SixSixOne 4×4 and 2×4 Armor Review

Armor Pro Reviews

2×4 Elbow and Forearm Guard

I have been using the 2×4 Elbow guards for a couple of months now, and they worked quite well. I didn’t get to try them in the brunt of summer, but in the last vestiges of warm weather, they were not too hot. All the armor I have ever used is warm, some more than others, and the 2×4 is on the cooler side of the spectrum. They were comfortable, although I had to watch how tight I got the upper Velcro band, else my arm would be a bit sore the next day. I liked having almost my entire arm covered with protection, especially in the local scrub oak, which tend to chew your arms up. You can sort of body check the bushes! The only problem was that I couldn’t wear my fat watch any longer, since the coverage goes all the way down to your wrists, making it a bit difficult to attach the watch. They didn’t really slide down my arm much, and seemed to pretty much stay put. I could wear them under my long sleeved jackets, but it could be a bit tight with jerseys and light pullovers due to their slight bulkiness, so it was easiest to wear them over most apparel? It was very easy to put them on, you opened up the Velcro closures (upper and lower), and slid your arm into them, and then re-cinch the Velcro closures down. After using them a couple of times, I started to take them off by just loosening the lower strap and pulling them off without changing the upper strap. They offer around 90 degrees of protection on the outside of your forearms, and cover from just above the wrist to a couple of inches above the elbow.

I have done a couple of good crashes with these guards, and they offered some excellent protection, and although my body was still sore I didn’t have any scratches nor abrasions. I always wear my elbow guards, unless I am going to ride a very mellow trail, better safe than sorry.

That you call me crazy
I can’t stay cause I need room to breathe
There’s nothing left to say
Better sorry than safe

4×4 Knee and Shin Guard
I recently started to try out the 4×4 Knee/Shin guard, and although it’s made from the same material, it is a whole different beast than the 2×4. In comparison, they are more bulky, have a prodigious number of straps, and are slightly warmer. For their bulkiness, they articulate well at the knee and are moderately comfortable. I think an extremely important factor is getting the proper sizing for the 4×4, and the most important measurement is the knee to top of shoe distance. Like any knee guard, they tend to slide down (especially when pedaling), and by keeping the lower length as close as possible to your leg dimension, it prevents them from slipping down as much. I did not notice any wear or sore spots on my legs from using them, which is a good sign. I did have to pull them up regularly, but I do that with all my knee guards. I did notice that the material on the inside upper portion (right where the knee chafes the bike) was wearing slightly, and was starting to fuzz. After an initial adjustment to get them to fit properly, I left them alone and only would open the lower strap to put them on and off. That made things a bit more pleasant, since there are a lot of straps and closures (7 to be exact) to deal with on the 4×4. I liked having the full protection wrapped around my leg, even a simple thing like bending down on your knee (like to work on our bike) was much more pleasant. They were warmer than the 2×4, but that was nice in cooler weather since your legs stayed a bit warmer. The protection was very nice, and bashing through the scrub oak, or any occasional foray onto the ground, made me appreciate the beefiness of this soft armor. They wrap around to offer 120 degrees of protection over your legs and knee, and cover from just above the foot to a couple of inches above the knee.

Measured Specs (medium size)
Weight – 4×4 526.9 grams, 2×4 228.9 grams
Length – 4×4 19 inches, 2×4 13 inches

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • Loudpawlz says:

    I’ve been using an older version of the x4 elbow guards since ’03. The only issue I’ve had is that the elastic strappage has stretched out bit – other than that they have proven to be very durable for the type of riding you describe. Looks like the new version has a little better ventilation through the padding. One other benefit of the elbow guards is they lay flat and are fairly compact in the pack or strapped on the outside.

  • jack says:

    These pads suck. Ride em longee and they will fall apart.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Sorry to hear that. Only time will tell. I have had the 2×4’s out for around 36 rides and the 4×4 for 15 rides, and I am not easy on outerwear. Except for the fuzzy wearing on the inside of the knee on the 4×4, they have been holding up. So far no stitching nor had anything else come apart.

  • Willy says:

    I bought a set of 4x4s and 2x4s used about 3 years ago. I bought them used to see how they compare to the Veggie wraps. I primarily use them for mountain unicycling, and occassionaly for MTB in downieville. The only issue I have is chafe around the knees. For both the 4x4s and the veggies, I wear thin arm and knee warmers to alleviate the chafe. As for duarbility, with the exception of the elastic stretching out, I have not been able to kill them. As for heat, all armour is HOT. I found the x4 series the least HOT of them all.

  • eric says:

    I’ve been using the 4×4 and 2×4 for a good 3 years, use the knee/shin by default on every ride, and the elbows when I’m feeling stupid. I’m so used to the knee/shins that it feels weird to ride with out them!

    I add coresaver and ff helmet for pure DH.

    They have made it so I walk away from crashes that would have ended up a lot worse had I not been wearing them. Landing in rocky stuff they are not as good as a hard shell (funny that), but still way better than not wearing any at all.

    Definitely recommend them and will buy again when/if these wear out!

  • Fredjjjj says:

    Good price, low weight and long lasting shin guards, but the nylon will rip on
    bike snag points, so I get a hockey shop to sow thin leather
    on 1/2 of the pad surface, to the straps. Doubles the life, at least.

  • Phil says:

    I’ve been wearing the elbow guards for racing motocross & enduros & I havent found any better for a balance of lightness, free movement & protection. Definately saved me from lasting injuries countless times. One did rip apart when I got snagged on a tree but I guess if it didnt my arm would have!! I have now invested in more 661 gear. Good quality stuff.

  • Paul says:

    I tried both the 2×4 and the 4×4 pads this last season. The 2×4′s stayed in place and provided good protection. However the 4×4 pads did not stay in place at all. They would slide down my knee/leg after a few cranks of the pedals. I tried tightening the straps, being strategic about which ones to tighten up more and still could not get these to stay in place. I had a crash where the top portion of my knee got scraped up due to the pad being out of place. I replaced the knee/shins with Roach DH pads and could not be happier. The 661′s which were only used on about two rides are now loaner pads.

  • big T F says:

    You old squirrel bait. Armor is where it’s at no matter what hat or age your wearing.
    Six Six One is my protection on the trail. Give it to me.

  • six 3 says:

    i have just got a pair of the elbow and the knee. had that on for my first try out yesterday….
    The knee pad on the upper straps seems to be thigh around my knee and feels very uncomfortable…. 661 should serious look on to it ….

    I would be wearing my ols one fox….sorry 661….

  • Joel says:

    At 37, I’m just getting back into Mountain Biking – in College I had two bad wrecks on campus bouncing my chink off the asphalt both times and two years ago I had another bad wreck as I was starting back to riding (and subsequently didn’t continue), so after doing a tough 5 mile ride today with 30 or so switchbacks up one mountain and down another, and taking a few falls on the uphill switchbacks, then reading this review and following the link, I’m definately going to get some of these pads and maybe some wrist protection and a full-face helmet – I may look dumb wearing it all, but if it makes riding safer and therefore more enjoyable, I’m all for it. I never thought I’d wear a helmet snowboarding either, but when a sales clerk told me that when riding trees, you can just tuck your head and let tree limbs deflect off the helmet, I saw the light and now love snowboarding in trees off the beaten path. I’m hoping this kind of protection will do the same thing for mountain biking and get me back in shape after being a desk-bound vegetable for the last 13 years or so.

  • Tester says:

    Joel, I sympathize you )))

  • Guillermo Roman says:

    It’s gonna be 11 years since I got’em via JensonUSA and I still use them. At the beginning I used them for BMX freestyling and now on my 40s they are part of my body armour for BMX racing. The best guards I ever had.

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