I’ve been wanting a pair of Pioneer pants for several years and here they are.
There’s nothing fancy about them; they’re just a good pair of all-around, rugged pants that have been proven over time and will probably serve their owner for many years to come.
Motorcyclists often play the “what if” game with clothing, as in “What if you could only buy one jacket and one pair of pants?”.
Then the discussion begins and, of course, can go on for hours with everyone arguing for their own version of what works and what doesn’t.
We often get questions from visitors asking to recommend a single jacket or pair of pants that will work in all weather and climates.
Of course, no perfect answer is possible, but, like suggesting a Honda or Toyota to someone who asks for a recommendation for a “good” car, you wouldn’t go far wrong by suggesting the Pioneer pants with no regrets.
The Pioneer pants are made from the ubiquitous 500 denier DuPont Cordura fabric, with a double dose on the knees and the seat for good measure.
One interesting feature is the Nomex fire retardant material that’s been added to the inner sections of the lower legs to help prevent burns from hot exhaust pipes.
I don’t recall ever seeing this fabric, which is used in car racing suits, used this way in motorcycle apparel.
The Cordura in the Pioneer pants is also coated and it’s claimed to be breathable with an anti-fraying capability. The attached full-length pant liner is claimed to be waterproof with sealed seams.
I was caught out during the start of a rain storm last week wearing the Pioneer pants and although I didn’t spend hours on the Interstate, the pants stayed warm and dry during the entire ride home.
The pants also feature Knox Traumalite protectors in the knees and hips and the hip armor seems thicker than the usual thin foam padding found in most other motorcycle pants of this type.
The knee protectors are especially easy to access via pockets on the front of the pants.
The removable liner is one of the nicest features of the Pioneer pants. It’s a nice, thick Thermolite lining that is very comfortable and very warm.
It attaches with a full-length zipper inside the waist and with a combination of a snap and hook-and-loop at the leg cuffs.
This keeps the liner in place and makes the pants feel more “together”, especially when putting them on or taking them off.
Some lined pants feel like the liner is too loosely attached to the outer shell, giving an uncomfortable feeling because the two can become misaligned as you’re riding or walking, but not these.
Another nice feature is the leg cuff cinch straps, which are much better than the normal hook-and-loop strip on most pants of this type.
These have the same type of strap used in the waist.
It feeds through a robust D-ring on the opposite side of the zipper, which allows the legs to be securely fastened. I like this system much better than the basic hook-and-loop strap on other pants, which always seem to come loose.
My feeling is that the pants are designed to be worn alone and not as over-pants, and the legs are designed to be worn over a pair of riding boots.
Thus, the D-ring cuff closure works very nicely to keep everything secured down there but if the pants are worn under the boots, the “loop” section on the cuff would have to be about another 2-3 cm longer to allow me to cinch it up over my rather thin ankles.
The Pioneer pants are comfortable, warm and they offer good levels of protection against the elements and other hazards. I really like the waist belts and the leg cuffs and the Knox armor in the knees and hips.
There’s nothing super-stylish about these pants but they’re highly functional, well made and they have all the little features that should make them a perfect answer for that “if you only had one” question.
From “E.C.” (October 2015): “Here’s my review on these pants that I received in October 2015 (size XL Short).
Your review is spot on with the exception of the fly and YKK zipper. Mine arrived with a Velcro closure instead of a YKK zipper for the fly.
The pants only have only one snap for ‘buttoning’ the pants closed. It’s the weakest point on these pants and that’s unfortunate.
The snap easily ‘unsnaps’ and will most likely do so in the event of a crash. Also, the backside seems overly big, and bunches up in the crotch areas when mounting my bike. Overall, I’m disappointed in the fit.