Photo of our pick for best saddle hunting knee pads in use — the Tethrd knee pads.

Knee pads are probably one of the most overlooked pieces of saddle hunting equipment, but critically important if you spend any time sitting in your saddle.

Since knee pads serve a much broader audience than just saddle hunters, there are tons of options on the market. From cheap foam pads you can pick up at the local hardware store, to relatively expensive models made specifically for saddle hunting.

While I understand you may be on a budget (I definitely am!), my advice is don’t go too cheap on your knee pads. You’re only going to end up uncomfortable, frustrated, and probably replacing them by next deer season. This is one of those ‘buy once, cry once’ situations. Fortunately, even the best quality knee pads are considerably cheaper than most other must have hunting gear.

In this article, we’ll look at a few of the best saddle hunting knee pad options, why we picked the ones we did, as well as a couple alternatives to knee pads that may work better for you.

Our Top Pick

Any of the five options below for saddle hunting knee pads should serve you well, but my top pick is the Tethrd Knee Pads. Tethrd has been known for their innovative saddle hunting products since they came on the scene back in 2018, and they didn’t disappoint with their knee pads.

The Tethrd Knee Pads are lightweight, comfortable, and built to last. They aren’t cheap at $69.99, but again, you get what you pay for. If that’s out of your price range, then give one of my other four picks a try (full list is below), and I still think you’ll be in good shape this season.

Best OverallTethrd Knee Pads

Photo of Tethrd knee pads on a white background.

Key Features

  • Double dose of comfortable closed-cell foam padding
  • Raised honeycomb gripping surface to provide more bite and leverage during your hunt
  • Stretch straps allow you to put them on at the truck and walk to your tree
  • Total weight for pair: 11oz

See Tethrd Knee Pads in Action

Other Options

Best ValueTrophyline Knee Savers

If you can’t get past the price tag of the Tethrd knee pads, then I would recommend the Trophyline Knee Savers with a retail price of just $29.99. My concern with these is that the fabric won’t hold up for too many seasons rubbing against trees, but they haven’t been on the market long enough to know if that’s really an issue.

Photo of the Trophyline Knee Saver knee pads on a white background.

Key Features

  • Easy on, easy off straps with quick snap buckles
  • Soft rubber grip strip
  • Extra foam padding for all-day comfort
  • Extra long straps to go over clothing layers in cold weather
  • Total weight for pair: 9oz

Good ValueThunderbolt Knee Pads

The Thunderbolt knee pad is a great option for those wanting maximum comfort and protection for their knees. These knee pads have a double gel layer combined with a thick foam cushion to keep your knees comfortable, as well as a large, heavy duty front shield to grip the tree and protect your knees. The biggest downside to the Thunderbolts for a hunting application is the velcro leg straps. They are also the heaviest knee pads in our lineup.

Photo of Thunderbolt knee pads on a white background

Key Features

  • Anti-Slip Design
  • Thick Gel Foam Padding
  • Double Gel Core
  • Total weight for pair: 1.48 lbs

Best Sellers NoCry Professional Knee Pads

The NoCrys are some of the best-selling knee pads on Amazon, with over 30,000 ratings at an average of 4.5 out of 5. They have high density EVA foam padding combined with a soft gel core to provide maximum comfort. They have a similar look and feel to the Thunderbolts, with a little less bulk at the top and no velcro to contend with.

Photo of NoCry professional knee pads on a white background.

Key Features

  • Soft gel core and durable EVA foam padding 
  • Heavy-duty thick poly shield
  • Adjustable straps for a firm, secure, and comfortable fit
  • Total weight for pair: 1.19 lbs

Best FittingAlta Contour Knee Pads

If you don’t like the fit of a traditional knee pad, or the way the straps tend to end up in the bend of your knee, then the Alta Contour knee pads may be a great option.

Photo of six Alto Contour knee pads in various color and camouflage options.

Key Features

  • Soft, flexible cap provides protection and flexibility
  • Strong durable Cordura nylon fabric construction
  • Thick neoprene recovery foam padding for support
  • Tricot liner wicks away moisture and keeps dirt out
  • Total weight for pair: 11.6 oz

Alternatives to Knee Pads

What I quickly learned from my first year of saddle hunting was that knee pads weren’t for me. I lean more than I sit, so having the knee pads on while standing/leaning annoyed me. There are plenty of saddle hunters that swear by knee pads, but they just weren’t for me.

Fortunately, there is an easy alternative — a cushion you strap on the tree. This eliminates having to wear anything extra. You just strap the cushion to the tree at knee level, and when you decide to sit in your saddle, you simply rest your knees on the cushion.

Realizing that this was a popular idea among saddle hunters, Tethrd stepped up and made the Knushion seen below. It’s a great, easy-to-use, lightweight option. At $49.99, though, it’s a little pricey for a cushion. Cheaper than their knee pads, but still more than a lot of saddle hunters want to spend. If you’re cheap like me, then you can simply pick up one of the many hunting seat cushions on the market, add a strap that will reach around the tree, and you’re ready to go.

Our Top PickTethrd Knushion

Photo of the Tethrd Knushion attached to a large tree.

Key Features

  • Ultra-strong and durable RhinoSkin fabric
  • Easy-to-fasten adjustable strap
  • Total weight: 5 oz
  • Size: 13″ x 7″

Budget OptionTherm-A-Seat Seat Cushion

Photo of the Therm-A-Seat insulated seat cushion on a white background.

Key Features

  • Lightweight, durable, and waterproof
  • Produced with Softek closed-cell foam
  • Total weight: 8 oz
  • Size: 13″ x 14″

Knee Pad Features to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right saddle hunting knee pads.

Fit and Comfort

Obviously, one of the most important factors when choosing knee pads for saddle hunting is that they fit well and are comfortable. Some of the cheaper ones I’ve used constantly slid down on my knee and the straps irritated the back of my leg.

While I intentionally picked the four options I did with comfort as a main factor, I would encourage you to try on whatever knee pads you end up ordering as soon as they arrive at your house. Wear them around for a little while and make sure they fit well and don’t irritate your leg. If you don’t think they’re going to suit your needs, then send them back.

That’s the great thing about buying products off Amazon — they have a great, no-hassle return policy. If you go with the Tethrd knee pads from GoWild, they have an excellent 90-day money back guarantee as well.


You’ll also want knee pads that will stand up to the wear and tear of saddle hunting. This one will be hard to determine without trying them out for an extended period of time. That’s where I dove deep into the ratings and reviews of each of the four knee pads featured here, as well as countless others. In fact, there was a really popular set of knee pads on Amazon that I was initially going to put on the list, but after a lot of research, I found that they had an issue with flimsy clips on the straps that often broke.

Fastening System

This is a feature that’s much more important to saddle hunting that it is to other knee pad uses. You not only want a quick, simple way to attach the knee pads, but it also needs to be relatively quiet. You don’t want to be ripping off velcro and repositioning it in the deer stand.

The Thunderbolt knee pads are the only ones on our list that lack a quick attach clip, so that you can get the strap adjusted where you need it at the house, then just clip or unclip to get them on and off in the field. The Thunderbolts are velcro, so if you go the budget route, you’ll want to put them on before heading into the woods, or very carefully once you’re in the stand.

You’ll also want straps that stay at the desired tightness. As I mentioned earlier, there is little worse than having knee pads constantly sliding off your knees and down your legs. So good, thick, elastic straps work best for holding in place. Having two straps that have some separation does an even better job of keeping your knee pads where they’re supposed to be


As saddle hunters, we sometimes get a little obsessed with equipment weight and saving weight any way we can. Tethrd took that into consideration when they developed their knee pads, which is why they are the lightest on our list at just 11 oz.


If saddle hunting is in your plans for this deer season, don’t overlook a good pair of knee pads. While the four options discussed above are my four picks for best saddle hunting knee pads, there are tons of great options on the market. The main thing is to find a pair that fit you well, are quiet, lightweight, and will hold up to constant pressure and rubbing on tree bark.

If you already have a favorite brand/model of saddle hunting knee pads, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below. I’m always looking to learn about the best and most innovative hunting gear available!

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