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Arc’teryx LEAF Knee Caps

Arc’teryx LEAF Knee Caps

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Published by TwobirdsFlyingPub

Review of Arc'teryx LEAF Knee Caps.

Review of Arc'teryx LEAF Knee Caps.

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Published by: TwobirdsFlyingPub on Feb 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Arc’teryx LEAF Knee Caps
By: Sal Palma

Twobirds Flying Publication

I’m always amused when I see comments like wearing knee pads “won’t make you a tier one operator.” They generally come from the closet commando, or air soft community as an expression of humility. I’m equally surprised to see how few active duty military personnel wear knee and elbow protection while in the field and during training exercises. Yet, it is as important as ballistic eye protection. So, with this review of Arc’teryx Leaf Knee Caps I’d like to drive the point home. Why should you wear knee and elbow protection? Here’s your answer…

Your knees are irreplaceable and can rarely be repaired to the extent that your leg will function at 100%. Therefore, like your eyes, it is crucial that you protect knees and elbows. In fact, I’d like to see the DoD source knee and elbow protection with ballistic properties. After some reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that soldiers and operators forgo wearing knee protection because it’s uncomfortable, and most of the designs currently available simply slide down your leg and end up at or near your ankles. For quite a few years now, I’ve used Hatch knee pads and in all fairness there’s nothing that’s really wrong with them except that on my leg they simply will not stay in place,

Copyright 2013, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.

Arc’teryx LEAF Knee Caps
and usually end up at my ankles where they are useless. Prior to writing this review, I was exploring the Arc’teryx LEAF line of apparel, specifically designed for Law Enforcement and Armed Forces. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the product. Even at its high price point there was measurable value that went beyond its elite status. In the process, I decided to check out the Arc’teryx knee cap to see what it brought to the table for the princely sum of $59; especially with competing products at the $18 to $25 price point. The Arc’teryx knee cap geometry is anatomically correct and conforms to the knee very naturally. Because the knee cap tends to cup or wrap around the Patella and upper portion of the Tibia, all of the knee’s key components are protected. A secondary benefit is stability with less side-to-side rotation on the leg, which ultimately starts the downward slide on the leg.

Arc’teryx, next, takes an interesting approach to the knee cap’s design. Rather than using the same pad width from top to bottom, they slim the knee cap down as it extends past the knee and down over the Tibia. To illustrate why this is a valuable concept, please take a seat. Now run your hand over your knee and down your leg towards your ankle. Note the spot just below your knee cap. See how it protrudes, this is your Tibia. By reducing the width of the knee cap at this point, Arc’teryx has designed into its product considerable flexibility; adding to both comfort and stability.

The Knee Caps are secured to the leg via two straps that terminate in T-locks. The upper strap is elastic and will not restrict your movements. The bottom strap is nonelastic nylon webbing and does most of the work; ensuring that the knee cap won’t slide down your leg. Simply synch it up around the back of your leg and the Knee Caps will remain in place for as long as you choose to wear them.

Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

Arc’teryx LEAF Knee Caps

of 1.9 pcf – a significant difference. To compress EV®50 by 50% requires a pressure of 15 psi. The material has a tensile strength of 125 psi and an operating temperature range of -95°F to +150°F. Arc’teryx finishes the exterior with a Kydex® hard surface making the Knee Caps very light and durable. All of the technology would be worthless without a comfort test, so upon their arrival, I wore the Knee Caps for the better part of a day. I used them while performing a variety of tasks including riding a bicycle. At no time did they shift position, restrict my movements or cause discomfort associated with binding. My overall impression is highly favorable but only time will answer the durability question. However, the sum of the parts suggests a great product, and, once more, the hackneyed cliché “you get what you pay for” holds true. Arc’teryx’s Knee Caps are well worth the expense. -SP Contact Information: Arc'teryx Equipment Inc.

Arc’teryx’s use of T-locks was a great touch. They have an extremely low profile, which mitigates the risk of catching on objects during kinetic operations or training.

Further evidence of product quality is the selection of materials used. Arc’teryx uses 10mm of EV®50 foam throughout the Knee Caps. EV®50 has a nominal density of 3.1 pcf compared to say EV30, which has a density

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Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

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