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Leatt Airflex Knee Guards Reviewed by Top Member Reviewer and Jenson USA Award Winner 3

You can earn $100 at Jenson USA for your Vital MTB member reviews. See the best review from last month's Top Reviewer and learn how you could earn the top spot in October.

Every month we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in another $100 gift card! Vital member bizutch took home top honors in September with his review of the Leatt Airflex Knee Guards:

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Leatt Airflex Knee Guard - MSRP: $89.99

The Good: Conforms to the knee cap easily w/out hot spots or pressure points. Improved aesthetics over prior version & better ventilation while maintaining high impact rating. External pad doesn't catch on shorts. Aggressive, yet thin protection for big digs in the gravel or bashes to the bars. Lots of air to prevent swampy knees. No rub on the back of the knee. Never moved down.

The Bad: Bottom silicone gripper band almost too grippy. Typical Leatt low to NO inventory - black sold out. Had to buy green.

"To review this, I preface that my right knee hates any pad pressure. Tried several renditions over the years and anything that pushes my patella bone at all will cause joint pain in 10 minutes. Only pad prior to these that sat off my knee cap enough were Troy Lee Raids, which I still love but can get warm. Needed something cooler for the summer heat.

Leatt's 2020 redesigned Airflex knee gets a higher impact rating than similar light duty trail pads due to its external open, semi rigid pad.  Had Leatt confirm that it is a "non-Newtonian material that hardens upon impact to absorb energy. The design of the material also helps with ventilation as well as multi-impact protection."  That is an email response I received from them in under 10 minutes flat when I inquired to their US office. Nice customer service. Nothing in the site links explains this high tech design, but they sent me a PDF of it. Site only refers to it as 3D Impact Protection, stating "CE tested and certified as impact protection: Knee EN1621-1". Google that and you can go down the rabbit hole of the internet to see if your knee will pop open or not upon the impact of a certain size hammer at a certain speed, but all I really needed was something to keep the skin on my knees and reduce the chance of cracking my knee cap without feeling like 2 rats in a wool sock. So Leatt's design looks to meet all of those needs. 

Didn't have to pull them up a single time once situated. Had one pet peeve which seems to have since gone away. This is the first pad I've had that places a silicone gripper circle on the inside of the liner right on the center of the knee cap. My first ride, it felt like the right pad was plucking out every hair in my knee and trying to nibble flesh. On my 2nd ride, it was gone and haven't noticed it since. You have to get the Airflex material centered properly on your knee and once there, that sensation is gone.

Overall, this seems like a very well executed pad. Would love to compare this to everyone's favorite, the IXS Evo just to compare comfort, but the Airflex offers far more padding in more places with better breathability. All in all, it had the features I wanted most. Thin, breathable sleeve, a pad above the knee cap like a DH pad, side panel pads for gooning and tank slappers, no pressure points, no slipping and lots of air coming through a pad material that becomes rigid on impact, but soft and compliant otherwise. The only thing I'd be interested in trying is a zip up version of it, but fear that a zipper would reduce comfort.

Would 100% recommend these as an all day, every day pad just short of a full DH pad. That is unless you don't like green and orange.  Leatt's site tends to run low stock on their most popular colorways (this time it was black that was out of stock)  & products and that held true for the Airflex. Very happy with the purchase." - Read more»

Shop the Leatt Airflex Knee Guard at Jenson USA


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Want to be in the running for October's award? Review the components, apparel, or bikes you ride in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the winner in early November.

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