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Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guards Review

Pearl Izumi Elbow Guards

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Are you tired of elbow guards that chafe more than your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving? Look no further! The Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard is here to hug your joints like a protective koala without the fuss.

Imagine bombing down trails with the confidence of a squirrel on espresso, knowing your elbows are armored against the treachery of rogue branches and the occasional dirt nap. We’re talking serious comfort meets tank-like defense. In the upcoming review, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes these guards a trail warrior’s best friend—from the freedom of movement they offer to the peace of mind that comes with D3O viscoelastic wizardry.

Strap in, fellow gravity enthusiasts. You’re about to get the lowdown on whether these guards will be your next ride-or-die or if they’re just another pretty face in the mountain biking safety dance.


Slide into the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard and feel the blend of polyamide, Cordura® nylon, elastane, polyester, and polyurethane embrace your arms. These aren’t just random materials picked from a hat; they’re the Avengers of fabric, each contributing its unique superpower. Polyamide and Cordura® nylon bring the brawn with their abrasion-resistant qualities, making sure that brushes with the ground don’t turn into full-blown breakups.

Elastane is the secret stretch agent, giving you the freedom to move like you’re in a dance-off with the trail itself. Polyester and polyurethane step in as the dynamic duo of durability and flexibility, ensuring that the guard fits snugly while holding its shape. And with the CE level 1 protection certification, you’ve got the nod from the safety bigwigs that these guards are up to the challenge of your most daring descents.

In sizes that cater to arms from the spindly to the Schwarzenegger-esque, and a weight that’s akin to strapping a whisper around your elbows, these guards are a masterclass in not noticing they’re there. This is high-tech armor disguised as a second skin, ready to safeguard your shredding sessions without weighing you down. Because when you’re navigating a needle-eye turn, the last thing you need is to feel like you’re lugging around a medieval suit of armor.

  • Padding Type: D30®
  • Certification: EN1621-1 Level 1
  • Weight: 9.8 oz.
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Material: Cordura®
  • Closure: Slip-on with silicone grippers
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Recommended Use: Trail / Enduro
  • Rating:

    4.0 out of 5 star rating

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Key Features of Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard

Step into the realm of trail-blazing tech with the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard, your new ally against the inevitable gnarly spills. At the heart of this guard is D3O®’s LP1 viscoelastic pads, the kind of material that might make you believe in magic. It’s soft and pliable when you’re king of the mountain, yet upon impact, it transforms faster than a chameleon, absorbing the shock with a firmness that says, “Not today, rocks.”

Wrapping this wizardry is the four-way stretch Cordura® fabric, offering a comfort fit that moves with you, not against you. Think of it as the Robin to your mountain biking Batman; it’s got your back (or rather, your elbows) without cramping your style. This dynamic material combination doesn’t just give you freedom; it brings durability to the mix, making wear and tear worry a thing of the past.

But wait, there’s more—the mesh fabric on the inner arm whispers sweet nothings of breathability to your skin, banishing the dreaded sweaty elbow syndrome on hot trail days. And for those who’ve experienced slippage, the arm warmer-inspired design sticks to you like a loyal pup, with silicone grippers ensuring no amount of jostling or jolting can dislodge these guardians. It’s not just an elbow guard; it’s a statement that you’re here to ride hard, ride long, and ride protected.

User Experience and Performance

Hit the trails with the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard and you’ll forget they’re there—that is, until you take a tumble. The true test of any elbow guard is not noticing it during a ride, and these guards pass with flying colors. They flex with your every move, making them a second skin on everything from the root-ridden descents to the bone-rattling rock gardens.

But it’s not just about flexibility; it’s also about resilience. These guards have faced off against gravel, grit, and gnarly falls, and come out looking like they’ve just had a spa day. The breathability is no joke either—climbing in the heat can turn into a sweaty mess, but the mesh interior of these guards keeps the air flowing, staving off that sticky feeling.

Sure, they might not be the Iron Man suit of elbow guards, with their medium-weight build, but they’re not trying to be. They’re the trusty sidekick, offering a balance of protection and agility that won’t hold you back or let you down. Just remember, while they’re tough, they’re not invincible—so ride hard, but maybe don’t go arm-wrestling any cacti.

Material and Construction

Diving into the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard’s material lineup is like stepping into a fortress built from the fabric equivalent of steel and silk. The polyamide and CORDURA® nylon are the front-line defenders, offering up their unmatched durability to shield against scrapes and scuffs. They’re the trusty knights in shining armor, ever-ready to battle against the harshness of the trail.

Meanwhile, elastane weaves its stretchy sorcery into the mix, allowing full range of motion as if the guards are echoing your muscles’ every move. This elasticity isn’t just about comfort; it’s a critical ally in the guard’s fit, ensuring that protection stays precisely where you need it, even when you’re contorting like a mountain-biking Houdini. The polyester and polyurethane serve as the final guardians, enhancing the guard’s structural integrity and ensuring that repeated washes and wears don’t diminish its protective prowess.

From the meticulous stitching to the strategic placement of each protective pad, the construction of these guards is a testament to Pearl Izumi’s commitment to safety without sacrifice. Every thread is a promise of longevity, every panel a pledge of performance. Riders can tackle the trails with the assurance that their elbow guards are engineered not just to withstand the elements, but to accompany them on countless rides to come.

Pearl Izumi Elbow Guards Closeup

Zoomed in on safety and comfort: This close-up reveals the intricate meshwork and the resilient padding of the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard, designed for maximum protection and breathability on the trails.

Comfort and Fit

When you slip on the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard, it’s like your elbows are getting a gentle, reassuring hug that says, “I’ve got you.” The soft, flexible materials conform to your arms, moving with you as if they’re part of your own skin, all while staying as breathable as your favorite cotton tee. Long descents, relentless climbs, and those surprise technical features that have you contorting like a circus performer? These guards stay put through it all, no readjustments needed.

The fit is snug without being constrictive, thanks to the alchemy of stretch woven into every fiber and the strategic silicone grippers that cling quietly to your skin. There’s no fiddling or fussing, just a set-it-and-forget-it simplicity that lets you focus on the ride, not your gear. And adjustability? While they’re crafted to fit true to size, the forgiving stretch means they accommodate a range of arm shapes, welcoming all riders to the comfort party.

So whether you’re all-day enduro or a quick hit-and-run on the trails, these elbow guards are your silent partners in crime, offering comfort so seamless, you might just forget to take them off at the end of the ride. They’re the rare breed of protective gear that you’ll actually look forward to wearing, not just for the safeguarding but for the sheer comfort.

Protection Level

The Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard doesn’t just elevate your ride; it elevates your confidence with protection that’s been put through the wringer. The D3O® LP1 pads at the core of these guards are the real MVPs, providing CE level 1 protection that’s been rigorously tested to absorb shock and dissipate impact. It’s like having a personal bodyguard for your joints, ready to step in the moment the trail tries to throw a punch.

In the world of mountain biking, where the unexpected is the only guarantee, these guards hold their ground, meeting the industry safety standards head-on. The TPU skid plates are like the secret service of elbow protection, taking the brunt of the abrasion so your skin doesn’t have to. You can take that sharp turn or tackle that sudden drop with a little less fear nipping at your adrenaline-fueled heels.

So when it comes to standing guard against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—or just outrageous trails—the Elevate Elbow Guard has got you covered, quite literally. This is protection that doesn’t just meet expectations; it straps them on and takes them for an epic ride, leaving you free to focus on the path ahead, not the potential pitfalls.

While the Pearl Izumi Elevate provides robust protection with its advanced D3O® padding, those seeking alternative options with different protective technologies might be interested in our insights on the innovative VPD system in POC’s elbow pads, offering a unique approach to safety on the trails.

Price and Value

When it comes to the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard, you’re not just buying a pair of pads; you’re investing in a blend of innovation, comfort, and durability. The price tag might make you do a double-take, but once you break down the cost per ride, it’s like paying pennies for a personal bodyguard that’s on duty every time you hit the trails. Compare that to competitors, and you’ll find these guards hold their own, offering top-tier protection without demanding your first-born child as payment.

In the MTB armor market, you’ll find options that may save you a few bucks upfront, but the Elevate Elbow Guard stands out with its promise of longevity. The high-quality materials and construction mean you won’t be back shopping for replacements anytime soon, making the initial investment seem less like a cost and more like a savvy purchase. It’s the difference between buying a sturdy house and one you’ll need to patch up after every storm.

Bottom line, with the Elevate Elbow Guard, you’re not just buying a product; you’re securing peace of mind on the trails. They’re for the rider who values a mix of solid protection and enduring comfort, understanding that good gear is not an expense, but an essential part of the ride. And isn’t the freedom to ride hard, with confidence, worth every penny?

Comparison Of Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard With Other Brands

When the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard steps into the ring with contenders like the Fox Enduro and the Alpinestars Paragon, it’s a clash of the titans. The Elevate comes out swinging with D3O® technology, a feature that the Paragon matches in impact absorption but doesn’t quite meet in terms of breathability. The Fox Enduro, while a heavyweight in comfort, can’t flex its muscles against the Elevate’s superior Cordura® fabric’s durability.

Price-wise, the Elevate sits comfortably in the middle, not the budget pick nor the splurge item. It’s like the Goldilocks of elbow guards—just right for riders looking for high performance without the extreme price tag. User feedback sings praises for the Elevate’s stay-put fit, a chorus joined by the Fox Enduro fans, while some riders feel the Paragon could tighten up its act.

In the end, the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard holds its ground as a well-rounded choice. For those curious about how these guards stack up against other market favorites, explore our detailed take on the Dakine Slayer Elbow Sleeves for another perspective on trail-ready elbow protection.

Comparison of MTB Elbow Pads: Pearl Izumi Elevate vs Fox Racing Enduro vs Alpinestars Paragon Plus
Features Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard Fox Racing Enduro Elbow Sleeve Alpinestars Paragon Plus Elbow Protector
Material 83% polyamide, 15% elastane, 2% polyurethane / 53% polyester, 29% polyamide, 16% elastane, 2% polyurethane Polyester fabric with an abrasion-resistant film Rip-stop fabric, mesh
Closure Slip-on with elastic cuff Slip-on with elastic grip Slip-on with elasticated cuffs and silicone printing
Protection Area Extended sleeve, D3O® viscoelastic LP1 pads, TPU skid plate Enduro-specific coverage CE certified protector, targeted coverage
Certifications CE level 1 protection CE level 1 protection CE certified to EN 1621_1: 2012 LEVEL 1
Manufacturer Warranty Lifetime warranty Not specified Not specified
Weight Not specified Ultra-lightweight Lightweight
Available Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL S, M, L, XL S, M, L, XL, XXL
Key Features 4-way stretch, breathable, extended coverage Slip-on design, moisture-wicking, pre-curved ergonomic fit Pre-shaped ergonomic design, perforated pads, abrasion-resistant

User Reviews and Feedback

The Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guards have been taking a victory lap in the user review circuit, with riders cheering for the exceptional fit that stays true mile after mile. There’s a choir of praise for the D3O® padding, with riders feeling like they’ve got the invincibility star from their favorite video games. The breathability also gets a thumbs-up, especially from those who’ve sweated through the less ventilated options out there.

But, in the spirit of honesty, there’s a murmur about them being the divas of the elbow pad world when it comes to price. Yet, for every mention of cost, there’s a counterpoint of value, with users affirming the adage that you get what you pay for. It seems that for those who’ve taken the plunge, the Elevate guards are less of a purchase and more of an investment in skin-saving, confidence-boosting armor.

Pearl Izumi Elbow Guards Rear View

A look at the secure fit and rugged design from the back of the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard — ready for any challenge on the trails.

Is Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard Right for You?

In the rugged world of mountain biking, the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard is a beacon of protection, marrying durability with comfort in a way that feels almost custom-made. They stand tall with their D3O® padding, laser-perforated breathability, and a fit that’s snug yet forgiving. Yes, the price may raise eyebrows, but the investment is a down payment on peace of mind and unshaken confidence on gnarly trails.

So, is the Elevate right for you? If you’re the rider who plays hard and values gear that punches above its weight in protection, then yes. Whether you’re threading singletrack or dropping into a rock garden, these guards are your trusty sidekick. For the rider who sees their safety gear as a second skin—one that needs to perform without a second thought—the Elevate isn’t just right; it’s essential.

For those on the quest to find the ultimate arm armor, our review has put the spotlight on the Pearl Izumi Elevate Elbow Guard’s stellar qualities. If you’re hungry for more top-tier options, don’t miss our guide on elbow pads that lead the pack, featuring a curated selection of the finest protectors for your ride.

About the Author

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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