For something as seemingly simple as pieces of foam and fabric that strap to your legs, knee pads are really complicated. They have to protect your knobby bits (no, the other knobby bits) from high-speed encounters of the ground kind, first and foremost, but they also have to breathe well, stay in place, hold up to abuse, flex with your joint and not make you look like a gladiator. Bit of a tall order, to say the least.

The Dakine Slayer has long been a staple in my riding loadout—it pretty much ticked all the aforementioned points. It breathed well, held up to a season of riding, offered plenty of protection for the average ride and was very comfortable. It really didn’t seem like Dakine needed to change, well, anything on it. But of course, they did.


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