CYA: Best Motorcycle Overpants

John Burns
by John Burns

Operation: Overpants

You’ve already got the jacket, and hopefully it’s a nice, warm one as Fall will once again begin reasserting itself across the land in a month or two. Or, we hope Fall reasserts itself. Now that you’re sophisticated enough to have gotten that far, maybe it’s time to think about completing the ensemble with one of our picks for best motorcycle overpants. You can get them to add warmth and protection your jeans can’t provide. Or you can get overpants that flow air to keep your lower body cool while adding protection. Or you can get both, via the miracle of removable liners. We rounded up a quick assortment of some nice ones.

Table of Contents

1. Alpinestars Men's Wake Air Textile Street Motorcycle OverPant

Mesh panels on your thighs, lower legs and back of legs are designed for cooling airflow, while accordion zones above the knees give greater flexibility. Multi-fabric shell construction, with a high rear waist gives greater overlap with the riding jacket, where there’s also a zipper for attaching to A’stars jackets. Pre-curved legs provide more comfort on your bike. Level 1 CE certified Alpinestars Bio Armor protectors protect your knees; hip pads are optional. A long zippered gusset running from knee to hook-and-loop ankle closure at the ankle makes these pants easy to get off and on.

Bottom Line

  • Cool protection

2. ScorpionExo Seattle WP Men's Textile Motorcycle Overpants

If you’re looking for warm and dry, Scorpion doesn’t call these Seattle for nothing. These fully waterproof pants have full-length side zippers for easy in- and egress, and include a removable thermal liner (which also has a full length zipper). Those urethane coated YKK zippers are two-way, and so can also provide ventilation. Construction is of 600D Polyester, with 1680D Nylon abrasion zones with reinforced safety stitching on all critical seams, armored with large Sas-Tec body protection systems including the knees.

Bottom Line

  • All-conditions ready

3. Klim Adventure Rally Air Pants

Klim says its new pants are bringing you fourth-generation technology for the “ultimate global riding experience,” as well they should for the not insignificant buy-in. The main material is Gore-Tex 3-Layer Pro Shell – which is guaranteed waterproof and with excellent abrasion and tear resistance. There’s a moisture-wicking internal mesh liner, and enough ventilation to flow plenty of air when that’s called for. The latest knee and hip pads exceed proposed new CE2 standards, and there’s an “Extreme Impact” coccyx pad along with other padding. These pants aren’t fooling around. Wear them to work or to the Dakar Rally.

Bottom Line

  • Virtually indestructible

4. Frogg Toggs Toadskinz Reflective Motorcycle Rain Pants

You don’t have to spend a fortune if your main goal is to stay warm and dry. ToadSkinz Reflective Pants are constructed from a new hybrid ToadSkinz fabric, which is claimed and even guaranteed to be windproof, waterproof and breathable. Micro-porous film combined with a non-woven inner layer see to all that, while oversized, zippered leg openings provide easy on and off. You also get heat-resistant inner leg liners and articulated knees, and reflective piping and boot strips for visibility.

Bottom Line

  • Highly recommended by real-world riders

5. Aerostich AD1 Light

Andy Goldfine claims his company invented this type of textile pants 35 years ago, that his are the only ones made in America (Duluth, MN), and are also the only ones available in tons of sizes and offering custom-fit alterations. Among Aerostich’s pantalonial offerings are the AD1 Light, a nylon, Gore-Tex unlined jeans-cut pant with full-length rainproof side zippers for easy on and off along with rain and windproofness. Front pockets have hook and loop secured flaps to keep you from losing things, in addition to a couple larger zippered pockets. Double fabric in the seat for greater protection, along with excellent TF3 or TF6 knee armor and optional hip pads. Perfect, Aerostich claims, for dual-sport, adventure, touring and daily riding.

Bottom Line

  • Could be your last pants for love

6. Icon Contra 2 Leather overpants

Your Contra 2 Leather Overpant combines  premium-grade cowhide with  textile utility, resulting in an excellent balance of abrasion resistance, breathability, comfort and style. Removable D3O knee impact protectors and hip armor protect your vital joints, while inseam zippers make getting these pants on and off over your regular clothes (or not) a quick and easy proposition. Adjustable waist straps snug up as needed. Reflective trim boosts your visibility in low-light conditions. Zips to Icon’s Contra 2 jacket if desired.

Bottom Line

  • They know about inclement weather in the Pacific Northwest

7. BMW ClimaProtect Pants

When it comes to riding in inclement weather, nobody’s been at it longer than BMW. Long side zippers make these pants easy to get into, and once there BMW Climate Membrane keeps out wind and rain while still allowing your lower bod to breathe. These are made of  an abrasion-resistant polyamide and elastane blend in a tailored, stretchy unisex design. CE-rated NPL protectors on the knees safeguard against impacts; optional NP2 protectors slip into the hip armor pockets if desired. Reflective print at the bottom spells out BMW Motorrad to add a little sophistication to your increased safety.

Bottom Line

  • Let's face it the Germans make good stuff


What features to look for when shopping for motorcycle overpants?

Any pants that claim to be more than simple rain pants should offer decent abrasion resistance and impact protection (ie, pads) for at least your knees and preferably your hips too – since those are the obvious things that suffer the most in the typical street crash. Also look for zippers that make them easy to get into and out of; protective clothing that’s a PITA to put on tends to not get worn all the time. And if you’re not wearing it, it can’t protect you.

Can I wear motorcycle pants without pants on underneath?

Of course. If you plan to do that all the time, though, you probably want to go down one size or two. Check each manufacturer’s Size Guide. Sometimes they’re hard to find, but they’re usually there. And you’ll probably want some kind of thin foundation layer to prevent chafing if the overpants you choose are unlined.

How should motorcycle overpants fit?

They should be snug enough not to flap in the wind, but loose enough to allow a layer of fleece, or whatever insulating layer you have in mind, underneath.

Recently Updated: August, 2021: Tourmaster Overpants and Firstgear Rover Air Overpants removed; Icon Contra 2 Leather Overpants and BMW ClimaProtect Overpants added

Additional resources

Best Adventure Touring Motorcycle Suits

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John Burns
John Burns

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 1 comment
  • Glenn L. Glenn L. on Oct 08, 2020

    AEROSTITCH! The Gold Standard. No fluff, just solid gear that'll last you for the rest of your life!

    • Tmlhkyfn Tmlhkyfn on Aug 17, 2021

      I have a pair of the AD1 & the Darien pants; best pants that I have owned