Motorcycle Jeans

Jeans-4

James Oxley and Ollie Rooke put 14 Pairs of Motorcycle Jeans to the test to help you look good and stay cool in the saddle

 

A good pair of riding jeans can make life so much simpler and easier. Popping to the shops, stopping for a coffee, or meeting friends at a restaurant become more relaxed and stylish affairs without the need to trudge around in sweaty, cumbersome textiles. For those of us who work in offices with relaxed dress codes, they also remove the hassle of getting changed in and out of riding gear each day.

And, thanks to the excellent comfort and abrasion resistant properties of many riding jeans, more and more bikers are using them for long-distance journeys and tours. In fact, I’ve completed three European tours wearing motorcycle jeans which, combined with a set of waterproof over-trousers stuffed into a pannier, made for an inexpensive, lightweight, and versatile setup for summer riding.

What to look for

So, what should you look out for when buying a pair of motorcycle jeans? There are three main qualities to keep in mind. They should be stylish, comfortable, and protective. Let’s begin with style. One of the reasons we wear motorcycle jeans is because we want to look good on an off the bike. If they’re not stylish, chances are you won’t want to wear them too often, so make sure you get a pair that make you look and feel good.

Jeans-1Secondly, motorcycle jeans should be comfortable. If you can, try them on before you buy to ensure the cut of the material suits your body shape. For example, years of cycling have given me relatively thick calves and thighs which make some tighter fitting jeans feel restrictive despite being the correct waist size. Because of this, I’ll opt for a pair of jeans that use a stretchy material like Spandex in their construction to aid comfort.

Also, ensure any protective armour doesn’t dig uncomfortably into your hips and knees, particularly when you’re sat in the riding position. A pair of stirrups will also improve safety and comfort by helping to keep your jeans and armour in place.

Thirdly, and most importantly, your riding jeans should protect you, both in terms of impact protection and abrasion resistance. Let’s look at impact protection first. This will be provided by armour inserts in the knees and hips. All of the jeans in this test come with knee protectors as standard but some of them lack hip armour, which will need to be bought separately. The armour should be CE approved so you can rely upon it to perform, and it should also be comfortable to wear. Some manufacturers, like REV’IT! and D30, have created armour that manages to be soft, flexible, and comfortable to wear while also retaining excellent impact protection properties. Other manufacturers employ more rigid armour which, while protective, can feel rather cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Saving your skin

When it comes to abrasion resistance, you may be surprised to learn that a well-made pair of motorcycle jeans can offer more protection than your textile riding trousers. This is because of the excellent abrasion resistant qualities of the materials used in their construction, but this has nothing to do with traditional denim, which will fall apart like tracing paper if rubbed along a road surface at speed. No, the abrasion resistance comes from the use
of tough materials like Kevlar and Cordura. However, not all motorcycle jeans are created equal and their ability to save your skin will vary depending on the materials used and their construction. So, how do you know which jeans are best for you? To answer this question, we need to take a step back in time.

Jeans-2When motorcycle jeans first came onto the market, they featured two layers, a traditional denim outer layer and an abrasion-resistant inner liner made from a para-aramid material. Kevlar is the most famous of these materials, but it is simply the brand name of a type of para-aramid synthetic fibre created for the DuPont company in 1956. There are plenty of others available.

Super strong

Kevlar, and other para-aramids, possess two qualities that make them excellent materials for use in motorcycle clothing. Their fibres, once woven together, are incredibly strong (remember, Kevlar is used in bullet-proof vests) and they are also highly resistant to heat thanks to their high melting points. These are two qualities you’ll appreciate in a high-friction situation, for instance, as you’re sliding down the road on your backside.

In this situation, a pair of motorcycle jeans featuring a full inner lining covering your lower body, like Hood Jeans’ offering in this test, offer the most effective protection and would be my choice for motorway riding and bike tours. The downside is that abrasion-resistant lining can result in the jeans feeling bulkier, heavier, and stuffier to wear off the bike than the alternatives available.

Jeans-5

One such alternative is to buy a pair of part-lined riding jeans which offer a compromise between comfort and protection, like the Weisse Tundra jeans on test. They feature a traditional denim outer layer, combined with an abrasion-resistant lining placed in vulnerable areas like the hips, knees, and backside. Part-lined jeans tend to be cooler and are often more comfortable to wear, but due to the fact they leave parts of your lower body worryingly exposed in the event of an accident, they are best suited to casual riding at lower speeds, perhaps on a short ride to Starbucks on a sunny Sunday morning.

While fully-lined and part-lined jeans have their pros and cons, there has been a trend in recent years for manufacturers to follow a different path altogether. Most of the jeans on test don’t use any type of protective inner lining. Instead, they are made from a single layer of denim that is blended with abrasion resistant Cordura. This results in a lightweight and cool pair of jeans that provide all-over protection for your lower body, like the Spidi jeans on test. Sounds perfect, right? Well, not quite.

You see, while Cordura is a very strong, abrasion-resistant material, it has a lower melting point than para-aramids like Kevlar and it could potentially melt if the friction created by sliding along the asphalt at high speed creates enough heat. To address this issue, the REV’IT!, Spada, and RST jeans on test have taken yet another approach by combining an outer layer, made from a Cordura and denim mix, with a partial inner protective lining located around the backside and knees.

Making the right choice

While it’s clear choosing a pair of motorcycle jeans isn’t as straightforward as buying ‘regular’ jeans, we still haven’t answered the question, how do you decide which riding jeans are best for you? Well, that depends on the type of riding you do and whether you prioritise protection over comfort, or vice-versa. If you’re planning a long-distance summer tour, you may want the reassurance the Kevlar brand name brings in a fully-lined pair of jeans, particularly if you’ll be riding at motorway speeds. Alternatively, if you spend most of your riding time commuting at a slower pace through a city, you may want to opt for a stylish pair of single-layer Cordura jeans that are comfortable and cool to wear when you go for dinner after work. Whatever you decide, enjoy the liberating feeling and simplicity that wearing a pair of riding jeans brings to your motorcycling life.

WEISE TUNDRA: £99.99 – www.thekeycollection.co.uk

At less than £100, Weise’s Tundra jeans are the most affordable pair on test by £20, but can the British manufacturer deliver style, comfort, and safety at such a low price? Let’s take a look.

More than any other product on test, the Tundra feels and looks like a pair
of lightweight fashion jeans you’d pick up on the high street. This is thanks to
a lightweight denim outer layer which is made from a mix of cotton (95%) and Spandex (5%). The result is a stretchy material that has none of the stiffness or bulk associated with some riding jeans. Instead, they mould around the contours of my legs like a second skin, but there is so much stretch in the material, it never feels restrictive.

Weise-Jeans-Tundra-Indigo(2)

This lightweight denim outer layer will provide little to no abrasion resistance if you come off your bike, but that’s why the Tundra makes use of an aramid fibre lining around the seat, thighs, and knees of the jeans to protect those vulnerable areas. However, the rest of your lower body will be left vulnerable in a slide, which is why the Tundra would suit a rider who prioritises comfort and style over protection. However, the provision of adjustable CE-level 2 knee armour and CE-Level 1 hip protectors as standard improves the Tundra’s safety credentials, with the jeans achieving the CE-A safety rating.

The armour, made by Smooth Ways, is lightweight and flexible, but due to the figure-hugging fit of the jeans, the knee protectors feel disproportionately bulky. They aren’t uncomfortable, just noticeable. Ankle stirrups are a welcome addition and the inclusion of a carabiner key clip is a nice finishing touch.

As I close in on my 40th birthday, I admit to feeling a little old for the figure-hugging style of the Weise Tundra jeans, but if that’s the style you enjoy, they are a comfortable and affordable option to wear while cruising around town. JO

IN A LINE: Stretch-fit style and comfort for less than £100.

ABR RATING
7/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 7
PROTECTION – 7

OXFORD PRODUCTS ORIGINAL APPROVED SLIM MEN’S JEANS: £119.99 – www.oxfordproducts.com

I’m often impressed at how Oxford Products is able to design, manufacture, and sell quality motorcycle gear at consistently lower prices than most of its competitors. I even visited the company’s headquarters in Oxfordshire to gain some insight into how it achieves this. I discovered a team of highly skilled and innovative professionals taking products from inception to manufacturing, with rigorous testing at every step.

Take the British brand’s Original Approved Jeans as an example. They are one of the few jeans on test to achieve the CE-AA safety classification yet they are the second least expensive.

oxford

The single-layer jeans are made from cotton (74.5% ) and polyamide nylon (24%) to create Oxford Products’ own Armourlite abrasion resistant material. The final 1.5% is elastane which allows the jeans to stretch. Impressively, they feature CE-level 2 armour at the knees and CE-level 1 protectors at the hips. The hip armour is rather bulky but top marks to Oxford Products for including it.

In terms of style, the slim fit and blue denim gives the Original Approved Jeans the look of ‘regular’ high street jeans. The only giveaway they are motorcycle jeans is subtle stitching around the knees where the armour sits.

On and off the bike, the jeans are comfortable to wear, so much so it was easy to forget I had a piece of motorcycle clothing on. To be honest, the £119.99 price tag has left me wracking my brain to find something wrong with them
but I can’t. And, while their single-layer construction isn’t likely to provide as much abrasion resistance as jeans with a full aramid inner liner, particularly at motorway speeds, I take my hat off to the Oxford Products team for making a comfortable and protective piece of motorcycle gear at a stunning price. JO

IN A LINE: Protection, comfort, and style at a bargain price.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 8

 

SPADA RIGGER JEAN:  £129.99 – www.spadaclothing.co.uk

Since 1994, British company Spada has been producing a wide range of motorcycle gear for riders on a budget. It continues this trend with the Rigger Jean which, despite being among the least expensive on test, possesses enough features to punch above its price tag.

Most impressively for the price, the Rigger features an abrasion resistant outer layer combined with a partial Kevlar inner lining that covers your backside and knees.

Spada-Rigger-Jean

The outer layer is made from a mix of Cordura (20%), polyester (30%), and cotton (50%). This includes the use of Coolmax polyester fibres that help keep you cool and dry by wicking sweat away from your body. Further protection is provided by Spada’s own Tektoform armour at the knees which is adjustable. However, hip protectors will need to be bought separately.

The outer layer of the Spada Rigger has been given a water repellent treatment which is a nice touch. This doesn’t make them fully waterproof like the BMW jeans on test, but they will brush off the odd light shower.

In terms of style, the Rigger is a smart casual pair of jeans with a distinctive look. The light-coloured stitching set against the indigo blue denim catches the eye, particularly across the knees, which are triple stitched. However, there is also a ‘waist not want not’ pun written in large letters between two belt loops which, in my opinion, looks rather silly.

Despite this niggle, Spada’s Rigger jeans are a well-specced piece of riding gear at a reasonable price. While the finish isn’t quite up to the quality of the likes of the REV’IT! Philly 2, the presence of two layers of abrasion resistant material and triple stitching in vulnerable areas makes them worth considering if you’re on a budget. JO

IN A LINE: Feature-packed jeans that won’t break the bank.

ABR RATING
7/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 6
PROTECTION – 7

 

ROADSKIN EASYRIDER JEANS: £139 – www.roadskin.co.uk

Taking a belt sander to a pair of riding jeans while wearing them is a sure-fire way to demonstrate confidence in a product. Well, that’s exactly what the folks at Roadskin do during motorcycle shows to highlight the abrasion resistant properties of their jeans.

Roadskin’s entry into this test is the Easyrider which had the smart-casual styling of a pair of jeans you’d pick up in the high street. Pop the slightly bulky armour out and you’d have little idea they were designed with motorcyclists in mind, that is apart from the brash leather belt label advertising Roadskin, which is a little garish for my taste.

Roadskin-1

The Easyrider is a single layer jean made from an abrasion resistant blend of Kevlar (40%) and of cotton (60%). While this won’t offer the same levels of protection in a slide as a pair of jeans fully lined with an aramid material, the Easyrider has impressively achieved the CE-AA rating for safety. Impact protection comes in the form of non-adjustable CE-level 2 armour at the hips and knees.

Slipping the jeans on is a pleasant experience, thanks to a mesh inner comfort liner that provides a silky barrier between your skin and the denim. This enhances rider comfort and promotes airflow in warmer weather. The result is a jean that feels lightweight and comfortable on and off the bike and perfect for warm weather riding.

Much like the Alpinestars jeans in this test, the Roadskin Easyrider jeans combine style, comfort and safety. However, at just over £100 cheaper, they offer serious value for money, and boast a premium finish at an extremely competitive price. OR

IN A LINE: Safety, comfort and style for a very reasonable price.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 8

 

SPIDI J-TRACKER: £146.99 – www.spidiuk.com

Spidi first began producing motorcycle gear back in 1977 and now uses the full force of its 43 years of manufacturing knowledge to produce a wide selection of bike clothing. This ranges from full racing leathers to globe-busting textile suits, as well as a collection of riding jeans.

I’ve been testing the Spidi J-Tracker, a pair of jeans that could easily be mistaken for high street denim. Only the faint outline of armour on the knees betrays the fact these are riding jeans. Typically for Italian clothing, Spidi’s sizing comes up small, with the slim fit feeling a little tight so, unless you’ve got the legs of an Italian fashion model, I’d recommend considering a size-up.

Spidi-J-Tracker

The J-Tracker features a single outer layer made from a cotton (86%), Cordura (13%), and elastane (1%) blend, with the Cordura providing a level of strength and abrasion resistance. The result is a comfortable, flexible, and cool pair of jeans that I’ve been happy wearing all day on and off the bike. They aren’t quite as comfortable as ‘regular’ jeans but they aren’t far off, thanks to the use of elastane to create a stretch in the material.

However, all that comfort comes at a cost. While the J-Tracker’s Cordura and cotton blend far exceeds the abrasion resistance of regular denim, it won’t be as effective as a pair of riding jeans featuring a para-aramid fibre inner liner. However, the J-Tracker does meet the single CE-A safety rating.

Impact protection is provided by CE-level 1 Warrior Lite armour in the knees only. This is lightweight, flexible, and can be adjusted for comfort. It can also be swiftly removed through a zip on the outside of the knee. Pockets are provided for hip armour but you’ll need to buy it separately.

Overall, if you want a good-looking pair of everyday riding jeans that are comfortable and cool for an urban commute, the Spidi J-Tracker will do the job. JO

IN A LINE: Stylish, light, comfortable, and cool.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 9
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 7

 

DUCATI COMPANY C3 TECHNICAL JEANS: £149.00 – www.ducatiuk.com

Ducati makes some of the best looking and most desirable motorcycles on the planet, so it should come as no surprise that there is plenty of Italian style on show in the manufacturer’s clothing line. This is apparent in the Ducati branded, but Spidi made, Company C3 Technical jeans. It’s a smart-casual looking garment that I could imagine wearing while cruising around Lake Como on a Multistrada.

Ok, so I may be getting a little carried away, but nice touches like the small embroidered Italian flag at the hip and the Ducati-red pocket linings add a sense of flare to what is already a stylish and smart pair of dark blue jeans.

Ducati-Company-C3-Technical-Jeans

They are made of a single-layer, abrasion-resistant outer material constructed of cotton (80%) and Cordura (20%). Although they won’t provide as much abrasion resistance as jeans fully lined with a para-aramid material, the single layer approach does mean they feel lightweight, comfortable, and cool to wear, although they are a little tight around my thighs. It’s worth considering buying a size up if you aren’t looking for a slim fit.

Further protection is provided by adjustable CE-level 1 armour in the knees. There are pockets for hip protectors which need to be bought separately. The knee armour is large and provided plenty of coverage down to my shins, but they did feel on the bulky side. There is also a 3M reflective Ducati logo on the inside of the turn-ups to add extra visibility at night.

Overall, the Company C3 Technical jeans are a high-quality, stylish piece of motorcycle clothing for urban riding and country lanes, which meet the CE-A safety rating. They look and feel good, and apart from the subtle Ducati branding, there is nothing to suggest they are motorcycle jeans to the untrained eye. JO

IN A LINE: A stylish, smart-casual jean at a competitive price.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 9
PROTECTION – 7

 

RICHA ORIGINAL JEANS: £149.99 – www.nevis.uk.com

There’s never been anything showy about the Richa gear I’ve used in the past. No huge logos, garish colours, or novelty features. Instead, it has always proved stylish and effective in an understated way, reflecting the Belgian company’s similarly understated motto, ‘feel safe, feel good.’

Richa’s Original Jeans follow this trend. They closely resemble the ‘regular’ high-street jeans I have in my wardrobe at home, down to the fading around the knees to give them a worn-in look. Despite being a regular fit, they feature a slightly slimmer cut which gives them a stylish café racer look.

Richa-Origanal-Jeans

These are single layer jeans made from an abrasion resistant mix of Cordura (20%), polyester (30%), and cotton (50%) and, like most of the jeans on test, meet the single CE-A safety rating. However, Richa’s offering is lightweight, cool, and comfortable to wear, which is aided by some stretch in the material and a polycotton liner that felt soft against my skin, adding to the comfort level of the jeans.

I was pleased to see Richa provided lightweight and flexible CE-level 1 D3O armour at the hips and the knees, as well as removable foot stirrups to help keep the jeans in place. Stirrups are an underrated feature that I wish came as standard in all riding jeans.

Overall, Richa’s Original Jeans are a lightweight and comfortable piece of motorcycle clothing, although that slimmer fit I mentioned earlier does make them feel a little tighter around my thighs than some of the others
on test. However, if you like a slim fit look, these will make excellent casual summer riding wear around town at a reasonable price. For motorway riding, I’d like to see some form of abrasion resistant inner liner included. JO

IN A LINE: Hip armour and foot stirrups raise the Richa Jeans above similarly priced products on test.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 9
PROTECTION – 7

 

HOOD JEANS K7-AA INFINITY: £159.99 – www.hoodjeans.co.uk

As a motorcycle jeans specialist, British-based manufacturer Hood Jeans has spent the past two decades developing and honing its popular K7 jean. The latest incarnation is the K7-AA Infinity, the AA in the name referencing the fact they meet the CE-AA rating for protection.

The K7-AA jeans feature the classic styling of rugged work jeans. The outer material is made from traditional denim which offers little to no abrasion resistance. However, peak inside and you’ll find a full-length abrasion resistant liner made from Hood’s own Infinity K-tech para-aramid material, which is the British firm’s version of Kevlar.

hood

This full-length liner offers an excellent level of abrasion resistance, so much so I was happy wearing these jeans at motorway speeds, safe in the knowledge my skin would be protected if I slid down the road on my backside. The liner does add some bulk to the jeans but they were still comfortable to wear on and off the bike on a 20C summer’s day. I particularly liked the inner Airflow mesh lining that felt so and cool against my skin. Comfort is enhanced by the use of so and flexible D3O T5 X armour in the hips and knees, which is rated at CE-level 1. My test pair of jeans was also supplied with the even lighter and more flexible D3O Ghost Armour (CE-level 1) which is an optional upgrade for £8. It’s so comfortable, it’s certainly worth the extra quid. Other optional extras include free leg length alterations and optional ankle stirrups.

At a time when the trend seems to be for motorcycle jeans to be made from a single-layer blend of Cordura and cotton, it’s reassuring to throw on the K7-AA jeans, safe in the knowledge I have a full abrasion-resistant liner to protect me. Overall, these are a quality made pair of motorcycle jeans that offer excellent protection and comfort at a very reasonable price. JO

IN A LINE: Safety and comfort combined in a high-quality package.

ABR RATING
9/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 9

 

FURYGAN STEED TRS: £159.99 – www.nevis.uk.com

As well as making gear for half a century, Furygan has a history of supplying technical equipment to army parachutists and snipers, so it’s fair to say the French company knows a thing or two about saving people’s skin in tricky situations. Its entry into this group test are the Steed jeans.

The presence of accordion stretch panels on the thighs and prominent stitching around the knees are an immediate giveaway that these are riding jeans. Personally, I like the rugged, casual style it gives them, particularly in the faded grey colour I was supplied with, but they aren’t the best choice if you’re looking for a smart look.

Furygan-Steed-Jeans

The outer layer of the Steed is made from traditional denim mixed with elastane (2%) that offers little to no protection in a slide. Instead, abrasion resistance comes in the form of a partial lining stitched into the seat of the jeans which is made from Kevlar (30%), cotton (30%), and polyester (40%). So, while your backside will be protected if you find your lower body rubbing against the road, the rest of your skin won’t fare so well.

For this reason alone, I’d say the Furygan Steed are best suited to slow speed riding around town. However, the jeans’ safety credentials are enhanced by the use of D30 CE-level 1 armour in both the hips and knees as standard, which are adjustable at the knee.

In terms of comfort, the Steed is lightweight and cool to wear. Comfort is enhanced by the use of those accordion stretch panels across the thighs, and the elastane I mentioned earlier, which adds some stretch to the denim. In fact, comfort and coolness are strengths of the Steed, along with their relaxed styling, and if cruising around town while looking good is your thing, these could be the jeans for you. However, I’d like a pair of jeans with better protection for anything more adventurous. JO

IN A LINE: Rugged good looks aren’t matched by protection levels.

ABR RATING
7/10
COMFORT – 9
STYLE – 7
PROTECTION – 6

 

RST REINFORCED TECH PRO TEXTILE JEANS: £169.99 –  www.rst-moto.com

British based manufacturer RST is a common sight on UK roads thanks to its habit of producing reasonably priced motorcycling gear packed with innovative features.

The Reinforced Tech Pro Textile Jeans continue this trend and stand out as the only pair on test to achieve the most stringent CE-AAA safety rating. This is more common on a leather one-piece suit, rather than a pair of casual riding jeans, so top marks to RST.

RST-tech-pro-jeans-

Substantial CE-Level 2 protectors at the knees and hips offer top-notch impact protection, while abrasion resistance comes from two of the big names in the industry, Cordura and Kevlar. The abrasion-resistant outer layer of the jeans is made of Cordura (10%), cotton (75%), polyester (13%), and elastane (2%). The material continues up your lower back to ensure you’re not leaving your builder’s bum exposed. It’s a nice touch that may appeal more to riders on sportier bikes who lean further forward, as opposed to the upright stance of adventure riders. Safety is further enhanced by the addition of a Kevlar inner lining around your backside, thighs, and knees for increased abrasion resistance.

In terms of comfort and style, the jeans have a loose fit, bordering on baggy and, along with the unsubtle RST branding on the rear pocket, marks them out as a piece of relaxed casual wear, rather than something I’d wear to the office or to a restaurant. However, they are comfortable, with stretch panels in the knee and the seat allowing for a snug fit in the saddle without any tight spots, while the knee protectors can be adjusted to three different heights.

The Reinforced Tech Pro jeans do feel a little warmer and more cumbersome to wear than some of the others on test, thanks to that inner liner and chunky armour, but it’s a trade-off I’d be inclined to make for motorway riding, particularly with the competitive price in mind. OR

IN A LINE: Comfortable jeans with a CE-AAA rating, but lacking in style.

ABR RATING
9/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 7
PROTECTION – 9

 

REV’IT! PHILLY 2: £179.99 – www.revitsport.com

Over the past 25 years, Dutch manufacturer REV’IT! has carved out a reputation for making stylish, high-quality motorcycle gear. Personally, I’ve ridden tens of thousands of miles wearing the company’s clothing, so
it’s fair to say I have high expectations when I test a new piece of REV’IT! gear, and the Philly 2 jeans didn’t disappoint.

The loose fit and straight cut of the Philly 2 came as a relief after wearing some of the tighter fitting jeans on test whose slim fit seems to be more fashionable these days.

REVIT-front
Philly 2

In terms of protection, the Philly 2 features a double whammy. The outer layer is made from an abrasion resistant Cordura (20%) and cotton (50%) mix to protect you in a spill, which features triple stitching in vulnerable areas. That material is combined with Coolmax fibres (30%) which are designed to move sweat away from your skin to keep you cool.

To further increase the abrasion resistant properties of the jeans, REV’IT! Has also added an inner lining made of a double-layered PWR Shield around the backside and knees. PWR Shield is REV’IT!’s own abrasion resistant aramid material. It does add some extra bulk to the jeans but they remained comfortable to wear, even on warm days.

Impact protection is provided by REV’IT’s own CE-level 1 SEESMART armour in the knees which is so light and flexible I hardly felt I was wearing it. There are pockets for hip protectors which need to be bought separately.

Like most of the jeans on test, the Philly 2 meets the single CE-A safety rating, but the dual-layer approach to abrasion resistance gave me greater confidence in their protective properties than the single-layer jeans on test.

Overall, the Philly 2 combines comfort, safety and style, with the quality construction and finish I’ve come to expect from REV’IT! gear. JO

IN A LINE: Comfort and protection in a top-quality package.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 8

 

DAINESE CHARGER REGULAR JEANS: £229.95 –  www.dainese.com

Hailing from Vicenza in Italy, Dainese is known for its partnership with Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi. So, it’s no surprise the company has a reputation for making quality racing gear, but can it also excel when it comes to riding jeans?

From the outset, it was clear the Charger Regular Jeans have a typically Italian slim fit and, combined with a dark, stonewash treatment, exude a relaxed style. I was happy to wear them off the bike in casual settings. However, the appearance of external zips that access the knee protectors, and an elastic crotch area rule them out for more formal wear.

Dainese-Charger-jeans

The Charger is a single-layer pair of jeans made of cotton (70%) and polyester (23%), interwoven with an aramid fibre (7%) to offer abrasion resistance in a slide. There is also a small area of aramid inner liner on the seat of the jeans. They are lightweight and relatively comfortable, although the absence of a comfort liner meant the denim proved a little irritating on my skin when I sweated. Impact protection is provided by huge CE-level 1 knee armour that also covered my shins and stretched almost to the top of my socks. Despite its size, it was comfortable and ergonomically conformed to the flex of my knee when I was sat in the saddle. Soft protectors are provided at the hips but they are very small and don’t inspire confidence.

I also had concerns about the elastic crotch area I mentioned earlier. Lifted from Dainese’s racing range, it’s designed to improve comfort in the saddle, but proved tight in a sensitive spot and left my unmentionables rather chilly on an overcast day. However, I imagine the cooling airflow could be very welcome when the temperature rises.

Overall, the Dainese Charger is a good looking pair of jeans that have achieved the CE-A safety rating, but they leave my private parts too exposed to the elements for my liking. OR

IN A LINE: Good looks but a lack of comfort in a sensitive area.

ABR RATING
7/10
COMFORT – 6
STYLE – 7
PROTECTION – 7

 

ALPINESTARS VICTORY DENIM PANTS: £239.99 –  www.alpinestars.com

In the ‘60s, a leather craftsman named Sante Mazzarolo began making motocross boots from a factory in northern Italy. For his company name, Sante took inspiration from the alpine star flower, more commonly known as edelweiss. Since then, Alpinestars has grown into a global motorcycle brand with a product range spanning the full spectrum of biking disciplines.

Its entry into this group test is the Victory Denim Pants. At £239.99, they are the second most expensive jeans on test, so I was particularly keen to discover if they offered value for money.

Alpinestars-Victory-Denim-Pants

My first impressions were good, particularly when it came to style. If it wasn’t for the faint outlines of the armour at the knees, I wouldn’t have known the Victory Denim Pants were created with motorcyclists in mind. The styling wouldn’t look out of place during a casual office Friday. The fit is slim, like so much Italian motorcycle clothing, but certainly not restrictive.

In terms of safety, the jeans are constructed of a single abrasion-resistant layer made of cotton (41%), Kevlar (40%) polyamide (17%) and elastane (2%), which is triple stitched at the seams to ensure the panels hold together in a crash. On the road, Alpinestars’ own Bio-Flex armour provides impact protection at the knees and hips, which is certified as CE-level 1. It is ultra-lightweight and breathable, but I found the knee armour did move around a little. Despite this, the jeans have achieved a CE-AA rating, which is impressive considering the majority of jeans on test come in at the single CE-A rating.

Overall, Alpinestars Victory Denim Pants blend style, comfort, and safety in a high-quality package. At £239.99, they are expensive, but the premium price is matched by a high-quality product. OR

IN A LINE: A premium product at a premium price.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 8
PROTECTION – 8

 

BMW WATERPROOF JEANS: £259 – www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk

BMW jackets, boots, gloves and helmets have consistently scored highly in ABR group tests because, much like the manufacturer’s motorcycles, they are quality products, thoughtfully designed and well made.

This trend continues with the BMW Waterproof Jeans. They are the only pair on test claiming to be fully waterproof which explains why they are also the most expensive, at an eye-watering £259. However, the extra protection from the elements and versatility they provide make them worth every penny.

BMW-Waterproof-Jeans

In terms of style, the jeans are straight cut, regular fit jeans that resemble the classic look of a pair of Levi 501s. The dark blue denim gives them a smart-casual appearance that is perfect for a dress-down day at work, or dinner at a restaurant. The jeans are made from a single-layer, abrasion resistant mix of cotton (59%), polyester (27%), and Cordura (14%), and feature neat double stitching at the seams. They also include BMW’s own waterproof, windproof, and breathable Climate Membrane that is laminated to the inside of the material to keep you dry. The jeans passed our waterproofness with ease.

The lamination process does make them feel slightly stiffer and warmer to wear than the others on test, but they remain light and comfortable. The inclusion of a full mesh comfort liner promoted airflow around my legs and stopped the outer material from rubbing against my skin. Impact protection is provided by CE-level 1 armour in the knees (adjustable) and hips which is lightweight, flexible.

Overall, the BMW Waterproof Jeans are a high-quality piece of motorcycle clothing that look good and perform well. While they may not offer the same level of abrasion resistance as a fully-lined pair of jeans, the fact BMW’s offering is waterproof makes them particularly suited to riding in the UK’s unpredictable summer weather. JO

IN A LINE: A quality pair of waterproof jeans at a high price.

ABR RATING
8/10
COMFORT – 8
STYLE – 9
PROTECTION – 7