Dainese Release Revamped Trail Skins Protection Line

Sep 23, 2020 at 18:49
by Daniel Sapp  


Trail Skins
The Trail Skins protectors are designed to be a balance between rideability and protection. They're made to give riders in a range of riding disciplines maximum freedom movement and plenty of safety. They are ideal for long uphills coupled with long downhills.

Trail Skins knee and elbow pads

The Trail Skins Pro combines excellent adaptability to the form of the knee and elbow, constant ventilation and maximum protection due to the carbon-elastomer compound and ergonomic shape of the PRO SHAPE 2.0 protector that allows great freedom of movement and evenly distributes the force of any impact to the sides. The smooth surface on the side padding limits friction and facilitates sliding in the event of a fall.

Created by mapping the shape of the knee and elbow, the special sock is highly breathable and stays in place on the body during strenuous activity with no need for adjustments or position changes while riding. It fits like a second skin allowing you to reach your maximum potential while enjoying complete protection. XS - XL, €84,95 (knee) €74,95 (elbow)

Trail Skins Pro T

The Trail Skins Pro Tee is the most versatile torso protector in the Dainese range. Soft, removable Pro-Shape 2.0 protectors cover the shoulders, back and chest, tracing the rider’s movements throughout all phases of activity. The construction of the Pro-Shape 2.0 protectors is inspired by the geometry of auxetic materials present in nature that, following an impact or stress, expand in all directions simultaneously, increasing the area of coverage. Combined with the use of highly breathable fabric, the structure, open across 55% of the area of coverage, ensures lightness and greater ventilation during every stage of the ride, even on the hottest of days. The length of the T-shirt allows it to be tucked inside pants, for added stability.

The Pro-Shape protectors can be easily removed, giving the rider the freedom to choose which to wear. This means real versatility if the rider wants to wear a rucksack for example, as well as easy cleaning. Two rear pockets, designed to be easily reached while riding, make it even more practical, allowing a rider to carry all the essentials without adding any unnecessary bulk. XS - XXL, €149,95

Trail Skins Air
The Trail Skins Air line is focused on being lightweight and breathable. It optimizes the structure of the protectors for maximum ventilation and minimum overall weight.

Trail Skins Air knee and elbow pads

The Trail Skins Air knee guard is constructed around the Pro-Shape 2.0 protector, inspired by the geometry of auxetic materials present in nature that, following an impact or stress, expand in all directions simultaneously, increasing the area of coverage. The structure of the Pro-Shape 2.0 protector allows for maximum flexibility and adaptability whatever the knee position, tracing its movements throughout all phases of activity. It absorbs 83% of the force of an impact, rather than transmitting this to the knee.

55% of its surface area is completely open, ensuring ventilation and greater heat exchange during both the uphill and downhill phase. An ideal feature for riders who plan to take on long rides, even on the hottest of days. The knee guard remains stable, even during intense activity, thanks to a very long, transparent sock on the thigh and a practical elastic at calf height. The supplementary protector on the outside edges of the knee guard is designed to ensure protection even in case of sliding along the ground. XS - XL, €69,95

The Trail Skins Air elbow guard is also constructed around the Pro-Shape 2.0 protector and shares the features of the knee guard. The elbow guard remains stable, even during intense activity, thanks to a very long transparent sleeve that extends to the bicep and a practical elastic at forearm height. XS - XL, €59,95

Trail Skins Lite

Trail Skins Lite knee

The Trail Skins Lite knee guard is constructed around the Pro-Shape 2.0 protector, in a compound version that is even softer so that it can be folded in on itself, taking up minimal space. Pro-Shape 2.0 is inspired by the geometry of auxetic materials present in nature that, following an impact or stress, expand in all directions simultaneously, increasing the area of coverage. For maximum versatility and portability, Trail Skins Lite comes complete with a practical elastic included in the pack. This allows the protector to be attached to the frame, making it available to the rider even during the shortest of rides. Available in sizes XS - XL. €59,95

Trail Skins Air vest and Trail Skins shorts

Trail Skins Air Vest is the most lightweight and well-ventilated body protector in the range, designed for intensive use also on the hottest of days. The soft Pro-Shape protector on the back and chest can be removed and are open across 55% of their surface area, for total ventilation during every phase of activity.

The structure of the Pro-Shape protector is inspired by the geometry of auxetic materials present in nature that, following an impact or stress, expand in all directions simultaneously, increasing the area of coverage. The protectors can be removed which ensures greater versatility, allowing the rider to choose which protectors to wear, and making washing easier. The length of the T-shirt allows it to be tucked inside pants, for added stability. Two rear pockets, designed to be easily reached while riding, make it even more practical, allowing a rider to carry all the essentials without adding any unnecessary bulk. Sizes XS - XXL. €119,95

The Trail Skins Shorts ensure maximum lightness, breathability and ergonomics. Their mesh construction ensures great elasticity, adapting to all physiques. The polyamide and polyethylene structure, which is extremely light and well-ventilated, is designed to help wick sweat, keeping the rider dry throughout every phase of the ride, even on the hottest of days and during the most intense activity. The seat lining has contained dimensions and is designed to perfectly adapt to the latest generation of MTB saddle. Applied with minimal seams, it ensures maximum comfort during the ride, particularly on steep routes where friction with the fabric can be more accentuated. Zero stress, for maximum concentration. The pads on the outside of the thighs are developed to ensure added protection in case of any sliding along the ground. XS/S - XL/XXL €99,95

More information: www.dainese.com


  • 20 1
 Good. I had the two previous versions of the Trail Skins. The first pair I bought in 2015 were solid and I had them for years. When they wore out I replaced them with the Trailskin 2.0 version or whatever they called it, and they were garbage. The velcro straps would stay attached for roughly 10 seconds and come undone on every ride. Very frustrating and utterly useless.
  • 1 0
 I had version 1 and 1.1 (looked the same just nicer/tighter fit) and now on this latest version.
Fit is great and really tight, yet comfortable. Crashed couple of times and knees haven't had any issues (yet). The are they cover is smaller than previous version but seems sufficient actually. Side pads are excellent and one of the main reasons I stick to them.
  • 2 0
 I had the first version and it was great. They started ripping at the seams so I bought a second pair. These things ripped apart on the 2nd ride. Whatever they did with the manufacturing process it damaged the quality. I hope that this version fixes this problem once and for all, including the crappy velcro.
  • 3 0
 I've still got my first generation trailskins (they don't get used often lately). Excellent lightweight pads, would buy again.
  • 3 1
 weird - I've been running the Trailskin 2.0 (knee) for over 2yrs and they are still going strong.
I have found the rubber around the cuffs has lost a bit of grip - but the velcro still does up fine / tight.
  • 9 2
 Came here for the “I kneed these” comments, but it seems like I’ve been left a foot.
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Perfect
  • 1 0
 I agree with you. The first version were awesome but wore out. Replaced them with these and I'm not impressed. They don't hold super well. I find myself repositioning them during a ride which is certainly a positive trait
  • 8 0
 "inspired by the geometry of auxetic materials present in nature that, following an impact or stress, expand in all directions simultaneously, increasing the area of coverage."

Is that fancy for: "it squishes"?
  • 8 2
 why are these manufacturing making the actual pad as rough as possible? It's like they want to be sure it gets pulled off your knee in a crash. This one looks soft and sticky too. Why not smooth?
  • 7 2
 this is why i wrap myself in saran wrap before every ride
  • 1 0
 It's actually slippery compared with previous version.
  • 1 0
 @kanasasa: totally agree. 1sr versions were amazing but these just don't hold that well
  • 3 0
 Does anyone have experience with such a plastic mesh structure on the outside? Seems to me it might not slide as well as hardshell pads yet it looks like it would rip apart sooner than soft pads. I've got IXS Dagger hardshell pads and the plastic has loads of cuts, scrapes etc but it still quite coherent. Except for that "squeeze box" between shin and knee, which ripped apart in a few months. But it seems to me like this thing will die sooner than that. Again, that's my guesswork based on what they look like. Anyone has actual experience with them?
  • 2 0
 I've got the new 2020 Leatt Airflex Pro knee pads. I didn't know if I would like it, but it's durable and doesn't snag on my shorts while I pedal. They are a VPD style armor but the coating on the Airflex is durable. Scuffs and scrapes don't cause them to fray or rip apart that I can tell.

They are almost the perfect knee pad for my style of trail riding and need for the side pads for banging the top tube and the pad above the knee for the bars and dragging ground.

They also don't have that annoying "I will give up eventually" velcro strap and don't need it. If you combined the arched strap on the TLD Raid with the Airflex, you wouldn't need anything else. As is, Dainese went way overkill with so many variations of the TrailSkins. Just get the Airflex and it's the best combo of all 3 of the Trail Skins.

Only problem...I had to get green/orange. Leatt always has low inventory of the color black. Go figure.
  • 2 0
 I've had the similar Kali pads for a couple years, and the v1 trailskins before that. Both held up well, no ripping apart like you're talking about at all. I agree that they likely do not slide as well as hardshells, that's part of the tradeoff I'm accepting for pads I'm willing to wear for 90% of my trail rides.
  • 2 0
 Ok, thanks all. I think I do appreciate the sliding quality that the hardshell pads provide but good to know these do not rip apart. The neoprene of my iXS Dagger pads is starting to rip in places and even though it is no urgent reason to replace them, I'm already looking ahead at what to get next should they suddenly rip. Enduro-mtb.com/en did a big kneepad test a while ago (hardshell and softshell tests separately) and even though it seems the softer stuff is good, I still don't quite trust it. You only know when you go down, after all. The typical car-park test doesn't tell the full story. I recently got a Kali helmet and the people at Kali are really responsive and eager to discuss what's best and what's not. So I might need to drop them a line and hear their thoughts.

I understand softshell and perforated is more comfortable but I already feel my current hardshell pads are more than comfortable enough for any pedaling I do so if the softer/perforated pads are more comfortable but less save, they aren't quite worth the trade off for me. My first pads were some cheap Mongoose (branded, maybe) pads and I got injured crashing on them (the padding was riveted to the shell and it was the rivet that injured me) so I felt pretty stupid for making the wrong choices for protective gear. Won't do that again.
  • 3 0
 The safest pads for you are the safest pads you'll actually wear. If hardshell pads work for you over time, I agree they're the better choice.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: Give it time.

The problem with all these sleeve type pads is that eventually, they loosen up and become annoying wrist/ankle warmers. I had the Airflex Pro pads as well and they did last more than a year before I had to replace them, but once they loosen up they're done.

That's when you need the velcro strap, not day 1.

Unfortunate because with all these pads, even a year or 2 down the track the actual whizz-bang non-neutonic pad (where all the value is) is generally still fine but you have to replace the thing because the useless sleeve is stretched out.
  • 1 1
 @Ktron: Fascinating. The 2020 Airflex Pro has been out less than 6 months. Sure you're not thinking of the old one that resembled the G-Forms. Or you maybe got wittle calf muscles?

Also, my TLD Raids with the above the calf strap Padloc strip for more than 3 years haven't gone anywhere.
The 2020 Airflex has a similar above the calf tension strip and the lower silicone gripper. The silicone is overkill & these aren't ever drooping.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: funny how you act like your in the market for every single product that appears on pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 @mollow: Good one! But they're usually not about the exact same product as featured in the article. In this case, my question is about pads with such a mesh structure on the outside, how well these keep up. For wear parts that I know that will give up soon, I usually already make a short list to choose from next instead of wait until they're broken completely and only then orient and buy something in a rush. The pads I have now will probably keep up for another few months but when they are actually broken, I can replace it with the least possible downtime.

Not sure, how do others work? Only look for replacements when something suddenly rips apart (when it was already clearly coming) or do people replace parts well before they're broken/worn?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I take whatever is available at the few lbs near me. Knee pads are something you need to try on anyway. There is obviously not a lot of hard shell kneepads for trail riding so you'll be very limited with selection. The mesh outer is obviously a non issue and yeah it might be a little less durable but it's meant for trail riding where ventilation is important not for dirt jumping where you're supposed to be crashing a lot. Imo after 4-5 crashes whatever if they ripped apart they saved your knees go get another pair.
  • 1 0
 @mollow: Yeah, lbs vs online is a bit of a compromise either way. Online gets you more options, the lbs allow you to fit what they have available.

Either way, it is funny as the test from Enduro-MTB.com/en claims that the "soft" pads are actually better.
That is, for their way of testing. I'm not sure whether that's the complete story for me as it doesn't cover two (perceived) advantages that hard shell gives you. That is, they distribute that residual force over a larger area and the slide better (which for me is a good deal of what I want protection for). I think my pads take loads of crashes and replacement after 4 or 5 crashes, that could in some cases imply a single ride so that isn't feasible. Yet most of these crashes aren't big, mostly sliding out sessioning corners. Trying to hit them faster and faster up til failure.

So yeah, different sources, different advice. I'm trying to make sense of it. Enduro-MTB apparently found out that in a straight impact those foam/dough pads perform better, others (including me) think hard shell pads are better but I'm open to be convinced otherwise. So yeah in these reviews of a product that appears to me like a "worse" product (for my purposes), I'm curious whether my preconceptions are correct or not. So that's why I'm asking. In this case, will it survive these sliding crashes and will these slide considerably worse than what I'm used to.

As it is now, chances are that if my current pads would fail tomorrow, I'd just get the exact same model again. But yeah, before that point I'd rather be sure and have investigated the alternatives. Especially as these seem to be more popular.
  • 2 2
 @vinay: no offense but I don't think you ride your 130mm hardtail without a dropper post hard enough to think about it that much
  • 1 0
 @mollow: Always good to do a little bit of thinking before I buy, right? Not sure about the seatpost bit. People who need to raise their saddle on the fly ride harder and need to think more about their kneepads? I always thought sitting on a raised saddle becomes interesting when you do longer rides, not necessarily crash more/harder. Agreed most of my rides are relatively short (one to two hours typically) and I'm fine leaving the saddle low as I don't sit anyway. But you can always crash, right? Suspension travel doesn't matter that much.
  • 1 2
 @vinay: it means you ride mellow terrain at slow speeds.
  • 1 0
 @mollow: I'm not going to claim I ride super big gnar at high speed. But I do crash and like kneepads for that. In fact most of the harder crashes are on the pumptrack and that's on my BMX, not the mountainbike. And my unpadded elbows are pretty jealous of my knees, so my knees don't like to give up the pads Smile .
  • 2 2
 @vinay: why would you buy trail kneepads for BMX? That's what I was saying you have no intention of buying this product you just like to write comments for the sake of it and pretend you're interested lmfao
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: yep, the prior ones.

The 2020 pads aren't much changed.

Give it time, they'll stretch out.
  • 1 0
 @ktron: i demand a calf muscle diameter measurement
  • 2 0
 I have been rocking the original trail skins for at least 6 years now, and they are just starting to show their age after years of protecting my knees. I just ordered these new trail skins pro, and look forward to testing them out. If they are as good as the old ones I will be extremely happy. I have always loved how comfortable and ventilated they are as I pedal all day in them instead of pulling them down to my ankles for long climbs like my buddies do.
  • 5 2
 the ventilation holes will still grab when you crash regardless how smooth they are. I don’t mind sweating a little if I can save my skin on the trail.
  • 3 0
 Im into have a ton of micro holes in the pad...more airflow please!! Just as long as they're durable enough to withstand standard bushes and not tear, or tear from impact/slide out.
  • 1 0
 I have Trail Skins 2 and I love them, those are by far the best pads I've ever tried on. I would buy those again, if they were available anywhere. But these new ones... uh ... I don't get why anyone would make the cutout on the top edge of the protector, uncovering your kneecap.
  • 1 0
 The intro makes no sense. For long uphills and long downhills I don’t mind heavier pads. I can leave them on my shin for the climb or even in my pack then pad up at the top. Pads like these are good for long rides with lots of up and downs.
  • 2 0
 Exposed grippy rubber or whatever it is have no place on pads. Low friction aramid at the least. All the xposed rubber does is grip the ground and pull the pads off. All the better with nice big apertures...
  • 1 0
 My 'Trail skins2' were very comfortable to ride in, which is really good. Unfortunately, the first small off the bike i had, ripped the protective part straight off the sleeve. Not fit for purpose. Refunded from retailer.

The R&D process for these pads must have been non-existent, which is strange for Dianese who are normally pretty good. I'd avoid buying these no matter how much 'improved' they are.
  • 4 0
 Why do they not put some rib protection in the shirt
  • 2 0
 Does anyone know of any kneepads that will actually stay up and not slide down my thigh?
  • 6 0
 You're wearing them too high
  • 2 0
 I rolls my chamois up then put the pad on and put my chamois over the pad. That does the trick for me.
  • 1 0
 My POC joint VPD are doing just fine even after a few years of use. They do move a bit when pedaling but nothing really annoying or critical.
  • 2 0
 I really am interested in the Trail Skins Air, but can I find them anywhere?!
  • 2 1
 The previous version (Trail Skins 2) was sucked, the first crash ended in the hospital because the "knee pad" twisted around the knee.
  • 2 0
 How do these open mesh designs cope with a muddy British (or I guess PNW) winter? Do they just clog up with mud?
  • 4 0
 they will definitely hold mud if you crash on them, but they're easy enough to wash.
  • 2 0
 Not a problem I've had with the existing Trail skins, that said ive not gone knee deep into any bogs lately
  • 1 0
 @TommiHXH: Thanks. I was more concerned about general mud spray etc.
  • 2 0
 Anyone using the Trail Skins Pro Tee ? or anything similar that you can wear while pedaling up even on a hot day ?
  • 2 0
 All I think when I see these is "Birkenstock Collaboration".
  • 2 0
 The knee pad looks like it would grab dirt like velco.
  • 1 0
 I don't know about y'all, but I've never injured my knee on a bicycle, only my shin.
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