O'Neal Redeema Protection Review

O’NEAL REDEEMA KNEE & ELBOW PAD REVIEW

Review by Alex Sardella | Photos by Vinnie Zacha-Herthel

O’NEAL was kind enough to send us a full kit of protection and apparel this Spring. We spent some time in the apparel and were down with the simple and functional clothing offerings. The Redeema Knee and Elbow Pads are the premium offering in O’NEAL’s protection line, and we have been pedaling and shuttling in them this Spring to put them to work. Unfortunately, they left more to be desired, especially being the highest end product in the protection lineup.

THE LAB

The Redeema Elbow Pad is a heavier duty guard designed for enduro and DH riding.  A midweight sleeve combined with O’NEAL’s IPX padding makes the Redeema guard a solid choice for the bike park. The pad itself has a nice ergonomic fit to it and sits well on the elbow. There is a small Velcro adjuster combined with a silicon gripper at the top to keep the pads in place from arm chatter blasting down the trail. The sleeve is pretty robust with a 4 way spider web looking material that is claimed to be ultra breathable. The Redeema Elbow Pads come in black only, with sizes S-XL, and run $79.99.

O'Neal Redeema Protection Review

The Redeema Knee Pad is the highest price point pad in O’NEAL’s lineup. It comes in at $99.99 and features a few more features and added protection compared with others in the lineup. A beefy Knee Pad that features O’NEAL’s soft but protective IPX technology conforms over the knee with additional lateral padding on all four sides of the knee cap. The sleeve features a zipper so you can get these pads on and off while keeping your kicks on. Two Velcro straps sit at top of the sleeve which help with adjustability on both inside and outside of your thigh. The Redeema Knee Pads only come in black, and the standard S-XL for sizing.

O'Neal Redeema Protection Review

THE DIRT

We can start with the Elbow Guards as I did prefer these a bit more than the Knee option. The elbow pads feature a cupped pad and sit nicely over the elbow, both at a bend and straight out. They run a bit warmer than many, so wearing these on long climbs and hot days will not be too ideal. The silicon gripper and Velcro works well enough, and the pads stay in place and don’t fuss around while riding downhill, giving a nice sense of safety. The Redeema Elbow’s will fit under most long sleeve jerseys and seem to be a bike park elbow pad more than anything. I’d rather reserve these to be thrown on for some park laps, rather than bring them along in a hip or backpack for enduro riding or backcountry adventures. They remind me a bit of the POC VPD elbow pads: a bit on the beefier side, but will do the job in protecting your elbow, which can often be the first point of contact in an OTB scenario.

The Redeema Knee Pads have not been my favorite. They proved to be uncomfortable and fit poorly, which is a bad start right away.  The pads have a strange fit and didn’t feel right on or off the bike. There is lots of loose material around the bottom of the sleeve, so much so that I can fit all four fingers between my skin and the pad. This wasn’t a sizing issue either, as the pad felt about right in other areas, and I don’t tend to have issues like these with other brands. The material under the kneecap is warm and does not allow for any airflow in-between the outside and skin so it can get toasty in there, especially when pedaling. The fit and breathability are the two key features I look for in a pair of dialed knee pads, and unfortunately neither of these boxes are ticked.

On the flip side, two nice features are the IPX padding which is burly, and the zippered sleeve which makes for an easy on/off. The Velcro on top does a good job in securing the pad to your thigh, but from an aesthetic standpoint it looks odd on the front of the pad. The more you cinch down the Velcro, the more that will be exposed on the front ‘wings’. If you are still looking at O’Neal’s lineup, we have enjoyed the lightweight Flow Knee Guards which have a better fit and overall design, though do concede on protection.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Nowadays, when I think of knee and elbow protection, I think of body protection that seamlessly moves and pedals with you as a rider, not so much the old school ‘body armor’. Both the options in the Redeema line feel more like the old body armor than modern day protection. There is a strong case that the Elbow Pads are a solid option for gravity and bike park riding and will do the job at hand in case of a crash. The Knee Pads however need some work for any discipline, and at a $100 price point there are definitely more comfortable and breathable options out on the market.

Price: Elbow – $79.99, Knee – $99.99
Website: O’Neal.com

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We Dig

Zipper for easy on/off
Elbow pads are solid for DH
IPX flexible protection

We Don’t

Bad Fit on Knee Pads
Material is Hot
Outdated Design

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