The Resurgence Gear “Black Bird” jeans and “Cargo Trousers” are comfortable and stylish.
The Black Bird jeans are especially comfortable; the denim includes a stretch fabric that expands by about 25% for a good fit that also helps retain the protectors.
The Resurgence Gear jeans and cargo pants both have the PEKEV liner that has now been tested to the EN 13595-2 standard.
The standard calls for a minimum 2 second abrasion resistance and the Resurgence Gear material lasted 23.2 seconds in the test.
UPDATE (November 2014): The Resurgence Gear PEKEV men’s and women’s jeans have now been certified to CE Level 2 standards by SATRA.
The PEKEV liner protects the inside of the jeans and cargo pants from just below the belt line to mid-calf in both the front and rear.
The pants are also lined with a full-length mesh fabric of the type often found in motorcycle jackets. This adds to the comfort and protects the rider from chafing or irritation.
All of this technology and style will cost you though — the Resurgence Gear jeans and cargo pants are relatively expensive.
The Resurgence Gear “PEKEV” abrasion-resistant liner was first described in the webBikeWorld RHOK Gen3 jeans review.
PEKEV was developed by Resurgence Gear and was licensed to RHOK at one time; now the PEKEV liner is only available in the Resurgence Gear line of jeans and cargo pants.
The denim and PEKEV liner combination was tested to the EN 13595-2 standard. The standard states that “the abrasion time shall be at least 2.0 s. The abrasion resistance shall be provided over the whole of the required coverage of the protective clothing.”
The Resurgence Gear PEKEV and denim combination lasted 23.2 seconds in the EN 13595-2 test; I have seen a copy of the certified test report from TÜV Rheinland.
Note that this means that a sample of the denim and liner combination only (denim outer shell, PEKEV liner and mesh inner lining) lasted 23.2 seconds when abraded in the EN 13595-2 test.
To evaluate the overall protective capabilities of the jeans, other factors need to be considered, including the construction and stitching of the garment and the quality and type of protectors that are used (and whether they remain in place during a crash).
The Resurgence Gear PEKEV jeans are currently available in four named colors: Marble Blue (traditional denim jeans color); Indigo Blue (darker unwashed denim jeans color); Vintage Brown and “Black Bird”.
The outer denim fabric is listed as “100% comfort stretch cotton”; it apparently has some Spandex or other type of stretch fabric incorporated in the weave. This makes the jeans fit very comfortably both on and off the bike and it can also help keep the protectors correctly located.
The fit of the Black Bird jeans (and the other colors, we presume) is close to a “standard” jeans fit, somewhere between fitted and regular.
As you can see in the photo above, these jeans fit very nicely and they look good; in fact, I’d have to say they’re the best fitting jeans I have ever tried. The elastic makes them snug but not too tight, yet they move and flex nicely when I walk or move around on the bike.
Our rough measurements indicate that the jeans stretch by about 25% laterally, across the width of the legs or seat, with about 3-4% vertical stretch.
The Black Bird jeans we have are the listed size 36″ waist with a 32.5″ length, although we measured the length on this pair and it’s 33.5″. This leaves enough room for the riding position but the cuffs could be hemmed if necessary.
The jeans are currently listed in waist sizes 30-40 in even sizes, all with the 32.5″ inseam length.
The full-length inner mesh liner is a bit thicker than expected, but it’s smooth and comfortable and helps prevent any chafing from the PEKEV liner, denim or seams. It’s very similar to the type of permanently attached mesh lining found in many motorcycle jackets.
The pockets for the knee protectors are formed as part of the liner, while the hip protector pockets are separate.
The Black Bird jeans have a sort of stone washed look with contrasting white stitching. Most of it is double row, sewn in the traditional denim jeans pattern. There are a few minor embellishments, such as double row stitching around the pockets with a small bar tack in the upper corners.
Metal rivets are used for the front pocket corners and the traditional change pocket. The zipper is said to be YKK brand but it is unbranded on our pair. The jeans fasten at the waist with a metal button and there are 5 belt loops that can fit up to about a 1-3/4″ belt width.
The PEKEV lining used in the pants is a type of Kevlar; Resurgence Gear is the trademark and patent owner. The aramid fibers used in the PEKEV lining are said to be “a significant improvement” over standard Kevlar and the lining is claimed to be lighter and stronger.
The PEKEV and denim liner combination lasted 23.2 seconds in the EN 13595-2 abrasion test while other types, including standard Kevlar liners, lasted only a few seconds.
The PEKEV has other claimed benefits, including a resistance to the enzymes, chlorine bleach and other chemicals used during household washing. The PEKEV material is also resistant to UV light degradation.
Resurgence Gear says all of this helps to make the PEKEV liner last much longer that standard Kevlar while still providing the benefits of abrasion protection during that time; Kevlar can degrade over longer time periods.
The amount of air flow or ventilation on the jeans and the Cargo Trousers is about what you’d expect from a heavier denim with a nearly full-length Kevlar type liner. But it’s better than most solid textile trousers and certainly better than full leather.
Ventilation in motorcycle pants is rather an oxymoron anyway.
The Resurgence Gear PEKEV Cargo Trousers are currently available in four different unnamed colors: olive green, charcoal, black and khaki.
The label claims that the outer shell fabric is also the “100% comfort stretch cotton”, but the Cargo Trousers feel completely different from the jeans. The fabric feels heavier and thicker; much like a dense cotton.
Despite the “stretch” in the label, the Cargo Trousers have very little stretch that we can feel and nothing like the lateral stretch that we noted in the Black Bird jeans.
The Cargo Trousers are a loose fit; too loose, in our opinion. While some may like this style and the pants are comfortable, the comfort is more a result of the loose fit than the stretch. Some owners may not like the tighter fit of the jeans and will prefer the looser fit of the Cargo Trousers, no doubt.
Also, the fabric used in the Cargo Trousers seems to attract a lot of lint. It may be the black color of this pair that makes the lint more obvious, and perhaps once the pants are washed they might not have the same “magnetic” attraction.
The Cargo Trousers have the Black Bird jeans beat when it comes to pockets through, as the “Cargo” name implies. Besides the standard cargo pants style square cut slash hand pockets, there are two square rear pockets with a flap that attaches to the pocket with a single metal snap.
On the right thigh is another cargo pocket; this one has a flap with the snap and a zipper underneath to secure the pocket. A separate small change pocket is sewn on top. On the left thigh is another cargo pocket, also with the flap, snap and change pocket sewn to the outside.
The knee protectors in the Cargo Trousers are inserted from the outside through zippered pockets at the knee. The hip pads are inserted in separate pockets at the waist.
The Cargo Trousers also have a hook-and-loop cinch strap at the leg cuffs. It works well but if the leg length is not correct, it would be difficult to hem with the system in place. The Cargo Trousers are also available in even waist sizes from 30 to 40 with 32.5″ inseam lengths. The inseam on ours is indeed 32.5″.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the Cargo Trousers. They’re too bulky, they feel heavier and the fabric seems to attract a lot of lint.
The loose fit will not keep the protectors in place, so it’s best to wear some type of armored underwear instead, such as the Bohn Cool Air Bodyguard (review), but then this limits the usefulness of the pants in going from the bike to work or elsewhere.
Not too long ago, motorcycle jeans were, well, jeans. Then someone starting adding a bit of Kevlar to the seat and knees.
The race was on and now we have the Resurgence Gear PEKEV 3/4 length liner front and rear, which withstood the abrasion portion of the EN 13595-2 testing regime for 23.5 seconds, which should offer excellent abrasion protection.
The Resurgence Gear Black Bird jeans are our favorite of these two. They fit very nicely due to the incorporation of the elastic fabric in the denim. They also strike the right balance between snug and comfortable. And they look great!
The Cargo Trousers aren’t our favorite, but I’m sure that some motorcyclists will prefer the look. The choice is yours.
The only thing that may be an issue is the price. Both have a current list price of $250.00, which seems a bit steep, especially considering that the included protectors are very basic, with thin soft rubber pads for the hips.
But if you want certified CE Level 2 abrasion protection, you don’t have much of a choice!
From “A.G.” (July 2015): “I purchased a pair of these jeans based on their performance rating and your review. I definitely feel that the protection level is superior to that of some of my other Kevlar panel -reinforced jeans.
They only need a quality set of knee and hip protectors to complete the overall package.
I would like to make one recommendation to the manufacturer. This spring I took an all day motorcycle trip across our state with my riding club.
After a few hours in the saddle (FJR1300 with a Sargent seat), it became noticeably and uncharacteristically uncomfortable sitting in the saddle. This had never happened to me in my leathers or my Motoport pants.
Upon further investigation, I came to the conclusion that the heavy corner seams of the back pockets were digging into my posterior and thighs on the long trip.
I would love to see a “delete rear pocket” option made available on these otherwise excellent pair of motorcycle-specific jeans.”
From “H.S.” (May 2015): “You more than got my attention about their jeans — wow — three times the abrasion level 2 standard.
I asked them about the inseam… Buying in a shop will always be 33″ inseam. Buying from their webshop, they will make ‘any’ inseam (didn’t mention any extra cost.)
I’ll print the TÜV test result and show the leather-only-besserwisser-crowd ;)”
From “P.H.” (October 2014): “Thanks for your review. I just wanted to say that I got a pair of these jeans a few months ago. They cost the same as Kevlar (and they include the CE hip an knee pads),but the PEKEV has been tested as more abrasion resistant than Kevlar with the bonus of being unaffected by moisture.
The knee pads weren’t an issue on my pair and look pretty natural as you’re walking around. The hip pads also don’t look intrusive. The jeans seem durable, stylish and well made.
They’re not giving them away but they seem like a good value. Obviously I’m very happy with them. My only suggestion would be to get an inseam maybe an inch or 2 longer than you usually use to compensate for your leg bend on the bike.”