Riding jeans

If the Google machine dropped you directly on this page without seeing the introduction to MO’s Massive Riding Jeans Buyer’s Guide, and you are confused as to what’s going on, you should click here to read the introduction and the full listing of jeans. If you’re the adventurous type who just wants to jump to our individual reviews of 34 pairs of jeans, the Table of Contents below will only give you a direct link to jeans on this page. So, we still recommend that you go to the introduction. There’s a lot of good info to cover.

MO Tested: Massive Riding Jeans Buyer’s Guide – Introduction

Dainese Denim Slim Tex Pants

The Dainese Denim Regular Tex Pants fit and feel like dress jeans. They have a slight stretch to them, making them quite comfortable on the knees and thighs when in a variety of riding positions. They appear to offer little more abrasion resistance than non-riding denim, although there are additional fabric layers to accommodate the pockets for the armor in the knees and hips.

The zippered knee pockets make it easy to remove the armor for the look of regular jeans, but I rarely do since the Pro Shape 2.0 armor is so flexible. The fit around the waist is kind of roomy since Euro 56 covers 28-29-in. waist size. Given the extra room, I might order the optional $40 hip armor. The legs are nicely slim and not baggy. These jeans seem ideal for commuting or wearing around town when looking more like you’re wearing street clothes is important. The do, however, appear to offer less abration protection than many of the jeans here.

Knox Men's Shield Spectra Jeans

Single layer denim makes the Knox very comfortable on or off the bike, without the bulk we’re used to on jeans with multiple liners. Straight cut is still a little on the slim side, but I appreciate the inclusion of the armor.

Another favorite feature is the longer length of the legs (33 in in this case), as it still leaves some coverage over the ankle/boot/riding shoe when in the riding position. Jeans will ride up once in the riding position, and some manufacturers don’t account for that in length size. Knox did.

Pando Moto Boss DYN 01

The Boss fits and looks like a regular five-pocket black jean, but under the surface you’ve got Sas-Tec knee and hip armor in addition to the 12 oz stretch Cordura denim outer. In key impact areas, Pando uses UHMWPE (commonly known as Dyneema) versus aramid used in other jeans here. UHMWPE is touted as being 15-times stronger than steel to Kevlar’s 7-times, in addition, UHMWPE fiber doesn’t absorb water and almost has its own cooling effect. In general, UHMWPE is looked at as a stronger alternative to aramid.

In terms of fit, I would call the Boss regular. Unlike most other brands here, Pando also offers different inseam lengths. The Steel Black Pando Moto jeans I reviewed back in 2020 quickly became my go-to riding denim thanks to the fit, lightweight, and cooling properties of the Dyneema. Those jeans did quickly lose some of their color which I haven’t experienced with the Boss. I do however prefer the molded Knox armor that was being used previously to the new Sas-Tec protectors. The Knox armor did a better job of staying in place and offered more coverage. Other than my qualms with the new armor, the Boss are just as good as the first pair.

Pando Moto Karl Devil 9

The Karl Devil is much like the Karldo without the Cordura mesh inserts. You get comfort and mobility from the three accordion stretch panels found throughout, but this fit of the Karl Devil 9 feels tighter in the waist and crotch than the Karldo. Sas-Tec knee and hip armor is included. The Karl does have an ounce heavier Cordura stretch denim chassis compared to the Karldo, but still feels soft and pliable.

These could be a good option for striking more of a balance between warm and cool temps if considering these against the Karldo. Their tighter fit and our warmer climate often has me reaching for the Karldo instead of these.

Pando Moto Karldo Kev 01

The Karldo Kev fits true to size, but is a more snug fit overall. Thanks to the lighter weight 11 oz Cordura stretch denim and the accordion panels above the knees and on the back, these jeans feel lightweight and comfortable while offering tons of mobility. The Karldo is meant to be a warm weather jean and also features cordura mesh panels at the crotch and lower leg to provide airflow – this of course helps, but depends on the type of motorcycle you’re riding. The Sas-Tex armor adds to the lightweight feeling as well. I feel like the seat is a little more roomy than it needs to be, but it doesn’t bother me at all. These have become my go-to for hot weather riding. My only issue, which rings true for all Pando Moto jeans, is that I wish the front pockets were deeper. My Galaxy S22 Ultra (yes, I know it’s a massive phone) won’t fit all the way in them unless I stow it diagonally.

Pando Moto KUSARI KEV 02

Another standout in the black & blue moto-jean lineup, the Kusari integrates full standard protection with the Kevlar lining and knee pockets for armor, while also looking like a high fashion ‘vegan’ leather pant. The stretch is perfect, though the sizing runs small, and I would likely size up to a 28 if I knew the legs would have the same fit. The double layer is not ideal for hot weather, but on cooler nights or rides in places with questionable weather, the heavy waxed denim does provide some wind and water resistance.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the fit and feel.. and can’t wait to use these later this fall.

REAX 215

Just your basic riding 12-ounce 100% cotton denim jeans, with a layer of Aramid twill to reinforce your seat and knees. There are pockets for armor in the knees and hips, but it isn’t included. Later Reax jeans are made with fabric that has a bit of stretchiness to it, which works better for motorcycle riding – and for gaining and losing weight.

Sadly, I can no longer button the size 34×32 215s I got a few years ago. Add to that that hip and knee armor is optional, and you can do better for $180 now. Shows how far the game has moved on in four years. Our original 215 review is here.

REAX 267

Still your basic 5-pocket REAX riding jeans, but now constructed with Dyneema-reinforced denim – which consists of 68% cotton,13% Dyneema, 10% nylon, 8% polyester and 1% Elastane for a bit of stretchiness. Dyneema, ® to you, is a light and super-strong wonder material used lately in everything from military and firefighting gear to commercial fishing nets. Though the specs call this 12-ounce denim, the 267s are lighter and more breathable than Reax’ other offerings; that’s because one layer of Dyneema denim takes the place of the double layers of fabric out back in Reax’ 610 and 215 jeans.

Unlike the 610s, there are no problems with the knee armor pockets in these jeans, and it’s easy enough to reach up and adjust the CE knee armor into position; if you’re lucky it’ll be there for your knees, but there’s no guarantee in any garment that fits as loose as a pair of straight-cut jeans. Other than the fabric here, there’s nothing outstanding about these basic, Levi’s-style riding jeans – which is just what lots of people like.

REAX 610

The 610s are a slimmer-fit, second version of Reax’ original 215 jeans. The 1% Elastane (99% 11.5-ounce cotton) gives a tiny bit of stretch. The slim fit still leaves enough room for average-sized people to fit, but keeps the legs narrow enough that the included knee armor, which is nicely adjustable via Velcro, should stay in place in a crash. The 220 grams-per-meter Aramid twill reinforcement in the rear and hips doesn’t make these jeans any cooler when it’s hot, but should provide increased protection if you find yourself sliding along the pavement.

The only problem out of the box is that the upper seam of the knee protector pocket is glued on; it’s already coming unglued, and snags your foot when you try to put the jeans on. Both sides of the pockets are double-stitched on, though, so you could easily fix it with some iron-on fabric tape. Still, for 180 bucks, should you have to?

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