Tony's Trailers
MTB with Knee PadsMTB with Knee Pads

Best MTB Knee Pads for Your Next Off-Road Adventure

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.

Unlike driving a car, riding a bicycle or even a motorbike leaves you out in the open, and therefore exposed to the elements. This means that there’s much in the way of physical barriers that serve as protection in the case of unwanted accidents. Once you brought your bikes to your favorite off-road location using a tailgate bike pad, it’s time for the thrill.

As such, it’s best practice to stock up on the right gears to keep you safe on the road, especially if you like to seek extra thrill and adventure whenever you ride your bicycle. One of these things should be MTB knee pads.

We have listed down the best mountain bike knee pads in 2020 right down below so you can have only the best options to choose from, and we’ve also provided a helpful buying guide so you can pick the right knee pads for you.

Top MTB knee pads

Here are the top seven mountain bike knee pads for 2020 that are guaranteed to keep your knees safe from scratches and injury while ensuring a fun, comfortable, cool, and dry ride no matter what the weather is.

Whether you are looking for light-duty, all-purpose, or heavy-duty knee pads, we’ve got plenty of options that guarantee the best in terms of protection, comfort, breathability, quality, and price, so check them all out!

POC Joint VPD air knee pads

mtb knee pads choice1

Starting off this list with a number one best seller in Amazon, the POC Joint VPD air knee pads, which are the perfect light duty mountain bike knee pads for men and women who want the safety, comfort, flexibility, and freedom that these knee pads offer.

These knee pads are engineered with VPD air protection equipped with temperature control, so they are perfectly lightweight, highly ventilated, breathable, and flexible, keeping you comfortably cool and dry on the road.

This air padding is also made of stretchable fabric to give you that free range of movement that you need. It’s reinforced and comes with an inner lining made of non slip neoprene, as well as elastic velcro fastening straps, to securely stay in place at all times.

  • Amazon best seller
  • Lightweight, ventilated, and flexible
  • Available in 5 sizes (extra small to extra large)
  • Comes in uranium black and obsidian brown
View more by POC

Leatt AirFlex Pro knee guard

mtb knee pads choice2

Your second best bet is the Leatt AirFlex Pro knee guard, which are another highly rated knee pads on Amazon. These are heavy duty knee pads that come with plenty of excellent features such as impact protection and thermal control capabilities.

The fabric itself is equipped with moisture cool wicking to ensure that you stay cool and dry even when riding under hot and grueling weather conditions, and it even comes with added silicon protection to keep it in place throughout your ride.

Of course, there is also the armourgel, which is an ultra thin gel with impact absorption capabilities to prevent injury in the case of accidents, plus plenty of extra padding on the sides and top for maximum protection.

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Maximum protection from surround padding
  • Available in medium to extra large
  • Comes in black with white print

Fox Racing Launch Pro D3O knee guard

mtb knee pads choice3

Ranking third is the Fox Racing Launch Pro D30 knee guard, which is especially designed for mountain biking. From the looks alone, these knee pads are sporty and breathable, and most importantly, offering superior protection.

That’s because these are made with removable hard shell knee caps that act as helmets for your knees, which is really important if you like to push yourself and your bicycle to the limits. Of course, if that’s too much for you, you can always remove them.

After all, you will still be protected by the relatively thick but perfectly breathable synthetic neoprene fabric that will fit like a glove and will stay in place while keeping you cool, dry, comfortable, and well protected.

  • Durable for heavy duty use
  • Comes in black with embossed white logo
  • Hook and loop strap closure
  • Removable hard shell knee caps

Kali Protectives Strike knee and shin guard

mtb knee pads choice4

Next up is the Kali Protectives Strike knee and shin guard, which are unique and fashionably ornate looking shin pads perfect for various types of cycling, such as mountain bike riding, enduro rides, and downhill cycling.

The kneecaps themselves are made of a xelion material in lovely butterfly net patterns, and there are lots of padding on the side made of EVA, as well as a softer padding material by the knee, so you’re getting complete protection at all times.

Meanwhile, the back part is made of mesh so it’s perfectly breathable. And, it comes equipped with non-slip bands at the top and bottom, as well as velcro adjustments for a more precise and secure fit.

  • Full knee and shin protection
  • Available in 4 sizes (small to extra large)
  • Comes in black and grey
  • 3 year manufacturer’s warranty

Dakine Slayer knee pads

mtb knee pads choice5

You might also want to try the Dakine Slayer knee pads, which may look simple and basic on the get go, but are actually packed with lots of amazing features that make them perfect for mountain bike riding, as well as for downhill and enduro rides.

These are CE certified knee guards that come with high quality DK impact padding to protect you from knee scrapes and scratches, as well as a combination of aramid fiber, polygiene treatment, and ariaprene pro for the sleeve.

All of these make the knee pads breathable, flexible, and high performing. They are also guaranteed to fit perfectly and stay securely in place all throughout your ride, especially with the slip on closure.

  • Simple yet versatile performance
  • Available in 4 sizes (small to extra large)
  • Comes in black, blue rock, and vibrant orange
  • Convenient pull on closure
View more by Dakine

Alpinestars Mens Paragon Plus knee protector

mtb knee pads choice6

Next up is the Kali Protectives Strike knee and shin guard, which are unique and fashionably ornate looking shin pads perfect for various types of cycling, such as mountain bike riding, enduro rides, and downhill cycling.

The kneecaps themselves are made of a xelion material in lovely butterfly net patterns, and there are lots of padding on the side made of EVA, as well as a softer padding material by the knee, so you’re getting complete protection at all times.

Meanwhile, the back part is made of mesh so it’s perfectly breathable. And, it comes equipped with non-slip bands at the top and bottom, as well as velcro adjustments for a more precise and secure fit.

  • Full knee and shin protection
  • Available in 4 sizes (small to extra large)
  • Comes in black and grey
  • 3 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Quick release 20 inch wide wheels
  • Simple fold down for easy storage
  • Removable top cover included
  • Type A bike hitch and connector included
View more by Alpinestars

Sweet Protection knee shin pads

mtb knee pads choice7

Last but definitely not the least are these knee shin pads by Sweet Protection. These are simple yet elegant and highly functional knee and shin pads that are guaranteed to protect your knees from harm, as well as keep you cool all day long.

The brand promises total crash protection without any compromise on your comfort and movement, especially since these pads are ergonomic and made to fit perfectly to give you free movement even with all the protection.

And when we talk about protection, these knee guards don’t skimp either. You’ve got plenty of padding throughout all the vulnerable areas around your knees, and these pads come with reinforced fabrics that are adjustable as well.

  • Ergonomic and breathable
  • Available in 4 sizes (small to extra large)
  • Comes in black with white print
  • Convenient velcro closure system

What makes good MTB knee pads?

man biking on dirt road

There are hundreds if not thousands of options out there when it comes to knee pads, and while you can just grab a random pair from the store shelves or click the first thing you see online, you really want to make the right choice to ensure that the knee pads perform well for you.

In order to help you make the right decision on which knee guards are best for you, here are the most important factors that you need to consider before making a purchase. We are talking about comfort, quality, breathability, and protection.

Comfort

Not all knee pads are made the same. Some focus on offering the maximum protection possible, while some are more geared towards comfort. After all, you don’t want to wear something that feels too restrictive and cumbersome, right?

What you can expect is that generally, protection and comfort don’t always go hand in hand. This is especially true for lower end knee pads that are made with ultra thick and firm paddings that don’t allow for as much movement.

On the other hand, the most comfortable knee pads that just feel like typical clothing may not give you as much protection, so they are not really suitable for heavy duty use and one that’s prone to impact and abrasion.

That said, there are lots of great knee pads out there that promise the best of both worlds when it comes to comfort and protection. These ones may be considerably more expensive, but they are well worth the price.

Quality

The overall quality of the knee pads is perhaps the most important thing you need to look out for. This will largely be dependent on the material, engineering, and construction of the knee pads, which all determine their performance and durability.

Are the knee pads made with the latest technologies available? Are they equipped with superior features that improve their fit, comfort, performance, and wearability? Does the stitching and the materials themselves seem sturdy and durable?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to the knee pads’ quality. When you’re buying in a sporting goods store, you can always just inspect the product yourself, but you need to have a good eye to know what’s quality and what’s not.

But, when you are shopping online such as in platforms like Amazon, you will mostly have to rely on other customers’ reviews and see what they think of the product. If the reviews are negative or mediocre at best, don’t push your luck.

Breathability

Another important factor is the breathability of the knee pads. Think of it this way- these things will stay glued on your legs the entire time you ride, and there are lots of sweat glands where these knee pads are supposed to go.

You don’t want to wear something that will make you sweat like crazy, especially when you ride throughout the hot summer days when the sun gives off that blistering heat. Poor quality knee pads will cling on to your skin like icky plastic.

The good news is, plenty of knee pads offer breathability in one form or another. Sometimes, the fabric may be perforated to allow air to pass through freely, while sometimes, the fabric itself is designed to allow for ventilation even when it’s thick and fully closed.

How effective the knee pads are in ensuring that you stay cool and dry generally depends on the type of fabric used and how it’s designed. To a lesser extent, you might also want to consider knee pads that are breathable but won’t let you freeze during the winter.

Protection

After talking about all those things, the bottom line is that you are buying knee pads to protect your knees. And as such, this should be the most important consideration of all. Ask yourself, just how much protection can these knee pads offer?

Some knee pads are made for light duty and all purpose rides. They are thin, comfortable, and breathable, but not much goes in the way of protection, save for a few layers of fabric and perhaps some other material.

Other knee pads may make use of a variety of padding materials such as foam and gel. These are somewhat thicker, but still allow for a wide range of movement, so you can pedal and walk freely without feeling constricted.

And then there are also knee pads that make use of hard plastic paddings that are either sewn into the fabric or come as detachable cases. These offer the most protection since they are highly abrasion and impact resistant, but they can be uncomfortable and restrictive.

Summary

If you love riding your mountain bike and are passionate about cycling, but you’re a little bit on the clumsy side, or you just like to push yourself to the limit and thus expose yourself to lots of danger for the sake of excitement, wearing the right gear is a must.

For one thing, wearing MTB knee pads help protect your knees from scratches, wounds, impact, and abrasions. This is especially important since unlike other parts of your body, the knees are all bone and no fat, so injury is always more painful and severe.

The good news is, there are lots of different knee pads out there for you to choose from, and they all come in various colors and sizes, as well as a variety of features, so you can easily make the best pick on which knee pads are perfect for you.

And, with the affordable price range, as well as the fact that all cyclists wear them nowadays, there’s no reason for you not to buy a pair!