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7iDP Covert Knee Pad (discontinued)

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Average User Rating: (Spectacular) Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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Tested: 7iDP Covert Knee Pad

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Fred Robinson and Brandon Turman

7iDP may be a newer name when it comes to protection in the mountain biking world, but with over 65 years of combined experience in MTB protection design and product management, it should come as no surprise that they are gaining more and more notoriety as one of the leading brands that consistently nails their products. Excited to get another chance to put a 7iDP product through the wringer, we laid our hands on the Covert Knee, a kneepad that offers customizable levels of protection in a low weight, form fitting package. Read on to see how we got along.

7iDP Covert Knee Pad Highlights

  • Removable foam inserts and knee cap for washing
  • Low weight, high strength flexible 1mm cap for superior fit and pedal motion
  • Double

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Fred Robinson and Brandon Turman

7iDP may be a newer name when it comes to protection in the mountain biking world, but with over 65 years of combined experience in MTB protection design and product management, it should come as no surprise that they are gaining more and more notoriety as one of the leading brands that consistently nails their products. Excited to get another chance to put a 7iDP product through the wringer, we laid our hands on the Covert Knee, a kneepad that offers customizable levels of protection in a low weight, form fitting package. Read on to see how we got along.

7iDP Covert Knee Pad Highlights

  • Removable foam inserts and knee cap for washing
  • Low weight, high strength flexible 1mm cap for superior fit and pedal motion
  • Double layer custom foam to increase air flow and reduce weight
  • Compression fit, designed to be packable
  • A combination of Poly/Spandex and 4 way stretch mesh to provide good fit and ventilation
  • Designed beyond CE EN 1621/1 standard to ensure maximum protection
  • Sizes – S/M/L/XL
  • MSRP:$89.95 USD

Initial impressions

Curious about the “customizable” levels of protection, the first thing we did when we received the Covert Kneepads was pull them apart. This examination revealed a rather clever construction of foam/plastic padding that allows you to combine or remove different pads within the poly/spandex mesh sleeve to suit the day's riding plans (more on this later).

Overall construction of the whole package looked top notch, with solid stitching and a high level of finish quality. The spandex panel shapes that make up the back and sides of these pads seemed appropriate for holding the pad in place during a crash while allowing an unrestricted pedalling motion. And on the topic of pedalling, it was high time we got some done.

On The Trail

The important question for any product in general, and protection in particular, is how well does it perform on the trail? We're happy to report back with nothing but positive things to say here. When we first put the pads on, they did sit off the kneecap a bit which felt kinda funny, but once we hopped on the bike it became obvious that this was intentional. 7iDP calls it “X Profile Cap Design”, a pre-bent X-shaped kneepad which is supposed to facilitate fluid pedaling action and help keep the pad in place when you hit the ground.

It seems as though 7iDP did their research and the pads do indeed feel fine while pedaling, even on those long mile days. They never slid down or hiked up our legs, and the few times we did crash in the Covert pads they stayed in place and did their job.

The close fit kept the pads from chafing and despite the fact that 7iDP didn't cut out any excess material around the back making these a “full-sleeve” pad, they weren't overly hot, breathed well and dried out pretty quickly.

In our opinion though, the standout feature of these pads is the ability to customize the level of protection they offer. Within the kneepad sleeve there are two interlocking foam pads and a plastic knee cap. You can choose to run all three layers for the maximum level the Covert Knee offers for the nastier trails, or you can go the minimalistic route for easier trails and run only the one foam pad that is at the bottom of the stack.

You can also mix and match within the stack if you choose to. Say you want a less bulky pad but still want that hard plastic knee cap, just remove the middle foam pad and run the cap directly on the foam base. A pretty unique feature that we found ourself messing with often depending on what trail we were riding.

Things That Could Be Improved

We dug deep to nitpick these pads and pretty much came up empty-handed. We can't even complain about the price as they fall more or less inline with most other high-end offerings out there. They do lack some protection on the side of the knee, but they're not full-on DH pads and the balance of flexibility, comfort and protection on offer here is pretty much spot-on for the intended usage. We want to complain, we really do, but we really got nothing.

Long Term Durability

With only a few minor diggers behind us we can't comment too much on the Covert Knee's ability to handle multiple big crashes, but the times we did hit the dirt the pads did their job protecting us and after dusting them off, they looked just as good as the did before we went down. Despite the snug compression-type fit and pulling them on and off even when sweaty or wet, the threads holding the pads together didn't pop or break, something that's common in less expensive gear of the compression type. All in all, the Covert Knee appears to be in it for the long haul.

What's The Bottom Line?

7iDP set out to create a compact, compression-fit knee pad that can pack away easily while still providing adequate protection for more aggressive riding, something enduro racers and trail riders will definitely appreciate. The Covert Knee provides adjustable levels of protection so you never have to run more than you need and in every configuration it still allows for an unrestricted pedaling motion in a comfortable package. To quote a friend of ours we lent these pads to for a ride, “they're F'n awesome.” To paraphrase said friend, 7iDP nailed it.

For more information, head on over to www.7protection.com.


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session. He is currently a student at UCSD and a wrench at a local bike shop.

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5 comments newest first

A size chart has been added to the top of this review in the product photos. Sorry about not having it on the site yet. We are finalizing a few products and wanted to wait to post a complete size chart on the site. Measure 6 inches above and below the knee cap for this size chart.

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7IDP have no size guide on their website which is massively annoying - lots of us don't have a local dealer, and need that info. This review mentions nothing about how the pads size up - that's crucial too.

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Good call, when measuring 6 inch above and below the center of the kneecap, my legs measure 19 inches above and 16 inches below and the large was spot on for me. Riders within 1 inch either way should be happy with a large too.

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Those pads look great, and I am digging the pad customization. Lightweight pads have come a long ways.

That said, I wonder about length of the pad and the containing sock of all of these style light pads. The pad length is down the shin, almost like a shin guard, but not far enough to protect a pedal strike, and a crash is unlikely on the shin.

In addition, the "sock" extends from upper quads to mid calf, like a leg warmer, and as light and breathable as this material is, it still behaves as a leg warmer. Warm on hot days.

Having owned multiple sets of "light" knee pads, including shorter versions, I'm trying to understand the reason for the length. Shorter versions have worked just as well.

Otherwise, pads like these work great, and help me get up laughing when I go down. I wear them all the time and love em.

P

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3 member reviews

Last trail knee pads I need for a LONG TIME!

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

comfy, customizable, doesn't move when pedaling

The Bad:

Expensive, need to take off shoes to put them on, black color can be hot in the summer

Overall Review:

I bought these knee pads based on the vitalmtb reviews actually. I do a lot of research when getting new knee pads because I don't live in a place where bike shops sell knee pads and even if they do, it is a 100% certainty that they don't have my size or brand in stock. I usually like foxpads but they have grown stagnant in the last 4-5 years and I am sick of my big bulky DH knee pads that don't even stay in place when you crash!

I usually don't like the slip on knee pads but since I"m doing more trail riding these days and have no desire to be pedaling for hours with a DH pad on, I decided to get something lighter and more flexible. These pads hit the spot right on! I love how they are customizable with 3 distinct levels of padding on them you can pick and choose. I usually only ride with

Overall Review:

I bought these knee pads based on the vitalmtb reviews actually. I do a lot of research when getting new knee pads because I don't live in a place where bike shops sell knee pads and even if they do, it is a 100% certainty that they don't have my size or brand in stock. I usually like foxpads but they have grown stagnant in the last 4-5 years and I am sick of my big bulky DH knee pads that don't even stay in place when you crash!

I usually don't like the slip on knee pads but since I"m doing more trail riding these days and have no desire to be pedaling for hours with a DH pad on, I decided to get something lighter and more flexible. These pads hit the spot right on! I love how they are customizable with 3 distinct levels of padding on them you can pick and choose. I usually only ride with 2 of the 3 levels of protection installed but always keep the 3rd around somewhere in case I need to beef them up a bit. 

The fit while pedaling is great since the knee pad stays away from your patella a bit and lets air circulate to cool you off. Just make sure to get the bottom part of the knee pad sleeve above your gastroc muscles (calfs) and since these muscles get narrower at the top of the lower leg, that mid leg bulge of the muscle actually helps keep the pads from slipping down while you ride, its a great design. I have yet to crash directly on my knee while wearing these pads but I have crashed while wearing them in general and they have stayed in place and my knees are good to go! I would recommend these to any trail rider or enduro rider who likes comfort and is willing to pay a bit more to get it. The quality of materials used is amazing too, not one seam has come loose on either of the pads. 

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7idp covert knee pad

Rating:
The Good:

Great fit. Stays in place and they barely move around. Super comfortable on long rides.

The Bad:

The hard shell layer is a bit too rigid for my liking for lots of pedalling

Overall Review:

I bought these pads and they are the best light weight knee pads I have ever owned. I pulled the hard shell layer out and I found it made them much more comfortable during long rides. Make sure to measure your legs to get the right size. My 661 and alpine stars pads are all l/xl but I only needed a large in these pads. I've worn these for many 3 hour rides and they are still comfortable time after time. I do tend to pull them down to my ankles on large grinding fire road climbs. The lack of straps is also great. I was a bit skeptical at first but after riding twice a day in Squamish for a week I had no issues with them slipping or sliding down or around at all. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking for a light weight knee pad. They were amazing for long rides in Squamish and

Overall Review:

I bought these pads and they are the best light weight knee pads I have ever owned. I pulled the hard shell layer out and I found it made them much more comfortable during long rides. Make sure to measure your legs to get the right size. My 661 and alpine stars pads are all l/xl but I only needed a large in these pads. I've worn these for many 3 hour rides and they are still comfortable time after time. I do tend to pull them down to my ankles on large grinding fire road climbs. The lack of straps is also great. I was a bit skeptical at first but after riding twice a day in Squamish for a week I had no issues with them slipping or sliding down or around at all. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking for a light weight knee pad. They were amazing for long rides in Squamish and they are equally as amazing on the east coast coast with our wildly punch and technical quick ups and downs.

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7 IDP Covert Knee Pad

Rating:
The Good:

Great fit - Versatile padding - Very secure - Lightweight + Airy - Bombproof

The Bad:

No flaws that I can find

Overall Review:

There really is nothing bad to write about these pads.

The versatility is the highlight. Being able to remove or add the thicker padding/plastic cap and make them as lightweight or bomber as you want is simple and ideal. Makes it easy to wash too! And incredibly easy to fit in a small pack.

The lack of any straps puts people off but I find they have a tendency to bunch up at the back of the knee, just above the calf, only a little but enough to feel like a strap holding them in place. You can see by the way the material is in the back this is built in to the design. It makes them very comfortable to ride in without any straps to constrict muscles or tendons which I often find an issue.

They are as at home in your pack waiting for the descent as they are being ridden in all day. The

Overall Review:

There really is nothing bad to write about these pads.

The versatility is the highlight. Being able to remove or add the thicker padding/plastic cap and make them as lightweight or bomber as you want is simple and ideal. Makes it easy to wash too! And incredibly easy to fit in a small pack.

The lack of any straps puts people off but I find they have a tendency to bunch up at the back of the knee, just above the calf, only a little but enough to feel like a strap holding them in place. You can see by the way the material is in the back this is built in to the design. It makes them very comfortable to ride in without any straps to constrict muscles or tendons which I often find an issue.

They are as at home in your pack waiting for the descent as they are being ridden in all day. The material is lightweight and breathable so no overheating!

If your looking for a Quality pad to do everything then this IS the one.

Great design and build quality.

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Specifications
Product 7iDP Covert Knee Pad
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Other
Pad Type Soft Shell
Material - Poly/Spandex and 4 way stretch mesh
- Removable foams and knee cap for washing and adjust-ability
- Low weight, high strength flexible 1mm cap for superior fit and pedal motion
- Double layer custom foam to increase air flow and reduce weight
- Compression fit, designed to be packable for out on the trail
Knee/Shin Coverage Knee Only
Size S, M, L, and XL
Color Black
Miscellaneous Designed beyond CE EN 1621/1 standard to ensure maximum protection.
Price $89.99
More Info

7iDP Website

7iDP Email

7iDP Facebook

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