Disclaimer: The product reviewed in this article was provided to the journalist by Pando Moto
The first time I met riders wearing motorcycle jeans on a long-distance journey was somewhere in South America a few years back. It was an American couple riding two-up, geared up in something different than the traditional adventure suits: light jackets, motorcycle jeans, and hiking-style boots. At the time, I thought that was brave: having had multiple offs on different terrain and at different speeds, I’ve been swearing by my Klim Artemis adventure suit and sturdy motocross boots for years.
But the thing about tough adventure hardware is that it’s, well, hardware. And while it’s amazing on long hauls, it’s cumbersome in scenarios where you’re staying in towns or cities and want to explore them on your bike with luggage off and with light gear; when it’s insanely hot; when you’re just out for a day’s ride with locals, or when you’re in a hot and humid climate and sweating buckets no matter how many vents in your pants you’ve got open. A few months back, I decided to take the plunge and test out some motorcycle jeans. After meeting that American couple, I’ve seen more and more ADV riders taking to the road in Kevlar and Dyneema. So what gives?
Pando Moto: Looks Like Denim, Holds Like Steel
I have to admit: when I chose the Pando Moto Kissaki Dyneema jeans, I never doubted the level of protection: Dyneema – infused, with AA level armor pads at the knees, the jeans looked solid in terms of safety. However, I expected the jeans to be baggy, heavy, and uncomfortable; after all, if Dyneema is fifteen times stronger than steel, surely the feel of the pants would be somewhat rigid. I was dead wrong: first off, the Kissaki fit is nothing short of perfect, even though I didn’t have a chance to try them on before. But the best part is, they feel just like regular jeans – so much so that at first, riding in the busy streets of Zagreb, Croatia, I felt a little apprehensive: it felt like riding in a regular pair of pants rather than heavily reinforced motorcycle jeans.
In the months that followed, I used the jeans in hot weather, riding on a beach, riding in urban areas, and traveling the Amazon basin in Ecuador. I haven’t crashed in them (yet), so I can’t attest to just how indestructible they are, but so far, I felt like I’ve hit the jackpot: they will not replace my heavy Klim gear completely, especially on long hauls, but they come in handy more often than I thought. The best part is, I can wear them as regular jeans when off the bike – they’re that comfortable – so they aren’t taking up any extra space in my panniers. So far, so good!
Would you go on a long-distance motorcycle journey wearing jeans instead of adventure gear? Share your thoughts in the comments below!