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Protecting your knees is a high priority for any tactical operator. Unharmed knees mean you can move freely and successfully complete the mission. Combat & tactical pants with knee pads provide additional support for your joints and also aid in keeping them operational in the long run, by minimizing the injuries that occur over time.

What we talk about in this blog post:

Introduction

The currently most used type of knee and elbow protectors combine a more or less thick plastic plate with a soft/flexible basic material. In most cases, they are connected to each other.

While in the new models, they are inserted into knee pad pockets whereas in older systems, they are buckled around knees or elbows.

The newer systems tend to be additionally fixed with straps and belts to hold them in the desired position.

This can prove as a real inconvenience when you are wearing the strapped in protectors for longer periods of time.

Knee pads fixed with straps and belts can be uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Let’s have a closer look at the knee protection systems and determine their protection efficiency.


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As a basic rule for any kind of protective equipment, we remember a simple, but a crucial rule of thumb needed for assessing the efficiency of protective equipment.

It goes back to the creator of concealable body armour, Richard Davis.

According to him, the protection efficiency is determined by three factors:

  1. The mere protection level of the technology used

  2. The body surface, which is covered by the protective equipment

  3. The time during which the protective equipment is worn

Or in a easy to remember equation:

Protection efficiency = Protection level x Surface covered x Time

This formula is known among specialists in the area of body armour as the “Richard Davies Axiom” obviously also equally applies for other protection systems- thus also for knee protectors.

Tactical gear protection efficiency can be derived from the Richard Davies Axiom

Put simply, this axiom expresses that you are only protected by gear, which is actually worn.

Also, for the protection to be efficient, it must cover the body parts, which it is supposed to protect. And lastly, also the actual protection level has to be factored in.

However, not even the best protection will be of any use, if for comfort reasons, it is not worn – and this is exactly the problem with most protection systems.

Ultimately, this means that one can be effectively protected only by the protection that is worn permanently in the correct position. Even if the protection is not on the highest level, it is better to wear some protection in the right place, than no protection at all.

The UF PRO Tactical Knee Pads System

A lot of systems are not comfortable enough to be worn permanently in the required position, as they rub against the skin during long marches in hot and dusty conditions. Therefore, one tends to take the risk of not wearing them.

A soft and flexible protection system increases the wear comfort. It has the acceptance of the wearer to be worn permanently, even in hot weather conditions and under physical stress, which is actually all the time.

That increases the efficiency of soft and flexible protectors immediately, even if the protection level is slightly lower than that of a rigid one or any other comparably less comfortable system.

On the other hand, the more additional strapping any protection system requires, the greater the compromise at the expense of the wear comfort is, the lower the probability that it will be worn when needed.

Our UF PRO Knee Protection system follows the Richard-Davis Axiom teachings to provide the wearer with protection and great wear comfort.

The UF PRO Knee protection System

See our Combat Pants equipped with the UF PRO Knee Protection.

A flexible and a compact protector can be inserted separately into the specially formed knee area of the pants, and always remain in the right position – no need to adjust or fix anything.

The wearing comfort remains virtually unaffected, so that the protectors can be worn permanently and without any limitations.

On the other hand, the protection level of both protectors is almost on the same level as common systems.

Thus, the UF PRO knee protection system offers a significantly improved protection efficiency according to the “Richard Davis Axiom” and real life operator tests.

Comfort & reliability

We believe that especially tactical operators need reliable knee protection against shocks. In order to be worn permanently it has to be comfortable.

We were therefore searching for something that is light, flexible, air permeable and provides at the same time very efficient shock absorbing characteristics.

After field testing some rigid solutions and different neoprene alternatives, we came to the conclusion that constructing our own is the way to move forward.

Combining our own knee protection and the anatomic fit of our pants formed a reliable, efficient unit that assures the protectors do not slip and always are where they are needed, without straps, velcros or buckles.

Creating our own shape of the pads was on the table now too.

We created the unique multidimensional 3D shape, which conforms to the knee area and seamlessly merges knee protection with tactical pants.

For materials we’ve selected the energy absorbing PU foam, based on a first-class foam technology, which hardens immediately in case of an impact and thus keeps the impact forces to a minimum.

Thanks to the high flexibility of the PU foam the protectors constantly shape according to the wearer's knee geometry.

Even though the energy absorbing or IMPACT 3D Tactical Knee Pads, as we call them, have a more solid structure they still offer great wear comfort.


Watch this video to get more intel on UF PRO 3D Tactical Knee Pads.

To complete the system we needed to provide additional protection against sharp objects, that could puncture your knee and severely damage your movability.

We have created a smaller Solid Pads, which work hand in hand when paired with the 3D Tactical Knee Pads.

To retain the flexibility of the whole system the smaller penetration-resistant pads are flexible themselves. Their surface area is optimized for protecting your knee caps and fits perfectly in the anatomic design of our pants.

This modular system allows the operator to choose their own level of protection, while retaining the comfort levels and maximizing the time of wearing the protection.

Head of Product Development at UF PRO Armin Wagner

About the author:

Armin Wagner

is the mastermind behind all UF PRO products. With over 25 years of experience in the textile industry for law enforcement and military units, and after working for some of the industry’s leading companies like WL Gore, Second Chance and Armour Holdings, Armin finally landed, as he describes it, his dream job as head of product development at UF PRO.

Published: 05-03-2020 // Tags: Blog // #tactical-gear #tactical-pants
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