After looking and not finding any overpants that would fit and feeling exposed in the knee area, I decided to try out some of the knee armor out there... after some research I chose the Icon Field Armor because it looked very strong and the price was right.
This is strap on knee and shin armor and intended to be worn under one's clothing... although one could wear it on top - just looks a little goofy in a Darth Vader kind of way. The knee portion and the shin portion of the armor is attached together with stretchy material, which is really nice because bending the knee then is independent of the shin. And since we ride scooters, our knees are bent
There are three straps for around the leg and a single strap for the knee.
Because I am short (~16" from mid-knee to ankle bone)(I'm 5' 4 3/4"), the shin half of the armor can ride up over the knee slightly and not cause any buckling. The bottom of the armor is tapered and slips into the front of my boots nicely. I feel very protected from feet up to my knees.
With the armor on under my jeans, most people don't even notice I'm wearing it. And in fact, after a few minutes, I don't even notice that I'm wearing any armor. I suppose for the dress wearing set, this might be an acceptable safety step - we won't go into the amazing fashion statement it would make!
Hey, the dirt bike crowd is all into external armor, why can't we enjoy the look? I digress.
The armor itself feels really robust. According to the sales blurb, it is impact absorbing plastic
and dispersing molded foam and has abrasion resistant slider panels. I've tapped on it, run into a table and felt a slight bump, but that's it. I am confident that it will hold up in an accident and will save skin and damager tothe knees and shins.
Now, my issues with this armor. The straps are made for very slender legs. In fact, I didn't realize that after threading the strap through the loop on one side of the armor that the strap was supposed to reach all the way back to the other side!
Now, maybe my legs are on the larger end of rubenesque... but these velcro straps are completely inadequate in length. So, off I went to Target and bought some industrial strength velcro strips (about 3-inches long, 2-inches wide) to extend the length of the straps.
My second issue is that the strap around the knee attaches together just above the knee and the material above the knee only extends a half inch or so. The knee guard seems to slip around some - my next step is to sew on some durable stretchy fabric above the knee to create a more secure strap.
My last issue is something that I already knew... donning and doffing the armor. Unless you wear some very loose bell bottoms, you gotta drop your drawers to put these on.
That's been ok at home and once I get to work I just slip into the bathroom for my superwoman change. But when I ride my scooter just to the bus stop and have another hour commute... I'd like to take the armor off and leave it at my bike. Maybe I'll wear shorts under my jeans and then strip off pants and armor at the park'n'ride ... but this may be a little too thrilling for some. I might go for the strapping the armor over the jeans for these short trips. Oh, I find putting on my boots first helps position the armor on the leg, otherwise I end up needing to hike the armor up the leg to fit the boots on.
Anyway, if you can't afford decent overpants and want to protect your knees, the Icon Field Leg Armor is a good product. Invest in some extra velcro if the straps are too short and you'll be good to go!