Your motorcycle apparel greatly impacts your riding performance and safety. One of the most common debates in the world of motorcycle apparel is determining which is better: Kevlar jeans or leather jeans.
There is no definitive answer as to which is better because they excel in different fields. Leather jeans are better when it comes to fit and wound prevention in case of an accident. Kevlar jeans are better if you want comfort and a padded pair of protective gear. Both are great if you are looking for stylish options but Kevlar jeans definitely have a more diverse range of styles to choose from.
Both types have their own pros and cons to cater to your different needs as a motorcycle rider. The two will be compared based on their price, impact protection, abrasion resistance, weather protection, and style.
Kevlar Vs Leather
Kevlar is a leading brand name for a material that is made of aramid fibers. Woven aramid fibers are very durable, tear-resistant, and not easily punctured. The exterior looks like a normal pair of jeans and the fabric are lined with aramid or
Leather is a classic material in the world of motorcycle riding. It is great at resisting abrasions and punctures. Leather is also effective in protecting your skin against the harsh wind.
Kevlar is more affordable than leather. The former is made of synthetic material that is significantly more accessible and easier to produce compared to leather. Genuine leather is pricey because it is harder to source.
Normal jeans or a simple pair of leather jeans are insufficient in providing impact protection. There are padded options with hip and knee pockets that can better protect you but the material in itself cannot protect you in case of an accident. The only benefit to the presence of pockets is you can customize your pants according to your driving needs. You can pop on the padding as necessary.
Kevlar jeans are so much better at providing impact protection because of the thicker material. The aramid material is interwoven with the denim or jeans fabric which results in a thicker material. Kevlar jeans may also come with hip or knee pockets that can house padding. These are the areas that are more susceptible to injuries upon impact.
The motorcycle industry has formulated a test for motorcycle apparel fabrics. The test is called the “Cambridge test” and it measures a material’s resistance to abrasion. The material is tested using a sanding belt that moves at a consistent pace. The time for the belt to wear through the material is called “slide time.” The longer the slide time, the more resistant the material is against abrasion.
The slide time for leather is only four to five seconds. Kevlar jeans have a slide time of about 10.38 seconds which is twice the amount for leather. The slide time for Kevlar jeans vary depending on the number of layers and lining present in the jeans.
Your motorcycle gear should fare well in different weather conditions. Both leather and Kevlar perform well during sunny weather. Leather may feel stuffy if you pick a hybrid type with synthetic elements to it. Similarly, Kevlar can also feel too hot during sunny days because of the thick lining. Both will eventually feel comfortable to wear as your body gets cooled down by the wind that hits your body as you ride your motorcycle.
In terms of rainy weather, both perform well in staying waterproof. Genuine leather has a slight edge because it is naturally waterproof. It may require some maintenance for it to retain its waterproof feature.
Another issue with leather is that it takes such a long time to dry. You cannot simply throw it into the dryer because this can damage the material. Conversely, Kevlar is tolerant of the dryer so you can dry it instantly.
Both perform almost the same in rainy weather. Both will definitely get soaked and both will feel uncomfortable when worn in this way.
Style matters because these pants will be your outfit on the road. Leather jeans aren’t great for casual riding sessions. They are too loud or outstanding for casual settings. The style options are also very limited. They usually come in black leather with a skinny fit.
Kevlar riding jeans are easier to style because they look like normal jeans. They come in different cuts and styles. Some even mimic the silhouette of Levi’s 501’s jeans so you can just wear it with a normal shirt or dress it up with some other top. The jeans also come in different shades, from faded denim to black pants. There are even pants that come in khaki shades so you can pass them off as work pants. These pants pair well with different shoes.
Another bonus is the inclusivity of Kevlar pants. Leather pants tend to be exclusive to males. Kevlar offers more options for women which is actually very attentive to female riders.
In a nutshell, Kevlar jeans are more versatile and much more suitable for casual settings. Kevlar offers the perfect balance between safety and style. It eliminates the need for you to change out of your motorcycle gear and into more casual clothes.
I personally wear Armored All-Weather Motorbike Pants, I use to ride in jeans and my crotch would be quite uncomfortable after a long ride, I’ve put on a couple hundred miles in these pants already and I can say that they are extremely comfortable.
You can check them yourself on amazon:
Motorcycle Pants For Men (Dualsport, Armored, All-Weather)