Are you military personnel? Or may a weekend warrior that needs a comfortable knee-position shooting stance? Either way, I think it’s high time you find yourself a pair of the best tactical knee pads.
Despite the name, tactical knee pads go beyond military, tactical, and combat situations. Construction workers and weekend warriors alike find them an excellent choice for knee comfort and protection. Well, unlike your typical knee pads, it uses military-grade materials for rugged durability. As such, it handles harsh weather and rugged terrain better. All the while, it offers easy mobility and hours of ultimate comfort.
Whether you’re looking for the best tactical knee and elbow pads or the best military knee pads, this review is most likely the stopping point. I’ll round up the best tactical knee pads for whatever need and budget.
10 Best Tactical Knee Pads
1. Alta AltaContour 52913.00 Knee Protector Pad
- Durable nylon shell and rubber knee cap
- Breathable brushed tricot liner
- Extra-flexible sectional foam padding
- Easy on and off AltaLok fastening system
- Rubber strip for non-slip performance
AltaContour is a durable knee pad designed to take a beating. Cordura nylon, in particular, provides much-needed durability for months of heavy-duty use.
A brushed tricot liner gives the knee pad a distinctive look and feel. But there’s more to it than style. It’s soft and breathable, making it excellent at wicking away sweat. Also, it goes the extra mile to improve mobility and keep out dirt and debris.
This knee pad uses sectional padding. Unlike continuous padding, it’s extra-flexible and provides a more contoured fit. Hence, you can move freely.
Did I mention that this knee pad comes with a non-slip rubber strip? Well, it’s on the back and serves to hold the knee pad comfortably in place.
Perhaps what makes this knee pad stand out the most is the AltaLok system. It’s a patented fastening mechanism that uses a dual-strap system. Well, it functions to keep the knee pad from bunging. Even more, it’s adjustable for a secure, comfortable fit.
AltaContour tactical knee pad measures 9.5 x 6 x 4 inches. As for color, it’s available in black and multi-cam.
2. 5.11 Neoprene Knee Pad Inserts
- Compatible with kneepad-ready pants
- High-performance neoprene promotes healing
- Patented D3O Lite foam combine comfort, protection, and non-slip performance
- Nylon backing for easy on and off
Well, for this particular product, I’m talking about 5.11 knee pad inserts. Hence, ensure you have tactical pants that have space for them. But not just any tactical pants. Apparently, this knee pad insert is for 5.11 Kneepad-Ready Pants. So, if you have a pair, you are good to go.
As the name suggests, it uses 6mm high-performance neoprene. It strong, flexible, and much lighter than your typical tactical knee pad. Also, it has a nylon backing for easy on and off.
It isn’t as tough as heavy-duty nylon. Nonetheless, it’s durable enough for most demanding missions. Even more, it retains heat better. As such, it’s an excellent choice for promoting healing as well as reducing pain and swelling.
This knee pad insert uses patented D3O Lite foam. It’s lightweight, high-density closed-cell foam for impact protection and shock absorption. Also, it’s non-slip, hypoallergenic, and prevents moisture retention. Hence, from the look of things, this is more than your average knee pad insert.
3. Military Outdoor Clothing 1053-N Knee and Elbow Pad Set
- Military-issued knee and elbow pad set
- Durable 1000 denier fabric shell
- High-density polyethylene knee cap
- Easy on and off fastening system
Do you want quality assurance in a knee and elbow pad set? Well, not many can match genuine, US military-issued surplus. That’s what you get in the 1053-N knee and elbow pad set.
This combat-tested set combines 1000 denier fabric, high-density polyethylene, and sturdy foam. As such, it meets the highest requirements for comfort, durability, impact resistance, and ease of use.
Though extremely robust, the set is just as flexible to provide a contoured fit and easy mobility. And lest I forget, the 1000 denier shell is waterproof to keep you dry.
Well, both the elbow and knee pads come with straps to provide an adjustable fit. Not only can it accommodate people of different stature, but it also provides a secure, non-slip fit.
It’s a military issue. As such, it has the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) pattern. Notably, the package includes two elbow pads and two knee pads.
4. Blackhawk V.2 Advanced Tactical Knee Pads
- Field-tested quality
- Durable, water-resistant nylon fabric
- Injection-molded knee cap provides flexible, heavy-duty performance
- Padded side extensions for better positioning and additional comfort
- Non-slip contoured ledge
Blackhawk V.2 is a field-tested knee pad boasting navy seal ingenuity. Again, like the 1053-N knee pad, it offers much-needed quality assurance. This knee pad uses heavy-duty nylon and injection-molded plastic. Such a combination enables it to handle the toughest terrains.
The injection-molded cap, while extremely durable, has more flex for easy mobility. And with the closed-cell foam padding, provides much-needed comfort and protection.
Well, there’s more to the closed-cell foam padding. It limits moisture retention as much as possible. Also, it has the apparent benefit of excellent shock resistance.
Inside the knee cap is a contoured ledge. It works in tandem with the strap system to keep the knee pad in one place.
Notably, this knee pad has padded extensions. Unlike your typical knee pad, it offers additional comfort as well as improve strap positioning. Blackhawk V.2 knee pad is available in coyote tan.
5. Alta AltaContour 52913.09 Knee Protector Pad
- Durable Cordura shell with breathable tricot liner
- Biomechanical design improves comfort and free range of motion
- A widely-set strapping mechanism for better weight distribution
- Durable neoprene foam padding
Except for the color, you can easily mistake it for the 52913.00 version. It does, however, have some defining features that set it apart.
As far as the construction material goes, this knee pad uses Cordura nylon and non-slip rubber. So, the construction is pretty solid but flexible at the same time. And as with AltaContour 52913.00 knee pad, it boasts a soft and breathable tricot liner.
This knee protector is biomechanically-designed to be comfortable and to provide easy mobility. Sectional neoprene foam padding, in particular, provides firm and consistent support. And with compression recovery design, it holds up well to months of heavy-duty use.
Like most knee pads from Alta, it has the patented AltaLok fastening system. It uses widely-set dual-strap mechanism to provide extra comfort and to avoid bunching. Also, it’s adjustable and keeps excess straps to avoid flapping.
The olive green color gives this knee pad a signature military look. As for the size, it measures 9.02 x 4.02 x 11.02 inches.
6. Diamond Talk Military Tactical Knee Pad Elbow Pad Set
- Strong nylon fabric
- Flexible, impact-resistant polymer knee cap
- High-impact EVA foam padding
- Adjustable elastic Velcro straps
For the price, it might sound like some cheap budget knee and elbow pad set. Interestingly, it’s a high-quality pair that has seen and endured harsh combat situations. To me, it does provide more value for money.
Well, the pads use strong nylon fabric and polymer cups. Hence, they are flexible, wearable, and of course, extremely comfortable.
EVA high-density foam is pretty much the most outstanding feature. It’s weather and chemical resistant. Also, it can withstand high-impact situations. But that’s not all. It also has extra room for additional pads.
The pads use elastic Velcro straps. As such, they provide a snug and secure fit for various elbow and knee girths.
Well, the set is available in black. It comprises two elbow pads and two knee pads.
7. M-Tac Knee pad Inserts
- Fits inside tactical pants
- Extremely durable and elastic EVA material
- Sectional design can be trimmed to use as elbow guard
M-Tac claims to be among the most modern tactical knee pad inserts. And from the look of things, it delivers as advertised. As with most knee pad inserts, it fits inside tactical pants to provide comfort and protection.
M-Tac knee pad insert comes in highly elastic and flexible EVA material. It’s soft and four times lighter than PVC for ultimate comfort. Interestingly, it’s highly resistant to wear and chemicals. Even more impressive is that you can machine-wash for easy care.
It’s a knee pad insert, no doubt. It does, however, have a sectional design. You can remove part of it with a knife or scissors to use as an elbow guard. Such versatility, among other things, make it one of the best knee pad inserts out there.
Well, the sectional or articulating design does more than offer versatility. Apparently, it makes it easier to bend the knee pad without any form of resistance. Even better, it provides unrestricted mobility.
8. Condor Outdoor Knee Pad 2
- Hard-wearing nylon shell and rubber cap
- Sizeable knee cap maintains balance
- 0.5-inch high-density foam padding
- Hook and loop system for easy adjustment
Before I go deeper, I want to commend Condor for including more color options for this knee pad. It’s available in black, coyote, and olive drab green.
Out of the box, this knee pad promises exceptional comfort and extreme protection. Even better, it goes the extra mile to provide maximum flexibility and easy mobility.
Well, the cap comes in hard-wearing rubber. It is non-slip and water-resistant. Also, it has a large flat surface to help keep your balance while sliding.
The interior, which comes in 0.5-inch high-density foam, contours to the shape of your knee. At the same time, it provides excellent resistance to shock and impact.
It does have a fastening system complete with a hook and loop mechanism for easy adjustment. However, what I like the most is how fast you can fasten and remove the knee pad. Also, the straps are elastic, allowing them to wrap around just about any knee girth. No wonder it’s a one size fits all knee pad.
9. Alta Industries 50413 AltaFLEX Knee Pads
- Field-proven comfort and protection
- Combines waterproof Cordura nylon and breathable tricot liner
- Longer rubber knee cap for maximum coverage and protection
- Firm foam padding for consistent support
- Original AltaLok fastening system
Alta makes one of the best knee pads for tactical, military, and industrial use. Of its many creations, the AltaFLEX series stand out as the best. Like other knee pads in the Alta lineup, AltaFLEX provides field-proven protection. And that’s more than enough assurance of the high-quality craftsmanship.
Compared to other knee pads, AltaFLEX has a longer knee cap. The sizeable rubber knee cap provides maximum surface coverage. Hence, it offers an extra level of protection.
The shell comes in Cordura nylon. It’s entirely waterproof and built to withstand long-term wear. Finished in a brushed tricot liner, it wicks away moisture and sweat. Likewise, it keeps out dirt and debris.
The interior has 0.5-inch foam padding. It’s firm for consistent support. And thanks to compression recovery technology, it doesn’t bottom out.
AltaFLEX knee pad uses the original AltaLok fastening system. It’s fast, secure, and keeps excess strap from flapping. And with the AltaGrip hook and loop system, it’s adjustable to fit most sizes.
10. K-P Industries Knee Pro Ultra-Flex III Knee Pad
- Incredibly tough plastic outer shell
- Non-marking grip for non-slip performance
- Thicker, moisture-resistant inner foam
- The jointed design promotes free motion
- Speed clip mechanism for easy on and off
Instead of fabric, the Ultra-Flex III knee pad uses a hard plastic outer shell. And with closed-cell inner foam, it’s easily the toughest and most comfortable.
The outer shell, though incredibly tough, is flexible and highly resistant to temperature and chemicals. Such construction makes this knee pad virtually indestructible. Moreover, the shell has a non-marking grip for non-slip performance on any surface.
Well, the closed-cell inner foam is 5/8 inches. That makes it thicker than the standard 0.5-inch foam used in other knee pads. For that, it provides more comfort. Also, it doesn’t absorb moisture.
The jointed design is perhaps the most defining feature of this knee pad. It has a hinge with metal rivets, allowing it to move with your knee. Hence, you can walk, kneel, crawl, and squat with ease.
The fastening system combines a soft elastic strap and speed clip. Hence, it allows for a secure, adjustable fit as well as easy on and off.
Notably, this knee pad is available in a wide range of colors. You can choose from black, coyote tan, olive drab green, and foliage.
Best Tactical Knee Pads: Complete Guide
What differentiates good tactical knee pads from the bad? Be it for tactical situations or shooting stance; this is one crucial question to ask.
Well, this section answers it all. I’ll explain what to look for in a good pair of knee pads. It will help you pick the right pair for your needs.
Aim for a soft liner material that’s gentle on your skin. After all, the pad is going to be in direct contact with your skin. For that, you don’t want a material that has a scratchy surface.
Aside from soft, gentle material, aim for one that offers a certain degree of flexibility. That way, it won’t limit or impair movement. All the while, it should maintain its positioning while on the move.
Also, aim for breathable material. It will allow your knee to breathe, providing hours of comfort on a warm day.
Tactical knee pads are largely for protection. But it’s not every knee pad that provides the level of protection you desire.
As far as knee protection goes, pay close attention to the knee cap material. After all, it’s the one area that’s going to be in direct contact with the ground blind.
Polyethylene caps boast proven durability and are a popular choice for military knee pads. However, they are prone to scratching, particularly on hard surfaces.
Rubber caps are another excellent choice. Well, they are not as durable as polyethylene. Nonetheless, they are robust enough to protect your knees. Also, rubber caps are an excellent choice for absorbing and distributing pressure off the knees. And compared to plastic ones, rubber caps are less likely to scratch.
Chances are you’re going to wear your knee pads for a long time. So, user comfort is crucial. But how do you ensure the knee pad has the desired level of comfort?
Well, I recommend that you aim for knee pads that have internal foam padding. Again, there are different types of foam: open-cell foam and closed-cell foam.
Closed-cell foam doesn’t absorb moisture. It doesn’t get wet, even when you sweat or use it in the rain. So, it doesn’t get heavier, making it less prone to slippage. Again, closed-cell foam absorbs shock better.
Aside from the type of foam, consider the thickness. Generally, the thicker the foam, the higher the level of protection. But that’s only true if the foam is of high-quality.
Apart from foam structure and thickness, consider one that has compression recovery. It will
keep the foam from getting deformed.
Aim for a dual-strap system for even weight distribution. Also, consider elastic straps. These are easier to adjust and are less likely to slip.
Well, there are two ways in which the straps fasten to the knee pad. You’ll have to choose between Velcro and buckles.
Velcro is pretty easy to adjust and set in place. But if you use the knee pad more frequently, Velcro tends to deteriorate over time.
Buckles are a much more durable fastening system. But the downside is that you’ll spend more time making adjustments.
Knee pads are more than just for comfort and protection. Some people want a knee pad that has a TactiCool factor. Or even more, one that comes with a set of elbow pads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What’s the difference between tactical knee pads and tactical knee pad inserts?
Answer: Generally, the difference is in how you wear them. Tactical knee pads are for wearing over pants. They hold your pants in place while providing ultimate protection.
Knee pad inserts, on the other hand, are for wearing under your pants or trousers. Mostly of neoprene, knee pad inserts provide ultimate comfort.
Question: How easy is it to wear tactical knee pads?
Answer: Generally, tactical knee pads come ready for use. As such, there are no parts to assemble. All you do is adjust the straps for a perfect fit.
Question: Is it safe to wear tactical knee pads for an extended period?
Answer: Though they provide ultimate protection and comfort, I wouldn’t advise you to wear tactical knee pads for an extended period. Chances are it will affect your leg muscles and also disrupt normal blood circulation.
Question: Are tactical knee pads only for military and combat situations?
Answer: Despite the name, tactical knee pads find wide application. Among other things, you can use them in sports and construction works.
The best tactical knee pads will help protect your knee from pain and injuries. But even more impressive is that they are versatile enough for a wide range of applications. Aside from combat situations, you can use them as protective gear for construction works and even gardening.
On the whole, you want a tactical knee pad that’s durable, comfortable, and easy to adjust. Even more, it should be affordable. Such are the characteristics of the best knee pads I’ve reviewed. So, take the time to pick the knee pad that suits you the best.