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Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors Review

Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protector

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The Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors are an excellent pair of elbow pads. I’m sure you already know that much. What you’re looking for is how good are they and what riding are they good for.

So the short answer is that these pads are ideal for trail and enduro riding, and even cross-country of course, but if you are doing jumps and drops on downhill trails, you’ll want something with a bit more padding.

The Alpinestars are comfortable enough to wear, lightweight, and reasonably priced. While I prefer elbow pads with D30 or VPD padding for the additional flexibility, these are still well-made and I’d wear them any ride and be happy about it.


The Alpinestars elbow protectors are a polyurethane foam on top of breathable mesh that is held on with elastic cuffs. It’s a fairly usual design for elbow pads.

One thing I see that Alpinestars does very well is provide many different sizes to choose from. From XXS to XXL they should cover most riders. Like with all elbow pads, measure carefully and check the manufacturer size chart so you get one that is snug and stays in place during vigorous riding.

  • Padding Type: Polyurethane
  • Certification: EN1621-1 Level 1
  • Weight: 8.6 oz.
  • Sizes: XXS-XXL
  • Material: Mesh
  • Closure: Slip-on with grippers
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Recommended Use: Trail
  • Rating:

    4.0 out of 5 star rating

View on Moosejaw

Key Features of Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors

There are 3 main features of the Alpinestars Paragon pads: elbow protection, what the sleeve material is made of, and how comfortable they are to wear.

These elbow pads have easily met the safety standard (EN 1621 1 Level 1 ) and are CE certified. While they meet the safety standards, many types of downhill runs exceed the standards. For downhill I like really thick padding, so I would use these for everything short of downhill runs such as enduro, trail, XC, etc.

Sized right, the breathable mesh sleeve material will fit snug and not move due to the elastic cuffs. The material is light and comfortable so that works well.

The open part on the inside of the elbow is an especially nice feature that really helps with air flow to keep arms from being too sweaty but also allows more flexibility and your arm to contract more since there isn’t material binding in the way.

It’s the little details that sets this apart from similar designs.

User Experience and Performance

These elbow pads are comfortable in the way that they give you great protection, but you don’t even realize you’re wearing them weight-wise. They seem to work well in a variety of riding and do a great job when you catch tree limbs and tree trunks with your elbows 

The only thing that I’ve noticed is the same thing that many of the writers do is that these are not quite as flexible as they could be, which might be in part due to the impact foam it uses.

It is still doesn’t feel like it restricts your arm movement but that it takes just a little bit more effort if that makes sense.

Sized correctly they truly do stay in place very well at least on fairly normal trail riding. I only found myself readjusting them when I was on longer breaks, and sometimes I even took them off anyways.

Material and Construction

One of the key things about the Alpinestars Paragon Pro’s that stands out is the material used to create the compression sleeve. It’s a stretchable mesh that conforms to your arm and elbow shape that I think is one of the main reasons it doesn’t move around on rides as easily.

It’s a breathable mesh that feels like it lets the air get into your skin to help keep the sweat down. Even though it breathes well, they’ll still need to be washed periodically to keep the bacteria and smell down after many rides. I haven’t had them long enough to see how well they handle washing so I’ve hand-washed them in a tub just to be safe.

They stay in place pretty well which is due to both the elastic cuffs but also there is some silicone on the inside. The silicone seems to hold to skin well even when wet or sweating which is a positive once they are on, but also make it a little tough to get back on if you arms are wet.

The padding is not removable, which is expected given they are a foam and not D30 inserts or something along those lines. That does mean they’ll take longer to dry back out after a ride or after washing them.

One thing I especially like is how the back of them are open. It does allow in more air, but the real bonus is that when you go to close your arm the material doesn’t bunch on the inside. Just one of the little details that I would think should be more common than it is.

So far they seem to be holding up well so it all goes to these being well thought out and constructed well to last many seasons.

The padding is above average in thickness for an impact foam, but I would still look for even thicker padding if you want to do the big jumps and drops you see in downhill riding. These are perfectly fine for trail riding, XC, enduro, etc. Basically the riding where the bike doesn’t often go more than foot off the ground or really riding where you’re not going full-force at obstacles like trees that don’t move.


Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protector - Back View

Detailed back perspective of the Paragon Pro Elbow Protector, highlighting the breathable mesh and secure fit.

Comfort and Fit

The Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors definitely do well in the comfort department. The fabric mesh breaths well but also stretches and moves pretty easily without too much fuss. I would say they are above average in comfort.

The fit part is where you need to make sure you measure you arm and elbow to ensure you pick the correct size. When you put them on, they should slightly stretch which is part of what helps keep them in place during trail riding.

I did find myself adjusting a little during breaks from the ride, but during the ride I didn’t have to mess with them at all to keep them in place. That’s about all I can ask of elbow pads.

They do have quite a few sizes so you can really dial them in to get the perfect size. When they are a little snug, the silicone and cuffs keep them in place pretty well, even more so as you sweat during the ride.

Alpinestars says they should fit like a second skin. If you get the right size, I guess that is true. You want them snug but no restricting or squeezing too much.

Generally I just didn’t think about them during the rides very much which is exactly what you want from a pair of elbow pads.

Protection Level

This is really the heart of the matter … how well do they actually protect you. After all, why else wear them?

These elbow protectors offer the standard elbow protection level, which is they meet the CE certification of EN 1621-1 level 1. You absolutely want elbow pads that meet this protection but you never really see them with a higher standard in mountain biking equipment.

Basically the only equipment that is certified higher to the Level 2 is equipment meant for motorcycles safety equipment. That would be way over the top for mountain biking, so these meet the Level 1 standard which is exactly what you want.

So at this level, you can bang you elbow against a tree or a rock and it’ll feel like a far lighter bump. These will absorb a majority of the hit so for a majority of the bumps against branches and such you’ll barely notice it.

If you ever hit a tree or a rock without a pair of elbow pads on, you know exactly why these are so important on a ride.

So these are up near the top in terms of protecting your elbow and are plenty fine for trail riding, enduro, things like that. Basically for fairly normal things these are among your best choices out there.

Price and Value

The Alpinestars Paragon Pro provide very good protection for the price. They fall in average for the price but compared to many at the same price level, these provide superior elbow protection.

You really get more than you paid for in the case of these.

Comparing these to others in the same price bracket, these provide better quality of materials and workmanship which should translate to better durability and lasting more rides.

You really can’t go wrong with these. They’re well-made from a company with a solid reputation, and they cover a majority of riding situations. The padding is more traditional but it’s a tried-and-true design that Alpinestars has got dialed in.

Comparison Of Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors With Other Brands

There are a lot of elbow pads out there, and quite a few in this same price range as direct competitors to the Alpinestars. There are more than I could possibly compare to here, so I’ll pick a couple of the more popular choices to compare against.

Two of notable competitors are the Fox Racing Enduro Elbow Sleeves and POC Joint VPD Air elbow guard.

The Fox Racing elbow sleeves are a similar competitor that is more expensive with higher-tech elbow protection. These are neoprene sleeves that have perforations and breathe much like the mesh of the Alpinestars. They are both high-quality in material and workmanship.

The main difference between Fox Enduro sleeves and the Alpinestars Paragon Pro elbow protectors are the protective padding that are used. The Alpinestars has the traditional impact polyurethane foam which works well and makes for a reasonably-priced elbow pad. The Fox pads have D30 protection inserts that are lightweight and flexible until there is an impact and they harden up to absorb the impact. As you can expect, the Alpinestars come in cheaper but they are a good budget alternative to the Fox Enduro sleeves.

The POC Joint Vpd air elbow pads are sort of like a cross between the Fox Racing enduro sleeves and the Alpinestars. The POC have VPD impact inserts that are very similiar to the D30 inserts. The Alpinestars and POC have similar breathable fabric, and the materials are actually much more similar than the Fox ones.

The POC VPD pads perform similar to the Fox Racing but at a price about halfway between the Alpinestars and Fox racing. For those on a budget, the Alpinestars are a better deal and better bang for the buck. On lighter riding like trail and enduro they both provide plenty of protection so if you ride more on the casual side, the Alpinestars are still the better deal and use that extra money for a stronger helmet.

For those interested in exploring further with other competitors, take a look at our detailed review of the innovative G-Form Pro X3 Elbow Guards, known for their unique impact-absorbing technology and comfort, offering another perspective on top-tier MTB protective gear.

Comparison of MTB Elbow Pads: Alpinestars Paragon Pro vs Fox Racing Enduro vs POC Joint VPD 2.0
Features Alpinestars Paragon Pro Fox Racing Enduro POC Joint VPD 2.0
Material Breathable stretch mesh with impact foam Neoprene with D30 Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough (VPD)
Closure Slip-on with elastic cuffs / silicone inner Slip-on / silicone ends Slip-on with grippers
Protection Area Elbow Elbow Elbow
Certifications CE EN 1621-1 Level 1 CE EN 1621-1 Level 1 CE EN 1621-1 Level 1
Manufacturer Warranty 1 year 1 year 1 year
Available Sizes XXS – XXL S, M, L, XL XS, S, M, L, XL

User Reviews and Feedback

There are a lot of people out in the mountain biking community that have weed in on the real world experience with the Alpinestars paragon pro elbow protectors. The general consensus is that these are very good elbow pads with just a couple of drawbacks.

The most common thing you hear is that these are very comfortable elbow pads and most times you forget you’re even wearing them. I can definitely see that from my own experience. Others have also noted that these are exceptional at staying in place during a ride. If you’ve ever had a pair that you had to adjust constantly, you’ll realize just how important this is.

But there’s always some negatives with any product in the main thing about this is that it’s not quite as flexible as some other models on the market. I think the majority of this is because of the impact film, which is on the thicker side, which tends to give this a bit of stiffness versus some of the more expensive ones with the D30 padding.

I’m glad to see when I check other riders real world feedback it matches what I’ve seen myself and it’s that these are very good and for the price and exceptional value.

Is Alpinestars Paragon Pro Elbow Protectors Right for You?

So now we get down to the big looming question. These are very good elbow pads, but are they the right ones for you and your riding?

These are very comfortable elbow pads that have all of the safety certifications, and they stay in place pretty well. So that’s an easy one.

These do have the impact foam, which is traditional, and tried-and-true of course, but whether they have the right amount of padding depends entirely on your type of riding.

These are perfect if you’re doing cross country riding or Enduro or trail riding where are you just need middle of the road elbow protection. If you’re doing downhill runs where you hit those big jumps in drops than these probably won’t have enough protection for what you’re doing. There are other pads designed for more extreme riding.

If you do the normal sort of riding and you’re looking for a above average elbow pad, that’s comfortable at a reasonable price without having to spend a lot. I would say you should put this in your final list of potential elbow pads.

If you’re curious about how other models stack up and want to explore a variety of options that lead the pack in protection and comfort, check out our comprehensive guide on leading MTB elbow pads for every rider.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed