Redbacks are a relatively new type of knee pad, which are certainly revolutionary in design, and therefore well worth reviewing to see if I think they’re a ‘must’ for the DIY market. Knee protection is often an area that is overlooked, or not considered essential, in both DIY and trade circles. However, for me, it’s always a necessity to wear knee pads when carrying out any DIY work – trust me, even if you’re not doing a flooring job, it’s amazing how often you find yourself on your knees – so let’s see if Redbacks are the answer to all our knee protection needs.
Redback kneepad design
A Redback kneepad is essentially a rubbery honeycomb design that helps spread your weight across the pad when kneeling down, therefore offering greater protection than traditional knee pad designs. They’re shaped to fit around your knee, which provides good comfort levels, and the large holes in their structure ventilate the pad so your knee area doesn’t get too hot.
Wrapped around the honeycomb pads are an abrasive resistant cover, and if there’s any uncertainty about where to put your knees, they even label them, to make sure there’s no doubt about orientation or positioning. Some might say a bit OTT, but I’d rather say foolproof, and I never have a problem with explicit instructions.
How to use Redbacks
Redbacks will fit into nearly all types of work trouser, as long as they contain knee pockets.
Whether the knee pockets are top-loading or bottom-loading makes no difference, the Redbacks are simply inserted in place, and you’re ready for work.
As shown to the right, I always put knee pads in, trousers off, as otherwise they can be difficult to get in place. Bear in mind that they are meant to be a tight fit, but if there’s no way they’re going in, they can always be trimmed slightly to fit.
Do they work?
Yes, they certainly do, but they did need a bit of getting used to – like any ‘new’ design. The first thing you notice is that Redbacks are heavier than most other knee pads, so you do start thinking “….have I got to lug these around all day?……”. However, once they’ve been on for a while, and you actually get down on your knees to work, you find the pads are very comfortable, fit well, and provide a very good level of protection – there’s a real secure feeling of your knees being very well padded.
After a full week of ‘test-driving’, I can say that any early concerns about the Redbacks’ weight issue quickly dissolved, and I forgot I was wearing them – the ideal situation for any protective equipment.
One other great selling point in my view is that Redbacks can be put through the washing machine, so you don’t need to keep taking them out, and putting them back in – a small chore you may say, but one that has always wound me up.
As always, even good products have limitations, and Redbacks are no different in this regard.
- By design, you need work trousers with knee pockets to use Redbacks (although I’m told they are going to produce a version with straps).
- Following on from above, Redbacks will only be effective if you’ve got ‘good’ work trousers i.e. the knee pockets are in the right place (an essential design issue with work trousers that, amazingly, seems to go by the wayside with many manufacturers). So this is not a criticism directed solely at Redbacks, but it is more important with a heavy knee pad so that you don’t suffer from the situaton where the pad slips below the knee, and you ‘fall’ off the edge of the pad when kneeling down (ouch).
- Price could be considered a limiting factor as they’re not an inexpensive option, but good products rarely are. They can be bought from independent suppliers, but you’ll also find them on Amazon.
If you’re on a budget, Redbacks may not be for you, and many would see them as a ‘trade product’ – a phrase I hate, because if it’s good enough for the trade, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be opened up to the DIY market. Therefore, if you want to treat yourself, Redbacks are a great investment for your DIY toolkit, as they quite clearly provide some of the best knee protection that money can buy.