There was a time when Draggin jeans were the only protective jeans you could find on the market. But not any more. With Kevlar technology becoming more advanced, both small and large companies are putting the material to good use and producing some quality safety apparel for the fashion-conscience rider. We thought we would take a look at the latest Kevlar products that have been creating a buzz in the industry.
SAINT KEVLAR DRILL PANTS
First up, we have an Australian-based company called Saint. They have one of the most exciting Kevlar products we have seen in a while. They don’t just line their pants with Kevlar, they actually make the jean out of Kevlar – so now you don’t feel like you are wearing an adult diaper under your pants. Not only that but they also demonstrate 360° tensile strength, slash, tear and heat resilience. They are also five times stronger than steel. So when we received a pair of these jeans we were eager to find out what they felt like to wear. We were not disappointed; they feel and look like a normal drill pant. The cut seems to be true to size. I usually wear 34″ waist and many are usually slightly big on me but not the Saint’s. The length of the legs are a bit longer but when riding there’s enough there to cover your boots with a bent knee.
Saint haven’t stopped at drill pants, either. They have also released a slick line of denim jackets and vests that are made using a different ballistic fibre called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (or UHMWPE for a short. Catchy, huh?). We’re told it’s a “space age material from the space age.” Whatever you say, science guys.
UHMWPE (or Dyneema as it’s also known) is ‘5 times stronger than kevlar, super light, puncture and tear-resistant, abrasion-resistant, chemical-resistant and slippery like Teflon’. Sounds too good to be true, yeah? Well, the downside is that the material is pretty expensive to manufacture, so the stuff ain’t cheap. But when it comes to motorcycle apparel and denim, it does its job well and will last for many years to come. [Buy]
HARLEY-DAVIDSON PERFORMANCE JEANS
Harley has just launched its first-ever range of performance riding jeans. They claim to be ‘the most technically advanced jeans in the world’, which is a big claim but it looks like they have the stats to prove it. They offer double the abrasion resistance at half the weight. The jeans feature Draggin’s ‘Roomoto’ protection fabric which offers race-level protection of 7.45 seconds of road abrasion. The lining also has a fancy antibacterial treatment and “climate control” to make your legs cooler in hotter temperatures.
We were sent a pair of the blue Genuine Performance Riding Jeans and they are exactly what you’d expect from H-D – a classically-styled, straight-legged jean with a slight boot cut. As mentioned before, I usually wear a size 34″, so these must run small because they are a little tighter. They seem very snug on my thighs and then progressively get looser the further you go down the leg until you hit the boot cut. To be honest, they aren’t the coolest looking jeans around but they are very comfortable thanks to their stretch denim. The race-level protection comes at a cost though, as they feel quite thick thanks to the Roomoto lining. These would be perfect for long road trips when you know you’ll be hitting freeways at high speed. [Buy]
A little while back we got behind a Kickstarter fund to help raise money for Tobacco Jeans. They were essentially selling their modern-styled Kevlar lined jeans at wholesale prices for those that jumped in early. Needless to say, they achieved their goal and went into fulfilling the many orders they received from around the world. Their jeans are made from quality raw selvedge denim and come in black, indigo and canvas. They are now in full manufacturing mode and their store is up and running. And luckily they are still competitively priced for Kevlar lined jeans. [Buy]
Lastly, if you don’t want to buy a new pair of jeans but own a favourite pair you’d love to turn into protective jeans then Ruste Protection might be the solution for you. Send these guys your jeans, shirt or jacket and their tailors will sew in protective materials like Kevlar into the garment. If you want even more protection, they can also sew pockets for D30 protectors into the knees and/or hips. I would suggest you don’t send them your skinny jeans though, as clearly you’ll need some extra room to house the armour. We haven’t tested this service but it seems like a great concept and at least you’ll know the jeans will fit well and look great, too. [Buy]