While playing airsoft in rough environments, reliable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) like gloves, helmets, elbow and knee pads are of the utmost importance. Nothing ruins a game day like someone splitting open their extremities. While there are a number of overseas companies that produce knock-off tactical PPE, I found a US-based company that has some futuristic protection worth your looking at. G-Form produces several protective pads for just about every body part you would want to protect. I got the chance to check out their “Pro-X” line of elbow and knee pads and was greatly impressed by just how well they work in an airsoft environment. During my game days out at SC Village in Norco, CA I “eat it” hard at least once during the day – not counting the minor slide here and there. Further, there are multiple times throughout the day where I will have to hit the deck in a hurry and that can be rough on a person’s knees.
The star player in the Pro-X knee and elbow pads is the company’s proprietary RPT (Reactive Protection Technology) foam. This foam material exists in a soft, malleable state when not under stress. However, when this material is subject to an impact like, say, hitting the ground knee-first, the molecules of the RPT pad bind together and instantly harden. Once the impact has subsided, the material returns to its softer state. Serving to increase team morale further, these G-Form Pro-X pads can be washed in cold water then hung dry, so they won’t end up smelling terrible for future use.
One of the worse things about wearing traditional tactical knee pads is the sweat they produce. The feeling is just super-uncomfortable as your tactical pants bunch up and dampen under the pad. That feeling is way worse than taking a spray of full auto on an unprotected area as it stays with you. Even if you somehow cool off between games and take your pads off, you are left with soggy pant knees – yuck. With the G-Form pads, I never felt this happen at all. The pads are sewn onto a compression fabric that, while keeping everything together, is extremely breathable. Also, because the pads themselves are segmented and not continuous, you get nice air flow down into the area covered by the pads to add to the cooling effect. Another huge issue with tactical knee pads is that they have a tendency to move around and fall. The G-Form Pro-X pads are sewn onto that compression sleeve which isn’t going anywhere. I got to take a look at the XL size and probably should have gone with the XXL units. They are really tight on my person and probably a bit too much. Check out the G-Form sizing charts to ensure you are getting the right sizes.
It was strange to wear the G-Form Pro-X pads at first because they go underneath your combat shirt and pants, not over top. It took me a game or two to get used to the fact that to my eyes it didn’t look like I was wearing pads. Once I did, though, I had absolutely no fear in running around, sliding on my knees, etc. I don’t recall getting shot with a BB in the G-Form padding, so I can’t tell you exactly how it feels – however, due to their construction and the way the RPT foam reacts to impact, I can’t imagine you’d feel it. The only real downside to the G-Form Pro-X pads is that, because they don’t go over top of your combat shirt and pants, those garments will take more wear and tear during use. But, I digress, there are trade-offs for everything in life and, for me, wearing more on my pants is of less concern than that awful knee sweat or falling knee pads.
Overall, the G-Form line of Pro-X elbow and knee pads are an amazing advancement in padding that will keep your joints cooler as well as more protected during your airsoft games in rugged terrain. Finally, these pads are reasonably priced considering their capabilities. The Pro-X knee pads retail for about $60 dollars while the elbow pads run for about $50.