Pants to match the Speed and Strength jackets,
but which could also be worn with
other brands. Both of these pants feature a
zip-off panel that exposes a mesh insert for ventilation
and water-resistant removable liner.
I hope I don't have to type the phrase "Speed and
Strength 'Coast is Clear' and 'Hell 'N Back' pants"
too many times in this article. My fingers
couldn't take it.
The names have no meaning and they sure
don't say much to describe the gear and, on top of all
that, the names are also very confusing. Even after
wearing the pants for a few weeks, familiarizing
myself with the individual
features on the Speed and Strength website and writing
this article, I could not tell you which is which by
looking at them. In fact, right up until the last
minute, as we were captioning the photos, we had to
refer to the Speed and Strength website to figure it
When a name has too many syllables, has no meaning
related to the product (or anything else) and is too
easy to forget, you're going to have trouble marketing
Oh well...Unfortunate appellations aside, the bottom
line is that these pants were designed to match the
Speed and Strength jackets with the same names.
This includes the
Speed and Strength Coast is Clear ST jacket reviewed
by Rick and the Hell 'N' Back jacket to be reviewed next.
But even though the pants are sold as a match for the
Speed and Strength jackets, they can easily
mix-and-match with either jacket or even with jackets of any other
wBW Flash Slideshow:
Speed and Strength
The basic difference between the Coast is Clear and the
Hell 'N Back pants pretty much comes down to color
and price. The Hell 'N Back pants are black and
silver and they list for $50.00 more than the all-black
Coast is Clear pants.
The Hell 'N Back pants
also have a short 20 cm attachment zipper that matches
the zipper in the Hell 'N Back jacket. Curiously, the
attachment zipper is not included in the Coast is Clear pants,
even though both jackets have an attachment zipper in
The coolest feature on both versions of these pants -- literally -- is
the zip-off panel that exposes a mesh fabric underneath
which actually provides some decent ventilation.
Textile motorcycle pants are notorious for their poor
ventilation, and most brands of pants pay lip service to
venting with the use of those tiny zippered vents that
do nothing but act as one more place for water to enter.
But the Speed and Strength designers thought outside
the box to help solve this problem. The more
expensive Hell 'N Back pants have a diagonal panel on
either side of the front that reaches from just above
the knee to the upper hip. The articulated stretch
panel in back of the waist prevents the panel from
continuing around the back, as it does on the Coast is
Clear pants. This matches the similar
removable panel on the
Coast is Clear ST jacket (review).
So another advantage of the less expensive Coast is
Clear (the solid black pants in the photos) pants is having only the single panel, which
means one less part to store -- or lose. And since
the panel on the Coast is Clear pants runs from above
the knee to around the hips, back around the waist and
back down the other side, the ventilation is better
also. By the way -- the Coast is Clear pants have
an articulated panel in the back of the waist also, so
Speed and Strength Hell 'N Back pants have two horizontal pockets in front
with water-resistant zippers.
The Hell 'N Back pants with the removable panel inserted (above).
When removed, the panel uncovers a mesh insert.
The Hell 'N Back pants have a dual snap waistband but no safety hook.
Shell and Liners
The outer shell on both of these pants are made from an
undefined type of thick feeling nylon,
similar to Cordura. It feels like the 600 denier
material used in the jackets.
Both pants also feature a full-length removable
"waterproof" (claimed) liner; each is fitted with a
full-length waist zipper inside the perimeter. The
liner used in the more expensive Coast is Clear pants is
also claimed breathable.
The Coast is Clear (black) pants have a long zipper on
the shell that runs up to the top of the thigh. The
liner has a matching zipper length and elastic at the
leg cuff but no attachment to the inside of the pant
The leg cuff on the Hell 'N Back pants attaches to the
inside of the pant leg with a single loop and no elastic
around the bottom. The zipper on these pants is shorter,
running half-way up the outside of the lower leg.
They probably could have saved some time and money by
standardizing on the liner. I'd suggest going with a hybrid, using
the Coast is Clear version with the attachment loop at
the bottom and no elastic, but with the shorter length
zipper of the Hell 'N Back pants. The elastic is a bit
of a pain, as it must be stuffed inside the boot top or
pulled around the outside and the absence of any type of
loop to attach the leg to the bottom of the pants means
the liner pulls out every time I pull the pants off.
The liner in the Hell 'N Back (silver/black) pants
appears to be made from a breathable membrane type of
fabric. There are no name brands used here of course, to
keep the price low. But the liner in the Coast is Clear
(black) pants appears to be a simple nylon or polyester
taffeta-like material, while the liner in the Hell 'N
Back pants looks like a higher quality breathable type
on the outside, with a polyester material bonded to the
inside. The seams do not appear to be heat sealed, but
both liners provide basic water resistance.
As always, if you're really planning on riding in the
rain, it's wise not to take any clothing manufacturer's
word for it, because the general definition of
"waterproof" will probably be quite different
from your expectations. Buy a cheap rain suit and keep
it handy to throw on over your clothes when it starts to
Waist and Adjusters
The waist on both pants is wide and generous; more so than other
European-designed pants, which tend to be tight on the
top, at least for American shapes (generally speaking).
It's interesting to note that we almost never have waist
fit problems with pants designed by non-European
designers and almost always have sizing issues with
Both pants have a wide waist and basic but very
functional side waist adjusters. The waist design is
comfortable and the adjusters have a generous amount of
range, which compensates for the roominess of the sizing
The Hell 'N Back pants have two snaps at the top, while
the Coast is Clear pants have a single snap. Neither is
adequate and we feel that all motorcycle pants should
also have a more secure metal hook at the waist to help
keep the pants on during a crash and slide.
The single snap in the Coast is Clear pants seems to pop
open with the slightest provocation, such as bending
over, kneeling, etc. and some type of hook or even a
hook-and-loop system might help to prevent this.
Speed and Strength Coast is Clear pants with conventionally oriented
Both pants have hook-and-loop adjusters at the waist.
Sizing and Fit
Both of the pants shown here are size large, but the
black Coast is Clear pants fit closer to the expected
size. Both pair are rather generous in their dimensions
and when the water-resistant liners are removed, the
pants gain about another 1/2 size.
The black Coast is Clear pants fit closer to what I'd
expect from a size large, and I may have been able to
fit into an M. The Speed and Strength size chart shows
the textile pants in size large as fitting a 34-36
waist; I'd say it's more like 36-38, at least one size
range different. The size large pants shown here would
be way, way too big on a 34 waist, so I'm not sure what
they were thinking.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that both of
these pants were mislabeled and should actually be size
XL, which is listed as a 36-38 waist.
The Hell 'N Back pants seem to run slightly larger, if
our example is indicative of the line. These are also a
size large, but you can see how bulky they look in the
Flash slide show above. To be fair, finding pants that
fit correctly is, I think, the most difficult part of
outfitting oneself in motorcycle gear.
None of the local webBikeWorld evaluation crew has been
able to find pants that fit correctly and we've
discussed this several times. This is compounded by the
fact that most of the motorcycle clothing designed for
or by North American focused companies is too big and
riders almost always wear clothing that is too large,
mimicking the loose-fitting street styling when snug is
more important for safety reasons.
So you've been warned, and the answer is to make sure
you try on the Speed and Strength pants first.
The removable panel on the Coast is Clear pants is one piece.
The Coast is Clear pants have a high waist but no jacket attachment zipper.
Pockets Both of these pants have
two upper hand pockets in front, covered with
unbranded water-resistant zippers. The pockets are
lined and the Hell 'N Back pockets are vertically
oriented, while the pockets on the Coast is Clear pants
are nearly horizontal.
The Hell 'N Back pants have two
additional pockets, located on the thigh for easy access
when in the seated position. These pockets also
use water-resistant zippers. The thigh pockets are
130 mm deep and handy for carrying keys or change or
even a cell phone.
Armor and Padding
Both pants have basic knee padding but no hip or tail
padding. The Hell 'N Back pants have a section of
perforated leather on the inside of each leg, presumably
to act as wear protection when standing on the pegs of
an adventure-touring bike.
Conclusion The Speed and Strength Coast is Clear and Hell 'N
Back pants are a good match for the Speed and Strength
jackets. The Hell 'N' Back pants are my first
choice and I only wish the waist had a stronger snap or
hook. The removable panel feature on both pants
definitely helps with ventilation, often a problem with
I prefer the
wrap-around panel on the Hell 'N Back pants, which also
seem to fit me better. But the color and pockets
on the Coast is Clear version may better suit some
riders. Either way, you can have a full Speed and
Strength outfit for less than the cost of an expensive
European jacket alone, so there's value to be had here.