This guide reviews our list of the five best Motorcycle pants you can buy in 2022.
It’s essential you pick the right pants that will help protect you from injury and make your ride more comfortable. Cheap knock-offs or unsuitable pants for your riding style and can lead to serious injury.
That’s why we’ve researched and compared various motorcycle pant products to bring you the best when it comes to safety, comfort, and practicality.
We think the Klim Drakar Pants offer the best overall value for money and performance.
Not only are they fitted with leading protective technologies, but it offers supreme practicality and comfort under a wide range of conditions.
Read our in-depth reviews below about the Klim Dakar Pants and our other top picks to find the optimal motorcycle pants for you.
Klim Drakar Pants
Klim’s Dakar is a versatile, durable riding pant with a proven track record. It’s an excellent choice for sport riders that want riding pants that perform equally well in light adventure and trail riding under any conditions. While the Klim Dakar has always been tough, the newest version has undergone numerous updates to improve its comfort.
The entire pant offers all-around protection thanks to a 630D Cordura main body and heavy-duty 840D Cordura knee and seat padding.
There are also built-in TPU-vented accents on the knees for protection without extra heat build-up. The entire body is treated with a durable water resistant (DWR) coating to deflect more water and mud.
While you need to buy the armor separately, you can also keep your things safe with 30D-compatible pocket linings.
With a lot of padding, temperature control and flexibility are a concern. Klim has done its best to optimize comfort thanks to numerous vents and flex zones.
Each thigh features a YKK zipper that allows you to adjust the airflow according to weather conditions. And the moisture-wicking, breathable liner will keep things nice and dry even on challenging rides.
The pants use stretch material everywhere that you need extra flexibility, including the waist, knees, back of the legs, and crotch. This helps offset a lot of the stiffness from the Cordura material.
Thanks to an adjustable waist with dual VELCRO® closures and fastener cinch straps, the Dakar offers a secure and comfortable fit. The silicone waistband helps keep the pants in place, and your jersey pulled down securely.
The Klim Dakkar comes with other valuable features, too. The back of each leg has 3M Scotchlite reflective material to make you more visible. And, you’ll have two spacious zippered pockets at your disposal.
With so much going on, it can get confusing, mainly when riding off-road. That’s why Klim has color-coded the zipper heads so that you can easily differentiate between pockets and vents.
The Klim Dakkar is excellent value for money with a mid-range price tag. As a bonus, it comes in several color schemes that range from all-black to potter’s clay to an eye-catching blue and gold number called striking petrol.
- 630D Cordura main body
- 80D Cordura knees and seat
- Multiple flex zones around waist, knees, legs
- TPU knee vents and adjustable thigh vents
- Adjustable waist with dual VELCRO closures and fastener cinch straps
- Durable, water-resistant coating
- 3M Scotchlite reflective material
- Moisture wicking breathable liner
- It comes in 5 different styles
- Excellent value-for-money
- Not the best for road use
Street & Steel Oakland Jeans
The Street & Steel Oakland Jeans is a budget-friendly riding pant with a modern, outgoing feel. It’s almost impossible to tell that it’s riding jeans without the typical boot or loose cut fit. The casual cut makes it an attractive choice for social outings. Aside from being fashionable, it has plenty else going for it, making it a great value-for-money buy at a low price.
These pants are made of 12 oz. heavy-duty denim, providing better protection than your everyday jeans. The material is a blend of denim and elastane, giving it a stretchy quality that’s far more comfortable on a bike. As a bonus, it means the Oakland offers a seamless knee design that is more comfortable and aesthetic.
The Oakland Jeans also feature a heat-resistant aramid inner-lining at the knees, hips, and seat for extra reinforcement. And CE (Conformité Européenne) armor insert pads at the knees provide additional protection during accidents. The knee pads can be adjusted for comfort or removed once you reach your destination.
Sure, the Oakland does not provide the highest level of safety. However, it’s tough enough to withstand day-to-day weathering and provide decent abrasion protection. While the CE knee pads aren’t the best, you can easily replace them with other suitable armor.
If you’re concerned about style, all safety features on the Oakland have been designed not to be visible. So, it looks just like a pair of everyday jeans. Without the heavy washout or faded effect that’s typical for riding jeans, it’s a more stylish option than most. You can even choose between a black, dark blue, or classic light blue color.
The five-pocket design means plenty of space for your keys, wallet, phone, and other accessories. It’s another feature that helps you transition seamlessly from the bike to real life.
- 5-pocket design with four in front and one in the back
- Heat and abrasion-resistant Aramid inner linings
- Removable and adjustable CE knee armor included
- Heavy-duty 12 oz. denim body
- Blended with elastane for extra flexibility
- Casual, stylish jean cut that’s perfect for social outings
- Available in black, dark blue, or light blue
- Seamless knee design
- Not the best accident or injury protection
Klim Badlands Pro Pants
As a brand, Klim is known for its ultra-tough off-road sporting motorcycle pants. As their top-of-the-line product, it’s fair to expect a lot from the premium badlands riding pants.
This pant is designed for hardcore adventure bikers that also need a small degree of street functionality. It’s for those who want extreme protection without relying on standalone armor.
The leading technology that makes these pants so rugged is the new Gore-Tex 3 Layer Pro material. The outer layers consist of durable Superfabric ceramic print overlays and Cordura fabrics with lightweight inner panels. This makes the material 100% water resistant, abrasion, and snag resistant, highly breathable, and offers a high degree of mobility.
Highly abrasion-resistant 630D Karbonite ripstop panels span the entire seat area. This prevents wear and tear and provides a high degree of abrasion and impact protection. The rest of the body consists of 400D and 200D fabric, while Aero Pro D3O CE Level 2 vented armor protects the knees and hips.
A total of six vents provide ventilation and temperature control from the top to the bottom of the pants. Vents are located on each leg at the lower calf as well as both the front and rear thigh. All vents are adjustable with glove-friendly YKK zipper heads.
Leather on the inner knees provides extra grip and protection, particularly in the standing position. It allows you to tightly grip the tank with your knees without risking getting burned. The Badlands Pro is a CE AA-rated garment certified to EN 17092-3, one of the top ratings for garments that offer protection from impact and abrasion.
The Badlands Pro features plenty of carrying capacity thanks to billowed thigh pockets with internal organizer compartments. The pants also come with an external MOLLE-compatible utility panel to add even more secure storage space.
One thing to note is that the Badlands Pro Pants are not designed for use with standalone armor. It comes with built-in armor in all areas where you most need protection. However, wearing standalone armor, such as knee braces, underneath will lead to an uncomfortable fit.
- Gore-Tex 3-layer Pro Laminate technology
- 630D Karbonite ripstop panels on seat and pockets
- 400D and 200D fabric body
- Aero Pro D3O CE Level 2 vented knee and hip armor
- CE AA-rated garment certified to EN 17092-3
- 6 adjustable zippered vents
- 3M Scotchlite reflective material
- Leather on inner thighs for tank grip and protection
- Moisture-wicking Polygiene anti-odor liner
- It doesn’t fit well with standalone armor
Best For Protection
Dainese Delta 3 Perforated Leather Pants
Dainese is one of only two major suppliers of MotoGP gear. They are one of the preferred brands for rider safety, with many of their racing-grade technologies featuring in their street gear. The Delta 3 Perforated Leather Pants use race-grade technologies to maximize mobility and comfort for sports riding.
The Delta 3 has impressive certifications to back up its safety features. The composite knee sliders adhere to the EN 1621.1 standards, while the soft protectors on the knee and hips carry the EN 1621.1 standard Level 2 certification. The pants themselves are certified according to the CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive.
The Delta 3 Leather Pants use the same S1 bi-elastic fabric and Nanofeel Silver Ion liner that you can find in top-tier Dianese race suits. This provides incredible agility on the bike, which one does not necessarily associate with leather pants. Mobility is further improved thanks to the VELCRO hip adjusters and elasticated fabric inserts, resulting in a perfect fit.
Leather pants are notoriously hard to wear, and Dainese has taken multiple steps to make this easier. Each leg, for example, features double calf tightening zippers. The Delta 3 is also easier to use alongside other riding gear with a pan-to-boot and jacket-pants fastening system. The composite knee sliders are removable or completely interchangeable.
The outer material consists of Tutu cow leather. Tutu cow leather is ultra-thin at just 1.2mm, it’s extremely lightweight as well as water, abrasion, and tear-resistant. For extra breathability, perforated cooling zones are located in critical areas of the pants, such as the thighs.
- Composite knee protectors certified to EN 1621.1 Standard
- Pants certified to CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive
- Soft protectors on hips and knees certified to EN 1621.1 standard Level 2
- S1 bi-elastic and Nanofeel Silver Ion liner in key movement areas
- VELCRO hip adjusters and elasticated fabric inserts
- Reflective inserts
- Interchangeable and removable knee sliders
- Pan-to-boot and jacket-pants fastening system
- No pockets or storage areas
- No adjustable venting
Best For Women
Dainese New Drake Air Women’s Textile Pants
Dainese is one of the top manufacturers of both men’s and women’s high-performance riding gear. The Drake Air is a classic and a long-time favorite among women bikers for multi-season riding or sport-touring. It differs from the men’s version because it’s a two-to-three-season warmer weather pant.
The New Drak Air continues that tradition with a straightforward, universal design and outstanding all-around performance. It’s meant mainly for everyday street use, so it’s not entirely waterproof, although it is water repellent and comes with only the most necessary protections.
The main body consists of 750D material, which does give you a degree of abrasion protection. Handily, CE-rated composite knee and shin armor come built into the pant. This means that the Drake Air does offer some impact protection as well. The elasticated inserts also ensure that the armor does not mess too severely with the overall comfort.
Each leg has a large mesh back flap vent right above the knee, which you can open for better airflow or insulation. This is a convenient feature for long touring sessions to prevent heat build-up. Dianese has even thought of using sanitized lining in the pant to keep you feeling fresh during long rides. Perforated fabric provides some breathability in other areas of the pant.
The Drake Air is a full Mugello fabric pant, a textile material made of micro nylon and elastomeric fabric. This makes it wear-and-tear resistant, lightweight, and gives it some stretch for extra flexibility on and off the bike. It also means that it hugs tighter to the body, which creates less drag and gives it a more fitting, stylish look.
The pant is adjustable along the hip using anodized pulls. There is some extra wiggle-room around the calf with a relatively long calf zip. This means you may be able to wear a thinner or skin-tight boot underneath, although it’s not a guarantee.
- Mugello fabric consists of micro nylon and elastomeric fabric
- Long calf zip
- Anodized metal hip adjusters
- CE-rated knee and shin protectors
- 750D abrasion-resistant material
- Large mesh back venting flaps
- Sanitized lining
- Stylish, fitting cut
- Elasticated soft inserts
- Not fully waterproof
How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Riding Pants
Any of the above motorcycle riding pants offer excellent performance under most conditions. However, before you make up your mind, you should learn more about how to choose the best riding pants for you.
The number one concern for any motorcyclist on the road should be safety. Regular jeans may be comfortable and tough, but they’ll only give you a split-second’s protection once they hit the asphalt.
Today, most high-quality riding pants offer extra protection using durable materials, like aramid (Kevlar) or Cordura. Pants can either consist entirely of these materials or use them for extra padding in key areas, such as the knees. These high-tech fibers are extremely abrasion resistant, so they can handle being scraped across the road at high speeds.
For extra protection, riding pants also sometimes use additional armor to protect the knees and hips. This armor provides shock and impact absorption as well as further protection against abrasion.
Pants may also come with suspenders to prevent them from being pulled down during an accident.
Unfortunately, there is a trade-off between protection and comfort. Extra padding or more rigid materials, particularly joint armor, limit mobility and are less breathable. This traps sweat and heat underneath the pants, which will become uncomfortable on long rides. However, we all also know that your legs can get extremely cold when riding during rain or cold weather.
The best motorcycle riding pants often use several innovative climate technologies. Pants need to balance air circulation to prevent heat build-up with proper insulation to prevent extreme cold.
Manufacturers combine insulating materials and strategic air vents for better cooling. In some products, the insulation is removable, and vents can be closed off, depending on your riding conditions. They also use materials that prevent condensation and provide anti-slip capabilities.
Stretch panels can mitigate the stiffness of armor or protective backing somewhat.
Our main concerns should be looking after our safety and comfort, but we also want to look good. Motorcycle pants come in many styles that appeal to different users.
Jean riding pants give a casual, old-school feel perfect for going out or on lazy weekend rides. Jeans can be black, gray, or classic blue with various washed or faded effects.
Other pants made with more high-tech materials can come in different designs. They range from sleek, mono-color designs to show, multi-color designs that clearly show off the other materials, such as stretch zones, pockets, padding, zips, and armored areas.
Of course, affordability is always a concern when buying gear. Prices for riding pants can range from below $100 to well over $1,000 for premium products.
With so many products at so many price points, you need to decide how much you’re willing to pay first. You can then find the ideal motorcycle riding pants for you by balancing your budget with your riding needs.
As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best motorcycle pants. Whether you’re an extreme off-road, touring, or racing enthusiast, you need the gear that’s built to perform under those conditions. That being said, some protection is better than nothing when it comes to road safety as a motorcyclist. It’s always highly recommended that you at least get some pants specifically for riding.