I remember when I bought my first pair of Kevlar riding jeans. They were the new Big Thing. “Casual-looking pants with a special lining to protect you in an accident”. Okay, the latter was true, but they were like wearing a set of dacks your 100 stone uncle handed down to you after he missed your tenth birthday, and was forced to improvise.
Things have changed now. You can actually look pretty darn cool in protective wear, and the clothing company Saint is on the forefront of this venture. Saint has been around for a couple of years now, and has blown up big time recently. They produce a lot of retro riding gear and clothing. Call it hipster if you like, but this stuff is seriously good quality.
I’ve been wearing a pair of Saint’s latest jeans. The Unbreakable 6, as they call it. They’re tough as nails, really. Saint says these jeans take 5.9 seconds to wear through in an accident, as opposed to the milli-seconds that it takes standard material. They don’t use Kevlar, rather a bespoke denim that uses a double warp beam lining. I don’t know what that means either, or if such a thing exists, but they’re fully CE certified for impact and abrasion protection, so they’re clearly doing something right.
And you can genuinely wear these just like a regular set of dacks. I challenge anyone to tell the difference. This is especially handy for those who ride to work. You can look decent, and avoid skinning yourself alive at the first sign of asphalt. I’m a big fan.
However, if anyone tells you that jeans like these are a complete replacement over conventional riding pants, they are flat out wrong. They absorb liquid faster than Bob Hawke at a cricket match, and I can’t imagine they’d be much help when Sandra from HR t-bones you in her Kluger. But these are jeans we’re talking about, and are a whole lot more protective than standard denim.
So what’s the downside? They’ll set you back around 700 bones. That’s a lot to fork out for a pair of jeans. But if you look after them, they’ll last forever, and you’d be hard-up to find a pair of riding jeans that provide the same protection, while looking as good.
— Spencer Leech
THE GOOD OIL
The stuff: Saint Unbreakable 6 Jeans
How much? $700
Get yours: saint.cc