Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kevlar: Not Just for Bullets Anymore

“You should get a pair of mesh pants like mine.” I had a New England rider say to me earlier this spring. I then sheepishly admitted that I had a pair. I just wasn’t wearing them. That day I preferred to take my chances in a pair of jeans. The New England Riders are all about safety, which is something I like most about them. In addition to promoting safe group riding and tips on street survival, they also recommend good riding gear.

Fast forward to our weekend in Stowe Vermont. This time I had my mesh riding over pants with the wind/rain liner zipped in. It came in handy on our Saturday ride as we encountered rain for the first few miles. I later shed them when it became warm. I could have zipped out the liner and put them back on. They are mesh after all, and the wind goes through nicely to cool me off. But the on again, off again quick change artist routine is not something I’m fond of.

Later that evening as we were sitting about chatting, the topic of riding gear came up. This is not an unusual topic as we are all motorcycle enthusiast after all. However, I detected that some of it was intentionally directed toward me, albeit in a most subtle and caring manner. “You know” someone was saying to me, So-and-so “has a pair of Kevlar liners he wears under his mesh riding pants. He takes the armor out of his mesh pants because the liners have optional armor you can put in at the knees and hips.”

It seems So-and-so doesn’t even bother with jeans anymore. The Kevlar liners are mesh and the riding over pants are mesh. In the heat of summer he’s cool as a cucumber and protected from road rash and armored for impact. Hmm…I decided to do some investigation of my own. I at least owed that much to the person who delivered this news to me in such a loving and tactful manner.

I found what I was looking for at the Draggin’Jeans website. I should mention here that I do own a pair of Draggin’ Jeans that have never fit me right. In fact, I passed them on to my husband who wears them in comfort. I found the jeans too narrow in the hips despite the fact that I purchased the women’s. I attributed the imperfect fit to “classic” style when I probably should have purchased “relaxed.” Needless to say, I clicked onto the website with some skepticism.

From Misc

I read through the details quickly to make sure I had the correct product. I then skipped over to the customer reviews. It seems women here had the same issue with the pants that I did. However, they are giving glowing reviews about the Kevlar liners. I like what I am reading. The price is still a sticker shock, but what riding gear doesn’t give you that? One has to think about what your flesh is worth to you intact as opposed to lengthy medical bills or worse.

So as not to be swayed by a website trying to sell me their product, I did more searching. I found a great review at webBikeWorld. Take some time to read their review. Not only does it give details, there are photos that let you see the mesh weave up close. The reviewer lives in my part of the country too, which is a bonus for me on what I can really expect.

Just so I cover all the bases, I decided to compare them to Bohn-armor. At their website they even have a video that is supposed to show how easy it is to wear this armor under your jeans. I wasn’t especially convinced. And while it’s good to have the armor for impact, what about abrasion protection? I think I’ll head back to the Draggin’ Jeans website. Now if I could only remember who So-and-so is, I’d like to get an opinion straight from horse’s mouth. Even if my clouded memory doesn’t clear up, I still think the Kevlar liners are my best bet. In the meantime, if you have experience with this product, I’d like to hear from you.


mq01 said...

interesting info pat. i dont have experience with the liners but im intrigued. im dealing with overheating so i'll be looking at this option. the dragging jeans i can compare, and as a curvy size 6-8 i have the same fit prob. hmmm...

MGC said...

Can you find a flak vest that's stylish ? :)