Sidewinder Polartec Lined Jeans

Warm and Fuzzy Made Easy

Imagine our excitement, when on a sunny 80 degree day in Southern California we opened a box of motorcycle products to review and found a pair of Maverick Sidewinder Polartec lined jeans. As they happened to be my size, I was selected to write the product review.

So, I took them home and waited for the temperature to drop low enough to put them to a test--kinda like waiting for the proverbial pot of water to boil. To my surprise, we had a swift change in weather conditions and temperatures that weekend went down to the high 40's to low 50's.

I know, I know --blue jeans provide little protection against the asphalt, but like many of you that's what I wear.

I figured that since I couldn't wear them out motorcycling right away, I might as well at least try them on and see how they fit. Unlike a brand new pair of stiff unwashed jeans, these felt comfortable from the moment I put them on. The Polartec lining is very soft and much more comfortable than the pair of flannel lined jeans I take when I head off to the snow country. legs were already uncomfortably cold. Then I remembered the Sidewinder jeans and headed home for a quick change.

I wear a 34W 32 L in my regular jeans and found the Sidewinders to be very true to size. In fact, they fit very much like my "relaxed fit" Eddie Bauer jeans that I wear to work everyday. They are very well made and if someone wasn't aware that they were lined with Polartec, nobody could tell the difference between these and any other pair of jeans. Very important when you are off the bike trying to look as cool as possible.

I'll admit that I'm pretty much a fair-weather rider. So, when I had a day of errands to run on that first cold weather day, my first thought was to plant my butt on the seat of my car. However, I had the new Honda Gold Wing in my garage, so I headed out by motorcycle. According to the Honda's temperature gauge, it was 45 degrees when I started out early that morning. Not thinking correctly beforehand, I had donned my typical riding garb; leather jacket, full-face helmet, boots, warm gloves and blue jeans. I know, I know --blue jeans provide little protection against the asphalt, but like many of you that's what I wear. And after 30 plus years of riding, I'm not likely to change.

These jeans don't look very special... I made it about a block. My upper body was warm, my hands were toasty, my face was comfortable, but my legs were already uncomfortably cold. Then I remembered the Sidewinder jeans and headed home for a quick change. Wow, what a pleasant difference these jeans made.

The temperatures that day ranged from a low of 45 to a high of 72. I rode on the freeway at near or above legal speeds and around town in typical city traffic. I was extremely comfortable at the low temperatures, but when it reached 72 degrees, I was too warm. Since these pants were made for cold temperatures, I thought it only fair to try them again when our lower temperatures lasted for more than a few hours. A week later I had that opportunity.

I looked outside yesterday morning to a view of overcast skies, and after getting dressed and taking the dog outside, I could see my breath, thereby concluding that it was cold enough to try the Sidewinders again. Even my dog curled back up in her bed. This time the temperature ranged from the high 40's to 51 degrees. Not having any particular place to go and with the Wing back at the office, I took my own bike, a BMW R1150GS, through the mountains, up the Pacific Coast Highway and then back again. ... and that's the idea!

As you know, the BMW has considerably less wind protection that the Wing so this time my hands were a bit cold until I turned on the electric grips. But more importantly my legs were always very comfortable. When I finally arrived back home, the surface of the jeans were a bit damp from the fog, but my legs were still nice and toasty.

  Since we're probably not going to get any 20 or 30 degree temperature anytime soon, I called the manufacturer, Maverick Mtn., to find out if they made any representation as to their products effectiveness at colder temperatures. While they don't make any claims, I was told that they have had numerous customers write them to say that they were very comfortable riding in temperatures in the high 20's and low 30's. Personally, that's too cold for me, and I refuse to subject myself to those temperatures unless I'm on a ski slope followed by a nice warm libation.

Okay, so what's the final verdict? This is a well made and very practical product. However, if your going to be riding in temperatures that extend to the higher ranges that I experienced, you're going to need a change of pants. You'll have to decide how much of an inconvenience this is. Frankly, I'm not as shy as I used to be and changing by the side of the road kind of gives me a cheap thrill. These jeans allow me the option of providing much of the warmth of my overpants without any of the bulk.

One last thing, the washing instructions state to machine wash and hang dry. I was put off by the hang dry part as I throw everything, colors and whites, in the dryer at the same time. I asked the manufacturer about this and they tell me that it's just fine to use a household dryer. That's good, otherwise, I'd have to knock off half a star. The Sidewinders jeans are available in sizes 30-42 for men and 4-14 for women and carry a street price of $59.50.

Motorcycle Online Rating: *** 1/2

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