The POC VPD 2.0 armor seems to fall in a cusp between hard-shell armor and soft, due to the thickness of the VPD 2.0 protection material, robust stitching and rugged fabric, and an overbuilt character. It doesn't offer the ultimate safety and protection of hard-shell armor, though it's pretty darn substantial for a softer based system, and it delivers more comfort and is easier to carry. The VPD or Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough material hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption, and in addition, its lightweight, flexible and moldable. The second generation VPD, which is called VPD 2.0, offers better shock absorption and allows 3D molding, in which they can create multiple densities within the padding.
The Joint VPD 2.0 Knee armor uses a perforated 3D molded VPD 2.0 knee protector, with tough Kevlar reinforced stretch fabric in front, a stretchy and comfortable Lycra inner sleeve, a securing top elastic strap with Velcro closure, and another optional one towards the bottom. It comes in Black, and S, M, L and XL sizes and retails for $120.
The Joint VPD 2.0 Elbow armor uses a perforated 3D molded VPD 2.0 elbow protector, with tough Kevlar reinforced stretch fabric in front, a stretchy and comfortable Lycra inner sleeve, an upper slip resistant neoprene cuff, and one mid located elastic strap. Note that the latest model appears to have an elastic strap with Velcro closure at the top and bottom, instead of the singular version that I tested. It comes in Black, and S, M and L sizes and retails for $100.
A portion of the inner sleeve material for both the Knee and Elbow armor has Polygiene (natural silver salt) applied to the fabric, which neutralizes odor by stopping the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi.
The VPD 2.0 Knee offers good protection and wide coverage, and extends just slightly outward at the knee cap. The straps make it easy to adjust the tightness around your leg, though on long rides while doing lots of pedaling they tended to droop sometimes, and a quick yank upwards was required to put them back into position. The pre-bend of the VPD 2.0 knee cap kept them in place during a crash, tumble and while pedaling, and though they offered enough flexibility and decent comfort, they still felt cumbersome and restrictive on long spinning sessions. During long rides where you'll do lots of pedaling, I found that they slightly rubbed and pinched on the inside of my upper calf, sometimes leaving a slight welt mark. For that reason, I reserved the VPD 2.0 knee for more serious, gnarly and technical rides, and bike parks. They also could get warm and sweaty since their ventilation wasn't the best, and the front's general thickness and tight weave of the Kevlar material didn't help matters. What they do offer is excellent protection when you crash, and I didn't suffer outstanding injuries when that happened on those rare occasions when I cascaded into a rock field.
The VPD 2.0 Elbow offers good protection and wide coverage, and the VPD 2.0 padding extends just slightly outwards at the elbow. Even though it only had one strap, it stayed in place like it was attached to my elbow. It's rare that any elbow armor stays in place, as they always seem to droop, and you're constantly having to yank them back upwards. The VPD 2.0 Elbow armor never moved out of its location once I placed it there, and between the use of different fabrics, the pre-bend of the VPD 2.0 elbow cup, and the upper neoprene cuff, it felt like it was glued there. Even though it stayed in place, it was very comfortable and highly flexible, helped greatly by the stretchy and soft inner sleeve, VPD 2.0 protection material and front Kevlar reinforced stretch fabric. The VPD 2.0 Elbow cup is fairly thick and bulky, and it might not fit under every long-sleeved jersey and jacket, so it works best with loose fitting garments. I took lots of mild tumbles and side fall over's wearing the VPD 2.0 Elbow armor, and outside of some minor scratching; I never had any big injuries, though I didn't take any high speed crashes with them on. The VPD 2.0 Elbow is an excellent product, and is one that I wear whenever I am going to be in some nasty terrain.
With the robust stitching and materials, excellent construction, and overbuild, the VPD 2.0 Knee and Elbow have been extremely durable, and after prolonged use, they haven't shown any premature signs of wear and tear. Other than an occasional washing to remove sweat stains and dirt, I have never done much else to care for them. They are both easy to slip on, and once the straps were adjusted; I didn't find a need for altering them further.
The VPD 2.0 material offers excellent protection and shock absorption, flexibility and comfort. The pre-bent molded shape of the knee and elbow cups keep them in place, and it helps them to conform to your body for better comfort and safety during a crash. The use of the perforated and flexible pre-bent cups, stretchy and soft materials, offer maximum comfort and generous body movement, whether that's pedaling for the knees or maneuvering for the elbows. I was satisfied with the Knee and Elbow crash worthiness during my occasional tumbles and fall over's, and I didn't suffer any undue injuries, which highlights their effective protection.
I personally found the Joint VPD 2.0 Elbow to be my favorite, as it always stayed in place while wearing, and was very comfortable and flexible. I tended to reserve the Joint VPD 2.0 Knee for gnarlier days when I needed the utmost in protection, since I found that they rubbed and pinched the back of my leg if I did too much pedaling. Overall, the Joint VPD 2.0 Knee and Elbow are great products, since they use the excellent VPD 2.0 material with its shock absorption and pre-bent molding, and have overbuilt construction, rugged stitching and materials; all which make for a durable, comfortable and safe armor product.
- VPD 2.0 Material - Excellent protection and shock absorption
- Easy to slip on
- Elbow - stays in place
- Elbow - comfortable and flexible
- Durable and well made
- Knee - rubbing/pinching issues during long pedaling sessions
- Knee - can feel warm (minor nitpick)
- Knee - can droop (minor nitpick)
Joint VPD 2.0 Knee Rating:
4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Joint VPD 2.0 Elbow Rating:
5 Flamin' Chili Peppers