Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

[Tested] Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

This Spring, Fasthouse announced the launch of their first kneepad, the Hooper, – a project that Tyler McCaul has been hard at work on helping to develop for many years now…Fasthouse was kind enough to send out a sample set of his signature “Hooper” pads for me to spend some time on. Aimed at the Trail to Gravity segment, they offer a bit more coverage than the average trail kneepad – particularly slightly below the knee. Let’s see how they’ve been working out…

Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

Details Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

  • Ergonomic design with abrasion resistant fabric.
  • Articulated foam injected knee pad that hardens on impact.
  • Vented mesh back for increased airflow and comfort.
  • Removable pad for easy cleaning.
  • Extended shin pad for extra protection.
  • CE certified knee protector for EN1621-1:2021 Level 2.
  • S, M (tested), L, XL
  • $120 USD

Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

What sets the Hooper kneepads apart from most of its competition is that there is an extended pad. That helps to cover not only your kneecap, but also it keeps the knobby upper part of the tibia and shin area well protected.

Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads

The thigh area is comprised of a very broad band of stretch material with a gripper comprised of wavy silicone – much like a goggle strap. It’s simple and effective but doesn’t feel overbearing.

The overall length and coverage of the Hooper pads are quite extensive – running from the mid thigh to the mid calf.

A mesh rear panel helps prevent the pads from getting too hot.

The knee pad cups are made from a fairly standard material  Рnot a name brand like D3O or Rheon Рbut they are well shaped and have memory to them so that they move nicely but also take impacts well.

Lastly, there is a narrower silicone gripper on the bottom of the pads. It sits just below the bulge of your calf and doesn’t really bite in either. Rather, it hugs your leg and doesn’t slip while also not really making itself known.

Fasthouse Hooper Kneepads on the trail

Starting with sizing I opted for a medium – as I typically do with kneepads – and had no issues, so it’s safe to assume the sizing is accurate. Props to Fasthouse for offering four sizes where many brands just offer three. In any case, I found the material to be stretchy, soft and breathable. The mesh rear section surely helps with keeping air moving. As far as fit goes regarding proportionality and features such as kneecups thigh and calf grippers, everything was spot on. From my first ride onward I have had zero issues with either slippage (down) or the pads riding up. I wouldn’t rate the materials as ultra premium or silky smooth by any means – rather they feel tougher/more durable than most offerings yet did not chaffe or bother me in any way. This tells me that they struck a nice balance between comfort and durability.

To date I haven’t had any big slams in these pads, but I have had a couple of minor slide outs and have had no issues with them tearing or blowing out. They offer nice general coverage and I will say that I’ve made a point to opt for them on rides that involve loose rocks – something we have plenty of here in Northern Idaho. On rides such as that, or on jaunts that involve dicier trails I do like having the added coverage where most brands’ padding ends a few inches higher up. If I had to nit pick one small thing, the minor gap in coverage between the lower stitched in pad and the upper removable pad leaves me wondering if there was some sort of way to have them overlap for fuller coverage because for me it leaves the boniest part of my tibia exposed. All in all however, there is still bonus coverage so I can’t really complain.

Overall

So far I’ve found the Fasthouse Hooper to be very comfortable – no hot spots and no slipping, whatsoever. The added coverage is nice for burlier rides and it only comes at a minor cost in terms of running ever so slightly warmer than lighter duty trail pads. All in all these are great kneepads and they’re priced right. If you spend long days in the saddle and are in the market for a set of pads that offer more coverage but don’t want to use a body armor style DH pad, the Hoopers will have you covered.

Fasthouse

 

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