Just this month, the motorcycle apparel experts at REV’IT! released a series of products I have been anxiously anticipating for several months. Like many avid riders, I fully subscribe to the all the gear, all the time mantra. This regularly leaves me walking around town in my full kit looking like a storm trooper, or breaking my own rule and leaving my protective riding pants at home on a hook. That has all been put behind me with the acquisition of REV’IT!’s new Carnaby riding jeans.
It almost seems like a disservice to call these jeans. They’re every bit as sophisticated as any highly engineered riding pants I have, but they appear to be normal jeans, and very nice ones at that. The 11 ounce Cordura® denim outer material has the appearance of traditional cotton denim, but with unrivaled durability. The cotton twill lining is extremely soft and comfortable, and retains the weight and feel of normal jeans; as to say, nothing too heavy. The fabric even has a slight bit of stretch for maximum freedom of movement. The triple needle stitching ensures the pants stay together in the event of a get-off, and an additional Shield Knit protective layer adds extra protection against intense abrasions and tears. The knees feature articulated seams, and internal pockets for the included Knox® CE certified knee protectors. CE certified hip protectors can be added to the internal hip sections via two sewn-in pockets, and to ensure your bike is not abraded, the jeans have no rivets or other damaging hard points.
There are a total of five pockets help keep your daily carry items secure, with one small pocket on the face of the right leg. While it's primarily a fashionable accent, I do find I use it. The Comfort Seat construction prevents the jeans from bunching or adding unwelcome pressure to sit points and proves the REV'IT! designers are clearly avid riders themselves. The button fly closure is more secure and reliable than a traditional zipper, and the contoured waistband doesn’t cut into your mid-section when in a seated position on the motorcycle. As if that isn’t enough, there is a band of 3M Scotchlite reflective tape on the inside of the pant legs. Simply roll up the pant leg to reveal the tape for extra low-light visibility.
On the bike, they have proven to be extremely comfortable, and even resisted a small bit of moisture when riding through a recent rain storm. They breath well, don’t bunch behind the knees, and feel like a perfect fusion of proper riding pants and your favorite old jeans. As I have come to expect of REV’IT!, they nailed the design and the quality of construction is as good as it gets.
So why bother with riding jeans? For the touring rider, they make for an excellent backup pair of pants as they roll up just as small as traditional jeans. I’d have no qualms wearing them out to dinner, not something I could say of my regular riding pants. At first blush it seems a little overly superficial to have riding pants disguised as jeans, but the more I ride in them, the more I like them. At $259 including the Knox knee pads, they're a good value as protective riding pants go. A pair of regular old Talleson jeans will set you back nearly as much.