Lightweight and extremely well ventilated pads for trail protection
Sep 21 2017
Excellent airflow keeps you cool
Comfortable for all-day pedalling
Can fill up with muck
Bigger straps would improve security and comfort
you hate having hot knees but need decent protection
If you need knee protection but hate overheating then the Dainese Trail Skins 2 are an excellent choice, combining an unrestrictive fit and class-leading ventilation that makes them perfect for trail riders.
The main party piece of this kneepad is that instead of using a solid piece of flexible armour, it's instead shaped in a honeycomb-like pattern that allows air to flow through it. That means that they're by far the coolest running kneepads I've ever worn, making wearing them a no-brainer even on the hottest of days.
The flexible armour also stays nice and flexible even in colder weather, meaning it conforms to your knees, minimising uncomfortable pressure points. The pad is attached to a flexible stretch sleeve with Velcro fasteners at the top and bottom, while a degree of side protection is added with small foam pads. The design does have a small shortcoming in that the upper Velcro tab isn't very deep. It'd feel much more secure if it was a bit broader, but it wasn't a deal breaker and the pads rarely shifted on my legs while pedalling for extended periods.
When it comes to protection, I managed to stuff myself into the ground a good few times while riding in these pads and they did a good job of keeping my skin where it should be. If you're particularly accident prone or regularly race enduro or downhill then you'll be wanting something a bit beefier and more secure, but when it comes to lightweight protection for wearing all day on your trail bike, these definitely do as much as you can expect. One drawback of the honeycomb design is that it can clog up with mud if you crash of it's particularly mucky out, but it's easy enough to knock out most of the muck before putting them in the wash.
All in all, the Trail Skins 2 offer an excellent mix of comfort, breathability and protection, so unless you regularly go large - and fail in the process - they're perfect for your all-round trail riding protection needs.
"Trail specific, highly breathable low-profile knee pads designed for unrestricted pedaling and all-day comfort."
Yes, they're my go-to pads for trail riding
Yes, without a doubt
Yes, unless they were particularly clumsy/gnarly
Jon is the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.