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Motorcycle apparel manufacturers have really upped the game when it comes to combining comfort, style and protection in a pair of riding jeans. Of course, pricing is significantly more than your average $47 pair of Levi 501s, but the protection afforded by the moto-specific denim is worlds better than regular jeans, making them well worth the entry fee.
We recently acquired a pair of Icon 1000 Rouser and Rev’It Campo riding jeans. Outward appearances show the two being quite similar, and they are in many respects. However, once worn, there are some significant differences. Here’s the breakdown between the two when compared against one another.
If the jeans don’t fit, you must acquit. Regardless how protective they might be, if you’re all muffin top because the waist is too tight, you ain’t gonna be wearing them. Why sizing is such a difficult thing to get right never ceases to amaze us. You’d think a 33-inch waist would be the same whether it’s Icon, Rev’It, Levis or True Religion, but for some reason, it’s not. Case in point, the 33-inch waist measurement of the Campo jeans fit just right while the 34-inch Rousers are as tight as if they are a 32-inch waist.
Then there’s the inseam, which, for Icon, is the inverse of its waist measurement. The claimed 34-inch inseam of the Rouser has enough extra material you’d swear it’s more like 36 inches. You can roll the pant legs up, but the wide, bootleg-like cut had the Rouser’s flapping in the wind and catching on motorcycle hard parts. The Campo’s 34-inch inseam and tapered cut is preferable in both length and fit.
When it comes to overall fit, the very Euro-cut Rev’Its feel like a tight-wearing pair of skinny jeans, whereas the more loosely fitting Rousers hang in baggier fashion. What makes the tightness of the Campos tolerable, especially when riding, is Rev’Its use of mechanical stretch.
According to Rev’It, the stretchability of most garments is found in the fabric comprising the garment, whereas the Campo’s stretchability is in the weaving of the fabric. Okay, sure. Whether it’s the fabric or the weave, the stretchability of the Campos certainly adds an additional level of comfort.
Icon’s Rousers use a 30/70 Kevlar denim blend throughout the jean’s entire carcass, allowing for simpler construction without any extra protective panels or liners. Rev’It’s Campos are constructed with an outer shell comprised of a Cordura denim with CoolMax, with a PWR/shield knit protective layer in the areas around your knees and arse. Rev’It claims this combination is more abrasion resistant than leather.
Rev’It made an interesting adjustment when the company’s designers decided to relocate the crotch seam from its historically centered location to higher up the trousers’ backside. While the arrangement makes for some interesting seam lines, it does help to relocate pressure points you’d otherwise be sitting atop of.
Both jeans are made to be casual-wear-acceptable by downplaying the fact that both are built to protect motorcyclists from bodily damage if involved in a crash. But they are made to protect a wearer in the event of a crash – courtesy of not only the materials the jeans are constructed from, mentioned above, but also by the included body armor within. Icon chooses to provide knee protection using D30’s T5 EVO while Rev’It uses Knox Lite protectors, both of which conform to CE Level 1 protection.
While seemingly equally protective, the big difference is Icon’s knee protectors just kinda float within the compartment while Rev’It’s fit into into a smaller pocket that holds them in place and are adjustable to two positions. The snug placement combined with the Campo’s tighter fit is important because body armor than can move away from impact areas won’t fully protect its wearer in the event of a crash.
Icon 1000 RouserEditor Score: 81.5%
Rev'it CampoEditor Score: 89.75%
In terms of quality, we found Icon’s Rouser to have an abundance of loose threads, lacking the same attention to detail as Rev’It gives to its Campos. However, at $230 the Rousers are $40 less than the Campo’s retail price of $270. The bad news is Icon is sold out of the current model Rouser. An updated version should be out soon with possibly more features.