Lately, I’m kinda surprised my nickname hasn’t been changed to CRASH CRAZY. I have had a few really good ones that are keeping me outta action and it ain’t fun. It’s making me rethink my whole level of protection that I wear, though.
A while back I was sent a set of the new TRAIL SKIN Knee pads from DAINESE to test out and at first, I was really nervous. I have always had knee/shin combo’s and they were all big and beefy. So hot, bulky and not great for summer riding. The thought of a light-weight breathable set of pads definitely appealed to me but was kinda scared me as well. Right out of the box I knew these pads were going to be way different and WAY better for summer.
The first ride I had air flowing on a climb. Yeah, that’s right on the way up the hill on a hot day I felt a breeze on my knees. I was still not stoked on the thought of crashing but that was totally not going to happen. Ha, ha, ha. Yeah right. But we’ll get to that later.
The pads are made up of a very breathable and stretchy mesh with silicone gripper strips to stay in place top and bottom and really good Velcro synch straps to tighten up and lock them to your leg. While there is some foam padding on the sides the main PRO ARMOR “lattice” looking shield is what takes the punishment.
While riding the pads stayed in place and lived up to the hype as the most breathable pads around. Now the reason we wear pads is in case of a crash, no one has them ever but just in case. Well, my second ride out after getting all stoked on these pads and I was getting a little cocky on Sky Fall drop and I went too big and came way off and slid down the lander on my knees and face, Well chin guard. (Stoked I’ve been wearing my full face way more as well.) The Trail Skins stayed on my knees and I and no scratches. I was so stoked cause it’s a big drop and was a big crash, even my other pads I have ended up with some less than ideal outcomes.
So what’s my verdict on the Dainese TRAIL SKIN 2 knee pads? They are bloody awesome, super ventilated, they stay in place and don’t move around and most importantly they hold up to BIG crashes.
On a side note, they are comfortable enough that the fact that you have to take your shoes off to get them on or off doesn’t even matter. I have still had mine on hours after a ride and totally didn’t even realise. Comfort PLUS.
Words: Steve Leeder
Photos: Ben Sykes & Steve Leeder