I am fully converted to riding jeans. In fact, I tend to just start the day by putting them on, knowing that at some point, I will likely throw a leg over a bike. So when I get an opportunity to review a new pair of riding jeans from a brand that’s making a name for themselves in the space, you can usually count on me to take it with a smile on my face.
That’s what happened with the Karl Devil 9 jeans from Pando Moto. Advertised as a fashionable-yet-functional pair of motorcycle riding jeans, the Devil 9s seemed ambitious, but I was more than up to the challenge.
About Pando Moto
Pando Moto is a premium brand designed in Europe by a small passionate group who love riding and know that bikes and fashion belong in the same sentence. Their products have quickly made a name for themselves, getting featured in places like BikeExif, Cycle World, The Bike Shed, Return of the Cafe Racers (our sister site), and others.
Pando Moto claims to thoroughly crash-test their gear, and has been making it for over a decade. The Karl Devil 9 jeans are one of the latest offerings in a long line of riding jeans, gloves, jackets, boots, and accessories.
Pando Moto Karl Devil 9 Jeans Key Specs
- Made from 12oz CORDURA® super-stretch denim with COOLMAX® technology
- Thick interlock-knit DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber lining
- Fully CE-approved AA performance level (35 meters slide distance) in accordance with EN 17092
- Two-position armor pockets in knees
- Included SAS-TEC triple CE-approved (EN1621-1:2012) knee and hip armor
- Knee armor is accessible from the outside
- Equipped with hand-made stretch panels on back and knees
- Reinforced stitching with Kevlar® threads
- Reflective cuffs for visibility in low-light conditions
- 2 year warranty
Pando Karl Devil 9 Jeans Design
The Karl Devil 9 jeans are certainly Euro-styled, but by using Cordura Super Stretch Denim and then creating additional hand-made stretch panels on the knees and upper butt, the fit adapts to many body shapes, such as my oh-so-petite dad bod. I really had doubts these jeans would look decent or have any comfort when seated on my bike—but they are fantastic.
Being a slim tailored cut keeps things clean and flap-free no matter the speed. The stretch panels make moving in the saddle very comfortable and allow me to forgo a belt, further making life comfortable over the tank.
I know this style may not suit everyone, and they only come in black (like a Model T Ford), but I wore them on all my bikes—Super Duke, Goldwing, and Harley Davidson—and with multiple motorcycle jackets. Basic black always works.
Overall the look is most at home on most bikes (outside of Super Sport bikes). Good riding shoes or laced boots will have you looking good on and off your bike as well.
European Style with Stretch: 90%
Pando Karl Devil 9 Jeans Material and Build Quality
Pando products carry a relatively high price tag, setting my expectations fairly high from the moment I pulled them from the bag. At first glance, everything felt good and all the stitching was clean and strong. All the stitching ends were well finished, and not an excess thread end could be found anywhere. I started out impressed.
The armor sits nicely in the hip and knee areas. Pando includes Sastec Triple CE-approved armor, and with the jeans on, the hip armor quickly formed to me, allowing me to soon forget that it was even in place.
The knee armor never bothered me and stayed perfectly in place in the knee pockets. I did find that each time I put the Karl Devil 9s on, I would have to flatten the hip armor again. It tends to fold on itself inside the pocket when they are off your body. Minor issue.
Now for the area of greatest surprise. I wasn’t kind to these jeans—not even a bit. I held my leg against the hot exhaust, rode well over 1000kms, and wore them on 3 bikes, through rain, aggressive mountain roads, and 10-plus hours of over 30 °C weather. I even slid on my ass and knee when I dumped an electric scooter off-road at 30 km/h.
How do they still look near new? The only indication of wear is a small amount of pilling on the lining. I washed them 3 times, and they just became softer and fit better.
Top Quality Kevlar and Strong Cordura Shell: 95%
Pando Karl Devil 9 Jeans Sizing, Fit, and Comfort
A key factor for me when choosing riding jeans is the overall fit. I think many of us are buying these jeans so we can ride and still look great when we arrive at our destination. The Pando jeans fit true to size for me. I ordered a 38Wx34L. Normally I choose a 32L for regular jeans, but the 34L is perfect when I am seated on a bike. The knees and hip armor sat in perfect position.
I have said it a few times already, but the accordion stretch panels are a game changer. They allow the jeans to mold to my body and allow me to leave my belt off. This was especially appreciated when riding my Super Duke GT. It has a large tank, and I prefer to ride up close against it. Not having a belt buckle digging into me or the tank was very welcome. The Karl devil 9’s do look more like a riding jean due to the knee areas, but overall the look still works in any situation where regular jeans would be acceptable.
Fit Great; Feel Great: 90%
Pando Karl Devil 9 Jeans Jeans Protection
One thing that made me truly happy about these jeans was the fact that armor was included. Lots of other manufacturers try to make this an added purchase, which is just dumb in my opinion. The whole point is safety—if the time was taken to design spaces for armor, then give me the armor! Well done, Pando.
Using 12oz Cordura was already a good sign to me—but seeing how the thick Kevlar liner was stitched in really showed me why these are $260 riding jeans. Pando follows the Darmstadt method of abrasion testing. This test simulates the stress placed on protective garments when worn by an average rider with a body mass of 75kg and a height of 1.75m when sliding from variable initial speeds to a standstill on a real concrete road surface. To pass, no holes with an opening of 5mm or more in any direction are to be present on the layer closest to the body.
The Karl Devil 9’s are rated as a CE level AA protection level. This means they take a 35 meter slide without any hole forming larger than 5mm. This is the second highest CE level available.
Kevlar, Cordura, and Included Armor? Nice! 90%
Pando Karl Devil 9 Jeans Value For Money
At $260, Pando isn’t looking to fill the bargain end of the spectrum, and my skin appreciates that. I tend towards the frugal side of the spending scale. I am like many in that I hate wasting money, but I have no issue paying for quality.
Pando Moto is a jean brand I would have no issue paying full price for. They have exceeded the expectations I had for them. The Devil 9 jeans feel good, look good, and have taken all the abuse I dished out with zero faults. The fact that I have full confidence I would not lose any skin from my lower half on an asphalt slide was the push towards this reviewer’s willingness to pay the full asking price.
Great Value From Pando Moto: 95%
Final Verdict: The Karl Devil 9’s Will Keep Covering My Butt!
There is no shortage of great motorcycle riding jeans out there, but there are fewer products that offer such perfection in style. Pando Moto is undoubtedly gear designed by riders with style and safety in mind.
It would be enough that my girlfriend gave me a “Oh Hello!” when she saw me in the Karl Devil 9’s—but on top of that, they also just felt so good each time I got on a bike. The armor adds that little extra reassurance, and the flexibility of the fabric makes each ride more comfortable. Thank you Pando; these were a no-brainer. Love the Karl Devil 9’s. Now tell me the secret: how do they still look new after all I put them through?
- Manufacturer: Pando Moto
- Price: $259.95 USD
- Made In: Turkey
- Colors: Black with an aged wash
- Sizes Available: Waist 29-38, Length 30-36
- Review Period: Summer 2022
Important Links / Where to Buy:
Direct from Manufacturer: Pando Moto