6 seconds might not seem like a long time…

One of the downsides of being on a motorbike is that you don’t have the same sort of protective cage around you that motorists enjoy, and while a full leather race-suit does give you some pretty good protection it’s not exactly casual dress when you get where you’re going…

Enter the world of kevlar lined and armour padded motorcycle wear. Back in the summer I got myself an upgraded shirt for the days when I didn’t want to sling the full jacket on, and it proved to be comfortable and practical. Sadly I couldn’t say the same for the jeans I’ve been using for some years. While they have similar kevlar lining to the shirt, and armour at the knees, they were never that comfortable … the kevlar lining was only in patches and the edges would rub, and the armour was really rigid. I’ve been looking for a replacement for a while, and when I was back in the US I first heard of a brand called SAINT who, as luck would have it, are based just a short ride from me!Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 4.57.06 pm

Since I first heard of them, they’ve upgraded their jeans to “Model 3“. These are made from a custom fabric called Dyneema® which is not only stronger than Kevlar®, because it’s woven into the denim rather than a seperate layer, it’s lighter, more flexible, and breathable. Unlike regular denim which will disintegrate pretty much as soon as something goes wrong, this gives you up to 6 seconds of slide time, which could be very significant. To help if things get out of shape there’s also removable armour in the knees and at the hips.

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 5.05.45 pmSince getting these I’ve given them a fair workout … a couple of longer (1.5hr+) rides, all day wear officiating at race events (with a lot of walking and having to get over the pit lane wall – fun seeing the same logo on a couple of the cars as on my pants), and even a couple of days working in a TV studio … and they’re surprisingly comfortable and usable, especially compared to my old pair. Because they’re breathable you don’t get hot and sweaty, and the armour is flexible enough that I totally forgot about the hip padding and my concerns about the knees limiting mobility were quickly put to rest.

I suspect this won’t be the last pair of Saint pants I get (they also do ‘regular’ jeans, cargos, and even shorts)…

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