ZAMST ZK-7 KNEE BRACE
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
April 09, 2014
mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in Spring 2013. I borrowed various supplies for my first backpacking trip and am currently hiking with some newly acquired lightweight gear and some heavier gear from my car camping trips. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. I am a tent camper looking for ways to lighten my pack. My backpacking trips are currently weekend excursions in Southern California, USA. If my business travel allows me to get away, I try to backpack one or two weekends a month.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: SIGMAX AMERICA, Inc dba ZAMST
Year of Test: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://zamst.us
MSRP: US $79.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 6.1 oz (173 g)
Available sizes: S-M-L-XL-2XL-3XL-4XL
Available colors: black
The ZAMST ZK-7 is a kneebrace designed for athletes to provide lateral, medial and anterior stabilization of the knee. The small 'Instructions for Use' booklet that was inside the cardboard box points out that the ZK-7 is not for medical treatment and will not prevent all knee injuries but shall be used as knee support. If the wearer has any cuts or fractures, experiences any numbness, swelling or a rash where the product is to be worn, the ZK-7 shall not be used. The booklet holds the instructions in 8 languages and has three graphics that show how to pull on and tighten the kneebrace. It also lists a range of Safety Precautions, plus how to apply the kneebrace and its washing instructions.
The ZAMST ZK-7 is a lightweight, soft-fabric black kneebrace with a semi-open design. It is not made specific to one knee, so may be worn on the left or right knee. The user has to measure the circumference of the thigh 6.5 in (16 cm) above the center of the kneecap. If the measurement falls between two sizes, the user shall choose the larger size. I measured 18 in (46 cm) for my right thigh and selected the Medium size.
My medium size ZK-7 measures 6 in wide x 11 in tall x 1.5 in thick (15 cm x 28 cm x 4 cm) when resting on a flat surface. In the front, the Zamst logo is imprinted in white/red. I can feel a well-cushioned foamy material to be positioned above the knee. This cushion is a bit thicker in a crescent shape right above the kneecap hole. Below the kneecap hole, the kneebrace uses a hook-and-loop system: there is a wide, soft loop strap and across from it, there are two hook straps for below-kneecap tightening.
There are two additional, crisscrossing straps for additional hook-and-loop tightening below the kneecap.
In the back, the ZK-7 has a mesh-type fabric plus two horizontal straps (one at the upper and one at the lower end), each approx. 2 in (5 cm) tall.
|Backside View with 2 Parallel Straps|
On its left and right sides, I feel thick, oval inserts from top to bottom: the resin inserts for medial and lateral stability.
Once I pull the ZK-7 open by separating the two below-kneecap hook-and-loop front straps, the ZK-7 opens up below the kneecap hole and I see that on its inside, part of the back is black while the majority of the inside is bright blue.
|Right Inside View|
I notice a small white tag imprinted with the ZAMST logo, website, ZK-7 product name, Made in China, the washing and care instructions and the material description. The ZK-7 is made from nylon, polyurethane, chloroprene, polyester and acrylic rubber.
|Left Inside View|
All seams on the ZK-7 are top intact. I see no loose threads. The kneebrace looks professionally designed and well-made.
TRYING IT OUT
After reading through the 'Instructions for Use' booklet, I tried the ZK-7 kneebrace on my right leg. I opened the lower portion of the kneebrace by separating the two hook straps from the loop strap of the hook-and-loop system. I inserted my right foot through the semi-open brace. By holding both sides of the kneebrace, I pulled the ZK-7 up over my knee and stopped when the kneecap hole was centered over my kneecap. For proper fit, it is important to position the kneebrace such that the center line of my knee is positioned just under the kneebrace's center line. I then closed the portion below my kneecap by attaching the two hook straps to the one soft loop strap. Afterwards I crisscrossed the two front straps over the lower portion of the kneebrace for a tight but not restricting fit. The medium size feels like the right fit for my knee.
To take off the ZK-7, I pulled away the two crisscrossed front straps and removed the two hook straps from the soft loop strap. It was then easy to pull the semi-open kneebrace down over the knee and take it off my leg.
I am looking forward to testing the ZK-7 kneebrace and finding out if and how it allows me to keep up my conditioning activities plus how it performs when backpacking off-trail with a heavy pack on.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Thank you to ZAMST and Backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to try out this kneebrace.
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