At first glance, the POC Joint VPD long knee doesn’t seem like your typical DH pad. It doesn’t have a hard shell, complicated Velcro, snap closure, or any of that. POC utilizes a two velcro closure system and a full sleeve to keep the pad tight on your knee and shin. The pad doesn’t seem like it can take a pedal blow to the shin very well, however the shock absorption properties on the pad are top notch.
The pad has the ability to be extremely flexible and mold to your leg seemlessly and on impact act as hard as a shelled pad. Luckily, I haven’t taken too many shin blows yet. However, the ones that have occurred I was definitely stoked to be rocking the long knee over just a standard knee pad. POC added an extra 8 cm to this pad over its typical knee pad, which is just the right amount to keep you safe from those pedal blows when your foot slips off on a landing or in a rock garden.
I trained laps through the bike park at Jackson Hole on a pretty warm day and was a little skeptical on a full-sleeved pad handling heat very well. It vented just like an open back system would and the fabric was actually quite breathable. My only slight gripe on this pad is the top knee strap. It seems that POC never skips a beat and is looking out for you in the long run with Polygiene Odor Protection. My pads may not be rank yet but after a full season of dust, blood, and sweat I’m banking that odor protection will come in handy. If you’re standing and shredding all is fine but if your sitting down low on a DH rig trying to pedal the strap seems to get sucked under the knee pad itself. Maybe it’s just my skinny legs, though, and I should have swung a size down? All in all, if you’re looking for a little more protection then just a kneepad the POC Joint VPD 2.0 Long Knee is an excellent choice and has you protected where you need it.