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Sweet Protection Knee Pad review

With incredible levels of comfort, protection and security, the Sweet Protection Knee Pad has quickly become our go-to option for everything from aggressive trail riding to gravity-fuelled shuttle days

Sweet Protection Knee Pad with a five star review badge
(Image: © Jim Bland)

Our Verdict

Great protection for gravity riders that doesn't come at the expense of comfort

For

  • - Comfortable fit
  • - Wide and accurate size range for most riders
  • - Ample levels of on-trail proven protection

Against

  • - We’re not sure there are any faults

Bike Perfect Verdict

Great protection for gravity riders that doesn't come at the expense of comfort

Pros

  • + - Comfortable fit
  • + - Wide and accurate size range for most riders
  • + - Ample levels of on-trail proven protection

Cons

  • - - We’re not sure there are any faults

The Sweet Protection range consists of a full coverage knee/shin pad, a lightweight trail guard, and the popular knee pad that we have on test here. With a burlier construction, we think the pad is best suited to gravity-focused riding genres, although the friendly pedal nature has shown them to be sorted all-rounders and one of the best mountain bike knee pads available. 

Construction

At the heart of the knee pad lies a SAS-TEC SCL 2 Viscoelastic one-piece foam cup - in a similar fashion to D30 SAS-TEC  it firms up on impact to provide impressive levels of shock/impact absorption. This foam cup is also removable which means the pads can easily be kept fresh and clean with regular machine washes. There’s no additional padding on the sides of the pad (like some burlier downhill options) but we think this is a worthwhile trade-off as it helps to streamline the fit and keep operating temperatures cooler.

Sweet Protection Knee Pad has a removable foam cup so it can be washed

Sweet Protection Knee Pad has a removable foam cup so the pads can be washed (Image credit: Jim Bland)

Internally the Sweet Protection Knee Pad uses silicone grippers both top and bottom to keep the fit locked in place, and when matched with the generous adjustable strap it means they won’t budge in the event of a crash or when you’re dripping with sweat. Holding the rest of the pad together is a series of stretchy, thin and carefully shaped neoprene panels that are shaped dynamically to suit the anatomy of your legs, and more specifically when you’re in the attack riding position. There’s no vent opening at the rear of the pad but this removes the chance of any unwanted skin pinching when pedaling or maneuvering the bike on the trail. The simple aesthetic and wide size range means they’ll look and feel good for most riders, too.

Performance

We’ve been running the Sweet Protection Knee Pad for a while now and we’re continually amazed at the all-day comfort on offer from a pad with this level of impact protection. A contributing factor to this is how the SAS-TEC foam pad warms up and becomes more malleable during use - meaning it molds and conforms to your every move. This ultimately results in high levels of protection with minimal pedaling compromise, even during big days in the saddle in warmer climates. Unlike some other pads featuring this kind of protection, the overall size is slim and we've experienced no issues fitting them under any of our MTB riding pants or slimmer trail shorts. 

Having used these pads for such a long time means we've crash-tested them too, and the results have been impressive. We’ve had a number of knee-biased falls where we could have come off far worse than we actually did - so it's safe to say they do what they're designed to do: protect your knees.

They do run warmer than some slimmer trail pads, but luckily Sweet protection also makes some of our favorite knee guards. If your riding is more XC/trail than gnar focused then the Sweet Protection knee guard may be better suited.

Sweet Protection Knee Pad uses a SAS-TEC foam pad to provide protection

Sweet Protection Knee Pad uses a SAS-TEC foam pad to provide protection (Image credit: Jim Bland)

Verdict

Yes, they’re not the cheapest but if you’re looking for a knee pad that offers ample protection with minimal compromise the Sweet Protection Knee Pad is one of the best available. The near-perfect hard-wearing construction provides top-tier comfort and the proven pad keeps you highly protected - this is a product that’s genuinely hard to fault!  

Tech Specs: Sweet Protection Knee Pads

  • Colors: Black
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL
  • Price: €99.95 / £89.99
Jim Bland

Jim Bland is a review and buyer's guide writer based in North Yorkshire, England. Jim’s chosen riding genre is hard to pinpoint and regularly varies from e-bike-assisted shuttle runs one day to cutting downcountry laps the next. Always on the hunt for the perfect setup, he can regularly be found hammering out test runs in odd shoes, playing with volume spacers or switching tires in between laps to see what performs best. His ultimate day out includes an alpine loam trail, blazing sunshine, and some fresh kit to test.  


Rides: Santa Cruz Tallboy, Specialized Kenevo


Height: 170cm 

Weight: 60kg