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Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves Review

Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves

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The Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves are an excellent option for elbow protection while you’re out mountain biking. They meet the necessary safety certifications, are comfortable to wear, and have a very reasonable price. If you are trail riding these are a solid option that won’t break the bank.

In this review I take a closer look at these elbow pads and fill you in on all of the details so you can tell if these are the right ones for you.


The Dakine Slayer elbow sleeves use a traditional design (impact foam) to protect your elbow from spills and hits against things like trees on the trail. They are CE certified for protection and they are comfortable to wear for hours. They have a good thickness to the foam padding that protects against normal things on the trail but are still flexible enough to ride and forget you are wearing them within a couple of minutes.

The sleeve is made from a synthetic blend fabric that is resistant to tearing from abrasion (such as sliding on the ground like superman after a crash) and it handles rubbing against branches as you push them out of the way. When you ride on overgrown trails that is a common occurrence and these handle it no problem.

  • Padding Type: EVA Foam
  • Certification: EN1621-1 Level 1
  • Weight: 9.4 oz.
  • Sizes: XXS-XL
  • Material: Synthetic Blend (70% polyester, 30% nylon)
  • Closure: Slip-on with elastic cuffs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Recommended Use: Trail / All-Mountain
  • Rating:

    4.0 out of 5 star rating

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Key Features of Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves

These elbow sleeves have many features that make them a great choice for mountain biking.

These Dakine elbow sleeves have a synthetic blend sleeve with a 4-way stretch mesh for plenty of air flow through the sleeve. This lets the sleeves  move with your arms as you are riding down the trails and makes it fit like a second skin. The material is resistant to abrasion so using your arms to push branches and such out of the way as you are riding won’t phase these sleeves. Now add in the silicone bands and they really stay in place really well.

Lightweight impact foam provides elbow protection. The foam is light and also has a low-profile design so the foam doesn’t sit on top like a bubble. It’s a sleek design and for normal trail riding these provide plenty of protection.

User Experience and Performance

The Dakine Slayer elbow sleeves slide on like all of the other sleeves. When your arms are dry to start with they slide on and compress-fit like is so common of elbow sleeves. The foam sits on the outside of the sleeves but doesn’t put much pressure on your arm so that’s very good with impact foam padding.

Riding down average trails they don’t restrict movement. That’s to be expected on average trails and not downhill or a more energetic riding style.

I’m happy to report that after warming up on a long ride, I didn’t need to adjust them at all while riding. They didn’t slide up or down or twist on the arm so the padding is out of alignment. Actually after a few minutes I ended up focusing on the trail more, enjoying the ride, and not thinking as much about the elbow pads which is a really positive sign and about as good as it gets.

The weather was fairly cool so my arms stayed cool but in hot weather impact foam padding tends to get a little warm and I expect that will be true for these too. However, I’d still wear these no problem on a nice trail ride even then.

Material and Construction

The elbow sleeve in the Dakine Slayer is made of a 4-way stretch material made from polyester and nylon. The material is abrasion resistant so rubbing up against brush or trees along the trail won’t hurt them too much.

The sleeves have a lot of perforations to get airflow through the sleeve as you can see in the picture below. It’s pretty effective at keeping arms cool and letting the sweat dry.  In fact, the sleeves even have Polygiene® Odor Control which will help keep these from getting smelly between washings.

The sleeves have silicone grippers on each end so that the won’t slide once you get sweaty. Actually they seem to stay put even better if that’s possible.

The mesh back has an opening to increase air flow even more and to keep the sleeve from bunching up when you close your arm.

The impact protection material is DK Impact Foam which appears to be a type of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. I expect this may breathe better than standard EVA foam because my arm did not get as warm under the impact foam as I would have expected.

Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves - Rear Material View

The back of the Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves showing the stitching and rear venting.

Comfort and Fit

These are very comfortable to wear for hours on end. I didn’t get skin irritation, and they breathed well enough that my arms weren’t overly sweaty when I took them off.

The material stretches well and doesn’t restrict movement. For traditional foam-style elbow pads these are amazingly comfortable.

They do come in a wide range of sizes so it should be easy to measure you elbow, bicep, and forearm and use the Dakine chart to get just the right size. Ideally you want them to be form-fitting but not too tight.

Protection Level

The Dakine Slayer provide a moderate amount of impact protection for mountain biking. That is, they provide plenty for trailing riding, but I would get ones with thicker padding if I was going to go some big downhill jumps.

They are rated to EN1621-1 Level 1 as a virtually all the good elbow pads. Level 2 is motorcycle-level padding which you won’t see in mountain biking.

The impact padding protection is a traditional-style foam that will compress and spread the impact over a wide area to protect your elbow. It’s a tried-and-true design and it works very well. They are low-profile so that blend in well and fit beneath shirts and jerseys very well.

Price and Value

At under $50 these are pads are a very good deal for the more recreational type of rider. They are plenty for everyday riding, but they are cheaper so you can use that money for some of the other gear you will need for riding.

I would say these are excellent for new riders, but to be honest these are good for any rider just out enjoying a nice fall day and wanting to make sure do it safely.

Judging by what I have seen and by looking at the design, I could see these lasting a few years if they’re cared for.

Comparison Of Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves With Other Brands

It’s all well and good to say these are excellent elbow sleeves (and they are), but the next question is how do they compare to the leading brands on the market. So let’s compare them against Fox Racing Enduro D30 elbow sleeves and POC Joint VPD Air elbow pads.

The Fox sleeves use the more advanced D30 impact protection material. It’s a material that is flexible but hardens instantly upon hit. It makes the Fox sleeves a little more lightweight but with nearly double the cost.

The POC pads also feature the VPN impact protection material which is very similar to D30 in the way it is flexible until it needs to harden on a hit. Overall the Fox sleeve is more durable than POC which may be part of the reason that the POC elbow pads are a little cheaper than the Fox elbow sleeves, but the POC elbow pads are still quite a bit more than the Dakine Slayer elbow sleeves.

If you are a rider that likes to go out on singletrack trails, things like that, then the Dakine are a much better deal for you.

While I can’t compare it to all of the ones out there in this article, I have reviewed many elbow pads like this and I’m always a fan of making an informed buying decision. To that end, take a look at the Kali Protectives Mission elbow guards and the Pearl Izumi Elevate elbow guards that are very similar to the Dakine sleeves and may give you more insight into the type of elbow pads you need for your riding style.


Comparison of MTB Elbow Pads: Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves vs Fox Racing Enduro vs POC Joint VPD Air
Features Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves Fox Racing Enduro Elbow Sleeves POC Joint VPD Air Elbow Pads
Material 4-Way Stretch Mesh, DK Impact Polyurethane Foam Neoprene with abrasion-resistant outer Reinforced stretch fabric, VPD Air padding
Closure Slip-on with internal silicone gripper Slip-on with elastic strap Slip-on with elastic strap
Protection Area Elbow Elbow Elbow
Certifications EN 1621-1 certified EN 1621-1 certified EN 1621-1 certified
Manufacturer Warranty Limited 2 Years 1 Year Limited 1 Year
Available Sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL S, M, L, XL XS, S, M, L, XL
Unique Features Polygiene® Odor Control Technology, Lightweight Moisture-wicking, Abrasion-resistant Lightweight, High-impact absorption
Price Range Mid-range Mid to High-range High-range

User Reviews and Feedback

Checking around to see what other people think of these, I see similar feedback to what I felt myself. A majority of users say they are comfortable and flexible and they liked wearing them for trail riding.

There are some folks who did say they felt like they ran a little warm, which is likely due to the impact foam padding which inherently doesn’t have a high airflow.

However, virtually all the riders said these are an excellent deal and they wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another pair or to recommend them to others.

Is Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves Right for You?

So the real question comes down to if the Dakine Slayer is the right elbow pads for you.

It’s a question only you can answer, but what I can do is summarize everything above to help out.

The Dakine Slayer is a budget elbow sleeve that has the same level of safety certification as the other pads on the market, while still being a traditional foam-over-sleeve design that has been around for years. The material breathes well and it has a price you can’t beat.

They are an excellent pair for trail riders or even enduro riders and are comfortable enough to wear for hours. The material is durable and holds up to normal abrasion against brush along the trail.

I do realize that while these are excellent, they may not be the right choice for everyone. I do have a list of my top-rated MTB elbow pads on the site if you’d like to look at some others, and I recommend that you look at your options before buying any elbow sleeves.

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