See Part 1: Sliders All Season 2 Jacket Review
The Sliders All Season 2 Pants With Kevlar provide a good balance of protection and hot weather riding comfort.
I live in a part of the country that has seasons. Four of them.
In summer (as it is now), it is hot and humid.
But when winter comes, we get our fair share of freezing (and below) temperatures.
Since I like to ride all year 'round, over time I have collected various bits of motorcycle riding gear to accommodate almost any type of weather conditions.
I have never begrudged the multiple jackets and pants taking up space in my closet because -- I admit it -- I like collecting gear and it I'm sure makes webBikeWorld readers happy that I have new things to review.
This past Spring I obtained several pieces of gear from Competition Accessories to review, including an outfit that attempts to address the issue of changing weather conditions.
Specifically, these are the Sliders All Season 2 Jacket, reviewed in Part 1 and the matching Sliders All Season 2 Pants that I will now describe, both "with Kevlar".
The Sliders All Season 2 Pants With Kevlar are part mesh, part solid textile and designed for four season wear.
As I stated in the Sliders All Season 2 jacket review, there are several issues that must be addressed to make a successful "All Season" motorcycle outfit. I won't repeat it here, but be sure to read the "All Season" Motorcycle Clothing Issues and Compromises" section in the jacket review to learn more.
The shell of the All Season 2 Pants With Kevlar are made from a mix of mesh and unspecified polyester textile.
The mesh is the large open-weave style, similar to the type first popularized in the Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket (review). Mesh is used on the front of the thighs of the All Season 2 pants and almost entirely around the shin and calf, with a small strip running up the outside edge along the knee.
There is another 5 cm (2") tall strip that runs under the rear waist band in the back, which also sits below a 20 cm (8") jacket attachment zipper for connecting to the Sliders jacket.
Accordion-style stretch panels are present above the knees and along the outside edge of the thighs. Located in the crotch area and behind the knees are patches of black stretchy (somewhat) material that in conjunction with the stretch panels help to improve flexibility and movement.
Up front, there is a triple fastening system used to close the pants. First, a square metal hook that fastens the waist is located next to two strong snaps on the main flap. The snaps are covered with a soft plastic material that can prevent scratches in the fuel tank of a motorcycle; a nice touch.
Behind the flap is a 20 cm (8") long YKK-branded zipper, and YKK zippers are used throughout the construction of the pants. Over the top of the zipper is a closure using hook-and-loop fastener. On the sides of the waist are two hook-and-loop fastened straps for adjusting the circumference. These work in conjunction with sections of accordion stretch panels in the waistband to provide a solid customized fit.
Two zippered pockets are present on the front of the pants and they are of reasonable size for a wallet or cell phone; however, these pockets do not appear to be waterproof, so be aware of what you store in them during inclement weather. The zippers have rubber strips for use as zipper pulls to make it easier to operate them with gloves on.
On the subject of zippers, the All Season 2 pants have full-length zippers on the legs, making it easy to put on and take off the pants over other clothing and/or boots. The zippers are of the dual type which adds some versatility as well as convenience.
For instance, the upper zipper can be opened a few centimeters, allowing easy access to a pocket in pants being worn underneath. The side zippers stop about 15 cm (6") from the lower leg opening. From there, hook-and-loop fastener is used to close it. At the opening is a 13 cm (5") long strip of more hook-and-loop that mates to a strip sewn into the lower portion of the leg; this can be used to adjust the size of the opening so that it can be snug against a motorcycle boot and not flutter in the wind.
The interior is lined with a polyester mesh layer that is soft and light and is probably a necessity for good comfort as there are a lot of seams due to the complex nature of the pants design. Through the interior mesh, you can easily see the yellow patches of Kevlar material that reside between the liner and the outer shell.
The overall construction is well done, with double stitching in place in many areas. The stitching itself is consistent and relatively neat, with only a couple of places where a loose thread end is visible. Considering the complexity and amount of stitching present in the All Season 2 pants, I'd say they did a good job.
The DuPont Kevlar is located behind the solid textile outer shell at the knees as well as lining the seat and back of the thighs; these are the impact and abrasion zones in the event of a crash or slide.
It's very good to see how much area is protected with Kevlar, because the exact type of material used in the out shell of the pants is a bit of a mystery.
Kevlar is not the only protective feature though; inside the mesh inner lining at the knees are pockets for the included CE-rated (claimed) protectors. The protectors are composed of a firm rubber or rubber-like material and said to be rated CE Level 1.
The pockets for the knee protectors allow for height adjustments up and down to fine-tune the fit. This is achieved using several hook-and-loop strips at the opening and back of the armor pocket. As additional strips are opened at the back of the pocket, the same number can be closed behind the armor from the opening side; a simple and effective method.
The pants, much like most other mesh/textile riding pants, don't fit snugly around the legs, however, so the protectors may not stay in place in the event of a crash. As I have often recommended in my pants reviews, some simple MX-style knee/shin protectors are an inexpensive and effective measure that can be employed here (or remove the protectors and wear a pair of Bohn Cool Air Bodyguard pants(review) underneath).
For a bit of additional safety at night, thin reflective piping runs down each leg on either side of the full-length zippers. While it's nice that the thin strips were included, a wider single strip would be much more effective. .
The All Season 2 pants include two liners that give them their "All Season-ness". The first liner is a wind-blocking and waterproof liner and the second is a quilted insulating liner.
I say "first" and "second", because they are designed to be installed in a particular order; that is, the windproof and waterproof liner is first, followed by the insulating layer.
The water/windproof liner attaches to the pants using a full circumference zipper at the waist and a snap strap attaches to a small elastic loop at the bottom of the legs. The zipper operates smoothly and is of a tighter pitch than the other zippers found in the All Season 2 pants.
The first liner is made of two layers of a nylon-like (unspecified) material and it is very effective at waterproofing (mostly) and wind blocking. In fact, the wind blocking is so effective that it can be a problem in warm conditions, as it doesn't breathe. In my case, I found that once the temperatures start reaching around 24 C (mid '70's F), sweat can start to build up underneath. This can create the "wearing a plastic bag" feeling when trying to hold off a summer rain shower. A base layer of a moisture wicking material would be advisable if the liner will be needed in a warmer climate.
Also, the waterproofing aspect can be disturbed if rain gets in around the waist band. Unlike the waistband on the waterproof liner of the All Season 2 jacket, there is no elastic band holding the pants liner snug against the body to help prevent water from seeping down.
Of course, with a 3/4-length jacket covering the top of the pants this might not be an issue, but wearing the pants with a shorter jacket might cause a problem in heavy rain.
The liner incorporates full length zippers on each leg to facilitate easy entry and exit without removing boots or other clothing. This feature is quite handy when the All Season 2 pants are worn over jeans or other pants. The zippers are covered by a full-length flap that closes via hook-and-loop, presumably to increase water resistance as well as protect the inner lining of the pants from snagging.
The quilted insulating liner of the All Season 2 pants duplicates the attachments of the wind/waterproof liner and it also has full-length zippers from waist to ankle.
No specifics are provided as far as the weight of the insulation, but my guess would be that it falls in the light to medium range. Considering the warmth that the windproof and waterproof liner provides due to lack of airflow, the insulating layer probably only needs to be used in very cold temperatures.
In an effort to see how versatile the liners are when riding, I tried using just the quilted liner on a cool morning, thinking it might provide a bit of extra warmth without using the waterproof and wind-blocking liner. But I'm afraid this doesn't work very well though.
While standing around getting ready to ride or even at a stop light, the insulation is noticeable, but once on the move, the air passes right through the quilted liner as if it is barely there. This isn't really a fault, as the liner isn't designed to work this way, but it would have added another option for temperature control.
The waist fit of the Sliders All Season 2 pants falls right in line with the sizing chart on the Competition Accessories website. The waist on these size large pants adjusts from 36 to 38 inches and it could even be cinched up another inch or so without too much bunching up through use of the waist adjusters.
The inseam appears to run a bit short though; this pair is a "regular" length and it should be about 32.5 inches. My measurements only showed 31.5 inches though. This worked out fine for my 30" inseam, since an extra inch or so helps keep my ankles covered in the riding position, but it is something to keep in mind when ordering.
The overall fit is harder to gauge, as the numbers don't really tell the whole story. Without the liners installed, the All Season 2 pants are roomy and a bit loose (as you can see in the photos). This works well for use as overpants but on their own I would be concerned about the protectors staying place as mentioned above.
Installing the water/windproof layer does add some bulk, but I found I could still pull (or zip) them up over a pair of jeans. Once the third layer is added though, things really start to bulk up and in this form they seem better suited to having a thin base layer at most underneath.
Is this "bulking up" issue really a problem though? I'm not sure it is. When the temperatures drop, I think most riders tend to add layers to stay warm. Depending on what gear you own, the bulk created by the liners could end up being similar to wearing other clothing underneath. I will say that the pants do seem to feel a bit heavy with both liners installed, weighing in at about 2.1 kg (4 lbs., 13 oz.) in large regular.
Overall comfort is good and the mesh material is a bit stiffer than found in other some other mesh pants. That, combined with the mixture of solid and mesh textile, gives the pants a solid and durable feel.
On a recent trip to Barber Motorsports Park, I was wearing these pants without liners and with a pair of shorts underneath, while my riding buddy was riding wearing a pair of mesh pants of another brand. During the ride on the highway I could clearly see lower portion of his pants flapping wildly in the breeze. It looked, and he confirmed, very uncomfortable to have the material slapping against his leg.
The All Season 2 pants by contrast didn't do this and were "drama free". Despite being only partially mesh, the airflow was very good, no doubt due to the large open weave of the mesh and the large portion of mesh on the front panels of the pants. The small strip of mesh in the rear does actually seem to help air exhaust out the back which helps improve flow.
The Sliders All Season 2 Pants With Kevlar represent a very good value for the money. For $139.99 list price, they offer versatility to handle a variety of climates.
This is great for those on a budget who might not be able to spend the money on multiple pairs of pants but who want to ride in all weather conditions. Riders who take long trips covering hundreds or even thousands of miles will appreciate the broad range of conditions that these single pair of pants can handle, which can reduce the amount of gear they need to carry along.
The included CE-rated (claimed) protectors in the knees, as well as the included hip protectors at this price point make the pants very competitive. Even though the protectors are minimalist, they are better than nothing and can be easily upgraded.
The addition of Kevlar for abrasion resistance makes the pants even more attractive for the safety conscience. The multiple liners may be an issue, but if without the liners, the Sliders All Season 2 pants are very good for summer riding in their own right and I think they offer very good protection for when used alone or as overpants. For the price I don't think you'll find a better pair of summer riding pants.
|wBW Review: Sliders All Season 2 Pants With Kevlar|
|Manufacturer: Sliders (Competition Accessories)||List Price: $139.00|
|Colors: Black, Silver||Made In: Pakistan|
|Sizes: S to 3XL in Short, Regular or Tall.||Review Date: July 2013|