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Joe Rocket Dry-Tech Nano Pants

Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Pants Review

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Styled to mach the Joe Rocket Nano jacket (review), the Nano pants offer the same potential for water resistance. They’re comfortable and warm, with a thick liner but a looser-than-average fit.

The Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano pants are made to pair with the Nano jacket, although either could be worn without the other.

The spec sheet for the Nano pants is nearly identical to the jacket; both use the same “Nano” treated Joe Rocket Rock Tex 600 Denier fabric claimed to be “One Hundred Percent Waterproof” while remaining breathable.

The pants have a thick-feeling full-length liner that is removable at the top with a full-length waist zipper. The liner provides excellent insulation and wind protection.

The pants include CE-approved knee armor that can be located in one of two positions. This is a plus for me, as I apparently have a shorter-than-normal femur distance but I don’t take short length pants. So I can place the knee armor in the upper pocket and it fits correctly.

A thick but slightly small hip pad is also included on each side. These are removable and Joe Rocket says the material is “high density”. A thin “tail bone pad” is located in the rear of the pants below the waist.

The pants feature nearly full-length water-resistant zippers on the side and a “melt resistant” material on the inside of the lower legs. Reflective checkerboard material is also featured on the lower portion of the leg and can just be seen in the photo above.

Joe Rocket Nano Pants - Rear Suspender Panel
Joe Rocket Nano pants have a removable suspender cradle. Separate pants attachment zipper below.

A removable back panel with suspenders helps protect the lower back from cold air drafts and suspenders are always nice on a pair of pants designed for cold or rainy weather.

The pants have an 8″ zipper attachment that mates to the Nano jacket. I’m not sure if it also matches other Joe Rocket jackets.

Joe Rocket says the pants have a “Sure Fit” adjustable waist, but other than the typical hook-and-loop adjuster straps on either side, I’m not sure what the “Sure Fit” is. The pants have no other darts, elastic or other material that can be let out to adjust the waist.

The waist secures in the front with two small metal snaps (next photo below), which is a bit unfortunate; we think all motorcycle pants should have a secure front attachment, usually a metal hook and catch work best to ensure that the pants will stay on during a crash.

The snaps on the Nano pants occasionally come loose as I move or bend over, and I don’t have that big of a beer gut!  Also, the small single snap holding the front of the adjustable suspenders (second photo below) pops open occasionally.

Joe Rocket Nano Pants - Waist Snap
Waist snaps can pop open when bending over. Motorcycle pants should have a secure hook at the waist.
Joe Rocket Nano Pants Suspender Snap
Front suspender snap can pop open unexpectedly.

Joe Rocket Nano Pants – Sizing and Fit

The sizing chart for the Nano pants is one size off from the jacket — the size large jacket fits a 36″ waist, while the size large pants fit a 34″-35″ waist. The XL pants fit a 35″-38″ waist.

This is odd — you’d think a person taking a size L jacket with a 36″ waist would take a size L pants, also with a 36″ waist.

But the Joe Rocket size chart shows the size L Nano pants fitting a 34″-35″ waist and the XL fitting a 35″-38″ waist. Note the overlap there, which is also unusual — the L fits up to a 35″ and the XL starts at 35″.

I didn’t catch this at first and I think I could have actually used the size L pants instead, because the XL size definitely seems biased towards the upper end of the range; I think they’re better suited for a 37″ to 38″ waist and possibly even 39″.

I have to pull the side adjusters in quite a way to get the pants to fit, but as you can see in the photos, the rest of the pants look and feel too big. The photos of the Nano pants on the New Enough website also indicate that the pants run large, because they look too baggy on the model also.

The loose fit becomes more of an issue when the thick liner is removed, making the pants feel even looser. Also the loose fit does not help to keep the knee armor in place.

The pants have a short thigh adjuster strap, but the legs just aren’t tapered very much compared to typical motorcycle pants.

Now it is possible that the Nano pants are designed to wear over jeans or other pants, especially with the full-length side zipper. Usually, pants with a full-length zipper are overpants, and both the Nano pants and the insulating liner have a full-length zipper. But nothing in the Joe Rocket marketing material indicates this is the case and, in fact, the liner has a full-length zipper also.

The conclusion here then is that potential owners may want to try the pants on to make sure they fit (which is a good practice anyway).

Joe Rocket Nano Pants - Liner and Boot Fit
The Nano pants liner is not attached at the lower leg and must be stuffed inside of taller boots.

Insulating Liner

The full-length liner on the Nano pants uses the same type of shiny/slippery tafetta-like material applied in sections of the Nano jacket liner. This helps the pants to slide over and off the legs, but the material feels cold next to the skin, so a pair of long motorcycle underwear pants may be called for.

I usually remove the armor from most of my motorcycle pants anyway, because it’s rarely in the correct location for optimal protection. I then wear the Bohn Cool Air Bodyguard armored underwear (review) instead, which keeps the armor in the correct location and also helps take up some of the room in the loose Joe Rocket Nano pants.

This brings us to one of the weakest points of the Joe Rocket Nano pants. The more I think about it, the more I believe the pants were actually designed as overpants. Several features point to this: the loose fit, the full-length zipper on both the pants and the liner, and the suspenders.

But the problem is this: the liner cuffs have a tight ring of elastic, and the liner is not attached in any way to the inside of the pant leg. I noticed this the first time I took the pants off — the liner at the cuff does not stay put and it comes out with my leg.

This not only makes the pants difficult to remove, it causes a problem trying to fit the liner leg cuff when wearing taller motorcycle boots. Short boots are not really a problem, but if you want to wear a pair of tall motorcycle boots, the liner has to be stuffed inside the boots, while the pants shell has to be fitted over the boots.

It is possible to fit the liner cuff over a pair of tall boots, but that just doesn’t feel right. Since I usually wear a pair of waterproof tall boots when riding in cold or wet weather, the design of the Nano pants liner is a problem.

Once I get the liner stuffed inside the boot, and struggle to zip up the boot with the extra thickness of liner inside, it’s usually fine, but putting on the pants and the Nano jacket seems to take more of an effort than it should.


The Nano pants feature a cargo pockets on the front of each thigh. Both are covered with a hook-and-loop flap, a tab with a metal snap and a water-resistant zipper underneath. The pockets are lined and they do seem waterproof.

The addition of the water-resistant zipper makes for a slightly difficult entry into these pockets however, sometimes requiring two hands. The pants have no additional pockets.

Riding With the Joe Rocket Nano Pants

Some casual evaluation indicates that the pants are as water-resistant as the jacket and may meet the Joe Rocket waterproof claims. But the colder weather currently being experienced means that rain testing will have to wait.

I can report however that once the jacket and pants are on, the combination does keep me very warm without noticeable moisture buildup. Both the pants and the jacket are very resistant to wind and cold air, even with the bulkier fit of the pants.

The size XL pants weigh a heavy  2.3 kg (5 lbs.) and, as noted in the jacket review, the Nano jacket weighs 2.7 kg (6 lbs.), giving the outfit a 5 kg (~11 lb.) combined weight. This isn’t that noticeable once underway, although the pants do feel bulkier than normal.

The Opinionator – Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Pants
Picks… …and Pans.
  • Outstanding wind blocking.

  • Very warm with liner inserted.

  • Removable suspenders.

  • Bulky fit and heavy feel.

  • Non-attached liner can be a problem with taller motorcycle boots.


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The Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano pants keep me warm but leave me cold. I’d suggest a Version 2.0 remake of these is in order, with more rational sizing that matches the jacket and adjustability in the waist; revised styling with tapered, snug fit; elimination of the full-length zipper on both the pants and liner; and a method to attach the liner to the inside of the pants legs.

This shouldn’t be difficult — just take a look at a pair of Rev’it or Dainese or other high-end pants to get some tips.

See Also: Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Jacket Review

wBW Product Review:  Joe Rocket Dry Tech Nano Pants

Manufacturer:  Joe Rocket List Price: $299.99 – $314.99
Colors: Black/Gray only.
Sizes:  S to XXL
Made In: China
Review Date:  February  20010

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From “L.T.” (2/10):  “The liner in those pants look like the same one used in the Joe Rocket Alter Ego, which is what I wear. The elastic cuff at the bottom is a bit on the snug side, but even with ‘harness style’ boots, which I usually wear, if I put the cuff down around the boot, then pull the zipper closed, it goes around them just fine.

The liner gets very warm even in moderately chilly weather, and doesn’t breathe at all, but it is good when the temps fall below the mid 40s(F).”