Ultralight knee pads that are virtually invisible while pedalling, yet don't slip and still provide decent levels of protection.
Knee pads are one of those slightly weird products that you carry around with you all the time, hoping you never have to use them. Nor do you want to notice them until they’ve done their job and saved your skin.
It’s relatively simple to make a good DH knee pad; they don’t need to be that light – protection is more important – and because you’re rarely pedalling when you’re on an uplift day or alpine bike park, they don’t tend to migrate down your leg as easily. But the trail riding knee pad needs to be as lightweight, comfortable and minimal as possible. They also need to be stable when pedalling and your legs are pumping up and down for miles at a time.
Scott’s Mission Evo knee pads weigh a scant 122g, which makes them the lightest knee pads I’ve ever come across, by a long way. And that ensures they are virtually invisible while riding – I completely forgot I had them on during testing. They don’t impede pedalling or walking and comfortably fit under the trendiest, skinniest riding trousers. Nor do they move or slide down the calf as the wide elasticated bands top and bottom, and silicone printed diamond pattern on the thigh band, holds them securely in place.
Surprisingly, protection coverage is decent too, with a long pre-formed EVA knee pad that extends well above and below the kneecap giving enough abrasion resistance and shock absorption to cope with your average trail spills in the dirt. OK, it’s not the kind of pad I’d opt to wear when crashing on janky rock or razor sharp slate, but it’s fine for the majority of wooded/forested riding we have in the UK.
Sizing is also spot on, the perforated knee pad rarely gets too hot, and the exterior and interior tags make it easy to work out which is left and which is right. My only complaint is that they are hand wash only, which is a pain, but it’s not a criticism unique to the Mission Evo pads, and having slung mine in the wash with no obvious damage, it’s not something I’m going to worry too much about.
Scott’s Mission Evo pad might not be the perfect solution for park rats and alpine holidays, but for 90 per cent of UK riding it’s as much as you need.