MXA TEAM TESTED: EVS SPORTS OPTION AIR KNEE & ELBOW PADS
WHAT IS IT? EVS Sports specializes in producing protective gear for all levels of riders—from Travis Pastrana and Chase Sexton all the way down to Junior who rides a PW50. EVS Option Air knee and elbow pads are designed to protect your limbs from roost or a collision. With performance, airflow, comfort and protection in mind, the EVS Option Air pads were created to provide exceptional protection and mobility for riders who value their health and enjoy riding their dirt bikes without distraction.
WHAT’S IT COST? $72.45 (knee), $51.45 (elbow).
CONTACT? www.evs-sports.com or (888) 724-3005.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the EVS Sports Option Air knee and elbow pads.
(1) Concept. Knee and elbow pads are known for sliding down your limbs and ending up beyond their designated position. They are also notorious for retaining heat with very little room for airflow. To combat the two flaws that have plagued knee and elbow pads for years, EVS created the Flyte Liner and Trac Grip to increase ventilation and hold the pads in place.
(2) Protection. The impact-shield exteriors on both the knee and elbow pads are made of a high-impact-tested polymer that provides optimum protection against debris and collisions. Many top riders choose to wear knee braces; however, you might be surprised to learn that Kevin Windham, Justin Hill and Michael Mosiman are among the few factory racers who have earned Supercross wins and podium finishes with knee pads.
(3) Breathability. With a name like Option Air, ventilation is obviously a priority. Any material an athlete wears while active is bound to retain heat; however, these pads were by far the most breathable knee and elbow pads the MXA wrecking crew has ever tested. The innovative grid of impact-damping pads, dubbed the Flyte Liner, lifts the protective gear off the skin and allows air to flow through the pads for increased ventilation.
(4) Mobility. To prevent uncomfortable pad migration and enhance mobility, both the knee and elbow pads utilize two, wraparound Velcro cuffs. To work with the cuffs, a generous amount of silicone grip material was added to the top of the knee pads. Our testers didn’t have an issue with the knee pads sliding down their legs, but they did experience a learning curve with the elbow pads. If the elbow pads weren’t on tightly enough, they would slide down into the wrist area and hinder mobility.
(5) Fit. It was difficult to put the elbow pads on tightly enough without outside assistance; however, after a few tries, we learned to hold one side of the cuff down with our thumb and pull the Velcro strap over and secure it with our other fingers. Luckily, the Velcro is strong enough to create a secure and confidence-inspiring fit. The knee pad features independently moving guards for the knee cap and shin. Our testers tended to put the pads on like knee braces, with the top half above the knee and the shin guard below. We had to pay special attention to installing the knee pads lower for the correct positioning.
(6) Sizing. The EVS Option Air knee and elbow pads come in one size that fits most adults with a black, grey and red color scheme.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The elbow pads were difficult to get tight enough by ourselves, and if they weren’t tight, they’d migrate down to our wrists; however, they did work well once we learned how to put them on properly.
MXA RATING: EVS Sports went out of its way to reinvent two protective guards that have been neglected for years. Most of our test riders prefer riding without elbow pads, but they did appreciate the light weight and flexibility of the Option Air knee pads.