Best Tactical Knee Pads

Knee pads are a particularly important piece of kit. The best tactical knee pads are designed to provide a layer of protection for your knee when firing from a kneeling position.

When you’re kneeling down to aim, you’re able to effectively rest your elbow on your knee. This allows you to stabilize your aim somewhat and can also help you deal with recoil a little better. Knee pads allow you to maintain this position for longer without getting uncomfortable. They also allow you to transition into this position quicker without hurting yourself – making them ideal for military and law enforcement use.

Owning a decent set of knee pads isn’t just something that’s confined to first responders and military personnel, though. Construction workers who are serious about maintaining their joint health will normally own a pair too, as they’re often kneeling on hard surfaces when carrying out jobs. Apart from being a great piece of survival gear – they’re so useful as a utility that it’s hard to justify not owning at least one pair, just in case.

There is a huge variety of knee pads out there. Many of which are fit for various purposes – some are better suited for trade work. Others are designed for impact sports. It can be hard to differentiate between the lot at times. As a result, we’ve had our product experts compile a list of their favorite military knee pads. Important factors such as quality, durability and price have all been taken in to account when constructing this list.

Greatest Tactical Knee Pads Reviews

1. Blackhawk Advanced Tactical Knee Pads V 2

In terms of value for money, these are possibly among the best.

They’re manufactured by blackhawk, a company founded by a former navy seal because he felt the quality of modern military equipment needed to be vastly improved upon in order to protect the lives of members of our armed forces.

30 years on, and this idea still seems to be visible in the quality of their work.

The fabric holding this knee pad together is a very strong and durable 600 denier nylon. This means it’s unlikely to rip or tear significantly when undergoing stress.

The interior of the pad is lined with a closed cell foam padding material. This padding contributes to a greater level of comfort, a greater level of resistance to trauma and can even help prevent the retention of liquids (sweat/rain etc). The interior is also contoured/ridged in such a way that it prevents the pads from sliding away from your knee.

The cap is injection molded and made with a highly flexible polyurethane material. This high level of flexibility will grant you a greater level of versatility both on and off the battlefield. The polyurethane cap is also non slip. Meaning you’re less likely to slip and lose your balance when kneeling.

It’s attached with conventional hook and loop straps. They’re padded also, to ensure it’s not uncomfortable when you secure the product to your leg.

It comes in a choice of colors too, the most common being black. The other two options being Olive Drab and Coyote Tan.

2. AltaFLEX Gel Insert Kneepads

The AltaxFLEX Gel Insert Kneepads are another great option for those looking for value for money. For incredibly reasonable price they provide an almost unparalled level of knee proteciton and shock absorption.

It’s manufactured by a company known as Alta industries. However, Alta aren’t actually a company that specialize in tactical gear. They’re a company that specialize in knee protection. Meaning they know everything there is to know about crafting products designed to protect your lower limbs – regardless of your job. This means they have experience developing protection for the military and law enforcement as well as carpenters, tilers, roofers and other industrial trades.

These particular knee pads have gel inserts. The gel functions as a sort of memory-foam which adapts to the shape of your knee to provide comfort and ensure the pad stays firmly attached. This is especially useful if you’re expecting to be wearing this all day.

There’s also a half inch of compression recovery foam pads. This padding can help disperse kinetic energy cause from falling or bumping your knees, meaning you’re less likely to experience trauma.

The actual fabric holding this tactical knee pad together is Cordura® nylon. An advanced, tough fabric that’s designed to resist all manner of abrasion and stress.

These particular knee pads employ a longer design. This is useful to ensure you get maximum coverage across a wider range of movements and positions.

It’s all held together well with a Altas own strapkeeping and fastening system. Designed to ensure you can quickly fasten or remove the pads without having excess strap flapping around.

All in all this is a solid choice, especially given the ridiculous range of colors and camos they’re available in. These include ACU, ABU, Black, Coyote Tan, MultiCAM and more.

3. HWI Next Generation

These are another excellent solution for anyone looking to use tactical knee pads. The knee pads come with a quick release system which allow you to ditch them in a hurry. Quick release systems are not to be gawked at – they can save lives if your equipment becomes stuck or lodged somewhere, leaving you in a compromising position.

The cap itself is manufactured from STPA, to ensure that it provides a high level of protection whilst still staying lightweight and pliable.

They’re padded with high density foam to cushion against trauma and they’re held together with a high density nylon fabric. As a result, they’ve gained a bit of a reputation for being highly durable. You only need to sift through a handful of the user reviews found online to discover that many people have been using these for years without issue.

Weighing up price against durability, these are possibly one of the best pads on the market. They’re just incredibly difficult to destroy. You could march around on your knees with a weighted vest and you’d find that your legs would give out before these tactical knee pads do. Even the quick release mechanism is made of metal.

The shock resistance is also generally pretty excellent, the inner layer of the pads feels like it has gel inserts – although this hasn’t been stated by the manufacturer.

The elastic straps located on the top and bottom can be fastened with ease and are entirely comfortable – just make sure you keep the buckles on the outside, rather than the inside.

4. Helikon-Tex Urban Line, Low-Profile Protective Pads

These are a little bit less conventional than your generic knee pads. But they were definitely worth mentioning. These low-profile protective pads are actually inserts. They’re designed to be inserted into most conventional forms of combat/cargo pants. These include SFU, CPU, USM, ACU and more.

They’re designed to be cut to shape and then placed into knee (or elbow) compartments on your clothing. They’re made from a neoprene material that is 6 millimetres thick. This won’t do a great job of absorbing trauma, but it will allow you to put weight on your knee on a hard surface without damaging it. It’ll also prevent discomfort after spending extended periods of time crouched.

The benefit here is that you are far less conspicuous or imposing. Many situations require exactly this to prevent any kind of escalation of volatile situations. Another benefit is that they can be inserted as elbow inserts too. Elbow inserts are useful if you have a tendency to climb with your elbows – although some people advise strongly against this.

5. Valken Tactical Knee Pad

This knee pad is particularly popular with airsofters. It’s manufactured by a company that actually specialises in both paintball and airsoft accessories. Don’t let that put you off, though. The beauty of knee pads is that they’re pretty hard to get wrong. You can’t exactly put an airsoft rifle scope on a real rifle and expect it not to break. But you can easily scoop up some well priced knee pads from an airsoft company and notice positive results.

These knee protectors come in the 3 standard colors you’ll have come to expect. Black, Olive Drab and Desert Tan. The fabric is a tough and durable nylon material that will take a good bit of punishment. Made from a high impact polymer that’s incredible tough but flexible enough to remain comfortable when wearing.

The interior is padded with a cushion type material to absorb shock and allow you to lean on your knee for longer without experiencing pain.

The shell is made from thermoplastic polyurethane and shaped in a less conventional x-type formation. This is designed to allow you to absorb shock from a greater variety of angles.

The only major downside is that there isn’t a great deal of flex in these pads compared to the more popular models. Proceed with this in mind if you do decide to opt for them.

6. Condor Outdoor Knee Pad

It’s difficult to write about tactical gear without eventually namedropping condor. They’re a really popular manufacturer of tactical and outdoor related products and have been for a good few years now. It seems only naturaly that they would have also dipped their fingers into the market for tactical knee pads.

These particular pads stack up very well against the other competitors. They’re not excessively large or bulky, for starters. They’re designed for both comfort and safety, which is made evident by the high level of flexibility accompanying the half-inch foam padded contoured inside.

The cap itself is water resistant and manufactured with a non slip rubber that will allow you to maintain a solid grip on whatever surface you happen to be kneeling on. All without worrying about moisture retention.

The plastic buckles allow you to quickly take your pads off or put them on – this is ideal if you can see yourself having to get prepared in a hurry. The elastic straps have their own fasteners too, in order to ensure your pads don’t come loose when it matters most. As is normally the case, the is a one size fits all type of situation.

Considering the price, these are a particularly high quality product. You wont need to break the bank to protect your knees.

7. Alta Contour Knee Protector Pads

This is yet another solid product by ALTA. These particular knee pads make use of a contour design alongside the AltaLOK fasteners and non slip strip to ensure the pad stays firmly in place even during periods of intense activity. There’s a half inch layer of neoprene recovery foam padding material to protect against trauma from falls, scrapes and bangs.

There’s a tricot liner designed to keep out both moisture and dirt, too. Which is great if you’re plannign on wearing these things for a considerable amount of time.

These pads allow for a diverse range of motion with excellent compression recovery. The cap is standard size but the cordura nylon fabric material stretchs out a little taller than other conventional pads. This is simply to ensure you can keep the product attached firmly to your leg.

This particular variant comes in a nice olive green which pairs well with alta contour elbow pads and tactical gloves. They have a reasonable heft too weighing in at about 16 ounces (or roughly 1lb).

8. Hatch XTAK Tactical Knee Pads

This is another pair that warrants some serious consideration. Hatch are a company that have been around since 1967. They started off manufacturing protective equipment for law enforcement. So it’s only natural that they’d shoot their shot at attempting to manufacture the best tactical knee pads. They don’t particularly fall short of this title, either.

These XTAK military knee pads manage to remain tough and durable without compromising when it comes to their weight or flexibility.

They’re pointed, which means they’re designed for the ride – not the slide. You’ll find them fairly comfortable kneeling for prolonged periods of time, but you’ll struggle to use them for sliding around.

An ethylene-vinyl acetate foam lining can be found in contoured interior. This means you’ll have a great level of trauma absorption if you do happen to take a tumble at any point in the field. The high quality cordura nyulon fabric used to make these pads will also hold up against a good deal of trauma before you’ll start to see signs of stress.

The XTAK makes use of COOLMAX technology. If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, it’s effectively a serious of polyester layers that are hydrophobic and highly breathable. This has the effect of expelling any liquid building up in the interior of the fabric, preventing moisture retention. This can, in turn, prevent a build up of bacteria and sweat which can lead to some pretty foul smelling equipment.

The adjustable straps are manufactured from SPANDEX and feature quick deployment clips. These knee pads are also secured with a traditional hook and look system to help you avoid knee injuries.

9. OPLIY Knee And Elbow Pad Set

This product felt worth mentioning for a couple of reasons. The main reason being the value for money present here. For the price of a good pair of knee pads, you’re getting a reasonable pair of knee pads accompanied with a set of elbow pads.

One would think that this would result in a major loss of quality, but that’s simply not the case here. They have all the features of a premium quality pair of knee pads. This includes features such as closed cell foam padding, designed to enhance comfort. Closed cell also helps keep out moisture – which can prevent a bacteria build up and fowl odours.

The padding itself is comprised of EVA, rather than neoprene. The padding layer is also reasonable thick, which means that you’re less likely to encounter bruising if you happen to fall.

These pads are secured with very elastic straps with good grip. They’re totally adjustable too with the strap positioning being pretty much on point. You can tell these knee pads have been built from the ground up to prevent against slipping and loosening. Which is why they also feature a contoured interior.

The cap itself is made from a tough, slip-proof polyurethane material. It’s then secured with a high density 600 denier nylon shell – meaning that every part of these pads are highly durable.

Over all, these may not be the best tactical knee pads. But they are pretty good. The trauma resistance is good enough that you could potentially use them for activities such as skateboarding or biking.

They’re priced moderately and they come with an additional pair of elbow pads – which is great. If you’re looking to protect your knees odds are you’ll likely be looking for protection for other joints at some point too.

10. Idogear G3 Tactical Pants

If you’re looking to protect your knees, it’s probably best not to write off tactical knee pad pants. These particular combat pants come with their own integrated military knee pads which can actually be swapped around if the desire takes you.

They’re manufactured from a 35/65 cotton/polyester blend, woven in a 4-way ripstock fashion to ensure they are tough enough to handle rigorous activity without tearing. They’re also teflon coated to help preserve the fabric by keeping out water and dirt. Despite the high strength of the fabric, there’s plenty of elasticity too, to ensure they don’t restrict your range of movement or make you uncomfortable.

There’s an abundance of storage space too, but you’re likely here for the knee pads.

The knee pads themselves are pretty reasonable. Not only can they be removed, but there’s also an adjuster tucked in to the pants which will allow you to adjust their height appropriately. They’re small enough that they could feasibly be worn under a larger knee pad without getting in the way too much. But they’re also padded well enough that they can be used in their own right for protection. They may not be the best tactical knee pads but they certainly get the job done.

Tactical Knee Pads Buying Guide

There’s thousands of websites out there. With countless numbers of alternative brands and product manufactures offering their own variations of the common knee pad. As such, you may be tempted to look for yourself rather than selecting from our top picks. That’s totally reasonable, so to help you along we’ve compiled a brief guide of the criteria we would personally use for evaluation the quality of a product.

Here’s the questions you should be asking when you’re shopping around.

Who Made This?

Branding isn’t everything, but it’s definitely something. When you’re shopping around for a product that you’re going to rely on to preserve joint health, you should do a bit of due diligence on the manufacturer. Are they a brand dedicated to tactical gear? or knee pads? If so, you should be able to relax a little.

Where are the products being manufactured? Even if they’re assembled in the USA – where are the materials being sourced from?

How old a brand is can sometimes be an indicator of quality, too. It’s very difficult to run a bad company for 50 years.

What Materials Are Used?

This is another important question you should be asking. The fabric holding your pads together should be made from a tough material. High denier nylons or similar fabrics designed to resist abrasion and tearing are the best option.

How your military knee pads fasten to your legs are just as important as every other feature. You want straps that are made from a tough material – or else they’ll snap under pressure. Neoprene straps aren’t unheard of, but you’ll often seen straps made of much more elastic materials so they can be secured tightly.

The cap itself should similarly be made of a tough material. But it should also have a good deal of flexibility, to ensure it doesn’t impede knee movement. High density polyethylene is often used in high quality knee pads for this exact purpose.

The use of a non slip rubber strip will also go a long way in ensuring you remain stable when firing from a crouched position.

What Functionality Does It Have?

You’d be tempted to think that with something as simple as trying to protect your knees, there is only really one function you need to worry about. But there’s such a wide variation in products on the market that you’re not just confined to worrying about this. Some products will have quick release systems. Others will have strap management systems to ensure you don’t have spare fabric flapping around in the wind. Protecting your knees should be the bare minimum, but you should also be evaluating comfort, style and convenience.

Some products you could be considering aren’t even conventional pads. There are tactical pants on the market which have their own integrated combat knee pads.

Always look for the inclusion of features such as closed cell foam padding if you’re looking for the best tactical knee pads. Any kind of foam padding will do but closed cell foam can grant you a great degree of comfort.

Similarly you should keep an eye out for injection molded products as they can be more durable which will help you protect your knees for longer hours.

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