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Back in 2013 Dave Arthur reviewed the arm version of the Sugoi Knee Cooler and all I can do is echo his words, almost to the letter: "We're not convinced that they do everything they're supposed to, but they're useful as interim [knee] warmers."
Things have been warm recently, enabling a few tests out in 30-degree-plus temperatures. Exactly the sort of conditions the Sugoi Knee Cooler should thrive in, with its special fabric that 'cools your skin temperature with perspiration'.
In the services of road.cc testing I went out in the blazing sunshine and I can report back that... the Knee Cooler is what it looks like – basically a very thin knee warmer. There was no discernible cooling benefit, and when removed there was visible sweat underneath, unlike my 'control' knee opposite. I'd say there was a sensation of the covered knee being 'warmer', but that was possibly psychosomatic.
The thin 50+ UV material is cut in three panels – why, I'm not sure – and I had to visit Sugoi's website to see which way round they were supposed to be worn.
The gripper bits stayed put, which is a plus, and one benefit of them being so thin is that they roll up to almost nothing, easily stuffed in a jersey pocket next to a tool roll, mobile or among energy bars.
So what are they good for? A season-bridging knee warmer once days turn a bit cooler is one possibility, but a bit of a scout about the internet threw up a few relevant use cases where people have found the knee cooler and its sibling arm cooler most useful: for those unable or unwilling to wear suncream to prevent burning on long rides, and for people with serious scar tissue or wounds that must be kept covered, even in warm temperatures.
Not particularly cooling, but other uses are possible...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi Knee Cooler
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
They are for keeping the sun off, and keeping your knees about the same temperature while doing so.
Sugoi says: A high performance knee cover that cools your skin while protecting you from harmful UV rays
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Comfortable gripper elastic keeps the knee cooler locked in place
Icefil® material is moisture reactive and cools your skin temperature with perspiration
UPF rating 50+ for top level sun protection
stretch fabrics and engineered panels allow for close-fit comfort and unrestricted freedom of movement
Actively transfer perspiration without dehydrating the skin
Almost non-existent weight.
Physically they feel comfortable, but do get sweaty in the heat, when you're working hard.
Not great, but if they work for your other uses, maybe better.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine. Still look like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For the intended purpose of feeling cooler, they don't work very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They fitted well and stayed put.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fact that they don't seem to keep you cool.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not really
Use this box to explain your score
They don't seem to cool you down but might have other uses, so I'm rating them average.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling