What’s America’s favorite kind of clothing? It would have to be denim blue jeans. Everywhere you go, folks are wearing them. The same could be said about motorcyclists on the street. If they’re covering their legs with something other than a dedicated riding suit, you can expect to see jeans. As comfortable and durable as jeans are, sliding down the interstate at 65 mph dramatically exceeds their job description. Cotton can only provide so much abrasion protection. So, what’s a rider to do? Go through life looking like a transformer, knowing that they’re protected from impact and abrasion but vulnerable to arrest by the style police?
Competition Accessories thinks they have the answer. By taking the company’s experience as one of the premier motorcycle gear retailers, the company designed its own riding jeans under the Sliders name. When looking at a pair of Sliders 4.0 Motorcycle Riding Jeans, the impression is that the designers took everything that made riding jeans suit their job and tried to improve them – all while keeping the price lower than that of the other riding jeans on the market.
From a distance, Sliders look just like your typical brand-name denim. Only on closer inspection do the additional stitches that hold the Kevlar aramid abrasion panels in place become noticeable. Unlike your typical jeans, 13.5 oz. denim is used throughout for increased durability in a mishap. Competition Accessories claims that their Kevlar panels are larger than those on other, more expensive, riding jeans, and a quick look at the examples we have here at MO supports that claim. The knee panels cover from mid-thigh to about three inches below the knee, while the seat panels go from just below the belt line to a quarter of the way down the thigh. Additional panels wrap around the side of the legs offering sliding protection. The cut is a little on the relaxed side, but that keeps them from looking like you’re wearing motorcycle gear when you’ve got the knee armor installed.
Slider 4.0 jeans feature a nylon lining with a pouch to hold the optional knee armor. Even when choosing not to insert the armor, the liner will be appreciated since it slides over bent knees easier than the coarse Kevlar. Inserting the CE approved knee armor couldn’t be easier. Simply turn the jeans inside out and lift the lower edge of the liner away from the denim/Kevlar. Inside the liner, a pocket held closed with hook-and-loop fastener keeps the armor in place. While three positions of adjustability are claimed for the Sliders, in our experience, the range of adjustment is about an inch, at best. Try to place the knee pads too low, and the sole flaw of the Sliders is revealed. Since the pocket faces down, the armor can slip out while riding if you did not leave enough hook-and-loop to hold the pocket closed. Although we never had the armor fall all the way out of the jeans, riding down the road and feeling like something is trying to crawl into your boot is distracting.
When wearing the Sliders, the heavier denim was noticeable on hot days but wasn’t uncomfortable – particularly when compared to the bulk of full-on riding suits. Otherwise, the jeans felt like Levis or any ore brand-name denim. When walking, the knee armor was almost invisible but could be felt. Folks who prefer more straight-legged jeans will notice that Sliders are a tad looser than they might prefer, but the extra room that hides the armor also makes the legs fit easily over boots. Out on the road, the Sliders’ fit was loose enough to remain comfortable but tight enough to hold the knee armor in place – with none of the rotating armor we’ve experienced with other gear.
Overall, our impression of Competition Accessories’ Slider 4.0 jeans was one of high quality construction, comfortable fit, and the same longevity as one would expect from regular jeans. When ordering Sliders, the manufacturer states that the sizes run about 1.5–2.5“ larger than the stated size but says this is ”fairly standard for relaxed or looser fit jeans like Levis 550 or similar styles.” Sliders are available in mens sizes to accommodate 30–44 in. waists and 30–36 in. lengths and are currently priced at a surprisingly low $85.(Compare that to the $180-$270 range in our previously tested riding jeans.) Color options are blue and black. Sliders Bella Womens Riding Jeans, Sliders 4.0 Cargo Motorcycle Riding Pants, and Sliders Khaki 4.0 Motorcycle Riding Pants are also available from Competition Accessories.