These knee pads come with an open back, so you can put them on without taking off your shoes, and the excellent D3O energy absorbing wonder material
Available in five sizes, the latest generation, flexible D3O Race Face Ambush pads can be removed without taking your shoes off thanks to an open-back design. This also offers the bonus of an extra layer of tweaking to achieve a precise fit, depending on how tightly you wrap the pads before cinching the hook and loop straps at the top and bottom.
Comfort is excellent — once the Ambush pads are on, you soon forget you’re wearing them and the terry-towelling lining capably mops up sweat and keeps you cool in hot weather. The Race Faces are a little bit heavier than some guards with DH levels of protection, but also extremely comfortable to hike, pedal or climb in, even for extended periods.
The level of all-round coverage inspires confidence, with the whole knee area well defended against knocks and bumps. A healthy chunk of thick, impact-hardening D3O protection in the front of the kneecap deals with major crashes, but there’s also plenty of dense foam padding too. This peripheral protection will shield you from the frame or handlebar knocks that can easily cause dead legs when things go wrong on super-steep sketchy switchbacks.
The Ambush pads were so snug they quickly became a go-to pad while testing in the Alps, offering performance comparable to the also excellent Scott Grenade Pro IIs. The better ventilation, lighter weight and £25 cheaper price seal the deal in Race Face’s favour as a worthy test winner.