A sample pair of the more traditional REV’IT! Philly jeans (dark indigo) and Jersey jeans (light wash) arrived also, but they both unfortunately have a 33 waist, too small for me or any of the wBW staff to squeeze into.
(Sales of the REV’IT! jeans have been brisk, limiting some of the stock over the summer!)
As a result, this is a “Quick Look” at the Memphis H20 jeans, with a captioned slideshow below illustrating some of the details of the nice-looking Philly and Jersey jeans.
Actually, I’m a jeans purist, so the Jersey jeans are more to my liking, with their worn-in street look and soft feel.
The Memphis H20 jeans have a Hydratex membrane bonded to the inside of the denim. We played with some hose-me-down water trials and the jeans are indeed waterproof, so we can confirm that right off.
The upper left pocket has one of those water-resistant type zippers, while the right-hand pocket is standard jean fare, as is the coin pocket on that side.
The front pockets on the Memphis jeans are rather shallow, at only 6″ deep (150 mm), which compares to a deep 9″ (230 mm) on the Jersey jeans.
The rear pockets are pretty much standard jeans shape also. They have a stylized “V” made from 5 rows of contrasting stitches, which give it a kind of ’70’s look, but maybe that’s the style now.
The seams are triple-stitched for strength and all of the REV’IT! jeans have dual belt loops in the center rear for strength and to connect to the REV’IT! Safeway belt (review).
The belt loops on either side are slanted forward slightly to help prevent a belt from binding when the rider is seated on the bike.
There are a few other detailing feature on the jeans, like tiny branded rivets on the front pockets where the stitching meets the waist.
Also includes are a couple of layers of denim that loop from the top of the pockets around to the back of the jeans just under the waistband and rivets on the center belt loops in the rear.
The latter is for decoration only; I wonder if the rivets could have been made functional to add strength to the belt loops and thus to the Safeway belt connector or if the stitching is strong enough.
This pair of Memphis H20 jeans have a 36 waist and 32 length. They feel all of a 36 and maybe a touch more. I probably should have had the Editor order the 34 waist instead.
There is no 35 waist (an uncommon size, as I’ve learned over the years). So I can say that the Memphis H20 jeans run to size, at least based on this example.
Memphis H20 jeans are available in sizes from 28Wx34L to 38Wx34L. The 32 length is considered short, believe it or not; the 34 is considered standard and 36 length is long. Those Dutchmen are pretty tall dudes, as we all know…
REV’IT! lists the fit as “loose”, but it’s not “baggy”.
You can see in the photos, the model usually takes a 35 or 36 waist and the Memphis H20 jeans appear to be about one size too big, at least in the waist and seat, so take that into account when you’re looking at the photos.
One thing that’s important to note is the rise in the Memphis H20 jeans’ waist: it’s short. I measured the rise — from the seam in the crotch to the top of the waistband — at just 10.25″ (26 cm) on the size 36×32 jeans.
The Overlap Manx jeans (review) from France in the same size also have a 12.25″ (31 cm) rise and both the Overlap and Diamond Gusset jeans are just like street jeans in this regard.
That means that the rise in the Memphis H20 jeans is about 20% lower than a standard pair of street jeans and you can notice it in the photo below showing the inside front of the jeans (on the left).
The low rise is apparently aimed at younger riders, because it’s just too short for me and, in fact, I actually have a difficult time keeping the pants on, even with a belt, because the waistband doesn’t reach up far enough to cover my hips.
Granted, I could probably use a pair of Memphis jeans with a smaller waist, but then the rise would probably be even shorter, not longer.
So keep that in mind when you’re ordering the Memphis H20 jeans and measure a pair of your favorite street jeans first to see how they fit. If you like a low rise, these are your jeans.
If not, forget the waterproof idea. By the way, the 33 waist Philly and Jersey jeans have a 9″ rise (23 cm), which seems short to me also.
About That Waterproofing…
The more I started thinking about it, the more I wondered — “Do I really need waterproof jeans?” The answer is, “I’m not so sure.”
If you’re really a die-hard jeans wearer — and I guess the cruiser riders just may be — then the Memphis H20 jeans will look good and help to keep you dry if you’re caught out in a shower. Just remember to ditch the T-shirt and bring a waterproof jacket along!
The Hydratex liner in the Memphis H20 jeans mean that the air just doesn’t flow through the denim like it does with a non-waterproof pair — even the fully lined Kevlar type.
If you’re cruising along at speed on the bike, the air helps pull the moisture away from the jeans, but when you’re moving slow or not moving at all, the Memphis H20 jeans can feel pretty warm and a bit of moisture can build up inside.
So these would not be a good choice for jeans to wear to work, in my opinion. I put them on at one point and messed around in the yard a bit before taking a ride, and I could notice the difference compared to regular jeans.
The liner also gives the Memphis H20 jeans a slightly stiff feel, with a but of a canvas-like sort of sound as you walk. My feeling is that personally, I prefer the soft, broken-in jeans, like the REV’IT! Jersey jeans.
If I need to make them waterproof, I’d rather throw on a pair of rain pants for the ride.
The Jersey and Philly jeans have a printed description on the inside stating that the denim is a type of Cordura.
In fact, the fabric is a special type of 12.5 oz. Cordura denim with a Coolmax component, according to the REV’IT! documentation.
The outer shell of the Jersey and Philly jeans is listed as 50% cotton, 30% polyester and 20% polyamide. The lining is listed as 50% cotton and 50% polyester and the protective layer is listed as 100% polyamide.
The Memphis H20 jeans are listed as having and outer shell of 70% cotton and 30% polyester; a lining of 100% polyester and a protective lining of 100% polyamide.
So apparently none of them have a Kevlar or similar type of liner for abrasion resistance, and the polyamide protective liner that the REV’IT! jeans do have covers only the seat and knees.
Note that the current state-of-the-art in motorcycle jeans is the inclusion of a full-length heavy-duty abrasion-resistant liner.
I don’t know how the REV’IT! Cordura/denim outer shell and the polyamide liner compare but it would be good if REV’IT! or someone could abrasion test several of these competitive jeans to see which one is best at resisting abrasion.
The Overlap Imatra jeans (review) have a full-length abrasion-resistant liner and they also have a weatherproof barrier. Those jeans were tested to several of the Level 1 and 2 standards also (French version) and are certified as “Personal Protective Equipment”.
There are also some examples of half-length Kevlar type liners, such as the Overlap Manx jeans (review) I mentioned earlier, along with others.
So not having at least a Kevlar or similar type abrasion-resistant liner in the seat, hips and knees is kind of yestertech.
In fact, recently some manufacturers have released jeans with full-length abrasion-resistance liners that have been tested to CE standards at places like the SATRA labs and they have documentation to prove it.
This includes the recently reviewed Resurgence Gear women’s jeans (review). So I’d say that to compete in today’s rapidly evolving motorcycle jeans marketplace, a full-length, tested, abrasion-resistant liner is the price of entry.
UPDATE: Details Notes on the Protective Layer
The Jersey, Philly and Rockefeller jeans (not shown) have a “PWR Shield” Cordura denim outer shell. REV’IT! tests indicate that when tested for the abrasion resistance standard, the jeans with this fabric average 5.90 seconds, nearly to the CE Level 2 standard of 7.0 seconds.
In the same tests, leather went 4.12 seconds (Level 1 is 4.0 seconds); Cordura denim 1.21 seconds; regular denim with aramid 0.83 and regular denim alone 0.44.
The first layer of the Memphis H2O jeans is poly/cotton denim (not Cordura), which is regular denim with the laminated Hydratex membrane on the inside.
We asked REV’IT! about the polyamide protective layer in their jeans and this is what they said:
“The liner is 100% polyamide, but what’s important to note is that polyamide can be knit/woven in infinite ways, which greatly effects the properties of the end product.
In the PWR Shield construction (Jersey, Philly and Rockefeller jeans), an in-house innovation provides a comparable level of protection as Kevlar, without having to knit it within the denim.
It yields extremely high cut, tear and abrasion resistance levels, and when used together with Cordura denim, it meets CE Level 1 abrasion resistance requirements.” (4.0 seconds minimum).
“The Cordura + PWR Shield combo has been tested in our other jeans, and comes back at 5.90 seconds of abrasion resistance, higher even than leather. See page 55 in the REVzine Issue 10 for a handy chart.
The Memphis H20, Philly and Jersey jeans come with Knox Lite CE-rated knee protectors. The protector pockets in the legs have an arrangement to adjust the height of the protector.
This is my first experience with the “Lite” version of the Knox protectors and they fit fine and feel a little thinner than non-Lite types.
Don’t forget though that unless the jeans fit very snug, the protectors can and probably will move around. I have no direct information but it’s always been our feeling that knee protectors in jeans probably won’t do very much when needed, especially if the jeans are loose-fitting. Hip protectors?
Maybe better, as long as the fit around the waist is snug.
Someone should invent a pair of jeans with a snap-in pair of “armored” underwear, like the Bohn Cool-Air tights that have protectors in all the right places. That type of protection stays in place.
This goes for any pair of jeans, not just the Memphis H20. You’ll probably be better off removing the protectors and wearing a set of protective underwear instead.
The hip pockets in the Memphis H20 jeans can fit a set of the $19.98 Seesoft hip protectors (see the Seesoft back protectors review for more info), although the pockets are confusingly labeled “Tryonic”, the other REV’IT! back protector company.
The REV’IT! Memphis H20 jeans are good-looking and nicely made.
The waterproof liner works and we are interested in hearing from jeans wearers with their thoughts on waterproof vs. non-waterproof jeans.
The low rise and the minimal amount of internal abrasion protection are a bit of an issue in my opinion and the price seems high at $319.99.
But if you need a pair of waterproof jeans, there are no others that we are aware of, so this is the only way to go.