Backpacking with Patellar tendinitis is a painful process. If you’ve ever had to deal with the injury, you know what I’m talking about. This is why I’m reviewing the Zamst JK-Band. Anything that can provide relief is certainly appreciated.
First, I’m going to point out that I’m not a doctor. I’m not offering medical advice, but if you’ve been diagnosed with the injury (I have, over 2 years of dealing with it now), a patella strap may help. Consult your doctor first.
These really do work, and I’ve been using various bands for years now. At one point, I even had to quit hiking due to my injury, but since discovering bands such as this one, I’ve been able to hike for miles and miles, while still slowly recovering.
About the strap
The JK-Band is a simple strap that applies a gentle pressure to the patella tendon. It has a soft foam core that compresses against the tendon, which distributes the pressure evenly. It weighs practically nothing, and secures around the knee using a Velcro extension that allows for adjustable tension. It’s comprised of a soft nylon and comes in a variety of sizes and colors, retailing for $17.99.
What I liked
The band provides a gentle, but supportive tension across the tendon thanks to the stretchable fabrics and soft foam core. This allows me to strap it on for support, without applying too much pressure (which is also painful). Many straps have to be used too tightly to provide an effect, which creates pain afterwards. This isn’t the case with the JK-band. It does the job without cutting off circulation of over-stressing the tendon. I forgot I was even wearing the band on most of my workouts and even while hiking. It provided miles of pain free hiking.
The soft foam core (removable) is easy to position and stays in place while hiking, jogging, and running. Even while stepping on and off big rocks and trees, the band stayed exactly where I needed it. It’s comfortable after hours of continuous use, and the fabric dries quickly after a sweaty workout. I doesn’t stretch out during the day, so you shouldn’t have to constantly readjust the band like some braces. The Velcro never once came loose on me, which is a huge plus.
It’s light weight, and tiny for a patella strap. I can stuff into my pocket and pull it out only when needed, or stash it inside my backpack for easy transportation.
Build quality and craftsmanship is very good. Sturdy, straight stitches, quality nylons and a solid foam core instill confidence. It’s entirely simplistic, which creates less opportunity for the strap to break. I couldn’t find any reason to believe the strap will eventually break.
What I didn’t like
The strap came with some tags that kept getting in the way of the Velcro strap, so I ripped them off. No more problem, and the knee strap wasn’t damaged at all. The tags came off easily by hand, so perhaps this was intentional. I couldn’t be sure.
The strap doesn’t work as well for biking, as it slips just a little under the extreme knee bends on the high end of a pedal. It did provide some support, but you may want something that will sit a little more securely if you’re planning on cycling.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, light weight, non-intrusive knee strap that you can use for a wide variety of activities, this is a great choice.
It’s quite affordable at just under 18 bucks, and you can’t beat the comfortable materials, all day support, and build quality. Definitely one of the best straps I’ve used.
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing this product. For full disclosure, see our about me page.