Our Top Knee Pads and Elbow Pads for Toddlers to Teens
Does my child need knee or elbow pads for biking?
Whether your child is a timid, reluctant rider or an aggressive daredevil on two wheels, protective biking gear for kids can be a lifesaver for confidence or body parts! Knee and elbow pads can give your timid child the confidence to keep trying, and can keep your aggressive child out of the ER! And what about all those average, neighborhood riders – do they need knee pads? We’ve seen time and again that knee and elbow pads give kids a sense of protection that allows them to explore and be adventurous beyond their normal inclinations.
So who are knee and elbow pads best for? Truth is, they can help just about any kid! Check out our short list of the best knee and elbow pads for kids – the next best biking accessory (after a helmet of course).
What about kids on balance bikes? Pads are great, but consider getting gloves as well, as kids often fall hands first. Zippyrooz are our favorite for toddlers and preschoolers.
SIZES AVAILABLE: Youth S/M, Youth L/XL
FULL REVIEW: G-Form Protective Pads
Along with being the most comfortable pads on our list, the G-Form pads also feature the coolest technology. Soft, flexible, lightweight, and breathable are not adjectives normally used to describe protective gear. But the G-Form pads contour to your child’s body and allow kids to move nimbly and easily. And then… they harden upon impact to protect when you actually need protection! Cool, right??PROS
- Super safe – extended protection compared to traditional pads, without added bulk or weight
- Very comfortable – soft and bendy to conform to the contours of the wearer and they harden on impact!
- Very durable, but also come with a lifetime warranty
- Flexible fabric allow pads to fit kids for several years
- Sizing can be challenging
- On the expensive side
Best for Balance Bike Riders
SIZES AVAILABLE: 1 size grows with kids 18 months to 5-years-old
FULL REVIEW: Strider Knee and Elbow Pad Set
After the success of the Strider Balance Bike, Strider set out to create a quality protective pad set that actually fits toddlers and pre-schoolers. A small and a large set of pads can be used as elbow and knee pads for pre-schoolers. For toddlers and smaller kids, the smaller set of pads can actually be used as knee pads first, and then as elbow pads as children grow bigger.
You also have the option of buying a set with gloves, which we definitely recommend – balance bikers usually fall hands first, so gloves are actually more important than knee or elbow pads!PROS
- Comfortably fit the smallest riders (a rare feature!)
- Simple, effective, and affordable
- Much better quality that most safety pads
- Smaller toddler knee pads converts to an elbow pad as the child gros
- Scratch fairly easily
Best for Pump Track Riders
SIZES AVAILABLE: One size, best for kids 5 to 8 years old
FULL REVIEW: Bern Junior Pad Set
The thickest of the pads we’ve tested, Bern’s pads are designed for kids who plan on putting them to good use. Ideal for kids just getting started on pump track who are likely to fall often, Bern’s pads are thick, durable and are built to withstand constant abuse.PROS
- Pads are very thick and provide a lot of protection
- Pads easily slide on the plastic shell
- Comes as a complete set with elbow, knee, and wrist (wrist pads not for use when biking)
- Large and bulky for young riders
Best Bang for Your Buck
SIZES AVAILABLE: Little Tricky – 4 to 8-year-olds, Junior Saver – 8-year-olds+
FULL REVIEW: Triple 8 Pad Set
Well-designed for the price, Triple 8 pads come in two different sizes for young and older child riders. Wide straps help to better secure the pads to knees and elbows, and full coverage pads provide solid protection while flexing with movement. The pads also come with a wrist guard that is a fantastic bonus to have if your child will be rollerblading or skateboarding in addition to biking.PROS
- Thick EVA foam
- Full-coverage plastic protective cups
- Easily moves and flexes with the body
- Available in 2 sizes – Little Tricky (age 4 to 8) and Savers Series (age 8+)
- Sets come with wrist guards that are great for skateboarding, but not useable for biking
Best for Aggressive Riders on a Budget
SIZES AVAILABLE: One Size – Kids 5 to 9-years-old
The knee and elbow pads are sold separately, so you only have to buy what you need! The knee pads are also shin guards, providing more extended coverage than any other pad on our list. They do tend to be a little stiff and will restrict movement more than other knee pads, but if your child is a little daredevil, that extended protection could come in pretty handy.PROS
- Elbow and knee pads are sold separately so you only pay for what you want
- Extended coverage for aggressive riders
- Low cost
- Extended coverage can be stiff – best for aggressive riders
How to Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike: For help teaching your child to ride their new balance bike
How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike without Training Wheels: Teach your child to ride faster and with less drama!