of the body. You often find yourself pushing hard on the limits of the bike though rough terrains and rowdy paths, a miss may bring a fatal blow to your knee caps. Of course, crashing can almost not be totally done away with but you can always protect your knees with the right pair of knee pads.

Knee pads have come a long way, in fact, they have now been improved exquisitely well in order to meet the safety demands of an everyday rider. Knee pads are an integral part of most riders’ arsenal and for those that really take safety seriously, they almost can’t step out to the trails without it. With knee pads, you can relatively give your knees the same level of protection as a helmet would offer your head. If you accidentally hit the ground, a fine pair of knee caps will definitely protect your knees from getting bruised or grazed. Even if things get really bad, you can at least expect these knee pads to protect your knee caps from getting fractured.

There are tons of knee caps in the market which offer comfort, protection, ventilation as well as fit. But with varying level or qualities comes the difficulty of choosing the best for you. This guide is therefore going to help you come closer to the best out there so you wouldn’t have to search further again.

Kali Protectives StrikeSuperior Ventilation & BreathabilityPRICING
IXS Flow Evo+AeromeshPRICING
POC Joint VPD 2.0Elastic StrapsPRICING
Fox Racing Launch ProSlip-on Closure SystemPRICING
Sweet ProtectionDetachable Shock ElementsPRICING
Demon Hyper X D30Loop Straps and Dual HookPRICING
G-Form Pro X2SmartFlex PaddingsPRICING

What about Kneepads?


Anything you put on for protection should be big on fit and comfortability, the best kneepads should do as well. They are useless if they do not fit you well enough. Your leg is an integral part of riding and if the kneepads do not fit properly, pedaling may become very uncomfortable and seem like torture. But having the length and breath of the knee pads at balance isn’t just what getting a comfortable fit is all about; the zips, seams and fasteners can equally cause pains and friction burns if they come in the wrong shape. So, we checked this out extensively before bringing to you the knee pads hereby reviewed.


Stepping out on the trails with your bike on a hot summer day isn’t just like every other time; the experience during this time is always a notch higher than any other. But things can get really uncomfortable very quickly under the hot weather especially if you’re in protectors that have low breathability. Well padded and robust layers are of course a boost for protection but it becomes a bane when they are not breathable enough to allow for easy ventilation. It is therefore important to find a good balance and compromise in these.


Movement is a peculiar thing to knee pads as they often flex and move just as at every time the cranks turns, therefore, a key thing to consider is durability and the overall construction. Poor quality knee pads show little resistance to wear and tear, their paddings and foam also get ripped off easily, often difficult to maintain and do not last long. So, you want to be out there on the trail with a knee pad that is durable enough to deliver and ready for even the hardest rides on the mountain trails.

1. Kali Protectives Strike Knee Guard

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (1)

The Kali Protectives is one of the best knee pads in the market today and it has performed up to its claims over time. One of such things it offers is durability and solid construction, these features that make them an instant favorite at first sight.

The knee cap is made of Xelion material for the padding against high impact. The knee pad is well padded with EVA foams on every sides for comfortable feel. These paddings are incredibly soft and feels really nice around the knees.

The Kali Protectives come with breathable mesh on the back panel which allows the knee pad to be really great on ventilation around the knees. The non-slip band attached at the top and bottom of the knee pad ensures they stay fitted on your knees as you ride hard on the rough trails all day long.

Whether you are up for a downhill ride or endure, the Kali Protectives are well recommended as they have been designed for such.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (2)Pros
  • Durable and well padded
  • EVA foam paddings on the sides
  • Non-slip band
  • Superior ventilation & breathability
  • Perfect for downhill riding and endure


  • Available only in grey and black

2. IXS Flow Evo+ Knee Pads

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (3)

The IXS Flow may not be the lightest on this list but they are certainly the one of the go-to kneepads when it comes to comfort and protection. The neoprene sleeve coming with the kneepad is sustained by Velcro strap and silicone grippers which clings round the upper part of your calf muscle. This helps ensure that the pad stay put and does not shift as you pedal on the move. The back part of the sleeve comes with a mesh which improves ventilation and comfort around your knee.

It is designed with IXS pads referred to by the company has ‘X-matter’. These foam paddings are viscoelastic thus making them to be very flexible to stretch and contract while padding. This elastic property also makes it easily absorb high impacts. The external covering of the IXS knee pad is made of Kevlar, a durable and tough material with promise of durability.

Wearing on and off the knee pads and ensuring they stay fit on you wouldn’t be an issue, thanks to its incredibly closure system. The closure system uses a hook and loop straps for easy fastening of the kneepad without breaking a sweat.

The IXS Flow features lightweight Aeromesh which also improves breathability. With all these additions, the knee pad yet comes incredibly lightweight, sufficient protection and comes easy for just any kind of rider to wear.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (4)Pros
  • Perfect for all trail riders
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Aeromesh
  • Hook and loop closure system
  • Elastic and adjusts well as you pedal


  • The paddings are not so topnotch

3. POC Joint VPD 2.0 Knee Pads

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (5)

POC are a leading brand in the bike equipment manufacturing space and with their Joint VPD, you can be sure you have got all the protection you need to cruise the trail any time. The construction is solid and comes in such style that is likely to be well appreciated by many.

It is made of 100 percent polyester, a build material that ensures great breathability and doesn’t compromise on performance. The Joint VPD being a multipurpose knee pad, it can absorb high impact and doesn’t in any way hinder movement. The polyester fabric is very comfortable and combines well with the elastic straps which keeps the pad in position to provide a fantastic protective performance.

The Joint VPD is 3-dimensional molded and meets the 1621-1 motorcycle standard. It provides a secure fit and adapts easily to your body shape as you ride. More importantly, it is reinforced with a stretch fabric which has been perforated and improved to handle heat and control moisture. It comes 6 inches high and 9 inches wide.

Although this Joint VPD 2.0 isn’t so great at ventilation like the VPD 1.0, but it sure offers a great level of protection as a good compromise for this.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (6)Pros
  • Made of polyester
  • Multipurpose
  • Elastic straps
  • High protection performance


  • Recommended to be handwashed only

4. Fox Racing Launch Pro Knee Guard

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (7)

Fox combines their over three decades of experience in the racing game industry with the modern technology to craft the highly protective Fox Racing Launch Pro to grace the game of biking. CE Certified, the Launch Pro Knee Guard is designed to offer you the best level of riding experience by ensuring protection and comfort.

Designed from neoprene, silicone, and plastic, altogether making the knee guard strong enough to hold well against crashes and high impact. It comes with an hardshell cup molded by injection in and is embedded within the knee pad with well cushioned side paddings. The neoprene addition to the build material is to help improve the breathability of the knee guard.

Whether you are up for MTB or a quick offroad riding, downhill, cruising or enduro, the Fox Racing Launch pro ensures you go get your goals and come back home in one piece. It comes with a slip-on closure type which combines exquisitely well with the hook-and-loop straps to provide an overall seamless and comfortable experience.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (8)Pros
  • Very versatile and multifunctional
  • Slip-on closure system
  • Perfect for cruising, endure, and downhill riding.
  • Neoprene for great breathability
  • CE Certified


  • Might feel quite bulky

5. Sweet Protection Knee Pads

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (9)

If you want to cruise on the mountain trials with peace of mind, the Sweet Protection knee pads is here to give you an all-round dose of protection and comfort. The knee pad is incredibly lightweight and fits well without affecting your pedaling comfort.

It comes with adjustable straps and a 3-dimensional reinforced fit for ensuring a customized fit experience thus making it usable by any type of rider. The jacket of the knee pad aligns with your thigh and is designed with a rubber grip which wraps around the top of your leg to ensure it stays intact and less prone to falling off. The bottom of the knee pad extends to your groin and the bald feature is even very comfortable to feel. The lower rim extends to the top of your calf.

The Sweet Protection is also designed with perforated neoprene which is an essential fabric material for ensuring breathability and strength. More so, the top inside of the knee pads is made with sticky neoprene that helps keep the need pads in place. The parts of the knee pads necessary for absorbing shocks are easily detachable and can be replaced if they get faulty due to crash or overuse. This also helps you wash it easily without these parts still fitted on the knee pads.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (10)Pros
  • Lightweight and fits well
  • Good paddings on the sides
  • Detachable shock elements
  • Adjustable straps for customized fit
  • Sticky neoprene on the inside
  • Perforated neoprene for improved breathability


  • Somewhat feels smaller for each size label

6. Demon Hyper X D30 Mountain Bike Knee Pads

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (11)

When it’s time to step out with your bike on to the mountain trails, you want to be out there with the Demon Hyper X D30. It is just one of the best types of knee pads that offer a blend of style, protection and performance. The Demon Hyper X D30 is the darling of many MTB riders and you are about to find out why this is.

It is designed with a combination of neoprene and polyester, such a perfect use of fabric types that are sure to provide enough breathability, flexibility and toughness. So, when the going gets tough, you can depend on this knee pad to keep you up and going on the trails.

The measuring technique used in designing sizes for this knee pads ensure that you get the closest fit so it can easily be adjusted to taste anytime you want to wear it. It has the durability to withstand high impacts and is built to last.

It is designed with a solid front panel, Kevlar specifically, thus making the knee pad a lot resistant to abrasion whichever way they come. It also features a CE 1621-1 certified D3O foam and great paddings which performs well in absorbing shocks due to collision or impacts. In addition to the nice paddings, it comes with loop straps, soft inner cloth and dual hook in order to make the knee pad as much comfortable as possible.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (12)Pros
  • Perforated Neoprene
  • Loop straps and dual hook
  • Soft inner cloth
  • Great padding
  • Superior shock absorption


  • Feels bulky and quite heavy

7. G-Form Pro X2 Knee Pad

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (13)

The G-Form Pro is another high-performance knee pad which comes with a lot of features that make it suitable for wearing for protection when hiding out for ride. It is flexible enough to adjust to your moving legs and of course, hardens exquisitely on impact.

It has good SmartFlex paddings on the sides and comes with moisture wicking compression fabrics to ensure you stay comfortable and dry. It features a dual-panel system for improved fit on the skin, and with the front panel coming with ventilation holes, air flow is therefore improved.

The G-Form Pro is designed with compression sleeves which have been made from silicone grippers. This feature ensures that your knee pads are well secured and held in place.

Best MTB Knee Pads (Updated January 2023) (14)Pros
  • SmartFlex paddings
  • Dual panel system
  • Ventilation holes
  • Multiple sizes available


  • Not so great on ventilation


Riding on the mountain terrain requires as much as possible protection you can get. The MTB knee pads are meant to protect your knees and ensure your knee caps are protected from shattering in case you fall. The above reviewed knee pads are of best quality and certainly hold well against high impact. When you are out there with any of them, you can be sure you have got the right knee company. Make your choice and smile your way up the mountain trails.

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How do I choose mountain bike knee pads? ›

So look for a pad with good protection, and a hard shell. It should also have protection around the inside of the knees to protect them from frame strikes. And then make sure it's easy to get on and off without taking your riding shoes off.

Should I wear MTB knee pads yes or no? ›

Kneepads can do a lot to protect against bloody scrapes, cracked bones, swollen bruises or damaged ligaments. With more riders tackling fast trails and big, technical descents on the best enduro mountain bikes, knee pads have become as essential as wearing the best mountain bike helmets.

How do I choose the right knee pads? ›

Use a tape measure to find the right knee pad size for you. Measure your leg circumference 4"/10 cm above the knee cap (3) and around the calf (4).

How tight should MTB knee pads be? ›

Knee pads should fit snugly. They should be tight when you pull them on and take them off. But not so tight that they cut off your circulation while you're standing or riding.

How thick should the knee pads be? ›

Knee pads which are unaltered from the manufacturer's original design/production which are worn over the knee and under the pants and shall be at least 1/2 inch thick or 3/8 inch thick if made of shock absorbing material.

Are gel knee pads better? ›

Foam is vulnerable to damage by abrasive surfaces and tends to compress over time. With gel-foam knee pads, the padding reverts to its original shape and is usually covered by fabric, so these knee pads tend to last longer.

How long do MTB pads last? ›

In general, I agree with your friend. I generally easily get 3,000 or more miles out of organic pads, and sintered pads last a lot longer. However, it completely depends on the weight of the rider, the terrain being ridden, the weather conditions when riding, and the road or trail surface.

Is it OK to wear knee pads all day? ›

Sometimes, knee pads can inhibit blood circulation if worn for too long a period. Therefore, it may be better to wear the pads only while kneeling or performing an activity that introduces a risk of falling (e.g. playing a sport). In other situations, they should probably not be worn.

What are the 2 types of knee pads? ›

Knee pads - what you should know
  • Type 1 – Knee pads that are fastened around the knee independently of other protective clothing.
  • Type 2 – Knee pads that are not attached to the body, but which you place as needed.

Which is better open patella or closed patella? ›

Braces with an open patella allow relief of knee pressure and extra knee cap support with proper movement and tracking. Closed patella braces, on the other hand, offer compression at the knee cap with the same pressure as the rest of the knee and additional support.

Why do mountain bikers only wear knee pads? ›

That's because your knees are generally one of the first – and most painful – parts of the body to hit the ground in a crash. As a moving part, your knees are also vital to protect, and wearing pads is one of the best ways to keep you on your bike, rather than resting on the couch.

Should MTB shoes be tight or loose? ›

Just like hiking shoes, bike shoes should be snug but not too tight. Make sure that you have enough toe room to wiggle your toes. A good test is to try standing on a steep incline, if your toes remain comfortable and don't slam into the front of the shoe, then most likely you have a good fit.

Is MTB hard on knees? ›

These added obstacles create an added layer of “vibration forces” that both the mountain bike and rider's body experience. Over time, the stress to the mountain biker's knees increases the risk for an overuse injury.

Are there sizes for knee pads? ›

SizeKnee Circumference (inches)Knee Circumference (centimeters)
S12 - 14"30.5 - 35.5cm
M14 - 16"35.5 - 40.6cm
L15 - 17"38.1 - 43.1cm
XL17 - 20"43.1 - 50.8cm
2 more rows

How important are knee pads for mountain biking? ›

One of the most common injuries in mountain biking is knee injuries. The knees are particularly vulnerable to injuries because they absorb a significant amount of shock and stress when mountain biking. Knee pads offer an extra layer of protection for the kneecap, the ligaments, and the tendons around the knee joint.

What is the ideal knee angle for bike fit? ›

Purpose: Bike-fitting methods based on knee kinematics have been proposed to determine optimal saddle height. The Holmes method recommends that knee angle be between 25° and 35° when the pedal is at bottom dead centre in static. Other authors advocate knee angle of 30-40° during maximum knee extension while pedalling.


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