What makes a good knee pad? With so many different options on the market from just as many different companies, it is not surprising that this is a fairly common question, and one that is is sure to get a myriad of different answers. Obviously the ideal pad would be one that feels like it isn’t there, instead of feeling like a drunken Koala bear sliding down your leg as you pedal along. The perfect set of pads will also protect your bony knees from any foreseeable impact, whether it is an encounter with the ground, an errant pedal, or a collision with your own bike.
This balance between protection and comfort, while extremely difficult to get just right, is the difference between an annoyance, and a great set of knee pads. Typically, we have found that bulky, hard plastic pads offer an incredible amount of protection, but tend to migrate from your knees and due to their inflexible nature, usually cause discomfort. On the flip side, many soft, flexible pads fail to offer the adequate level of protection needed, in spite of the comfort they provide.
Demon Dirt is a company that has been on the rise recently, and seem to be one of the first to incorporate love it or hate it style and protection into the same pad, but where does this leave the performance of the Davy Jones Knee Pad compared to the competition?
Find out after the break!
Extremely similar to the wildly popular Six Six One Kyle Strait knee pads, the Davy Jones could be considered a hybrid pad, one that is mostly soft and flexible, but has hard plastic inserts in the front of the pad to help distribute the impact and to protect against sharp objects such as rocks. While the Davey Jones has two elastic straps for adjustment, the pad itself is a neoprene gasket style pad, meaning you must slip it over your foot and up your leg to put it on. Usually, this requires removal of your shoe which can be a pain, however this style of knee pad almost always stays in place better than pads simply relying on Velcro straps.
Inside the Davy Jones, you will find a very soft textured fabric that is extremely comfy, and doesn’t chafe, even if it become completely soaked in sweat. Most of my testing on these pads were done while I was wearing jeans, so the pad was positioned under the leg of the jean. This has always lead to the pads not drying out as well as I would like and eventually soaking through into my jeans, however, this seems to be par for the course, especially after a long day at Rays MTB.
Fit on the Davy Jones is just as you would expect from knee protection of this style, as I am usually a medium in most things, and like clockwork, the medium Davy fit me perfectly. Over the course of a long day of riding, I had to adjust the pads minimally, and never needed to make the straps super tight to stay in place.
When it comes to protection, Demon’s got that covered. Not only does the pad feature a round hard plastic disc placed just in front of the knee cap (with a comfy dual density pad that keeps the plastic away from your knee), there are also soft high density pads on both sides of the knee to protect from more than just landing on your knees. One of the reasons this style of knee pad is my favorite, is the fact that it almost envelops your entire mid-leg in a cocoon of protection that feels so good when you get the occasional seat or top tube to the back or side of the knee.
Another similarity to the Strait pad (in all honestly they are most likely made by the same company, as they are almost exactly identical, minus the graphics and fabric) is the fact that the pad extends past the knee cap and protects the very sensitive area of the shin, just below the knee cap.
While I would like to see a little more shin coverage, (note my left shin, after years of abuse) most riders will find that the Davy Jones offers more than enough protection for any riding style, whether it’s dirt jumping, free riding, or down hill.
Ultimately, the purchase of the Davy Jones Knee Pad will come down to the buyers personal taste. As I mentioned before, the Davy is nearly identical to the Strait, but with two key differences. The most obvious difference, is clearly the styling, which I feel is fun and it sets the pads apart from a sea of black. Obviously, not everyone is going to feel that way, and some might not feel like the $69.99 retail for the Davy Jones is worth the extra $10 over the Kyle Strait Pad.
However, there is a potential difference that is slightly more tangible than style, and that is durability. The Kyle Strait pad features a perforated neoprene sleeve to keep the pad around your leg, and the perforation allows the pad to breath better in theory. The downside to the perforation is that it allows for hundreds of locations for the pad to start tearing, especially if caught on things like pedal spikes. In just over a year’s worth of use on my Straits they are already showing quite a bit of wear in the areas you would expect. While the Davy Jones seem to have a similar perforation through the center layer of the neoprene, the top and bottom cloth layers are not punctured, which leads me to believe the entire pad will last longer than the Strait.
- Full 360 Sublimated graphics with combination hard plastic knee caps
- Knee pads have dual density and lower knee protection
- One of a kind limited edition button TPR patches
- Top of the line multi-sport knee pad with a style all its own
- MSRP $69.99
Coming into this review, the SixSixOne Strait pad was my favorite pad to date, so Demon dirt already had an advantage. The styling works for me, but I get that not everyone will be into it, so that was taken into perspective. Just from the hand of the fabric, and the perceived stoutness of the Davy’s padding, I think it may just be slightly better than the 661 in terms of long term durability, although only time will tell.
Demon Dirt’s Davy Jones Knee Pads easily earned a 4.5 thumbs up as they have improved on an already excellent design. Why 4.5 and not 5? I’m reserving that 5 for the ultimate knee pad, which would basically be something like the Davy Jones, but with expanded shin protection.