As I wrote here last year, I’ve been looking for some riding pants that make me feel protected but don’t weigh a ton like my well-worn leathers, but aren’t sweaty membraner overpants. There are these kevlar impregnated jeans, but who actually wears jeans these days?
After a while I decided the Klim Dakar ITBs were just too race-focussed, under-pocketed and too nylony for my tame level of desert touring. At the 2016 NEC Adv Spec put me onto Klim’s forthcoming Outriders – normal looking, jean-like riding pants with well thought out armour. Something you can wear on or off the bike – in other words: ideal do-it-all travelling trousers. They cost £165.
Fyi: I bought these Outriders at a discount from Adventure Spec in return for advertising in my books
What they say:
The Outrider is designed to traverse the environments and demands of the multi-sport enthusiast. Scrambling out to your favorite fishing spot, hiking from the trailhead to the lake at 9,000ft, or cruising the boulevard to the pier at sunset. Wherever your next odyssey takes you, the Outrider is ready for anything. Built with the quality you expect from KLIM®.
What I think
• Usual Klim quality
• Not plastered in Klim branding
• Exterior knee armour easily removable
• Can pass as normal jeans
• They didn’t go pocket-mad, as many do
• Cotton-Cordura fabric feels tough, but will breathe
• Fast delivery and good comms from Adv Spec
I was pretty sure I’d like the Klim Outriders and out of the box I wasn’t disappointed. I’m around 6′ 1″, 94kg, 37″ waist and inside leg of 32″. So 38 x 32 Regular was my size.
These pants are actually a yard long in the leg and once worn standing up, sag at the heel, like the image at the top of the page. Once with the armour in and with some riding up when sat on a bike, they actually look just right, and if you wear them in-the-boot (good idea to eliminate snagging the baggy ends), it won’t matter. Better too long than too short.
My 38″ Regulars weigh 1440g with the armour, or 1090g without. More than half my leathers and a bit less than the chunky Dakar ITBs.
Unsure if the Outriders would be available in time for my trip, a week earlier I’d chanced on some similar looking Dickies Eisenhowers for a tenner in a sale. Nice enough looking and with slots to slip in some knee armour, but a level of pocketure you’d not even find on a paramilitary fishing vest. There were even pocketed flaps inside the pockets, handy for a market stall trader or builder’s screws, maybe? OTT for me and soon snipped off.
Back to the Klims; you get two front pockets with a jean-like coin slot inside one; two at the back, one with a flap and stud, and a mobile phone slip-in on the left thigh so you can check in without taking your hand off the throttle.
Inside, mesh takes the slim D3O hip armour pads (left), and at the knees you slip the armour in from the top, position with unobtrusive velcro and do up a stud. Even without the armour these long, double thickness knees will give some extra protection, and feature drain holes at the lower ends for those deep BAM crossings (right).
At rrp the Klim Outriders cost nearly five times more than the Dickie cheapies, but of course you get what you pay for. The 75% Cotton-Cordura fabric is much more hefty without feeling like a scout tent fabric or being unduly sweaty. The attention to detail and triple-stitching is confidence inspiring and my shade of dark brown works for me. Maybe it was all part of the grand business plan, but it’s good to see Klim getting away from the sporty race wear and into more mainstream riding gear which will have many more buyers.
More impressions of my do-it-all Outriders from the desert road in a week or three.