POC VPD Air Knee Armor Review

by Brian Mullin on February 24, 2016

VPD Air Armor

The POC Joint VPD Air is a light-duty soft armor system that was designed for enhanced flexibility, ventilation and freedom of movement while still providing the utmost in safety and protection. The VPD Air is lighter, uses thinner material and has less coverage than POC’s other beefier models, yet it offers a balanced compromise of comfort and protection. They come as a knee pad for $80 and an elbow for $70, and they’re available in S, M and L sizes.

The VPD or Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough material hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption, and also, its lightweight, flexible and moldable.

 

Joint VPD AIR Knee

The trail focused VPD AIR Knee armor uses a perforated molded VPD protector with reinforced stretch fabric in front and a stretchy and comfortable Lycra inner sleeve. The slide on armor utilizes one securing elastic top strap with an adjustable Velcro closure and has Neoprene grippers in the cuffs to prevent unwanted movement. A portion of the inner sleeve material for the Knee has Polygiene (natural silver salt) applied to the fabric, which neutralizes odor by stopping the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi.

As with all of POC products, the superb soft armor had excellent build quality and stitching and durability and was designed with the utmost in safety.

Specs

  • Lightweight and impact absorbing VPD compound.
  • Reinforced stretch fabric.
  • Elastic strap for a comfortable fit.
  • Neoprene anti-slip on the inside.
  • Designed with a low profile.
  • Sizes – S, M, L
  • Color – Black

 

 

Impressions

The pull on VPD Air Knee offers great protection and extensive coverage, and extends up to the knee and wraps slightly outwards around the leg. The single upper strap made it easy to adjust the tightness around your leg, and they rarely drooped, and even when they did a quick yank upwards put them back into position. The pre-bend of the VPD material and the wraparound knee design along with the Neoprene anti-slip strips kept them in place during a crash, tumble and while pedaling. The soft and stretchy material and relaxed design and thinner VPD provided great flexibility and comfort for pedaling, especially compared to their tougher brethren in the POC armor lineup.

 

I didn’t notice any significant rubbing and pinching issues while wearing though they’re still a substantial soft knee armor so that minor irritation might happen on longer rides. If I was going to do fire roads or slow steep grinders, I would usually just push them down over my ankles and turn them 90 degrees outward, since they weren’t needed and it made pedaling more enjoyable. When I did long days in the saddle or engaged in big hike-a-bikes, I’d stash them in my pack and put them on for the more gnarly and technical sections. They didn’t get overly warm, and the mesh materials and perforated VPD helped with ventilation purposes. They worked fine on the hottest days though they still could get sweaty.

With the robust stitching and materials, excellent construction, and overbuild, the VPD Air Knee have been extremely durable, and after prolonged use, they haven’t shown any premature signs of wear and tear. Other than an occasional washing to remove sweat stains and dirt, I have never done much else to care for them. They’re easy to slip on, and once the straps were adjusted; I didn’t find a need for altering them further. They offer excellent protection when you crash, and I didn’t suffer major injuries when I cascaded into rock fields, banged into tree limbs or fell over. It’s rare to find a pair of knee armor that is so comfortable and still provides excellent impact absorption properties..

 

Bottom Line

The Joint VPD Air material offers excellent protection and shock absorption, flexibility and comfort. The pre-bent molded shape of the knee and the Neoprene grippers on the cuffs and wraparound design keep them in place, and it helped them to conform to your body for better comfort and safety during a crash. The use of the perforated and flexible pre-bent knee cups, stretchy and soft materials, offered maximum comfort and generous body movement for pedaling and maneuvering around on the bike. I was extremely satisfied with their crash worthiness and impact absorption during my tumbles and fall over’s, and I didn’t suffer any undue injuries, which highlights their effective protection.

The POC Joint VPD Air Knee is an excellent light weight soft armor product, and the shock absorbing VPD material with its wrap around pre-bent molding, the overbuilt construction, rugged stitching, and materials; all make for a durable, comfortable and safe armor product.

Pros
  • VPD material provides excellent protection and shock absorption
  • Amazing combination of comfort and impact protection
  • Easy to slip on
  • Durable and well made
  • Pedals well
Cons
  • Warm on hot days
  • Droops on rare occasions

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