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Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
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2020 Airflex Pro (Black)
 Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard  Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard  Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard  Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard  Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard
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Solid choice for aggressive warm weather riding

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Conforms to the knee cap easily w/out hot spots or pressure points
Improved asthetics 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

Overall Review:

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. 

The Airflex pad is tackier in nature than silicone but more flexible than any rigid pad, but does not snag or catch on long shorts or under moto style pants/pajamas.  
It is thicker than foam, thinner than full on DH dual stage pads & breathes very well on most any ride.  Extended climbs you can feel it warming up, but any breeze or momentum you instantly get air going, which is invaluable.  Love the side panel pads to let me bang knees on the top tube.  Here's a little aggro secret...most hits to the sides of your knee aren't from the ground but your frame when you tumble. 

The calf silicone is very tight for a size large (my calves measure 14.8" which is dead in the middle of the fit recommendations) but the combo of the compliant pad keeping it's vertical rigidity with compliance to wrap the knee horizontally allowed it to stay centered, stay up and not sag off, crease, buckle or fold.  
The knee pad itself cups well even though it sits tight to the knee cap and conforms to be unobtrusive. Like any fitment item, you'll have to play with getting it situated a time or two to find the sweet spot in its curves, but once there, unnoticeable for multiple hours.  
Back to that lower silicone gripper. To pull these bad boys off, I actually roll that gripper inside out up onto the shin pad, doing the same with the top gripper (roll it down like an 80's tube sock) to pull the pads off because they grip that well.  A bonus, they will stuff inside my Osprey Savu on places  where you have a 30-45 minute climb & no desire to knee sweat that long. 

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.


Specifications

Product Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Pad Type Soft Shell
Material
  • Super slim, 3D molded AirFlex gel impact protection
  • Anti-odor MoistureCool and AirMesh wicking fabrics
  • All protection materials perforated for ventilation
  • Silicone printed, cupped knee grip
  • Silicone printed, non-slip cuffs
  • Knee/Shin Coverage Knee Only
    Size S-XXL
    Color Black, Forest
    Miscellaneous 2020 model year release
    CE tested and certified impact protection: Knee EN1621-1
    Side and upper knee impact protection
    Pre-curved 3D design for better fit and function
    Weight: from 300g (0.66lbs) pair
    Price $89.99
    More Info

    Ultra-slim, soft Airflex knee guards with extra protection. By changing over to 3D-shaped impact gel, Leatt achieved a minimalistic slim shape whilst keeping the CE Impact protection.

    www.leatt.com

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