The Pilot Dura pants are basic motorcycle riding pants that function well. But they’re probably not equivalent to the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket (review) from a value perspective. Pilot has upgraded the knee protectors in the Dura pants compared to the Pilot Omni mesh pants we reviewed. Otherwise, the Dura over pants are more of an evolutionary update rather than a revolutionary one.
There are a lot of things to like, however, such as full-length side entry zippers and a permanent waterproof liner. Also, the Pilot “RedTab” system for locating the connection points is helpful. And the overall build quality of the Dura over pants is very good.
However, there are a few small details that could be addressed which would really help the Dura pants shine in the crowded sub-$200.00 arena. I’ll also describe the Pilot V-Brace suspenders in this review, which work nicely with the Dura over pants.
The Pilot Dura over pants are a good match with the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket I reviewed recently. The jacket, the Dura over pants and Pilot ST-17 helmet I also reviewed have served as my introduction to Pilot’s riding gear. In my review of the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket, my conclusion was that it provides very good value and it also has several interesting features that riders would appreciate. I really liked the jacket and I was looking forward to pairing it up with the Dura over pants to make a complete two-piece suit.
In fact, I liked the Trans Urban V2 jacket enough that it replaced my former favorite, the Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket (review) during the past recent winter riding season. If that’s sounds familiar, it’s because Rick had also replaced his Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket with the Trans Urban (V1).
Now with the Dura over pants ready for this review, I was now looking forward to a direct comparison to the Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 pants I reviewed last year. These have been my favorite sub-$200.00 textile riding pants for the past couple of years and I even crash tested them (not on purpose, of course!) for good measure. So are the Pilot Dura over pants good enough to take over as my go to daily riders? Let’s dig in and find out.
The Dura Over Pants
At first glance, there is nothing too striking about the Dura over pants. They have a textile outer shell, they’re black and they look about like any other pair of textile riding pants. The black only color option is a little disappointing, as I prefer light grey or silver pants if I can get them for visibility reasons and also because they help keep the temperatures low in our hot Tennessee summers. On the other hand, Pilot doesn’t get flashy with their branding, and I like that.
The Dura over pants have just a small “Pilot” logo on the left front section of the waistband and the Pilot triangle graphic on the rear, above the accordion pleat stretch panel. The Dura over pants are also rated as waterproof with a non-removable REISSA waterproof membrane permanently inside the shell, like the Trans Urban jacket.
Since these are over pants, they don’t have any additional thermal insulation but you can address that by adding your own base layer if necessary. Personally, I didn’t find it necessary to do that since these are designed as over pants and anyone wearing them will likely also be wearing at least one layer of clothes underneath.
The Dura over pants also have full-length size zippers to make it easy to slip them on over your clothes and boots. These allow easy ingress and egress without the need to first remove your shoes or boots.
I would prefer a dual zipper in this location, which can help provide a way to get some extra ventilation, but the Dura over pants make do with the single zipper pull. Two zippered pockets are located in front but no additional pockets are provided, so storage is a bit limited.
Up front, the main waist closure uses a gusseted opening with a zipper, some hook-and-loop and two snaps to secure the front. We have knocked off a few points on pants that don’t have an actual hook closure in previous reviews, for security reasons during a crash.
Also, snaps can wear over time and if you’re near the limit for waist size, they can even pop open when you bend over. So a fastening strap or hook can provide a more solid closure system. On the plus side, the snaps on the Dura over pants are rubber coated to prevent scratching painted bodywork on the bike.
The Dura over pants use the Pilot RedTab system that I described in the Trans Urban V2 jacket review. Pilot has made the hanger loops inside the pants a bright red color, which makes it easier to locate the connection points on the interior. Also, the two V-Brace suspender attachment points on the inside of the waistband are likewise red in color, as are the openings for the knee protector pockets.
This may seem like a small detail but it really does make it easier to find these items against the black interior and other motorcycle clothing manufacturers have been using a similar system.
Pilot uses their own branded blend of nylon/poly fabric called “Pilotex” for the shell of the Dura over pants. It’s a 600 denier weight textile, used for most of the construction, with various overlay sections in key impact areas. Pilotex is the same textile used also in the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket.
The knees and seat use a double panel of the Pilotex material to provide additional abrasion resistance. These areas also benefit from lots of double stitching and most of the stitching of the pants is also double strength.
Speaking of stitching, the construction of the Dura over pants is very neat and all the stitching looks tight and properly trimmed with not a loose thread to be found.
Expansion and Stretch
It’s important to have some flexibility in a motorcycle over pant and the Dura over pants have sections of accordion-style expansion panels above the knees and in the rear below the waist on the Dura over pants. Both sections are rather large and offer quite a bit of expansion for plenty of freedom of movement.
Behind the knee areas and the crotch is a material Pilot refers to as Flexdura. This is a tough fabric with a one-way stretch and it has a softer feel than the Pilotex material.
In addition to the Pilotex outer shell, the Dura over pants have a permanently attached REISSA waterproof mid layer and then a nylon mesh layer sits between the REISSA layer and the skin.
Despite the fixed multi-layer design, the pants don’t feel too heavy or thick and, in fact, they feel lighter than the Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 pants.
Above the accordion stretch panel in the rear is an 8 inch zipper attachment point for connecting to Pilot jackets and the Pilot V-Brace suspenders. The mating half of the zipper is included in case you’d like to connect to a different branded jacket that doesn’t have a compatible zipper (or one at all).
YKK zippers are used throughout in the Dura pants, including the main closure, front pockets, rear pants connection and the full length leg zippers, while waterproof YKK zippers are used on the sides of the thighs for vents.
The zippers on the legs work well and they pull nice and smoothly after a few uses. While the pull tabs on these zippers are adequate, larger zipper pulls could make them easier to grab when wearing gloves. Likewise, the zippers for the leg vents could have larger pull tabs to make them easier to grasp. Since they’re waterproof, they need a bit more tugging to get them to close or open.
Along the leg zippers is a flap of hook-and-loop fastener that runs the length of the zipper in one long solid strip instead of the segmented closures on some other pants. This no doubt helps maintain the leg waterproofing since the zipper of bisects the internal waterproof liner.
On the subject of waterproofing, there are two small “drains” at the bottom of each leg to let any water trapped between the shell and liner escape.
Sizing and Fit
The Dura over pants are available in an extended size range from S all the way up to 2XL Tall. My Dura over pants are size Large Regular which, according to the Pilot sizing chart, should fit a 34-36 inch waist. The regular length inseam is 33”, which is a bit long for my 30” street pants inseam, but some of the excess is taken up when I’m sitting on the bike.
The waist measurements seem to be accurate and the pants fit my 36 inch waist just fine. In fact, I can even stretch about another 2 to 2.5 inches if I loosen the two adjustment straps all the way. Keep in mind that like most motorcycle riding pants, the waist is rather high so the pants will come up to the lower portion of the belly for most riders.
Fortunately, that extra amount of stretch in the waistband should have most riders covered if needed.
A nice detail regarding the waist adjustment is that under the dual hook-and-loop straps at either side of the waist there’s a large section of accordion stretch panel.
This allows the waist to stretch or be cinched down without forming bulky folds.
The overall fit is more snug than other pants I’ve owned from brands like Joe Rocket, Fieldsheer and Tourmaster. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the Dura over pants don’t need to accommodate an additional liner, but I have to say I like the fit.
For example, the upper section (thighs) of the Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 pants have a very loose fit as you can see in the photos in our review. But the Dura over pants definitely have a more slim or European-style fit.
This is good for two reasons. First, the pants will be less prone to flap in the wind at highway speeds and second, the included knee protection is more likely to stay in place in the event of a crash.
The Dura over pants provide enough room for jeans or slacks underneath, but the fit isn’t too loose. For reference, the largest part of my thighs measures at 24 inches (61 cm), so if you have bulky legs, the Dura pants could be a tight squeeze. The more fitted nature makes the Dura pants appear closer to the correct length for me than the shorter Ballistic 7.0 pants. However, they still seem a bit too long with a 33 inch inseam; my feeling is that they should have maybe a 32″ inseam instead.
In comparison, the Ballistic pants are size XL Short and they have a 32 inch inseam, yet they look longer on me than the Dura over pants, which could be due to the trimmer fit of the Pilot pants.
The Dura pants also come in tall sizes in the M to 2XL waist, which adds another 2 inches to the normal inseam length. Regarding the leg opening, Pilot has placed a flap which allows the pant cuffs to be closed tightly around the boots. The maximum opening size is 19 inches (48 cm) and it can easily be closed to about 12 inches (30.5 cm) if desired. Pilot has also added a 1 inch (24 mm) wide elastic fabric loop pull at this location and other places on the Dura over pants.
The pulls are another example of “rider-centric” design and they make it easier to grasp these areas when wearing gloves.
The Dura pants have two front pockets with vertical zippered closures. These pockets are not too large, measuring only 6 inches (15.25 cm) wide by 6 inches (15.25 cm) tall at the opening.
The storage space is enough for a smartphone, a wallet or keys but larger items aren’t going to fit. The trim cut of these pants will also restrict the placement of bulky items in these pockets.
The CE approved knee protection in the Dura over pants is an upgrade from the Pilot Omni over pants we reviewed. It’s called “Core Force Active” technology, a polyurethane type of protectors that are soft and pliable until an impact, at which point the protector hardens to absorb and disperse energy.
Each knee protector fits in an internal pocket in the liner that is easily accessed and has a RedTab locator at the opening. Also, there’s an extra section of textile at the knees for added abrasion protection. The knee protectors can be removed and replaced and the pocket allows for three height positions for adjustment to the rider.
Hip protection consists of 0.25 inch (6 mm) foam pads, similar to the type used in included back pads for many jackets. Each pad fits in a pocket with a hook-and-loop closure so it can be removed or replaced.
If you want an upgrade over the foam pads, Pilot offers their own “Core” hip protectors that can be purchased for $30.00. Pilot has included a thin foam tailbone protector in the rear of the pants, similar to the type usually found on leather racing pants. It is a bit thin but the fact that any additional protection is added to this area at all is a plus.
Pilot has located a 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) long vent along the outer section of each thigh for ventilation. Each vent can be open or closed using a waterproof zipper and inside the opening is a durable plastic mesh. These vents may seem good in theory, but in practice they don’t really deliver much.
That’s because the vents do not flow air through the REISSA waterproof layer, so air does not directly reach the rider. This is similar to the vents used in the Trans Urban V2 jacket with its permanently attached REISSA liner.
There are rear vents in the jacket to allow incoming air from the front vents to flow between the two layers and out the back. While this doesn’t provide a great amount of cooling air, the effect can be felt when riding on warmer days.
But the Dura pants have no similar exhaust vents, so I can’t tell if the vents are open or closed when I’m riding. This is where I think Pilot missed an opportunity with the leg zippers. If they had used a dual zipper pull, you could open the upper part of the zipper, which would allow air to flow in directly to the rider, bypassing the waterproof liner.
I use this technique with my Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 pants and it makes them more useful on warner days. While not as free-flowing as mesh pants, it is still an effective way to help keep cool when on the move.
Like the Trans Urban V2 jacket, the outer Pilotex shell of the Dura over pants is very water resistant on its own, without even needing the REISSA membrane liner. If I pool water on the pants, it remains there and doesn’t leak through even after one hour.
So I feel confident in saying that the Dura over pants will keep you dry in most situations. However, riding in a heavy downpour could result in water making its way past the weather-resistant flap covering the leg zippers.
The leg zippers are not waterproof, so rain could leak through. On the other hand, it would be difficult for rain to get past the hook-and-loop storm flap cover over the zippers — difficult, but not impossible.
I also have the Pilot V-Brace suspenders that I wear with the Dura over pants. Most textile motorcycle riding pants do not have belt loops because a belt isn’t very comfortable when riding a motorcycle. Suspenders can solve the problem of keeping the pants up without discomfort and suspenders also help reduce wind moving up behind the pants under the jacket.
This was actually the first time I’ve worn suspenders with motorcycle pants and the V-Brace suspenders are pretty straightforward. A pair of 8 inch (20 cm) zippers are connected to a wedge-shaped section of foam mesh and Pilotex which attaches via a zipper to the pants.
The V-Brace suspenders are kind of expensive at $39.00 list, but they can be attached to the jacket or not if you aren’t using a compatible jacket. The suspender straps go over the shoulders and the hook-and-loop ends wrap around two semi-rigid attachments points inside the waistband of the Dura pants to secure the front. I should point out that the suspenders will also attach to the Pilot Omni Air mesh over pants too. Pilot uses the RedTab system on both pants to make finding these attachment points easy.
Once the straps are connected, a sliding buckle is used to adjust the straps to the appropriate length. There is a lot of adjustment in the suspenders and Pilot claims they should work for riders from 5 to 6.5 feet tall.
The straps use a very stretchy elastic, so they offer plenty of give for crouching or bending over without pulling the pants up in an uncomfortable way.
I wasn’t sure if I would like suspenders, as I have never worn them before on motorcycle pants (or any other pants for that matter).
But the Pilot V-Brace suspenders are very comfortable and I don’t even think about them once I’m riding.
The Pilot Dura over pants perform well and they offer a reasonable value for their list price, although they don’t really have any one outstanding feature. The pants are nicely constructed and they come fitted with protectors in the knees and padding in the hips. One thing that is likely subjective is the fit. I like the fit, considering they are over pants, especially when compared to other motorcycle over pants I’ve worn, which tend to have a fit that is too loose.
At the same time, if you prefer that looser fit, the Dura over pants might be too snug. Also, the Dura over pants are not ideal for hot weather use, due to the REISSA liner. Get the Pilot Omni mesh over pants instead. But the good news is when the temperatures do climb, at least the interior of the Dura over pants is more comfortable than other waterproof pants.
The REISSA membrane is very thin and light and it is separated from the skin (or the street pants you’re wearing underneath) by a soft mesh lining. There is no “plastic bag” feeling here like I have experienced in other pants.
With a list price of $160.00, the Dura over pants are well within the sub-$200.00 mark but there is a lot of competition for the rider’s dollar in this segment.