There's an incredible number of kneepads on the market — so many that it's practically impossible to figure out which ones to buy, or even how to make reasonable comparisons between models. For this article, I had to narrow the field, so I tested 24 designs. I concentrated mostly on gel models, which offer the highest performance, but I also included a couple of pads that rely on fluid-filled packs.

My goal was to find out which kneepads were the most comfortable and functional for various kinds of work. I do remodeling and home repair, so in a given week I perform many different trades; I quickly discovered that kneepads that are good for one task may not be appropriate for others.

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