I recently received a message asking me if I would like to try a pair of SA1NT “Unbreakable” motorcycle jeans. I’d already seen a fair amount of the competition’s motorcycling jeans, but not SA1NT’s gear.
Most competitor jeans are reinforced with multiple layers of kevlar, and they’ve always looked a little funky to me, with clear, often square sections bordering the protective layers. And although I’m a long-term ‘Stich (i.e., unfashionable) type of guy for street riding, I said that I’d be happy to check out a free pair of SA1NT jeans. Not too much later, a pair of black SA1NT Model 4 armored jeans arrived in the mail. And when I opened the package, frankly, I was a bit surprised.
As I pulled the jeans from the packaging, my first impression was that the jeans are heavy. Heavy in material and heavy in weight. Those two things can be positive or negative. But the more I checked out the jeans in detail, the more impressed I became. Ultimately, my initial perspective was that SA1NT’s Model 4 jeans look quite nice. In many ways, they don’t even look like motorcycle jeans. If you look closely, you’ll be able to tell they are not a “normal” pair of fashion jeans, but they are not too far off that mark.
Fit-wise, the model 4 five-pocket jeans are quite comfortable. The waist measurement is fairly accurate if not a little generous. If you are in-between sizes, SA1NT suggests that you go down a size. Also, it’s important to note that all SA1NT’s jeans come with 33-inch inseams. That means you’ll have to shorten them if you’re inseam challenged like me.
SA1NT deeper dive
So let’s take a deeper dive into the jeans and see what they offer. As I said earlier, the jeans feel heavy. Both in the material weight and the all-up weight. My postal scale says that this armored pair weighs in at around 3 pounds 10 oz. In contrast, my daily wear jeans weigh in at about 1 pound 13 oz. That’s about double the weight. So the next question becomes, why do the jeans weigh so much and whether the increased weight is worth it.
One of the reasons for the extra weight is the armor stitched into the jeans. The SA1NT jeans come with 4 pieces of D30 armor, one at each of the knees and hips. The armor is held inside separate pockets that are stitched into the jeans. The knee pockets are stitched about half the armor’s length to help keep the armor in the correct place. The hip armor is sewn into the jean at the top of the pocket. Although it seems to be less secure than the knee armor, your hips don’t flex like your knee, so being sewn only at the top doesn’t seem to be a significant issue. In a nice touch, each of the armor pockets has a velcro opening, so you can remove the armor.
SA1NT calls their armor “ghost armor” because they say it’s nearly invisible. I wouldn’t say it’s invisible, but SA1NT has done a nice job of hiding the armor. You are not going to look like a transformer in a pair of these jeans.
Another nice touch is an accordion panel at the rear of the jeans just below the waist. So if you take a racing crouch or similar riding position, the jeans will stay where they are supposed to be. That said, the accordion panel is not something you find in everyday jeans, so there are signs of the “moto-worthiness” of them. If you’re having a difficult time envisioning where the panel is or how it works, think about a full racing leather suit. The panel is located on the lower back and allows the rider to crouch without moving the suit.
SA1NT uses a YKK zipper and it seems heavy enough to do the job. What else can I say? It zips up and down well.
And now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. How do the jeans hold up in a fall? And in this area, I will have to depend on the jean’s specs since I’m not planning or willing to crash-test them.
SA1NT’s jeans are single-layer jeans. Many competitors use multiple layers of Kevlar or some Kevlar variant in high-impact areas. While some believe that multiple layers must be safer, SA1NT’s founder Aidan Clarke says that that is not necessarily true. He says that factors other than layers can be more important.
According to Aidan, the most important two things are impact and burst resistance. That’s because, in the street environment, there’s often first an impact and often some amount of tumbling before sliding to a stop. And if the material bursts at the seams or opens on impact, extra layers will not help you.
SA1NT uses Dyneema in place of kevlar. They claim that Dyneema is “a proprietary fabric technology that is 15-times stronger than steel. It has several uses, including military and civilian applications like body armor and boat sails.
The material’s strength is obviously key, and SA1NT’s founder says that materials like kevlar can become weaker and wear more over time when compared to Dyneema. Also, with a single layer, the SA1NT jeans are more easily washed and dried than their multi-layer counterparts.
As for the jean’s abrasion resistance, SA1NT’s jeans are tested and certified per government-established CE ratings. In these jeans’ case, they met or exceeded the requirements of CE performance classification EN17092-3:2020 with an “AA” rating. They also pass EN1621-1:2020 at Level 2 for the knee and hip protectors. Ultimately, it’s good to know that the jeans have been scientifically tested to predetermined and accepted government parameters. It’s not a case of a vendor making a YouTube video dragging someone already prone across the pavement.
To gain CE approval, the SA1NT jean material must withstand 4 seconds of abrasion against a spinning concrete disk. According to SA1NT’s founder, the jeans material lasted nearly 6 seconds in gaining its approval. That’s nearly 50% more than the government requirement.
I have to say that I am impressed by the SA1NT jeans. While they are heavy, they breathe well and, with the material’s small amount of stretch, are quite comfortable. I can feel the armor in the jeans, but it’s not intrusive; it’s more like”reassuring.”
In summary, SA1NT’s Model 4 jeans are comfortable, look nice (subjective call here), and provide additional protection without the transformer look. If you’re a rider that wears a jacket and pants combo, it’s certainly worth a look at the SA1NT Model 4 jeans.
Quality protection doesn’t come cheap. The SA1NT Model 4 armor jeans will set you back $429. That’s a significant chunk of change and more expensive than many of its competitors. But you have to ask yourself whether having a scientifically tested and proven garment made to precise standards is worth the extra cost over a garment produced to unknown standards and unverified claims. If you have the cash, in my opinion, it’s worth the money. If you don’t have the cash, SA1NT offers other jeans that are less expensive and still earn CE approvals.
SA1NT provided the writer with a pair of model 4 jeans for the purpose of reviewing them.