Leatt 3DF 6.0 Knee Guard
Words & Photos by Chili Dog & Drew Rohde
Leatt’s new 3DF 6.0 knee guards represent just a small chunk of the brand’s awesome new 2018 line for both moto and MTB. Released at Eurobike, this pad just recently hit the market, but we got out hands on some early so we’d have a few month’s worth of testing by the time the public was able to make a purchase. We’ve been working hard to put a couple sets of these pads through various conditions to see how they hold.
Designed to fill the gap between Leatt’s minimal trail pad, the Airflex, and their more DH-focused knee/shin guards like the 3DF Hybrid EXT, the 6.0 pads are intended for aggressive all mountain riders who want both a little bit more, and a little bit less.
While hard shell pads aren’t for everyone, it’s hard to argue with the improved impact protection and increased sliding characteristics during a crash. To aid in pedaling and flexibility, the 3DF 6.0 has two separate hard caps. Under the thin plastic cap is an additional layer of perforated 3DF impact foam that takes the edge off the big hits. The inner and outer sides of the guard also have two padded foam blocks each. The combination of padding nets the pads a Level 1 CE certification as knee protection (EN1621-1).
A single upper strap with silicone grippers handles retention. The sole strap keeps things simple while doing an exceptional job. An elastic mid and lower keep the pad in place, coupled with Leatt’s 3D molding that lets the pad conform perfectly to the kneecap. These are quite honestly some of the best fitting pads around. The three sizing options fit true to measurement.
The hard shell, 3DF inner foam, and rear mesh are all perforated for ventilation, which we felt wasn’t the highlight of the pads. When the air isn’t moving and sweat creeps in, new anti-odor MoistureCool and AirMesh wicking fabrics go to work.
We’ve grown tired of pads with complex closure systems or more than two closure bands. Thankfully Leatt got it right with a grippy, elastic lower and just one upper Velcro strap. Styling is also perfect on the subtle black on black version we chose. For those wanting to make a statement, there are some brighter options available.
No matter how long or bumpy the ride got, one thing was clear: the pads stay exactly where you want them. The shape molds perfectly to the knee, stopping them from sliding up or rotating– even on long climbs. They are incredibly comfortable, but be warned, they are notably thicker and warmer than their lightweight brothers, the Airflex. This also means they offer more protection when you hit the ground. During hard digs our knees stayed safe and emerged unscathed.
We’ve taken these pads on some long, epic rides, but haven’t experienced any rubbing or chafing, which is awesome. The trade off for the extra protection is that they are warmer than some of the lighter pad options, especially around the knee cap. We wouldn’t mind a few more vent holes in the front or sides to help get air moving in the front section.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Pads are a picky thing, but after spending time in these we’d highly recommend a pair. The Leatt 3DF 6.0 knee guards are among our favorite pads in that aggressive trail niche. Fit, materials quality and protection are all top of the pack. The pads conform to around the knee, stay put during long climbs or hard falls and offer a feeling of security, like a safety pillow. In a dream world we would love a little more ventilation in front, but warmth comes hand in hand with more protection no matter what brand you buy so we’ll take warm knees over busted knees any day of the week.
If you’d like to see more of these pads, watch this video where we compare them to several others on the market. Click here to watch.
Sizes: S/M, L/XL, XXL
Colors: Black, White on Black, Blue and Red on Black