First Impressions – POC Sports Joint VPD System Soft Armor

by Brian Mullin on July 6, 2017

At the Sea Otter Classic bicycling festival this year, POC Sports unveiled the new Joint VPD System soft armor lineup, which includes a Knee and Elbow version. Following in the footsteps of the original VPD 2.0 and then the VPD Air armor, the Joint VPD System is highly flexible 2-ply protector utilizing the VPD energy absorbing technology.

The VPD System features a highly efficient ventilation system and an outer fabric which recommenced with high-tenacity polyamide yarns for low friction and high abrasion resistance. The VPD material wraps around the rider’s knee and elbow when warm and offers excellent freedom of movement on the bike. The VPD or Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough is a lightweight, flexible and moldable material that hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption all of which help to minimize injury.

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. The Knee retails for $150 and the Elbow for $120, and they come in XS, S, M, L and XL sizes.


The pull on VPD System Knee offers excellent protection and extensive coverage, and extends above the knee and wraps slightly outwards around the leg. It doesn’t have any strap adjustment and instead relies on the elastic and stretchy characteristics of the material and design of the sleeve. The subtle prebend of the VPD material and the wrap around knee design along with the Neoprene anti-slip strips on the top cuff and the compressive nature of the sleeve kept them in place during tumbles 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. In direct comparison to its brethren, the VPD 2.0 and VPD Air, they were far more comfortable, conformable and breathable.

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, though my 5-hour rides wearing them never caused any issues. On fire roads or slow steep grinders, I would usually just push most soft armor down over my ankles and turn them 90 degrees outward, but that didn’t seem especially necessary with the VPD System pads due to their comfort level and stretchiness. 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.

With the front abrasion resistant section, the robust stitching and materials, excellent construction, and overbuild, the VPD System Knee has been extremely durable, and so far 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 they stayed put throughout my long pedaling sessions and rarely needed to be pulled back up into position over the knee.

The POC VPD System 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, abrasion resistant front, rugged stitching, and materials; all make for a durable, extremely comfortable and safe armor product. Highly recommended and my new favorite piece of armor!

For additional information refer to


  • Extremely flexible and light VPD elbow and knee pad
  • EN 1621-1 certified shock absorption
  • Ventilation system constructed within each layer to optimize moisture management and comfort
  • Low friction polyamide construction high abrasion resistance
  • Sizes – XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Certification – EN 1621-1

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