The new Klim Badlands Pro pants are the perfect match for the Badlands Pro jacket (review) -- naturally!
But the pants are also a good match with many other jackets.
They feature the same rugged exterior and Gore-Tex Pro Shell guaranteed waterproof construction used in the Badlands Pro jacket.
The Badlands pro pants are comfortable, even in warmer weather, with excellent ventilation and a jeans-like cut and feel.
►See Part 1: Klim Badlands Pro Jacket Review
August 16, 2011 - I just learned today from Klim that the Badlands Pro jacket and pants we had were pre-production versions. Apparently, some of the features have been improved and I will note them here.
For the record, we've been using this this gear for nearly three months. I emailed my contacts at Klim last week, as we were working on the final edits for this review, to ask if there were any changes, updates, specifications, etc. that I should know about before proceeding.
Unfortunately, the information did not reach me in time, thus these updates. We normally would not knowingly report on prototype or pre-production items and if we did, it would be noted in the review. In this case, the outcome might have been significantly different.
From the Klim designers, here is a list of the changes and improvements that have been made to the Badlands Pro pants that will be produced and sold, starting in November of this year:
As you might expect, the Klim Badlands Pro pants are a perfect match for the Badlands Pro jacket.
The pants are constructed using the same high-tech (and high cost) Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric, described in the Badlands Pro review and in more detail in our Gore-Tex fabrics description.
The combination of the Gore-Tex Pro Shell laminate and the Armacor Kevlar ripstop Cordura in the wear and abrasion areas give the pants a "suit of armor" feel, while the cut and styling makes them feel more like a pair of comfortable jeans.
This is partly due to the tailoring on the pants; it's a looser fit that's associated with adventure touring and off-road riding.
Klim calls it a "high mobility fit" and it's both necessary and desired in an outfit that is designed to be used on true adventures -- not just the armchair variety.
The Badlands Pro outfit was first announced by Klim at the 2011 Dealer Expo (report) and they graciously sent us a jacket and pants in the Spring of 2011 for evaluation.
The outfit is just being released for sale today, August 15, 2011 and they asked the press not to report on the products until they were ready for sale, thus the unusual approach of releasing this review for publication at 00:00 EDT on August 15!
Most of what was said about the general specifications of the Badlands Pro jacket (review) also goes for the pants. I'll cover some of the differences in this review and I'll also comment on the fit and other features.
Fit and Sizing
The Klim Badlands Pro pants are available in sizes ranging from 28 to 38 and 38 Tall to 42 Tall. This numbered (by waist size) sizing scheme, rather than the usual S-XL size range, may help owners find a better fit.
I provided my measurements and weight to Klim and they sent the size large Badlands Pro jacket and the size 34 pants. The size 34 pants fit to size, feeling slightly snug on my 35" waist, so I'll have to assume that the other sizes in the range will also fit as expected.
The waist is comfortable and although it doesn't have stretch panels on the side or front, it includes a 6" to 6-1/2" wide section of elastic in the rear, which provides about 30 mm of stretch. The waist adjusters (one on each side) have roughly 50 mm of adjustment range in either direction, so the pants should work for waist sizes ranging from about 34" to 36".
The Klim sizing chart for the Badlands Pro pants is a bit optimistic, in my opinion. It indicates the size 34 pants will fit a 33 waist at the low end, and while I might agree with that, the chart also says the pants will fit a 39 inch waist at the high end, and quite frankly, I'm pretty sure that's impossible at worst and impractical at best.
Also, I think the crotch-to-waist dimension is slightly shorter than expected by about one inch. It feels tight, so I'm not sure what happened to the "high mobility fit" strategy in this department. It's another reason why I think a size 34 Badlands Pro pants may not fit anyone with greater than a 36" waist.
The size 34 pants are listed as having a 32 inch inseam, which I agree with and the size 34 Tall pants have a 35 inch inseam.
The slightly roomy cut in the body of the pants (other than in the crotch to waist dimension) gives them a fit and feel similar to a pair of slightly oversized jeans. The roominess in the legs and body of the pants is a bit of a contrast to the slightly tighter waist dimensions, but as I said, it works for me. I would suggest to potential owners that the waist size range on these pants may less generous than pants with a simple S to XL letter size range.
Wearing the Badlands Pro pants over the last several weeks, I noted how comfortable they feel, rather like a slightly stiff pair of jeans. This makes the pants comfortable for occasional walking and the black pants don't look too out of place, even during off-the-bike retail or gustatorial adventures where one might mix with the non-riding public.
The Badlands Pro pants do not include an insulating liner and that's by design. As discussed in the Badlands Pro jacket review, the owner can mix and match any needed under layers, whether they are full-length moisture-wicking underwear or thicker insulating liners or a combination.
It is possible that an owner might be able to use the Badlands Pro pants as overpants, with the only restriction being the narrower waist size range noted above. I don't think the pants are designed as overpants though and I have not worn them as such.
Gore-Tex Waterproof Shell
The Badlands Pro pants are made with the Gore-Tex Pro Shell with Armacor Cordura and Kevlar, which was described in the Badlands Pro jacket review.
We have also described this material in the aforementioned report describing the various Gore-Tex fabrics and Pro Shell is also used in the Defender GTX jacket (review) and the Rev'it Everest GTX (review) outfits.
This fabric gives both the jacket and the pants a fully waterproof capability, with the water being stopped at the outer boundary layer of the shell. So the laminated membrane layers do the work and no extra waterproof liner is required, which theoretically yields less bulk and/or lower weight and more freedom of movement. Like the jacket, the pants have the same Gore-Tex "Guaranteed to Keep You Dry" waterproof and breathable lifetime guarantee.
Some stretch Gore-Tex panels are used along the inside of the legs for added comfort.
Internal and External Protection
The knees of the Klim Badlands Pro pants have adjustable pockets for the included d3o knee armor. The pants also have small sections of d3o padding at the hips, accessible by 16" long vertical pockets, located along the outer side of each thigh. These pockets feature waterproof YKK zippers.
The zippers double as huge ventilation ports in hot weather and they are very effective, although I'm not sure if leaving the vents open might affect the performance of the hip armor hiding underneath; the zipper opening is so big that the hip armor may slip out, although it's held in a mesh pocket.
The knees and rear seat are covered with the Armacor Kevlar ripstop material, but no Superfabric is used on the pants or the jacket.
Since there is no adjustment for the pant leg width, the knee armor floats rather freely and I'm afraid with the roomy fit of these pants that the armor will move around too much in a crash. So it's probably time to remove all the armor and instead rely on my favored Bohn Cool-Air Bodyguard Adventure underpants (review) with built-in armor that definitely stays in place.
Besides the huge vent ports that open on each thigh, the pants have a pair of smaller 6" vertical exhaust vents located in the rear of the thighs, one on each side. These are an effective exhaust in most cases and especially when the rider is standing on the foot pegs.
The roomy "enduro" fit found on the jacket and pants helps circulate the air that enters the vents and the Gore-Tex moisture-wicking properties does the rest. Like the jacket, the absence of a liner in the pants and the looser, more airy fit helps to maximize the effectiveness of the Gore-Tex membrane and the pants are surprisingly cool even in hot weather.
The Badlands Pro pants feature a cargo pocket located on the outside of each thigh. Each pocket has a waterproof YKK zipper located towards the inside of the legs. The zippers are semi-covered with a section of fabric and the pockets are made from the waterproof Gore-Tex Pro Shell.
The pants do not have pockets at the side or top of the waist, but there's plenty of room in the thigh cargo pockets and certainly more than enough storage available in the Badlands Pro jacket.
The pants have a short YKK zipper for attachment to the Klim Badlands Pro jacket.
The fly zipper is also by YKK and it is waterproof. The fly is backed by a waterproof dart, so the pants have to be dropped during a rest room break.
We dinged Rev'it on the absence of a hook attachment at the waistband, and now it's Klim's turn. At least Klim uses two snaps on the waistband, but we'd rather see a metal hook at the waist in addition to a snap or two.
The "best practice" example we have used in previous reviews is the Firstgear Escape pants (review), which have the more secure hook at the waist. This is a safety feature that should be included on every pair of motorcycle pants, in our opinion.
The leg cuffs on the Badlands Pro pants offer a small amount of width adjustment. There are three metal snaps at the bottom of the cuff, but since the first is the "home" position, that leaves only two more for adjustment.
This leaves the legs with a bit more room than I prefer, although I suppose it can be argued that it's proper enduro design. However, at this price, I expected more options for leg adjustment.
[UPDATE: See the Editor's Note at the beginning of this article. In the final production version of the pants, snaps at the bottom of the cuff have been moved further apart to allow better closure around smaller boots.]
|The wBW Opinionator: Klim Badlands Pro Pants|
The Klim Badlands Pro pants are well made with high-quality materials. They feel like they will last virtually forever and they're almost as comfortable as wearing a pair of jeans -- no small feat.
Make sure the waist fits correctly because there seems to be less range in the fit than other pants, despite Klim's optimistic size chart. The lack of a width adjustment in the legs means the knee armor may be too free-floating, so you may want to wear a pair of armored undies instead -- although this problem is common with many other types of motorcycle pants.
But the Badlands Pro pants look good and the superior ventilation and Gore-Tex Pro Shell performance membrane goes a long way to making a big difference in comfort and wearability.
Are the pants worth $650.00? Hmmm...that's a tough one, because that's a lot of money -- in the range where I usually am looking for perfection, not compromise. I'll be interested in hearing from Badlands Pro owners and potential owners with their thoughts on the value equation.
►See Part 1: Klim Badlands Pro Jacket Review
wBW Product Review: Klim Badlands Pro Pants
|Manufacturer: Klim||List Price: $649.99|
|Colors: Black or Black/Gray.||Made In: China.|
|Sizes: 28 to 38. 38 to 42 Tall.||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: August 2011|
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From "G.H." (February 2012): "I recently purchased a pair of Badlands Pants and wanted to share my experience.
At $600.00 I would have expected a cut above the rest. The first thing I noticed when I actually got on my bike and rode with them was the excessive amount of fabric. These pants are reminiscent with the glory days of MC Hammer. Sitting on my motorcycle, I immediately notice how low cut the crotch area was and how it bunched up in the seat.
The cut actually prevented me from straddling the seat comfortably. As I stretched my legs out to sit flat footed on the pavement, again the crotch area restricted me. I personally see this as a safety issue. After pulling up the slack in the crotch, the boot cuffs sat so high on the boot the rain actually was able to ride up the boot and on to my legs.
The next issue I found with the Badland was already mentioned in the wBW review, but wanted to confirm. The excessive amount of fabric does indeed allow for the armor to float around. After a day of riding, I found myself readjusting the armor throughout my ride. I have no doubt that the armor will most likely shift and fail to protect as its intended design.
In summary the Badlands pants almost seem to be a contrast to the Badlands Jacket; as if they were made by a different designer. Where as the Badlands Jacket fits and feels like a protective garment, the Badlands Pants feels more like two Gore-tex garbage bags sew together.
I'm a 32" waist and a 30" inseam. I bought the 32's; they fit proper at the waist and the length is proper (when standing). Maybe they re-cut the design. I can literary grab about 4" of fabric at the thighs. Very baggy.
I am returning my Badlands Pants and would not recommend them. NOTES: Comparing the cut of the Badlands Pro pants to BMW Rallye 3 Pants and the BMW Summer Pants, the cut on those are excellent.
I am going to work with the dealer on this and try some of the other Klim pants to see if is consistent with Klim."