With D3O protection, a full-length side zip, twin Velcro straps and a mesh back, Bluegrass's Wapiti D3O knee pads pack in the features to justify their lofty asking price. There’s Kevlar covering the front to boost durability too.
The straps at the upper and lower openings let you tailor the fit, while the zip means you can whip off the Wapitis without removing your shoes – handy if you’re on a ride with lots of pedalling. They didn’t fall down or shift around when riding, and the sizing is comparable to that of most other manufacturers.
The open mesh at the back helps stop your legs getting too sweaty but we kept snagging it with our pedal pins, managing to rip two pads in this way. We also found the upper Velcro strap snagged the inside of our shorts, because the hooked/abrasive side is fixed facing outwards. This was frustrating, particularly when climbing.
Bluegrass has big aspirations for the Wapiti D3Os and they have some good features but they ultimately fall short of the competition – such as Scott’s Grenade Pro II pads – due to some easily avoidable flaws.