Alpinestars Vapor Knee Guard
I don't want to outfit my wardrobe with a bunch of ugly, ill-fitting kevlar or armor-ready jeans that cost north of 2 benjamins each. I like my clothes just fine. Depending on your style, these guards are great for keeping you safe from point A to B.
A couple of people mentioned they are "low profile" and fit "great under work pants or jeans." NOPE - I disagree. I wore these under my relaxed-fit Levis and they are totally noticeable and uncomfortable. But they are great to just wear on top of the jeans/pants and get rolling, that keeps me comfortable and safe.
Otherwise it's a simple, cheap, effective pair. True to size. They are L/R specific (asymmetric), designed to give a bit more coverage to the outer sides. One more thing - I like to wear them rotated outwards a bit (see pics) so they cover even more of the outer calves and knee joints.
February 12, 2014
Look for a better fit
First let me say that they seem to be rather well made(not well designed) for the price and I imagine they would provide good protection based on how they feel, but the fit isn't so great. They seem to be a little on the large side but I'll get into the real problem below.
The main issue is with the lower strap. The buckle ends up turning in it's strap which loosens the guard. While riding this isn't a huge problem but gets worse once you get off the bike. They should have designed the buckles in order to prevent them from turning. That would have made the product so much better and I would feel confident in recommending them to anyone. The current design is poor and seems as if they cheapened out on the fastening hardware.
My solutions has just been to tighten them a bit more than I would like as it helps prevent the loosen becoming too much of issue when the buckle rotates.
I would not recommend them to anyone based on the fact that there appears to be so many different knee guard options and to recommend these would be silly. I have not returned them as I don't think the issue is annoying enough to go through the hassle, but I certainly would not repurchase them and advise others to look for a better product.
September 13, 2013
Light, reasonably comfortable.
These entry-level guards were a good bang for my buck, however I noticed the following things over the last four months of riding:
1) The square plastic loop through which the calf-strap is fed nearly always rotates lengthwise while the knee guard is worn - which narrows and bunches the strap at that contact point. *See pic.
2) The knee-cup liner material is soft to the touch, however after more than an hour riding I feel a friction burn on my knee. I will remedy this by further lining it with fleece.
I suspect that at 5'9" & 185 lbs, had I opted for size M/L instead of L/XL I may not be experiencing one issue or the other.
August 21, 2013
Good bang for buck, Slightly large
Bought this to wear over jeans for short grocery runs in the city. Can't really find anything else that can beat the values of these CE approved knee guard for the price.
The knee guards are really comfortable and tucks right into my riding boots. The knee guards are a little big for me so I have to pull the straps all the way to get a good fit. My only complain is that the top strap only have a small contact patch for the Velcro.
August 15, 2013
good protection but poor fit
I got these to go under my REV'IT! Airwave Pants. In theory this was a great decision because the knee armor on overpants moves around too much. And as protection for the knee/shin I think these will do a great job.
My problem with them comes in the straps. I tried wearing them with shorts, but the velcro against the leg was too scratchy. And after only about 5 times of using these, the hook on the shin strap moves around causing the strap to loosen and for the pad to slide down my leg. If I get off the bike and walk 20ft (into the store and back) the knee pad will practically be around my ankle.
July 30, 2013
Bargain price, but short on features and fit
So what you get for this price is a CE-rated pad, and that's a very good deal. I'm wearing these under my Klim Mojave & Dakars, and occasionally jeans.
I got the LG-XL - I'm 5"9" 150 lbs - that's correct for me.
What you don't get is:
3 straps - the bottom of the pad close to your ankle pushes out when the knee is bent unless you have them tucked into motocross boots. I'm wearing an 8" work boot, so that's a no-go for me.
Maybe if the lower pad was a bit longer. w/another strap.
Maybe if you were wearing skinny jeans that would not be as noticeable - have not tried that yet.
Although the knee pad strap is above the knee, is still rides down behind your knee and can be a small irritant.
Still, a very good bargain and better than no knee armor, or built-in pads that sit below the knee.
July 10, 2013
Good protection, but straps could be better.
These offer a good level of protection for the price. They are compact and fit under my kevlar jeans, which are snug to begin with, without any additional discomfort but I wouldn't recommend keeping them on all day. The quality is what you would expect from Alpinestars. I am about 5'11" 185lbs, athletic build and the sm-md size fit my leg perfectly.
I prefer these knee guards to the knee armor in my pants, which I feel may not stay in place on a hard impact. I simply remove the armor from my pants and just wear these under instead. Once these are strapped on, I feel like they are going to stay in place if I go for a slide. I also like that these a CE rated.
My only gripe is that the straps can be a little uncomfortable. After only about a week of use, the part of the strap attached to the plastic loop has stretched enough to where the plastic bit flips sideways against my leg. Sort of hard to describe, but it makes the straps less comfortable and I find myself wanting to readjust that plastic piece if I get of the bike. Not a deal breaker though, I still find myself enjoying the peace of mind that comes with these.
July 10, 2013
Finally armor for Skinny Legs!
I am 5'9" and 185 pounds with legs/calves that I keep hidden under pants! Most motorcycle pants and knee armor are too large/baggy/bulky on me, so I was concerned about how these would fit. I ordered the Small/Medium and they are perfect under the several pair of motorcycle pants I own, from the tight fitting ones to the loose ones.....these fit under ALL of them,
And, with no bulk or "wart like protrusion" over the kneecaps of the pants. They are very slim and tapered.
The tapering is crucial because I was concerned abut the armor shin bottom going INSIDE my boots. Not a concern, as they extend about 2 inches inside my SIDI racing style boots without any adjustment to the boots at all. Whew! A nice smooth transition from knee armor into the shin armor of the boot. And, I use these Alpinestars Vapors under the regular rubber knee armor on all of my pants.....doesn't feel too tight. And they are easily put on and removed. Even pretty comfy while walking.
If you have a regular size leg, you will probably need the Large size as there is not a lot of strap to go around the area above the knee. Below the knee, there should be enough either with small or large.My brother, who is 6'3" and 220 tried them on and the straps did not fit well.....just barely went around above the knee.
I will continue to wear these even with armor already in my other pants, they are that comfortable....and give a much better protection
I ride in 85-95 degree heat and they are OK as far as air flow. But I'm not really expecting much.
A good price and a quality piece of armor!
July 4, 2013