EVS Sports recently released a new version of the Travis Pastrana signature knee guard called the TP199. We got our hands on a set to ride and race with for the past few months to see how they stack up.
About the EVS TP199 Knee guard
The TP199 knee guards from EVS are meant to be an alternative for the rider who does not like the caging or bulkiness that traditional knee braces have. Even some professional riders prefer knee guards over braces for mobility and comfort. Guards are also much more affordable than braces. There’s no substitute for the support and protection braces provide but they just aren’t an option for some of us.
The TP199 knee guards are extremely flexible thanks to the Bio-foam material and “Reactive memory foam” patella guard. “Reactive memory foam” is pliable armour and forms around the knee. The beauty of this technology is that the guard remains flexible for movement but when hit with an impact it hardens and provides the protection you’ll need.
The shin protection is slim and fit nicely into the different boots we tried them on with. The velcro straps are well placed and do not give you any uncomfortable pinch points. The inside of the knee provides enough protection for those of you that squeeze the bike a lot and Impact protection along the outside protects you from side impacts as well as direct hits.
What stands out?
My Favourite part of the EVS TP199 is the floating knee support sleeve within the knee guard. This looks a lot like a standard knee sleeve that is sewn into the knee guard. This provides amazing comfort and much needed support. It also allows the protectors to move around the knee sleeve. This sleeve also makes it possible to wear this knee guard with no extra socks. You don’t need a thigh high sock for these guards. Just put them right on your bare leg, no chaffing and no sore spots. Even after I endured a 3 hour XC race, there was no discomfort.
How did they do?
I’ve used over five different knee guards in the past five years. In most cases I tossed them after a season because they were uncomfortable and dug into my leg somewhere. I find these guards to be the most comfortable of any others I’ve tried. Although I have not sustained any major knee impacts since wearing them, I’ve definitely hit the ground using them and they’ve certainly met a tree or two along the way. For a knee guard I would rank the protection level at or above most others although it is strange not seeing harder plastic on them.
They breathe very well thanks to a mesh backing that runs the entire height of the guards. I had no issues getting these guards on or off at any time. They slide on with ease and stay on thanks to some silicone strips on the knee sleeve. I’m actually surprised how well they stay in place. I was never fighting the placement of the guards at any time during riding or racing.
Although I do believe there are better ways to “protect” you knees. Not everyone out there has the option for braces that can range anywhere from $300 to $1000+. Some riders just want solid knee protection that won’t dig into their leg, slide all over the place or allow objects to destroy their beloved knee caps. I have no problem saying these have been the best knee guards I’ve tried so far.
My only gripe with this product is that I had one stitched seam burst open on me in the first month. It wasn’t too concerning as I had them sewn back up in no time. I’m sure that if I had contacted EVS, it would have been covered under warranty anyhow.
If you’re not a fan of braces or if you can’t afford them I’d highly recommend the TP199 knee guards from EVS sports. If you haven’t been able to find a knee guard that doesn’t destroy the back of your knees, give these a shot!