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The Best Motorcycle Jeans For Every Rider

Photo: Iron & Resin Enduro Denim Jeans

Riding pants are almost certainly the most commonly-overlooked and under-utilized piece of protective motorcycle gear. And while it’s understandable that it feels a bit overkill to wear full leathers or knee-puck-equipped track pants while on the road, it’s still wildly important to shield your legs from impacts and abrasions should you happen to go shiny-side down. Jeans developed specifically for riding are unequivocally the best solution to this issue, affording ample fortification often while looking and feeling like a regular pair of denim pants — allowing them to lend themselves to use both in and out of the saddle.

Having now existed for several decades, there are well over 100 different moto-specific riding jeans on the market to choose from, and while this gives buyers an enormous selection of different styles, cuts, colors, and constructions to pick from, it can also make it difficult to hone in on the handful of standout pairs that objectively represent the finest riding jeans on the market. And it’s this group of envelope-pushing pairs that we’ll be highlighting today in this guide to the best motorcycle riding jeans that you can buy.

The Best Motorcycle Riding Jeans

One-Layer Wonders

What Exactly Are Single-Layer Riding Jeans?

For years, jeans made for motorcycle riding were comprised of either ultra-heavy-weight denim or regular denim that had key areas internally lined with panels made from abrasion-resistant materials like Kevlar. And while this configuration remained the status quo for a cool quarter of a century, the last few years have seen the introduction of what are called “single-layer riding jeans” which are made from just one layer of denim that’s been infused with advanced proprietary materials like Dyneema, Kevlar, and COVEC. This setup not only affords single-layer riding jeans with phenomenal levels of abrasion resistance but also allows some of them to do so with minimal heat transfer.

The result of infusing denim with one of these advanced materials is what allows these types of riding jeans to genuinely look and feel like regular jeans — all while concealing stellar levels of protection. This setup also provides better protection, as the entire pair is abrasion resistant, not just a few underlying areas over the knees and seat, plus is markedly more comfortable. What’s more, because they look and feel like normal jeans, single-layer riding jeans can be worn on or off the bike, giving the buyer more bang for their buck (and not requiring them to bring a second pair of off-the-bike pants). Lastly, because the jeans are infused with expensive cutting-edge materials, they tend to cost more than traditional riding jeans. As a result, most companies that make single-layer riding jeans tend to outfit these pairs with high-end accents and trim, and top-shelf craftsmanship, making for an all-around more premium product.

Dressing For The Slide

The Four Main Factors To Consider When Buying Riding Jeans

From the outside looking in, it may at first appear that riding jeans are all more or less the same, though this couldn’t be further from the truth, as there’s a slew of finer points one should wrap their head around before making their purchase. Below, we’ll briefly unpack the four most crucial aspects to think about when buying riding jeans.

Style: Unsurprisingly, motorcycle jeans come in a plethora of different styles, all ranging in color (or dye), pattern, details, and/or accent stitching. If you’re fond of a particular style of regular jeans, there’s most likely a moto-counterpart to it that exists.

Construction: We’d almost always recommend going with a pair of single-layer riding jeans, though these pants can be made from a wide variety of materials, and it’s very much worth exploring what those are, especially when investing several hundred dollars into a single pair of pants. It’s also worth mentioning that there are a couple of pairs of non-single-layer riding jeans that are worthy of your consideration when shopping in this space — though they’re admittedly few and far between.

Armor: The use of highly abrasion-resistant constructions afford riding jeans with excellent slide protection, though these innovative infused denims still can’t do much when it comes to shielding their wearer from blunt force trauma and impacts. As such, most pairs of today’s best riding jeans are equipped with armor — typically set at the hips, knees, and sometimes tailbone — or armor pockets to accommodate items that are either included or sold separately.

Cut: Just like with any regular pair of jeans, riding denim is produced in an enormous variety of different cuts, ranging from loose-fitting to tapered and everything in between. What’s more, it’s become increasingly commonplace to see riding jeans with light stretch properties, as well.

Aerostich Protekt Jeans

Photo: Aerostich
  • Made in America
  • Features similar fit & cut to Levi’s 501s
  • Reinforced using double & triple-stitching
  • Has pockets for TF3 Impact armor
  • Main 14oz denim fabric construction reinforced with 500D Nylon at knees & seat
  • Armor sold separately

Best Entry-Level Riding Jeans: In typical Aerostich fashion, the Minnesota-based manufacturer’s Protekt Jeans are produced in America in small batches and built to exceedingly high standards. Boasting a fit modeled after Levi’s 501s, these jeans sport a heavy-duty 14oz denim fabric primary construction that’s further fortified via TF3 Impact armor (sold separately) and high-tenacity 500D nylon overlays strategically placed in key areas.

Construction: 14oz Denim W/ 500D Nylon Overlays
Fit: Straight Fit
Armor: TF3

Iron & Resin Enduro Denim Jeans

Photo: Iron and Resin
  • Made by hand in small batches in America
  • Infused with Dyneema
  • Triple-needle felled on rise & back yoke
  • Has custom I&R copper buttons, rivets, & leather logo tag
  • Can be hard to buy / is frequently sold out in popular sizes

Best Value Riding Jeans: A stellar pair of riding pants sold at an affordable price point, Iron & Resin’s Enduro Denim Jeans are made from a 12oz Enduro denim that’s comprised of nylon, polyester, and Lycra that’s been heavily infused with Dyneema, affording the jeans some slight stretch properties, as well as immense levels of abrasion resistance. Made in America, these jeans also feature 9oz twill pockets, custom I&R-branded copper-rivet reinforcements, triple-needle felling on the rise and back yoke, and custom I&R branding and trim.

Construction: Dyneema-Infused 12oz Enduro Denim
Fit: Classic Tapered
Armor: None

Klim K Fifty 1 Jeans

Photo: Revzilla
  • Primary CORDURA construction features stone-washed finish w/ whisker treatment
  • All slide-prone areas reinforced w/ Kevlar
  • Fitted w/ included D3O EVO & Poron XRD armor
  • Wicking poly full comfort liner offers stellar temperature regulation
  • Expensive for non-Dyneema riding jeans

Best CORDURA Jeans: One of the most calculated and meticulously engineered pairs of riding pants in existence, Klim’s K Fifty 1 Jeans feature a main CORDURA denim construction that’s been supplemented with Kevlar underlays, flat-felled seams, a temperature-regulating moisture-wicking poly-mesh liner, and a full suite of armor including D30 hip armor, D3O Evo knee armor held in adjustable pockets, and PORON XRD impact foam tailbone armor. These jeans are also produced in four color options.

Construction: Kevlar-Reinforced CORDURA Denim
Fit: Relaxed / Straight
Armor: D30 Evo & PORON XRD Foam

Bike Shed Moto Co. Protective Road Jean

Photo: Bike Shed Moto Co.
  • Innovative COVEC construction is spun from liquid crystal polymer
  • Boasts ultra-low heat transfer
  • Premium feel & fit & finish
  • Equipped with D30 Ghost armor
  • Requires break-in period

Most Innovative Jeans: Unequivocally one of the most state-of-the-art pairs of riding jeans on the planet, The Bike Shed Moto Co’s Protective Jeans are crafted from single-layer COVEC Raw Indigo Denim — an ultra-cutting-edge construction that’s spun from liquid crystal polymer and affords stellar abrasion resistance with insanely-low heat transfer. Sporting a classic five-pocket design, a tapered fit, and a custom BSMC-branded leather patch, these jeans also come with removable D30 Ghost armor at the hips and knees.

Construction: COVEC Raw Indigo Denim
Fit: Tapered
Armor: D30 Ghost

SA1NT Unbreakable Slim Jeans

Photo: SA1NT
  • Bar/standard-setting single-layer riding jeans
  • Insanely-rugged Dyneema-infused construction
  • Looks & feels like regular top-shelf/designer jeans
  • Features premium hardware & trim
  • D30 Ghost armor sold separately

Best Overall Riding Jeans: If we had to select a single best pair of moto riding jeans, it would undoubtedly be SA1NT’s Unbreakable Slim Jeans — with BSMC’s being a close second. Made by the first company to ever bring a pair of single-layer riding jeans to market, the Unbreakable Slim Jeans — which are now on their seventh generation — genuinely look and feel like a luxury pair of stretch jeans, though the pants’ construction (which is infused with 25% Dyneema) affords unparalleled levels of abrasion resistance. Completing the already impressive package is a custom vintage trim suite, orange accents and contrast stitching, and adjustable pockets for D30 Ghost hip and knee armor.

Construction: Dyneema-Infused Double-Face Black Stretch Denim
Fit: Slim
Armor: D30 Ghost

SPIDI J-Dyneema Jeans

Photo: Revzilla
  • Construction comprised of a whopping 60% Dyneema
  • Sold w/ included knee & hip armor
  • Equipped w/ adjustable knee armor positioning
  • Extremely slim fit isn’t ideal for all body types

Best Premium Riding Jeans: Engineered from the ground up to look great whether on or off the bike — and to afford ample protection while in the saddle — the SPIDI J-Dyneema Jeans are a new pair of riding pants that are made from a single layer of 13oz stretch denim that’s been reinforced with Dyneema. Class AA-certified, the J-Dyneema Jeans also come with SPIDI’s track-developed Warrior Lite knee and hip armor as standard. In addition to sporting a carabiner key ring, these pants also feature a connection tab for linking the jeans to riding jackets.

Construction: Dyneema-Infused 13oz Stretch Denim
Fit: Slim
Armor: Warrior Lite

Pando Moto Robby Armalith Jeans

Photo: Revzilla
  • Made in Europe
  • Infused with Armalith UHMWPE fiber
  • Sold w/ included knee & hip armor
  • Offers light stretch properties
  • Has tethered front key ring & zippered rear wallet pocket
  • Expensive price

Best Armored Jeans: Designed to maximize protection and durability in just about every measurable area, the Pando Moto Robby Armalith Jeans are a high-end interpretation of moto-specific riding pants, with a main single-layer 12oz Armalith denim construction that comes backed by CE Level 1 hip and knee armor, and reinforced chain and aramid fiber stitching. Made in Europe, these jeans also feature custom Pando Moto accents and trim, a key ring at the hip, and a five-pocket design with a zipper-secured right back pocket for keeping your wallet safe and in place when in the saddle.

Construction: Armalith-Infused 12oz Denim
Fit: Medium Rise Slim Fit
Armor: CE Level 1

Knox Dalton Jeans

Photo: Revzilla
  • Dyneema-infused denim features multi-way stretch properties
  • Sold w/ included Microlock knee & hip armor
  • Armor pockets are adjustable
  • External armor pockets allow knee armor removal while wearing pants
  • Expensive price
  • External knee armor pockets can look awkward when off the bike

Best Stretch Jeans: The Knox Dalton Jeans represent a minimalistic take on high-end riding jeans, arming wearers with a primary 13.7oz denim construction that’s been infused with Dyneema before being outfitted with “invisible” (i.e. external seam-free) knee armor pockets for housing Knox’s CE-approved Microlock hip and knee armor — the latter of which is fully adjustable. Finishing details on these jeans include secure deep-carry pockets, YKK zippers, and a spartan design that’s devoid of branding save for a single leather patch.

Construction: Dyneema-Infused 13.7oz Stretch Denim
Fit: Slim
Armor: Microlock

Tobacco Ironsides Armored Jeans

Photo: Tobacco Motorwear
  • Made in small batches in America
  • Crafted from premium 12.25oz Mt Vernon Mills Raw Stretch Denim
  • Equipped with Kevlar lining over knees & seat
  • Cool-mesh upper lining affords stellar temperature regulation
  • Has hidden zippered knee armor pockets
  • Doesn’t feature single-layer construction
  • D30 armor sold separately
  • Expensive price

Best Multi-Layer Jeans: While they might not be of the single-layer variety, the Tobacco Ironsides Armored Jeans are nonetheless well worth a look anytime one is shopping for riding jeans, as the boutique Southern California brand delivers ultra-high-quality riding gear. The SoCal label’s Ironsides Armored Jeans are made in America from top-shelf 12.25 oz Ghirardelli Raw Stretch Denim from South Carolina’s Mt Vernon Mills. Equipped with hidden zippered armor pockets, the jeans have also been outfitted with a Cool-Mesh upper lining, Kevlar underlays over the shins, knees, and seat, and D30 knee and hip armor (though said armor is sold separately).

Construction: Kevlar-Reinforced 12.25 oz Ghirardelli Raw Stretch Denim
Fit: Slim-Straight
Armor: D30

The Best Pieces Of Urban Commuter Motorcycle Gear

Photo: SAINT Unbreakable Jeans

Looking to further build out your riding gear load out? Then be sure to cruise over to our guide to the best urban commuter moto gear for the finest items designed for everyday use on two wheels.