Kevlar motorcycle jeans are a great choice if you want decent levels of protection when out riding but you don’t want to look too biker when you’re off the bike.
For those who spend a majority of their time under 40mph; riding to work, heading into town or just out for a weekend ride, kevlar motorcycle jeans offer more abrasion resistance than a normal pair of denim jeans and they can also carry armour making them a far better bet in the event of a spill.
While they’re not as good as a pair of leather trousers or a leather suit when it comes to impact and abrasion protection, they’re far more comfortable – not to mention stylish – when you’re off the bike and walking around.
LEt’s just clear up one thing around the term Kevlar. It’s used in motorcycle circles in the same way that Hoover is used to describe a vacuum cleaner.
Kevlar is actually a brand name trademarked by DuPont. Kevlar is ‘just’ another aramid fibre, which is great at resisting tearing and abrasion, making them great for motorcycle protective clothing. There are other similar brand names out there, including Kovec, K-Tech, Pekev and Dyneema. They’re all designed to do the same job as Kevlar.
The reason this review is titled ‘The Best Kevlar Motorcycle Jeans’ is that Kevlar is the term that us bikers are searching for but this review also covers jeans that use aramid fibres but aren’t Kevlar. There, I hope I cleared that one up.
There are some great protective motorcycle jeans out there but there's also a lot of rubbish. They need to carry CE approval in order to be a far better choice than just a thick pair of regular jeans.
For testing purposes, garments are divided into three zones: A, B and C. Each area is tested for seam strength and abrasion resistance. And, in each zone, certain parameters have to be met to attain a particular standard.
The EN17092 or the "Damstadt test" is the new standard set to replace the old CE test (EN 13595).
Essentially there are five different standards under the new rules. Class C is for off-road garments. Class B is for road garments where impact protectors are deemed not necessary. Level A is a standard for urban riding. Level AA is a standard deemed to provide sufficient protection for touring. The top level, AAA, provides the very highest level of protection.
The highest rating that kevlar jeans are likely to get is a AA standard. The AAA standard will pretty much be the preserve of leather motorcycle gear.
You need your kevlar jeans to be a zero-hassle option; they need to be easy to put on, offer freedom of movement, not be too bulky nor too hot. If they don’t meet these needs, you’ll just never bother to use them.
We’ve created this review of the current range of kevlar motorcycle trousers that tick all of these boxes and are worth your money.
The Warrior jeans are our top pick but they’re not the most protective motorcycle jeans out there. So why are they our choice? They’re the lighter-weight jeans in Resurgence’s range but they’re still CE Level 1 approved and are 60% lined with Pekev with a claimed 5-second abrasion resistance, enough for most spills. There are pockets for Knox hip and knee armour should you wish to beef them up. For us, the Warrior offers a perfect blend of on-bike protection and off-bike comfort while not getting hot like other thicker motorcycle jeans. They’re the motorcycle jean for people who don’t wear them because they think they’re too thick, too hot or too geeky-looking.
If you want a thicker pair of jeans with more abrasion resistance the Draggin Rebels are for you. Made from Draggin’s own Roomoto aramid fibre, they can withstand a 7.5-second slide which is higher than the time required to meet the CE Level 2 certification. There are pockets for optional knee and hip armour and they are rivet free so you don’t damage your paintwork.
Not everyone can justify £200 on a pair of motorcycle jeans. We went on the hunt to find the cheapest (decent-looking) set on the market. There are lots of dodgy-looking Chinese jeans out there but we found a couple of really good budget options.
The cheapest are these RKSports Kevlar Denim Trousers, at £35. They use Kevlar lining but only come with soft armour. They get really good user reviews and are a good option if your budget really is limited.
If you want to spend a bit more money but you’re still keeping an eye on the funds, then these Bull-it Covec SR6 straight-cut jeans are a great shout. Down from £130 to £65, they’re a quality motorcycle-specific jean with Covec lining, a waterproof coating, pickets for hip and knee armour, triple-stitched seams, and YKK zips.
Cheap isn’t always the best option when it comes to motorcycle jeans. With the cheapest motorcycle specific ones costing around £70, is it worth saving £30 to get a lesser quality set? If you crash, you’ll probably wish you’d spent the extra.
Most motorcycle jeans are labelled at unisex but there are loads of options out there for the ladies.
In the pic above, Instagram biker, Candii Banks demonstrates Draggin Jeans women’s specific leggings. Proving that protective motorcycle jean can look stylish.
A women’s specific jean will fit better, look better and ultimately protect you better as the impact zones and abrasion-resistant fabrics are likely to be in the places you want them to be, rather than able to fold up as they might on an ill-fitting pair of jeans.
You can shop a great range of women’s motorcycle jeans here in all styles from vintage to skinny and leggings to regular fit.
This is a really good 5-minute video demonstrating the differences between a budget pair of kevlar motorcycle jeans and a premium pair.
The budget pair are made by Aldi and cost £30 while the premium pair are made by Hood and cost £120. Check out the video and scroll to the end to see the difference in the damage caused in the extended abrasion test.
There are over 500 different pairs of motorcycle jeans on the market. If our choices above don’t do it for you, then check out these other great picks below from our full review shortlist.
Resurgence Warrior Jeans / Our Top Pick
The Warrior jeans are our top pick but they’re not the most protective motorcycle jeans out there. So why are they our choice? They’re the lighter-weight jeans in Resurgence’s range but they’re still CE Level 1 approved and are 60% lined with Pekev with a claimed 5-second abrasion resistance, enough for most spills.
Draggin Rebel Aramid Jeans / Recommended
If you want a thicker pair of jeans with more abrasion resistance the Draggin Rebels are for you. Made from Draggin’s own Roomoto aramid fibre, they can withstand a 7.5-second slide which is higher than the time required to meet the CE Level 2 certification. They also won a RiDE magazine Best Buy award.
They’re a quality motorcycle-specific jean with Covec lining, a waterproof coating, pickets for hip and knee armour, triple-stitched seams, and YKK zips. They’re not as protective as other jeans in this review but they’re a far safer bet than regular casual jeans.
British brand Hood make quality motorcycle jeans that have won many RiDE magazine Recommended and Best Buy awards. The entry level K7s cost £130 and are certified to class B but come without any armour. We’d go for the AA-rated jeans that also come with D3O knee and hip armour for just £30 more.
If you want more from your denim motorcycle jeans then look no further at these Memphis jeans from Rev’it. They use a waterproof membrane, waterproof zip and taped seams. They also feature Knox CE armour in the knees with pockets for armour in the hip area too.
Are motorcycle jeans waterproof?
Most of them will be water-resistant and some have been treated with waterproof materials such as Teflon coatings and other waterproofing measures to improve their ability to shed water before it soaks in.
You can buy products like Nikwax Fabric & Leather waterproofing which will hugely improve the waterproofing of your kit, from leathers to textile jackets or gloves but if you are caught out in a downpour and want to stay dry, you’ll need a pair of waterproof trousers.