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Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Brace

Cho-Pat on top of Mt Lincoln, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Cho-Pat on top of Mt Lincoln, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail

The best knee brace for hiking is the Cho-Pat Knee Brace. I use one when my knees bother me from carrying too much weight during a long backpacking trips and I have a few hiking buddies who swear by theirs. They wear two braces whenever they hike, one for each knee. At $23 per brace this is a good solution to keep me on the trail.

I’ve had knee problems in the past and lots of physical therapy, but I’ve found that strengthening my quadriceps and hamstrings has always resolved my symptoms. There’s no doubt that I have some patellar degeneration at my age (I look my younger than I am), keeping up my leg strength helps resolve the pain issues. The mistake I made this year was stopping my weightlifting and yoga workouts and focusing on pure cardio instead. That’s already changed. I’m working out with weights again and already seeing an improvement. Flexibility and balance workouts are just around the bend.

Double Cho-Pat Knee Braces on the Appalachian Trail
Double Cho-Pat Knee Braces on the Appalachian Trail

The Cho-Pat knee brace makes it possible for me to hike without pain. The top strap eliminates the symptoms of ITB that I have in my right knee (snapping tendon over the knee) by compressing my thigh muscle above the knee joint. The bottom strap helps align my quadriceps muscle with my patella better, lifting it, and reducing internal friction.

This photo shows a closeup of the Cho-Pat brace. It’s made out a Neoprene and encircles your leg fastening in front, using Velco, which lets you adjust the tightness. After an hour or so, I simply forget that I’m wearing it. It didn’t constrict my movement in any noticeable way and it also didn’t get hot and sweaty.

Cho-Pat Knee Brace

So if you’re having knee pain while backpacking, which can be very difficult to localize and isolate, I recommend trying a Cho-Pat brace on your next hike. It will provide your knee with a more internal stability and keep you on the trail without further intervention. Don’t ask me about doctors….I don’t trust them when it comes to knees.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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4 comments

  1. Great review! Back in my younger youth, I had a serious skiing accident. The high point of that was being resuscitated 3 times so I could be here to share in this great site and, amazing hobby. The down side were the knee injuries which were too numerous to go into. Suffice it to say, I often find myself in need of brace support when hiking. Not that I can't hike but, it takes a great deal of pleasure from it so, a good brace can make all the difference. All the others I have tried are heavy and or hot though they did provide support. I am going to give this brace a shot as everything else I have learned from the section hiker, has not let me down so why should I not go forward with complete faith and confidence!!?? Thanks for more help…..I'll work on the Picasso style tan lines later!! LOL!

  2. Great review!
    My husband and I are both long distance walkers / hill / mountain hikers.
    I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in all main joints and a few smaller, arthritis in my hands and all my fingers, plus I have lumbar discs that keep dislodging, tennis elbow in both arms and shoulder impingement. I’ve learnt to cope with all of it over time, but my right knee never stops with the nagging pain even after having tried numerous kinds of support on it and all the pain meds. My husband found this page and told me about it. I’m buying the Cho-Pat this afternoon.
    Everything you’ve said made it sound exactly what i needed, but what clinched it for me was where you said “it didn’t get hot and sweaty” – If all goes as planned and this works well for me, I can book a long weekend away camping in the woods and hiking.
    Once again, thanks for the great review.

  3. Any issues using them on both knees at the same time? I’m planning my AT thru-hike, and while I don’t have any specific/known injuries (although I’m 35 and do work on my feet), my knees can bug me, and while I’m doing yoga and strength training, I want to give my knees every chance to succeed… thoughts/advice?

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