Hatch XTAK Knee Pads - ITS Tactical

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Hatch XTAK Knee Pads

By Trigger Pull

I was first introduced to the Hatch XTAK knee pads about two years ago when a Hatch representative gave a few pairs to our team to try out. I got to try them on is all, and never got to wear them again because other operators claimed them as their own.

I personally liked their feel, but I was not a big knee pad wearer at the time. I’d never found the comfort and flexibility I needed. The knee pads most of my team are issued are the basic Hatch Centurion style and they always seemed to fall down to your ankles, slide to the side, or end up tangled in your gear.

After a few bumps and bruises to my knees over the years, I decided to give the Hatch XTAK knee pads a try and picked up a pair for about $25.00 with shipping. I immediately loved these knee pads because they had the one thing I’d never found before on any knee pad I’d ever worn or tried on; Rapid Deployment Hook and Loop Clips. The way the knee pads secure to your knees alone is reason enough to wear these.

I’ve used the knee pads for about 3 months now operationally and in training. In that time I’ve knelt on concrete and brick several times and never felt any pain. I also crawled through a crawl space during one search warrant on my knees, and the only side effect was the permanent scratches I put on the pads. It makes them look a little tougher now. That crawl space made me wish I had the elbow version of the XTAKs.

I’ve also worn the pads on the range doing all sorts of running and shooting drills, and never felt any sort of discomfort even after an 8 hour training session. I will say that the lack of flexibility with the permanent bend in the knee makes standing up straight cause a little muscle tension in the back of your knee. This is slight comfort that you give up to have the bend in the padding and armor on the small knee joint design.


Here are the basic components and high points of the XTAKs:

  • High Density Foam for Shock Protection
  • Cool Max Inner Surface for Moisture Wicking
  • Anti-Skid Inner Surface to Secure Pads
  • Spandex Adjustable Rapid Deployment Straps
  • Hook & Loop Clips
  • Unique X-Shape Thermal Plastic Urethane Shell
  • One Size Fits All
  • Available in Black, Desert, OD Green, Digital Camo

What makes these knee pads unique is the slight bend in them that mimics the natural bend in your knee. This is vastly different from most knee pads that go off the basis of just protecting the mass over your knee and thus do not fix properly when you bend, run, walk, or move.

My personal opinion is that Hatch XTAKs are a must have for all tactical operators out there. If you’ve spent anytime at all training for the military, private contracting, or law enforcement worlds you have banged up your knees once or twice and wished you had a good set of knee pads on.

Out of all the knee pads I’ve ever worn or seen, these give the most protection, most comfort, best ease of wear, and they are easy on the pocket book. Price is not really a draw back or reason to not get these, because everyone should be able to scrape up around $25.00 to protect your knees. Remember, you only have one set of knees and an injury to your knee cap, joints, or ligaments could be the end of your career.

Till next time — Keep Doing God’s Work Warriors,
Trigger Pull

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming Trigger Pull, a veteran law enforcement officer currently assigned to a full-time tactical team,  as a contributing gear reviewer on ITS Tactical.

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  • Doc

    I don’t have any time in my new XTAK knee pad, but I have about 8 months of use tallied on the elbow pads. They were comefortable from day one and still are to this day. I really fell in love with them after having to shoot from the prone on concrete and gravel. With the X shape it creates a spot that sits flat and doesn’t rock even on smooth surfaces. Makes holding a steady bead on your target a breeze.

    Can’t wait to see if these knee pads will be all that the elbow pads are.

  • Tony

    The same kind of straps can be found in other knee pads as well – it is not an unique feature. That said, I haven’t really found any knee pads I have tried to wear for an extended time period to be too comfortable – they are all hot, and chafe the back of the knees. With continuous up-down movement, I find this starts to irritate after a while. You say you haven’t noticed this in these knee pads?

    Personally, I’m thinking about getting Dexter Meadows-pads the next time, as they don’t have any straps that go behind the leg. They’re kind of expensive and the clip mechanism makes me a little skeptical about durability – has anyone compared those and Hatches offerings? I’d love to hear about it if so.

  • Ken

    I had/have a pair of the old school Hatch pads and I hate them. They were comfortable for about ten minutes as long as you are only standing or sitting.

    I traded them in for some ProTec BMX pads. The straps are extra wide and secure with velcro twice. I wore them while shooting at our range for work (pistol/shotgun) and while you notice them, they are pretty comfortable.

  • Mark

    As a tile setter, I spend MANY hours a week on my knees and, although they are not “tactical”, Troxell knee pads are by far THE most comfortable knee pads I’ve ever worn. I’ve tried at least a dozen different kinds and for comfort, durability, and overall wearability they are definitely worth a try. Google Troxell and have a look

  • agent 000

    Thanks for the review!

    I currently use a pair of Arcteryx Knee Caps.
    I’ve had them for a couple of years and love them. They have been through gravel, dirt, and salt water and have held up pretty well.

    In my opinion they are more comfortable and significantly t lighter than most pads out there. I’ve had some other Hatch models and a pair of Damascus pads that I hated, because of the straps and bulkiness so I went with the Arcteryx instead.
    Just my two cents… Take care and keep up the good work!

  • Ryan Allen

    I’m glad to hear you like these as I just this week bought a pair to start using. I held off on the elbow pads to wait and see how these worked out but I might just bite the bullet and make it happen now. Thanks for the review.

  • Agent 000

    I just received a pair of the Arcteryx Knee Caps from ITS to trial and I will be doing a review on them in a month or so. I want to make sure I put them through the ringer as well. So far, from just trying them on, I definitely like the feel and comfort, but I’m a little worried about the straps holding up and releasing when you run.

    We’ll see though, but I promise the next knee pad review your read from me, will be those pads.

  • Matt

    I bought a pair of XTAK kneepads and elbow pads for a week long rescue class I was taking (fire department). The reason I bought them was because of their small size, since I would be doing some confined space work.
    I really like the kneepads, but really did not use the elbow pads much.
    ITS, thanks for the great reviews…keep up the great work.

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