PROS - Great alternative for people who are allergic to neoprene (uses a different material) - Hinges can be removed for easy cleaning - Wraparound design makes it easy to adjust for days when your knees are swollen
CONS - Takes time to adjust and get it to fit just right - Not recommended for contact sports
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Donjoy came up with an alternative to the neoprene knee sleeve, which is the Drytex Donjoy Hinged Knee Brace (“Economy” version). This brace is rated Level II, which provides “ADDITIONAL” protection and support features. Instead of going with the standard neoprene material, Donjoy decided to change the game and go with a mix of nylon and polyester lycra, which is great for those who have allergies to neoprene. This brace is designed to provide a bit more medial/lateral protection than a regular knee sleeve, because of the built-in aluminum hinged uprights.
One of the great features of this brace is the wraparound design. If you are like me and your knee swells up from time to time, it’s great to have the ability to adjust the brace and make it tighter on some days versus others. Another is that the uprights are removable which is great if (knock on wood), the pain decides to go down and you just want to wear the brace for the compression benefits.
As far as the material is concerned, a lot of people have commented that it is more breathable that neoprene. I can’t personally vouch for that since I’ve tried both alternatives and find them both similar. What I do like about the material is that it is extremely durable and because the hinges are removable, it is very easy to clean.
What are the downsides with this Donjoy hinged knee brace? First, it may take you a few tries before you get used to wearing it. Because it is a wraparound brace, you have to play around with it a bit when you first get it in order to find the right adjustment that works for you. Although I didn’t have this issue myself, some people complain that it is bulky and that one size lower on the recommendation chart would have been better.
In my opinion, this is a great option if you are looking for a cheap brace to provide some extra support. If you are interested in this type of brace, please keep in mind that Donjoy has two other similar braces, the Donjoy Deluxe Drytex Hinged Knee Brace and the Donjoy Drytex Playmaker Hinged Knee Brace. The Deluxe and Playmaker models have visible hinges and are Level III braces which provide “ADVANCED” support (i.e.: designed for mild to moderate pain which often involve the ACL, MCL, PCL and/or LCL instabilities). The focus of this article is the Economy version of the Drytex brace which is a Level II brace, for milder pain symptoms.
Before you go, please check out our SHOP page for a list of available knee braces and other products. While you are at it, we highly recommend that you check out our other knee brace reviews.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. This review was posted for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Read full disclaimer.