As our sport grows, the options for equipment and gear grow along with it. When I first started, it seemed like the only two choices you had for knee sleeves were Rehbands and T.K. Bands. Now if you Google “knee sleeves”, you’ll come up with a plethora of different brands of all shapes, colors and sizes. I like to think that no matter what, Rehbands are the standard when it comes to knee sleeves since they’ve been around the longest and are no doubt the most popular ones out there. They also cost more than almost any pair of sleeves out there, but then again, you probably won’t ever need to replace them. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been any other great brands; Workt has a great knee sleeve, RockTape’s newest iteration I hear is the best one they’ve had, and newcomer ExoSleeve has slowly inched themselves into the very competitive market of knee sleeves. ExoSleeve offers the most options as far as colors go, both 5mm/7mm sleeves, and are the least expensive. As the age old saying goes, you get what you pay for, but that’s not necessarily the case here.
ExoSleeves look pretty much like every other knee sleeve on the market; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The black versions I have are very minimal in design; just black on black with the silver “Exo” logo on the top. Sometimes you want to keep things low key, and the black colorway is perfect to do so. The seams in the front are covered and in the back they’re open, similar to most designs on the market. They’re a little bit longer than your typical Rehband 7051, and more closer to the re-done 7751. I wear a medium in the 7751 and I have a medium in the Exosleeve. The latter runs slightly smaller, but not small enough to the point that it would be uncomfortable so I’d recommend sticking to your normal knee sleeve size.
From a performance standpoint, the Exosleeves do what you’re intended to do: keep your knees warm and give them a little bit of added support. Can’t complain here. Even during the worst workouts I’ve done with the sleeves on, there’s been minimal slippage, nothing more than you wouldn’t get with Rehbands. If you’re looking for a sleeve that doesn’t ride down, don’t hold your breath. Like I said before, they’re going to be a little bit tighter if you’re coming from Rehband sizing, but from a comfort standpoint, they don’t cut off circulation so it’s not really a big deal. Durability seems on point as I haven’t had so much as a thread come loose yet. They fit me the same today as they did when I first tried them on, and they’ve been washed a couple times (cold water/hang dry). The best part, I’ve sweat in these, took them off, left them in my closed bag, and they still don’t smell! Well, other than like neoprene but that’s to be expected.
For the money ($45), you really can’t go wrong with Exosleeve. I’m going to keep these ones in my bag a lot longer than I had expected to. Usually I’ll revert back to my Rehbands after testing sleeves, but I’m not missing them one bit right now. Exosleeve has hit the mark in a fairly saturated market segment, and more impressively has done it without sacrificing quality for price.