Question: Protective Denim / Riding Jeans

Question from Rob Brooks-

Any recommendations on protective Denim for women? Wanting to get my girlfriend some, but no one seems to make any that would fit to a woman’s body. Kevlar doesn’t flex. Figured you would be the one to point me in the right direction.

This is a question I’ve been asked a few times, so I’m going to address it here. First, my disclaimer: For full protection you should ride in fully protective motorcycle pants with hip, knee and shin protection. Leather or abrasion resistant textile designed for protecting a rider from road rash, etc.

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That being said, many of us like to ride in more casual gear that will still offer us decent protection so that we can be comfortable and more safe than in jeggings and flip flops. The level of your safety gear is your choice alone, and while I offer options… I am not going to claim I wear a race suit every time I leave the house. I’ve listed some good looking protective motorcycle pant options below, with a focus on riding jeans.

Icon Hella Denim Pant ($85 RevZilla) (pictured above)
Pros: Style of fit partially depends on size bought- they can be worn tighter or more loose depending upon preference and they’ll still look nice. The cut of these is built for women with some curves, as I find it actually has room for my booty but isn’t too tight on my thighs. The price point is awesome, they’re really sturdy… and they’ve got aramid reinforced knees. (Aramid is a strong fiber that resists heat and is used in aerospace and military ballistic applications).
Cons: Not many… the wider style pant leg can be harder to tuck into very very snug boots, however perfect for wearing over them.

Dainese D19 Kevlar Jeans ($229.95 RevZilla)
Pros: Four pockets, skinny jean style cut/fit, reflective details, kevlar yarn and kevlar jersey inserts for reinforcement in the knees.
Cons: They’re pretty pricey, and the fit can be difficult for certain body types. These ones are on pre-order, though the D25 jeans are available.

AGV Sport Aura Kevlar Jeans ($98.10 RevZilla)
Pros: Kevlar reinforcements in all the proper areas- knees, shins, hamstrings, hips and sides of your legs. Five pockets and anti-scratch plastic buttons.
Cons: I have no idea how these look on a human as I have not yet encountered them. Other than that, I don’t see many down sides to these.

Alpinestars Vika Leather Pants ($429.95 RevZilla)
Pros: Fit super tight, look really feminine if that’s what you’re looking for. The leather is very supple and therefore gives them a bit more of a fashiony look. Super thin CE knee armor is protective but not bulky, plus it’s removable.
Cons: If you’re looking for a jeans style price, these don’t even come close. Also, the cut of these is made for more lean women, so some nice curves might not work with this style, depending.

Alpinestars Stella Tyla Leather Pants ($249.95 RevZilla)
Pros: Girly fit, burly construction, these are going to last a long time, protect you if you go down, and they’re at a good price point. Soft CE armor is removable, the design of these was specifically modeled after a women’s boot cut jean and have a retro style.
Cons: Could get warm in the Californian sun.

Dainese New Drake Air Textile Pants ($259.95 RevZilla)
Pros: Good cut, feminine but functional. Wear and tear resistant textile fabric with perforation for airflow, adjustable waist, sanitized lining, removable armor, calf zip… the list goes on.
Cons: They’re not denim, if you have your heart set on it.

To summarize… the only motorcycle jeans I’ve had personal experience with are the Dainese and Icon’s. I wore my Icon Hella jeans for almost 6 months straight before ripping a giant hole across the butt when I looped myself off the dirtbike… they were super perfect for riding and every day use. The reinforced knees were awesome for working on bikes, photography, whatever. The Dainese jeans are very stiff at first, and I imagine would take some serious wearing in.

And remember, if you choose to wear jeans instead of protective motorcycle pants with armor… think about picking up some knee and shin armor that you can wear over or under whatever pants and remove before going in to work, the store, whatever.

post script: I’ve been riding in UglyBROS USA riding jeans as of late, and love love them.

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Posted on May 1, 2013 in Gear & Gizmos, Motorcycles by