Vanson Riding Jeans

Vanson Riding Jeans

  • Protection, protection, protection
  • Option to install additional padding
  • Heavyweight feel instills confidence


  • Vanson sacrificed looks for protection – which actually should be a Pro but I know some of you will think it’s a Con
  • They are at the higher-end of the price scale


Lots of people wear jeans; cowboys wear them, sailors wear them, Cheryl Tiegs wore them in many of my teenage fantasies (well she wore them for a little while anyway), and motorcycle riders wear them – but are they wearing the right kind?

Regular jeans you buy from a department store, while rugged, aren’t rugged enough to last very long while your ass is sliding down the road. Thus was born jeans specifically designed to be worn while riding. These types of jeans offer better, sometimes a lot better and sometimes a little bit better, than off the rack designer jeans could ever hope to.

I’ve got 5 pairs of riding jeans at home which all have Kevlar or Cordura panels where needed and I thought offered the best protection possible – until I received the Riding Jeans from Vanson.

First let’s get the one negative out of the way – looks. The Riding Jeans from Vanson aren’t going to win any beauty contests nor will you accidentally grab them for a night out on the town. They aren’t ugly by any stretch but they are cut very relaxed and are a bit boxy looking. But ……

…..The Vanson Riding Jeans will probably be the first pair you grab for that spirited Sunday morning jaunt down your favorite roads. Why? Protection. Vanson chose protection over stylish good looks and built their Riding Jeans like a tank. a look at the pictures (optional soft armor shown). See the pics where the pants are inside out? See all the dark areas? That’s where a layer of 1000 denier Cordura is sandwiched between two layers of denim. And not just denim like you’d find in your designer jeans – 14oz denim. If you are like me you have no idea what the significance of the denim weighing 14oz is. Is that heavy? Average? How is denim weighed? I found about 30 different explanations of denim and what would be considered average and I’m no closer to understanding. I do know that the “weight” of the denim (in this case 14oz) is how much 1 yard of that particular denim fabric weighs. In case you care.

I can tell you that the Riding Jeans from Vanson are heavy and the denim feels very thick. This of course is a good thing. Add in the extra layer of denim and Cordura in the knees, thighs, hips, and butt region and you’ve got a substantial feeling pair of riding jeans. As an aside; I’ve always wondered why no one puts a layer of Kevlar or Cordura to cover the gentleman’s parts. I guess the rule is that if you crash, don’t slide down the road on your winky.

Vanson takes the protection one step further and sews Velcro strips into the knees and hips so you can stick some soft pads in there (sold separately). My pair came with the pads installed and, while they aren’t CE rated race armor, should do a fine job of cushioning the impact and even provided a bit more abrasion protection before your own skin touches the ground.

Due to the loose relaxed cut of the Vanson jeans, they feel great when you’re on the bike. I never felt constricted or uncomfortable even after a few hours in the saddle – and that was the first time I wore them. I’m guessing that after a dozen washes or so they will be even better.

To sum this all up: If I was to be dragged across the asphalt and had to choose one pair of jeans to wear out of my closet – I’d grab the Vanson Riding Jeans without a second thought. Looking good before a crash is nice – looking good AFTER a crash is a zillion times better.

Retail price: $129
Optional padding: knees and hips are $30 each pair (I assume that would be $60 for both)

To buy your own pair please visit Vanson’s website at:

Hey, you! Why not take a moment and comment? You know you want to.