SixSixOne 4×4 and 2×4 Armor Review

Armor Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

I first saw the SixSixOne 4×4 and 2×4 soft body armor while I was at Interbike this year. The ‘x4′ series of soft armor, is comprised of the 4×4 (Knee/Shin), and the 2×4 (Elbow/Forearm) guards. They both use an EVA foam padding as the main structural protection entity with some nylon inserts for rigidity and additional protection, while the main body is made from a Denier nylon shell with a Coolmax liner, and it’s held together with Velcro closures.

Why Wear Armor?

Since I started riding tougher terrain of late, I thought it best to start wearing armor more often. Protecting my 50+ year old body from the occasional crash, and tree and rock scrapes seems like a rational idea? I have used hard plastic armor, but I found them to be uncomfortable, hot, and a over zealous amount of protection for the slower speed All Mountain riding that I participate in. Hence, my preference is to use soft armor. Just over a year ago I took a nasty crash on the Templeton Gap trail in Palmer Park, and I removed a good portion of skin on one forearm, ouch!

Grumpy says to always wear protection!

The crash helped reinforce the need to wear body armor. I swear that any time you decide to not wear armor, you are going to fall! So consider it a double safety blanket, or redundant backup, as it were?

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme 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 and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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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….
    Outcome….
    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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