The Dakine Anthem Knee Pads offer a good level of protection and great coverage in a midweight package. They’re comfortable and super convenient thanks to a wraparound design, but they’re also warm on the bike and bulky off it.
The Anthem pads offer protection with an impact-absorbing, 3D-moulded foam that's certified to EN 1621-1 Level 1 standard. You get one main cup over the knee, and four smaller bits covering the strategic parts either side. For cooling, the back of the pad is completely open.
Rather than the usual slip-on tubular affair, the Anthem is a flat wrap that secures with a two-stage Velcro set up. There’s a primary section to join the the ends together around your leg, then a secondary section on an elastic strap for tensioning and security.
There are silicone grippers at the tops to keep them from slipping, too.
The wraparound is a really useful design, as the Anthems can easily be put on without removing your shoes, or quickly whipped off mid-ride when they (inevitably) get too toasty.
With plenty to keep the pads secure, they never budge no matter how you ride.
The Anthem pads are pre-curved to fit the knee as best they can while riding, don't interfere with shorts and go largely unnoticed on the bike... at least until your knees boil over, anyway. The gaps at the back allow some air to creep through, but it’s not enough to keep you comfortable on hot days without a strong breeze.
Inevitably that curvature means they're not ideal when you stop, however, and they feel pretty bulky when walking/posing on high places/climbing out of ditches.
The Anthems tend to absorb sweat and at times can get itchy. On the upside, you can at least get to the itches very quickly...
If you’re looking for pads to whip on and off as needed around the trails, the Dakine Anthem offer good protection, great coverage and a quick-fitting wraparound design. They're a bit warm for hot days and feel noticeably bulky when you're off the bike, but their quick-release nature may seriously reduce those issues for many riders.
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