Reader Giveaway Contest: Who Makes the Best Pads?

Time for another Decline Magazine sponsored giveaway. Post a comment with your answer to the following question to be entered. Winner will be announced on Tuesday and will get their choice of schwag in the box.

Who makes the best pads and what do you typically wear (just knee pads, elbow and knee, full armor, etc.)?

-James Wilson-

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  1. Bob says:

    I really like the POC body armor and raceface elbow and knee/shin guards. Full armor when riding downhill. Elbow and knee when racing super d. Gloves and helmet for xc.

    Reply • April 2 at 1:26 pm
  2. Chris Gilbert a.k.a Rukus Ranger says:

    I’ve had great success with the armor from 661. I run the Core Saver, Kyle Strait Knee guards, and the Evo 3DO Elbow guards. The core saver is just the right amount of protection and ventilation for me anyway. Its taken several hits last season and I’ve been able to get up and keep riding every time. The Kyle Strait Knee guards Im pretty sure are the best on the market. Great fitting, ventilated, and wont slip. I’m just trying the Evo 3DO elbow guards this year so I cant give any reviews yet but the new 3DO technology seem promising as I dont like the plastic cup style guards. One knock on 661’s stuff is that the stitching is pretty weak. I’d like to see them improve on that part of it.

    Reply • April 2 at 1:36 pm
  3. The Real Rob says:

    Fox 911 launch knee pads. Dianese safety jacket. TLD carbon helmet. A sweater when it’s cold out!

    Reply • April 2 at 1:47 pm
  4. Brad says:

    I like the look of POC equipment but have been using MACE leg/knee pads for over two years and like them alot. What I like best is that their cheap and comfortable. When someone makes a pad that doesn’t stink, I’ll buy those.

    Reply • April 2 at 1:50 pm
  5. Rob says:

    Got to give my vote to RaceFace. Not the best looking or the slimmest leg and arm armour, but probably the best. I keep buying other armour and then going back to my RaceFace pads. The fit well, they don’t move around, they protect the right places, they are tough and last several seasons.

    DH racing, I’m in the full kit. Chest, spine, forearm, elbow, knee, shin, hip, tailbone. Out riding with friends I’ll usually drop the hip/tailbone/chest/spine, but keep the leg and arm protection. XC I’ve been known to wear knee pads, but only because XC to me is a long grind up for the sole purpose of going down as fast as possible.

    Reply • April 2 at 1:56 pm
  6. aaron says:

    My Kyle Straits are worn out after two years of heavy use. My main complaint at this point is that they have stretched out so much. I’m definitely wanting to add elbow armor and a full face…

    Reply • April 2 at 2:19 pm
  7. Jy Chen says:

    For most rides, I use 661 d30 knee pads. DH/FR and I bust out the Dianese jacket & bibs for Ninja-Turtle armor plating! Happy Easter!

    Reply • April 2 at 2:28 pm
  8. Dawid says:

    Dakine Defender Gloves all times, regardless. Prevents hand fatigue and protects really well. 661 Evo full face all time, especially on the road – great fit, great protection and doesn’t get too hot. Took a hit on a tree with this and it saved head and noodle. THE storm knee and shin as well as elbow and forearm armour. You really don’t know they are on. They fit well, are super cool and can really take a big hit! I know, both me and my 15 year old boy have gone down big style DH and walked away witha few bruises. THE is armour that is comfortable enough to ride all day, yet doesn’t shirk on safety, wouldn’t change and in fact will be buying my second set in a couple of weeks if all goes well.

    Reply • April 2 at 2:42 pm
  9. soundoftheground says:

    i’m wearing 2010 POC joint knees for trail rides. 661 kyle straits, race face arms and a 661 assault pressure suit for DH.
    based on what i own and use i have to give it up for POC. i’ll be replacing my current gear with POC bone arm and leg and a POC spine t as it wears out and/or i decide to upgrade.

    Reply • April 2 at 3:05 pm
  10. Crayfish says:

    I like my Rockgardn armor. I cover up head-to-toe when I’m downhilling (although I use the lighter-weight Trailstar). Just a helmet and gloves for most trail rides.

    Reply • April 2 at 3:38 pm
  11. Tubby says:

    I have not tried a lot of variety but I will through another vote to Race face. i don’t have too much complaints about their stuff.

    Reply • April 2 at 6:54 pm
  12. David says:

    I use 661 EVO elbow, and knee pads. They fit so well, that after I get on the bike, I usually forget that I have them on. I’ve needed them on a few occasions, and they have performed GREAT! Sure saved me from taking a beatin’.

    Reply • April 2 at 7:20 pm
  13. Dave says:

    I’ve been using the 661 veggie wraps arm and leg. I have found that they are great for cross country and some free riding. My brother in law got me some race face free riding elbow pads and I have fallen in love with them. They fit nicely, they stay in place and they can take a hit like nobodies business. I am looking at getting into downhill this summer and I am definitely looking at getting full armor..

    Reply • April 2 at 7:49 pm
  14. Pete says:

    I think Dianese probably has the best stuff out there. For DH I wear 661 DJ pro knees, Dianese hips, and a 661 pressure suit. 661 works well though.

    Reply • April 2 at 7:53 pm
  15. cookie says:

    Given I’m a XC racer I dont use pads… that said, in my MX days I liked 661 gear (full armour + knees) 🙂 They also make good wrist braces for supporting my reconstructed wrist!

    Reply • April 2 at 8:22 pm
  16. jack says:

    My Fox Launch full length knee and shins have been going strong for 4 seasons and are now on thier fifth. Great pads that are light and don’t move on impact or otherwise. Diansese jacket for the lift/race days. Helmet all days, even on the pumptrack

    Reply • April 3 at 6:04 am
  17. Corey says:

    I’d have to go with the 661 kyle strait knee pads. Thats all I use for padding along with helmet and gloves. Someone needs to make a pad that keeps my shoulder in socket!

    Reply • April 3 at 6:49 am
  18. Brian says:

    T.H.E. Storm knee/shin pads. I bought 4 pairs and gave away all the other Fox,661.etc. that I have bought. I wear them for hours at a time and never think about them.

    Reply • April 3 at 6:54 am
  19. Tim says:

    I like the 661shin pads. I ride flats and they have saved my shins from the pins on the pedals a number of times

    Reply • April 3 at 7:20 am
  20. coop says:

    661 all the way. the straight knee shins are the only pads ill ever wear.

    Reply • April 3 at 7:30 am
  21. Stephen says:

    My wife says Tampax but I have not found they offer the protection I need LOL. I ride flats so I wear some old Hammer 2’Z shin guards I have used since dirt jumping BMX as a teenager 16 years ago.

    Reply • April 3 at 9:29 am
  22. SixSixOne covers knees and elbows like no other but I’m forever sporting a Fox helmet.

    Reply • April 3 at 11:06 am
  23. Ian says:

    I’m pretty happy with the 661 Kyle Strait knees. I usually don’t need more than that (knock on wood).

    Reply • April 3 at 1:33 pm
  24. Lynn D. says:

    Love my Raceface elbow guards, my forearms/elbows were taking a beating without them,including some rotting tree wood splinters that had to be surgically removed from my forearm!
    For knees/shins, i’m loving my new Troy Lee 2 piece knee/shin guards…comfortable to wear the knee pad riding up,
    and quick to put on the armour, with velcro at the knee and straps around lower leg. Very comfortable articulation.
    Fox gloves seem to have the best fit.

    Reply • April 4 at 12:03 am
  25. Jim says:

    For most of my trail riding I don’t wear any pads (I will wear knee pads some times). When I am on my dirt jumper I always wear knee pads, and elbow pads, and some times wear hip pads.

    I don’t know which ones are the best but I have Lizard Skins knee and elbow pads, they protect great and stay in place well, but are are extremely hot (so hot I enjoy taking them off the most). I also own some Oneal protector shorts and they are over the top hot and will leave you sweating in below freezing extremely windy conditions, I only wear them when I am dirt jumping.

    Reply • April 4 at 10:20 am
  26. Brad says:

    Fox Launch knee/shin, Rockgardn Flak Jacket and Fate Carbon gloves, and a T.H.E. One carbon helmet. Excellent combo that allows me to hardly feel as though I’m wearing anything with some moisture wicking skin stuff underneath.

    Reply • April 4 at 11:57 am
  27. Ryan roggow says:

    Lid and gloves.
    Just about to invest in some good flats and a pair of 5.10’s so I will need some shin guards soon.
    Keep up the good work James!

    Reply • April 4 at 9:02 pm
  28. Jason says:

    I dig 661 body armor, forearm and shin pads. TLD helmets and gloves.

    Reply • April 4 at 11:06 pm
  29. Poc all the way! Hands down. The most comfortable pads there are. Offers plenty of protection while still being slim enough to fit nicely under clothing. The material used in the knee and elbow pads and in the back armour is similar to d30. It hardens up under impact. That makes the pads very flexible and comfortable while still offering the best protection around.

    Helmets are also top notch. I currently have the flow+ helmet. The best dirt jump lid there is. Full aramid construction which gives a lot more better protection against penetrating impacts.

    All in all Poc is on another level. They think outside the box and don´t just have the same stuff made in far east with their name printed on it. Highly recommed anything from Poc.

    Reply • April 4 at 11:13 pm
  30. Adam says:

    I’ve been running the RockGardn flack jacket and Raceface knee-shin pads and could not be happier. The flack jacket fits well and provided plenty of mobility.

    Reply • April 5 at 7:14 am
  31. Dabe says:

    I normally don’t wear armor (XC rider), but I was very happy to be wearing my 661 knee/shin pads when I did a face plant in a rack-strewn stream yesterday.

    Reply • April 5 at 9:50 am
  32. dennis says:

    Had a pair of specialized knee pads. only complaint is the tag in onthe inside part of the pad kept rubbing the skin of my knee

    Really want to try the new raceface pads with shock absorption gel

    Reply • April 5 at 1:12 pm
  33. Sean Larsen says:

    I ride with the 661 Kyle Strait Knee pads and sometimes elbows if riding a new trail or something more difficult. Typically protection is just a helmet (Giro Xen or Remedy Carbon depending on the trail), Gloves, and Knee’s.

    I have used a few knee pads over the years and like the Kyle Straits as they are cheep, fit comfortably, provide good support. I found the TLD knee’s rubbed when pedaling. The 661 Evo knee pads are awesome but the cost is a bit more to swallow. Raceface knees are good but I don’t find them as comfortable as the 661’s. I haven’t tried POC yet but would like to.

    Reply • April 5 at 3:25 pm
  34. dan says:

    As far as who makes the best pads I would have to go with Rock Garden. They are the only pads I have ever worn and have yet to fail me. The only time I seem to get cut up and torn is when I don’t have the pads on. When I’m out riding I always have my full face and Leatt neck brace on and my shin pads, elbow pads….depends on the trail and day.

    Reply • April 6 at 5:38 pm
  35. Mark says:

    I love my race face knee and shin guards.

    Reply • April 8 at 2:55 pm

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