They have modern styling to match the Alien jacket and their own share of clever features and they are made from the same high-quality “D-Skin” leather.
The Alien pants are designed for rider comfort for touring, sport touring, sport or street riding.
The Dainese Alien jacket and pants are new for 2011 and the more I wear them, the more impressed I become. Dainese has really hit on an impressive blend of style, comfort and performance with this series.
What’s most impressive to me is the realization that the garments are more than the sum of the parts. The features and details of the Alien jacket and pants have truly been designed for real-world use.
It’s not style without substance — both the style and the functionality complement each other and are integrated into the whole. This is a sort of “holy grail” of motorcycle clothing designers, yet it’s not something you will find every day.
Putting it another way, this is what you pay for when you buy the Dainese brand. These aren’t just another set of leathers thrown together without much thought to what really works. The styling is beautiful but it is also purposeful — form complements function — the mark of a superior garment.
For example, the matte black sections you see on the inner part of the front of the thighs may look like a styling trick designed to slim the appearance of the legs. That it does — but they are also made from the thick elastic material found on the Alien jacket and other Dainese garments, where it is used to good effect.
The elastic provides flexibility in the upper part of the legs, which is as useful for sitting on a touring bike as it is for sportbike riders. Human thighs can vary quite a bit in their size, even independently of other body proportions, and the elastic accounts for those differences.
Additionally, the elastic serves another function — it breathes, so it provides ventilation in this crucial area that often goes without.
We have alluded to this type of multi-functional “smart design” in other webBikeWorld reviews through the years; it’s usually found on what might be called “high end” motorcycle clothing, designed by people who really understand those little differences that mean so much for riding.
In the end — as with many things — you get what you pay for. Sure, you can buy a leather jacket and pants made by some off-brand company for half the price, but I will pretty much guarantee that you will in no way feel as comfortable, secure or look as good.
Dainese Alien Pants
Dainese is a bit circumspect about whether the Alien jacket was designed for touring, street or sport riding, but it’s pretty obvious once you start looking at the features that it is not from one of their race leather collections.
However, the company is specific about the intentions of the Alien pants, and from that we can also assume the same for the jacket. The belt loops included on the Alien pants are a clue — you won’t find belt loops on Vale’s race leathers, that’s for sure. Dainese says that the Alien pants are made for “…touring riders who demand quality and comfort..” and I’d have to agree.
In fact, the belt loops are a bonus in this case, and although I’m sure Dainese would like you to buy both the Alien jacket and pants, both can be mixed and matched with other types or brands also. If the pants don’t match the attachment zipper on your jacket, you can thread a belt through the loops.
The Dainese Alien Leather Pants and the jacket are made from the plush and supple Dainese “D-Skin” leather. It has a high-quality feel with excellent grain and appearance. Dainese doesn’t list detailed specs on the leather, but it feels thick enough to protect when the need arises.
The pants are fully lined with what appears to be the standard large mesh nylon type of lining found in many motorcycle clothes. The specifications also state that the pants incorporate the Dainese “NanoFeel” liner, which isn’t described in the Dainese “D-Pedia”, their online dictionary of product terms.
So I’m not sure if NanoFeel refers to some special treatment of the mesh lining, or a backing on the inside of the leather. In any case, it’s pretty comfortable as these linings go.
Waist Styling and Features
The back of the waistband is lined with leather and I’ve noticed when riding that this helps prevent chafing or irritation when I’m wearing just a T-shirt and underpants underneath the Alien jacket and pants. The Alien pants attach to the jacket with a zipper that connects about 3/4 of the way around.
The front of the waist has a single snap, and since I regularly ding Rev’it on the use of a snap rather than a metal hook at the waist, I’ll do the same for Dainese. My Triumph Classic Leather Jeans (review) have a nice metal hook in front and I think all motorcycle pants should have both a hook and a flap that covers it for safety reasons. Dainese gets some slack here though because they do include the belt loops, a nice touch.
Another bonus is the elastic that Dainese included in the waistband on either side of the pants. This provides about 50 mm of stretch in this important area and I regularly go on about the absence of this feature in most motorcycle pants, so kudos to Dainese for adding it.
Once again, this demonstrates that somebody at the factory actually rides with the clothes they’re designing and realizes the importance of these little features.
The rear of the waist features a very large section of the thick Dainese elastic material along the back (it’s surprising that with all the other names they have for their features that the elastic doesn’t have a name?).
This also provides stretch in the area where you really need it when leaning forward, like on a sportbike. It also provides the expandability you’ll need after that Lasagna alla Bolognese lunch stop.
Alien Pants Pockets
The Alien pants have two slash pockets located about three-quarters of the way up the thigh, another knowing touch because this location makes the pockets available when in the seated position and it also places them just below the bottom of the jacket for ease of access.
You can see the location of the pockets in the photos of the model wearing the Alien jacket and pants in the Alien jacket review. The pockets open with a zipper and although the metal pull can be tucked under the leather flap covering the opening, I wish the zipper pull was covered in rubber or a protective coating that would help prevent scratching the paint. The zipper pull is located towards the outside of the legs, however, when the zipper is closed and so far this hasn’t been an issue.
Special Thigh Design Features
Yet another special Dainese design feature of the Alien pants can be found in the vertical sections of elastic down along the inner part of the thighs. This is the same type of thick elastic found on the Dainese Shotgun jacket (review) and other Dainese clothing.
It is cleverly placed to allow stretching of the thighs when riding or bending and it also provides some air flow because the material is porous. These sections are located in an area that would be unlikely to need abrasion protection, and since the Alien pants are designed for touring and street riding and not racing, this is acceptable.
The leather is formed into an accordion-style pleat just above the knees, which provides the flexibility necessary for motorcycle riding. As with all motorcycle pants, they look a bit loose and long on the standing model, but once you’re seated and in the riding position, everything stretches to fit perfectly in place.
OK, so the Alien pants wouldn’t be Dainese without another surprise feature, right? The magic here is in the back of the knees, where Dainese has sewn a large round section of that same thick elastic material. It is unlined on the inside and double-stitched on the outside.
This feature accomplishes a couple of things. First, it prevents the bunching that you usually get with the doubled-over thick leather on the back of the knees. Second, it provides some ventilation in this area that usually gets none because the legs are folded over at this point.
The cut of the leather at the front of the knees looks very much like the aforementioned Triumph leather jeans, with split vertical sections of leather to accommodate the legs and calves. The armor slides into a pocket just at the top of the knee on the outside, which makes for easy access and a smoother surface inside the pant leg, which again increases the comfort factor.
Leg Cuffs and Zippers
The Alien pants have another interesting feature with dual zippers at the leg cuffs. One 31 cm (~12 inches) zipper opens fully to allow the pants to slip on over the rider’s foot, while the other slightly shorter 24 cm (~10 inch) zipper is backed by a leather dart. This can be opened to provide more room for riders with thick calves.
The Alien pants have small sections of reflective material placed along the zippers on the slash pockets and also on the zippers that contain the knee armor.
The Alien pants feature CE-approved, Level 1 armor in the knees and shins. CE-approved Level 1 padding is also permanently installed in the hips on the inside of the pants and the pants are cut to accommodate the extra width.
The Alien pants are listed in sizes ranging from 25 to 116 Euro, although sizes available in specific countries may vary. The sizes 25-28 are Short lengths and the 94-116 are Long, although they may not be available in all countries.
The pants shown here are a Euro size 54 and they fit as expected, equivalent I think to a slightly large U.S. men’s size large, with about a 36″ waist. There’s enough room provided with the elastic that I would think if you’re on the borderline that you might be able to drop down to the smaller size.
As I wrote in the Alien jacket review, I now think that Dainese clothing fits “just about exactly” (how’s that for a term?) to size, versus the Dainese sizing of the past that was strictly for too-thin models. The new sizing standards are roomy and fit “real” people.
The Alien jacket in size 54 weighs 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) and the size 54 pants weigh 5 lbs. (2.3 kg).
The Dainese Alien pants are, of course, the perfect match for the Alien jacket. But with the inclusion of the belt loops, Dainese is sort of giving us a wink-wink, telling motorcyclists that it’s perfectly fine to wear the Alien pants with other jackets too.
So if you’re looking for a super high-quality pair of leather pants with that Dainese touch and a lot of very useful and practical features that make them comfortable, wearable and useful, look no further. The use of elastic in critical locations also helps to make the Alien pants fit better than many other leather or even textile pants, so again, this may be money well spent to finally get that pair that not only fits but looks stylish too!
From “P.R.” (September 2011): “Just to add to your review, the double zippers at the back of the ankles is for over or under boots. If you have slim boots (or special Dainese under leathers boots) you can choose to have them tucked away under the pants for a neater look – a la “Rossi”.”