S.W.A.T. January 2006 Issue

SPECIAL OPERATIONS
CLIP-ON KNEEPADS
Offbeat

By Denny Hansen

Kneedpads are a necessary piece of protective gear for soldiers and SWAT cops.

They are also a highly recommended piece of kit for the private citizen attending tactical courses.

I've worn many types of kneepads over the years, and with very few exceptions they all had several things in common including being uncomfortable, sliding down below the kneecap and straps that chafed the back of the leg and/or cut off circulation.

Last year Dexter Meadows supplied me with a pair for test and evaluation, and I attended several courses wearing the Special Operations Clip-On Kneepads. These kneepads have heavy-duty clips that attach to one's trousers. There are no straps to bind or chafe, they stay where they're supposed to (over the knee) and they are very comfortable. An added bonus for soldiers and cops who may need to get dressed and into action quickly is that the Clip-On Kneepads can be left attached to the BDU pants, ready to go, by the bed or in a deployment bag.

The pads have a hard, plastic frontal surface. This contact area is riveted on and then stitched around its circumference. The area on the rear of the pad that contacts the knee is padded. Each of the four buckles can be adjusted via Velcro adjustable straps.

When I reported back to Dexter how the pads held up I had two complaints.

First, they were only available in black. Second, when I ran, sometimes one of the clips would come loose, leaving the pad flapping like a flag in the wind.

The first "problem" can be fixed with a can of spray paint. Placing duct tape over the clips after attached them to my pants solved the second.

Since that time, Dexter has made several changes to his Special Operations Clip-On Kneepads, and he sent me two sets to evaluate. The pads are now available in "Desert Tan" as well as black. It's not that I'm never happy with anything, but the tan is a shade or two lighter than what I'd like to see. They are, however, better suited to many environments and much less of a target indicator than black.

To keep the clips from opening, Meadows invented what he calls Clip-Locks. Basically, these are heavy, oval-shaped rubber rings that slide over the clip once the pads have been placed on one's trousers.

I've worn the pads with the new Clip-Locks during training for the last several months and am very pleased with the performance. In fact, I'll go so far as to say these are the best kneepads I have ever used.

The price of the pads is competitive with other manufacturers, with a retail price of $29.95 plus shipping.

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