I was handed this set of leg protection at the “FechtTerra 2016” tournament event, when the representatives of the Russian supplier Kvetun noticed how much duct tape was being used to keep my then-current set of knee guards together.
Disclaimer: I was given the set for free, with the request to tell my friends in the UK about Kvetun.
Almost a year later, I received a request to make a warts-and-all public review, because Kvetun is now exporting to the EU. Coincidentally, I also finished the “test to destruction” phase at roughly the same time.
The set comes in two pieces per leg: one shin guard and one knee guard. Each is made of black semi-rigid plastic, with fabric padding and two elasticated velcro straps to secure them to the legs. There is also a velcro patch and tab to attach the knee piece to the top of the shin piece.
All the fabric fittings are stitched rather than riveted, which means no protrusions pushed into my flesh by hits. There are some flat rivets behind the padding, but I haven’t felt them yet.
My set differed from the photographs in including small instep guards for the top of the foot and front of the ankle, with an elastic loop to go under the foot. I suspect they were removed to make sizing less specific. I don’t regard this as a big issue – mine haven’t taken a hit yet, and they sometimes got snagged in shoelaces.
I do find the double strap on the knee pieces a trifle more awkward than the single strap on the LeonPaul knee protectors, but it is a minor difference.
They’re light, they’re comfy, movement has been great, and they reduce the felt power of hits considerably. The plastic isn’t completely rigid, but it reduces an “immanent boo-boo” to a tap and a potential broken shin to a bruise. They curve far enough around to protect the sides of the knee joint and the ankle bone, and the “front face” of the lower leg, but not enough to completely cover the sides of my huge calves. Just humble bragging there.
I now see optional calf and thigh protection upgrades, and a “leaf” for the side of the knee, are available add-ons.
Any piece of kit has a failure mode, from Red Dragon sabres and feders exploding on contact to a sturdy mask gradually dimpling into retirement. In the case of these leg protectors, it was the stitching securing one knee strap, which tore when the protector became tangled in another person’s leg guards in a messy grapple. A simple sewing repair job. Or duct tape, if you are me.
Price and Value
Kvetun Armouries are selling these to EU customers for 80 Euros. That’s roughly twice the “standard” over here in the UK, the Red Dragon re-branded motocross leg protectors or the SPES knee and shin guards, and about the same as Neyman’s leg protectors. I would say that they are more comfortable than the alternatives, and are harder wearing in use and have the lower shin protected, unlike the RDs, and unlike the SPES set they don’t really require additional padding to attach to.
I think I’ll be recommending these to students.