Kali's Strike knee and elbow pads are new for 2018, with both upper and lower protection designed to be the kind of thing that's light enough to wear all day but also tough enough to offer more protection than slim knee warmer-style padding. And if they seem familiar, it's because a certain Italian brand (you get one guess) uses a similar futuristic-looking design that's possible thanks to the Xelion "nano-carbon elastic compound'' padding. Kali says that, because Xelion is so efficient at absorbing impacts, it can be used in highly perforated, low-profile shapes without losing its ability to protect your kneecaps and elbows.
The claim is that Xelion absorbs impact energy by "instantaneously converting it into heat, which is then dissipated across the entire pad.'' No word on if you can just keep hitting yourself in the legs and elbows to warm up during a chilly winter ride, but that'd be a good trick. The 3D molded padding is laid over top of a thin compression fabric with a mesh back panel, while a Velcro adjustment strap lets riders fine-tune the fit on the slip-on pads.
Strike knee pads are available now for $84 USD, and the elbows (pricing TBA) will hit the shelves this November.
The Mission knee and elbow pads are a less expensive option compared to the Strikes, but they're also designed to be light enough to wear during an all-day pedal. These are also slip-on pads, but they forgo the Velcro straps in favor of simpler, less expensive elastic cuffs with non-slip bands. Protection comes via flexible padding that, like some other high-tech inserts on the market, is able to instantly firm up when struck.
Mission knee pads are available now for $45 USD, and you can pick up the elbows (pricing TBA) in November.
Kali is better known for their helmets than knee and elbow pads, and they also have something new in this department for 2018: the Alchemy. This is a new 'trail' helmet that comes in 60 - 90-grams lighter than the all-mountain focused Maya and Interceptor, but just a few grams heavier than the high-end Maraka cross-country lid, and it does it with a $100 USD price tag. The big thing here is that the 300-gram Alchemy include's Kali's Low Density Layer inserts that the company says is capable of reducing ''rotational impact forces by up to 25%,'' and low-g linear forces up to 30%.
The Alchemy's LDL inserts are rubber-ish strips (neither Armourgel, the company Kali worked with, nor Waldron will say exactly what those strips are made of) that have a very specific shape to them, with short, cylindrical extensions designed to flex laterally when an off-axis impact occurs. Kali claims that they allow for some movement and energy dissipation before the EPS foam comes into play.
The other bullet points include an adjustable retention band with two height settings, a breakaway visor, and twenty-one vents.