How to Use Knee Pad Inserts with Tactical Pants

Protect your knees from impact and give yourself a more comfortable surface for kneeling while you’re at the range or on the job with internal or external knee pads. Many tactical pants have pockets for knee pad inserts – including 5.11 Tactical Pants, Taclite Pro Pants, and police and military uniform pants – which makes protection more comfortable and convenient.

Steps to Use Internal Knee Pads with Tactical Pants

Tactical pants labeled “knee pad ready” have pockets designed to hold internal knee pads. While every pair is different, these pants typically include an opening for the pads on the pant leg, with hook-and-loop fasteners to keep the pads secure. Follow these five steps to insert your knee pads into these openings:

  1. Detach the fasteners and put your hand inside the pocket to open it.
  2. Orient your knee pad so the narrow end faces the pant leg opening.
  3. Slide the knee pad into the pocket evenly.
  4. Put your hand in the knee pad pocket and ensure the edges of the pad aren’t folded over.
  5. Close the fasteners to seal the pocket.

What to Look for When You Buy Internal Knee Pads

Here are a few features to look for when you buy internal knee pads:

  • Contouring capability so the pad forms to your knee
  • Closed-cell foam construction that prevents moisture retention
  • Textured surfaces that hold the knee pad in place

How to Use External Knee Pads With Tactical Pants

External knee pads go outside your pants, and some people find them more convenient because they’re easy to remove when you’re on the go. While every pair of external knee pads has its own variations, most feature two adjustable straps – one above the knee and one below it – that fasten with hook-and-loop closures or something similar. Follow these steps to properly secure external knee pads with two straps:

  1. Place the protective shell over your knee.
  2. Wrap the top strap around your lower thigh, above your knee, and adjust it so that it’s tight enough to stay in place without cutting off your circulation.
  3. Wrap the bottom strap around the top of your calf, just below your knee. Adjust it the same way you adjusted the top strap.
  4. Flex your knee and kneel to make sure your straps are properly adjusted, and tighten or loosen them if they’re not.

What to Look for When You Buy External Knee Pads

Here are some features to look for if you choose external knee pads:

  • Adjustable, sturdy no-slide straps
  • EVA foam padding
  • Molded caps that fit the shape of your knee

How to Care for Knee Pads and Compatible Pants

Always remove your internal knee pads before you wash your pants – they’re not made to go through the washing machine or dryer.

Make sure your knee pad pockets are closed before you wash your pants, too – especially if they fasten with hook-and-loop closures, which can wear down during the laundering process.

Here are some more tips on how to care for your external knee pads:

  • Keep them clean and remove all excess dirt before storing them.
  • Don’t stretch the straps during storage – let the straps hang loose, or simply fold them behind the cap.
  • Store your pads out of direct sunlight in a clean, dry place.
  • Never store your kneepads under other gear, which can crack or deform even the sturdiest caps.

Use our tips to get the most out of your knee pads and tactical pants. Properly wearing and storing your knee pads helps ensure they last longer and perform more effectively so you can ALWAYS BE READY.

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