WHAT IS IT? The K300 is the latest offering from Pod MX. This lower-line knee brace uses the same space-age tendon design and proprietary hinge as the more expensive K700—only it’s easier on the wallet.
WHAT’S IT COST? $499.95 (pair), $264.95 (each).
CONTACT? www.podknee.com or your local WPS dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Pod MX K300 knee brace.
(1) Frame. The biggest difference between the $424.95 K700 and $264.95 K300 (aside from the price) is the knee brace’s frame structure. The K700 has a carbon fiber chassis, and the K300 is made from injection-molded, glass-reinforced nylon. The frame shape is also subtly different, but it has the same basic contours of its higher-priced brother. The K300 measures 15-1/2 inches from tip to tail, which is shorter than other braces on the market. That’s not necessarily bad. But the K300, just like the K700, is on the small side. Be sure to properly measure the width of your knee to ensure a quality fit before purchasing a Pod brace.
(2) Hinges. The beauty of the K300, just like the K700 and the original Pod, is the polymer hinge system. This design uses a synthetic ligament to provide a durable, secure and natural motion for the knee. Whereas other braces have a mechanical feel, the TPU (thermoplastic urethane) tendon allows for a more consistent movement while bending your knee. This is the most comfortable and simplistic hinge design on the market bar none.
(3) Straps. The K300 comes with four adjustable Velcro straps. Two of the straps feed directly through the frame, while the middle straps loop through plastic mounts. On the original Pod knee brace, we managed to break the plastic tabs off the brace, but Pod has since remedied that problem. It’s interesting to note that the straps are numbered to draw attention to the importance of strap order when putting on the K300. The middle two straps have padding for added comfort.
(4) Weight. Even though the K300 doesn’t have a carbon fiber chassis like the more expensive K700, a size-medium K300 tips the scales at 1.40 pounds. That’s awfully light for a knee brace priced as competitively as the K300. The decreased weight is the result of the molded, glass-reinforced nylon frame, as well as the thin foam liner (which is removable and washable) and synthetic-ligament hinge design.
(5) Protection. The Pod MX K300 comes with hinge-extension stop inserts that easily slide into the hinge. The K300 comes standard with a 10-degree extension stop, but there are options for 15-, 20- and 30-degree stops. A large plastic patella (knee cap) guard rotates with the movement of your leg. Our only complaint is that the top of the knee becomes exposed when the brace is bent at a 90-degree angle?and you could hit your knee against the handlebars.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two quibbles: (1) The straps could be longer. (2) We wish that the patella guard offered more protection when the knee is fully bent.
The Pod MX K300 is worthy of a much higher price tag for the value that it offers. The hinge is a work of art, and the brace is quite comfortable. The frame is also light and durable.