Olivier Colombo - Consultant & Corporate Advisor
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Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard review by the MTB Lab

Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guard review by the MTB Lab: 

The soft armor AirFlex Pro knee guard is comfortable and flexible and offers enhanced ventilation and freedom of movement while still providing the utmost in safety and impact protection. It has a slim fit and utilizes their ultra thin 6mm ArmorGel knee pad that is EN1621-2 certified.

The knee pad retails for $79 and comes in S, M, L, XL and XXL sizes.





























Features
It uses a 6mm layer of the lightweight and flexible ArmourGel material that hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption. The knee cup pad is perforated to improve ventilation, and it utilizes a pre-curved 3D design for better fit and function, and the inside has a silicon printed grip, all of which kept them in place during a crash, tumble and while pedaling. It has some additional foam padding above the knee cup and another three pods on either side of the knee which provides increased impact protection. The side protection was especially functional when hammering through bushes and when taking a sliding digger during a crash.





























The pull on armor has a comfortable elastic cuff at the top that has a wide silicone gripper to help keep it in place while the lower cuff utilizes a skinny elastic cord. This lower cuff design isn’t as comfortable and after some long rides, I found it sometimes caused hot spots, so I’d prefer to see the top cuff replicated on the bottom. It doesn’t have any adjustability since its a simple sleeve design, but with the proper sizing, I didn’t have any fit issues. You do need to make sure that you pull them up high over the knee and slightly over the calf, else they can droop.

I liked the cutout at the back of the knee, which prevented hot spots and rubbing, drastically improving the comfort of the guard during pedaling. The rear section of the guard uses an open weave material that provides superior ventilation and comfort, so I didn’t feel like it got very damp, even after a long ride. The sides and front use a light material that is very breathable and comfortable, and everything seemed to wick moisture decently.

Impressions
I have been wearing the Airflex Pro soft knee armor for six months now, and I’ve found them to be very comfortable and flexible and breathable. They offer excellent All Mountain protection and are comfortable even during long pedaling sessions lasting many hours. I have taken plenty of decent crashes on hardpack, into bushes, rock gardens, and some tree roots and haven’t suffered any excess rashes, cuts, abrasions, and bruising. Albeit, nothing was at extremely high speeds, but the armor did an excellent job of absorbing the impacts so that my body wasn’t taking the brunt of the crash. These aren’t full-on bike park, downhill and freeride pads and would be out of their protection realm in some of those situations, though they would be okay for milder trails at a resort. I didn’t find them overly hot, even when it was sweltering out, and they felt more like I was wearing a pair of knee warmers. They haven’t shown any undue signs of wear and tear and have been extremely durable, and even with my occasional washing and drying of them and lot’s of crashes, the only thing that has worn is the imprinting on the lower rear mesh.





























Bottom Line
The Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Guards offered excellent protection and shock absorption, flexibility and comfort and was fine during all-day pedaling sessions. The pre-bent shape of the knee cup and it’s internal silicone grippers keep them solidly in place, even during nasty crashes and while pedaling. The top and side foam padding was functional and was greatly appreciated when it was needed. I was very satisfied with their crash worthiness and impact absorption during my tumbles and fall over’s and crashes, and I didn’t suffer any unnecessary injuries, which highlights their effective protection. The only small gripe was the skinny elastic cord on the lower cuff, and I found it sometimes caused mild pinching, so I’d prefer to see the top cuff replicated on the bottom.

Pros
  • ArmorGel material provides excellent protection and shock absorption
  • Great combination of comfort, flexibility and impact protection
  • Easy to slip on
  • Durable
  • Pedals well

Cons
  • Lower cuff design sometimes caused pinching
  • Can slip down on rare occasions