A Biker’s Guide to Buying what we call ‘Kevlar’ Jeans - Part 2 of 2
May 31, 20164 min read
Why are some protective jeans so much more expensive than others?
Quite simply put, it is the quality of the components used in manufacturing the garments.
The reason some manufacturers choose to ‘water down’ there Kevlar type material is to save costs, but at what expense? The manufacturing process for polymer-based materials, which is where PEKEV, Kevlar, Covec and Dyneema originate from, is complex and costly. Use less off it, less costly, but also less protection in the jean. It is a decision you need to make when purchasing a pair; spend more money and be more protected, spend less and be less protected. If you opt for higher levels of protection I advise looking for jeans that are CE certified to assure yourself of that level of protection, how do you know what that is and how effective it is otherwise? Without using them in an accident, at which point its too late, an untested pair of jeans is an uncertain pair of jeans.
Different types of motorbike jeans
Unlined – typically lifestyle jeans with no protection.
Panel lined – typically have pieces of Kevlar or Kevlar type material stitched into the knee and or bottom area. Great if you know that is where you are likely to fall in the chaos of an accident and can be assured of the quality of the Kevlar type material to withstand the abrasion forces. Generally you can tell these jeans by sight, as the lines for the stitching of the panels are very visible externally.
Part lined – similar to panel lined with the protective material covering a greater area of the jean, typically around 60%, so protecting more of you. Look for jeans where the lining is free moving on the inside, ie: not stitched into the vertical side seams, typically held in at the waistband, this prevents friction burns if the jeans twist in an accident.
Woven denim blend – have the protective thread, Kevlar or aramid, woven into the denim. Protection is throughout the jean, and you do only get a normal single layer jean, without any unsightly stitch lines externally, the compromise is the time afforded for abrasion typically less than their lined counterparts. However also expect to see this style of jeans water and wind repellent too, from the application of additional coatings.
Fully lined – the best level of protection available today. They effectively have a pair of jeans in a jean! Lined throughout with a protective material like PEKEV or Kevlar. Look for jeans that are CE certified, ones with the lining not stitched into the side seams, it will be held in at the waistband and ankle cuffs, they should also have an ankle restraint system to keep the legs covered. The down side is that they will be thicker than your regular jeans, but they keep getting thinner and lighter, that in turn means they can look just like regular jeans too. The upside is they generally afford the highest levels of protection. If you want a stylish looking pair just look for a manufacturer that does a design you like, they exist.
Top tips for buying protective motorcycle jeans:
Decide on the level of protection you want - non CE certified jeans typically limit protection to certain areas of the jeans, commonly the knees and bottom. CE certified ones have protection through out.
Set a budget
Decide on a style that suits your taste
Ensure the jean fits you – poorly fitting jeans degrade the effectiveness of the protection as the garment moves and twists through impact, and the armour displaces.
Ensure you look good wearing them!
There is no substitute for trying the jeans you want on. Good online retailers, like us, will happily swop sizes out for you to ensure you get the correct ones.
Whatever pair you end up buying I recommend you choosing the best level of protection you can afford primarily, CE certified if you can, after all you only have one body and one layer of skin.
Resurgence Gear Inc.
I selected the Resurgence Gear range for Salt Flats Clothing, because they are one of few manufacturers with CE certified jeans, and at the higher level 2 with the highest rating for abrasion resistance. Oh and yes I wear them myself..
The non CE certified jeans are also manufactured to the same specification with the same materials, just with less of the protective PEKEV lining, making them a cheaper alternative to the CE Voyager ones.
Resurgence Gear is an innovation company racking up a number of firsts; with the first ladies CE certified jeans and the first CE certified cargo trousers, leading with fashionably styled jeans. Expect to see a Café Racer inspired pair of PEKEV lined Selvedge motorcycle jeans very soon.