MTG Pro KPL3 Deluxe Curved Thai Pads Review
MTG Pro are one of the lesser known Thai brands. While they may not get the same levels of attention, what they do is produce hand made, well designed products that aim to be more competitively priced than the more well known Thai companies. They offer a wide variety of Muay Thai equipment, including pads, gloves and shin guards.
About the Pads
The KPL3 curved Thai pads are a fairly new product from MTG Pro, and fit into their range of pads that include straight Thai pads, focus mids and hybrid pads. As the name suggests this style of pad has a slight curve to it – designed to make it easier to catch strikes. You can get hold of them in either white and black or red and black, and the team at muaythai-boxing.com sent us a pair of the white and black variant to test out and give our opinion on.
MTG Pro have used a fairly traditional design when making these pads, so visually they aren’t too dissimilar to what some other well established Thai brands have available. The front of the pad is covered in a large section of your chosen colour, slightly overlapping the left and right borders. This overlap gives forms a slight crescent as it joins the black leather which runs round the edges of the pad. This is joined to the back section with the (almost standard on Thai pads) extra thick stitching over cloth piping on the edges of the leather, which are both black on these pads and forms a tight border between the black and white leather sections.
On the strap side of the pads you again have a base of white leather, with a central black strip of softer padding to protect your arms. Two velcro straps and a grip bar are all in white, with the black cloth piping for contrast. The whole pad is finished off with a MTG Pro cloth logo stitched onto the lower strap, and another MTG Pro logo printed on the striking surface, along with an authenticity logo stating the product is genuine leather handmade in Thailand.
The design and visuals of these pads are great, with clean lines, large areas of fresh white and, on the white and black version at least, a sharp contrast between the two colours that makes the pad stand out without being overstated. They feel slightly flashier than the MTG Pro belly pad we’ve previously tested, but still keep hold of that utilitarian edge of being a product that’s designed for serious work.
These MTG Pro curved Thai pads have been made from real leather, which many people prefer over synthetics for it’s increased durability and these pads have definitely stood up to the training we’ve been doing with them. The most interesting material choice to us has to be the padding, which appears to be a dense foam. This means the pad is actually slightly thicker than previous ones we’ve tested out, with padding that has a small amount of give before becoming really solid, but the whole pad feels lighter than many others we’ve tested. They feel closer to something much thinner, like the Fairtex KPLC2 curved pads.
As mentioned previously MTG Pro hand make their products in Thailand. In our experience, and most people’s opinion, this is a marker of quality craftsmanship and it definitely rings true with these pads. We’ve been using them regularly in training for a while now and they still look like they’re fresh out the box. Obvious potential weak areas are reinforced – for example the straps are attached to the pad with both stitching and two rivets meaning they should be staying put for the lifetime of the pad.
It’s clear form the choice of materials and quality of the craftsmanship that MTG Pro have carefully considered the fact that these pads would have to stand up to day in, day out punishment in a professional gym and they’ve risen to the challenge of creating a product that can withstand that workload.
When it comes to comfort these pads do really well. For a start they have a line of padding that sits under the wrist which, combined with the solid filling of the pad itself, does a great job of protecting your forearms from the impact of a strike. The twin velcro straps do a great job of keeping the pads in position and not sliding round your arm, and the single strap and loop design means they’re easy to put on and tighten up without assistance.
The padding also means that the pad feels great to hit, giving you plenty of feedback for your strikes and the reassurance that you can really throw power without worry. As the holder the curve of the pad also makes catching shots, particularly kicks, that bit easier and the lightness of the pads mean you can move fast when holding combos without feeling knackered.
Overall we’re really impressed by how good these pads are to use, and would go so far as to say they’re some of the best Thai pads we’ve tested.
The MTG Pro KPL3 Curved Thai Pads retail at £145. This puts them in a bit of a middle ground when it comes to pads. You have products like the Twins deluxe curved pads which clock in at a steeper price, and you can get products like the Fairtex KPLC2’s which are slightly cheaper but are noticeably thinner. Ultimately we’d say that the MTG Pro pads are fairly great value for money, offering better protection and comfort than cheaper options but maintaining the lightness that makes them easy to use.