The Breakdown

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants include D3O CE Level 1 knee armor, excellent ventilation, a full-length waterproof liner, and great lightweight comfort.
Aesthetics 90%
Build Quality 94%
Comfort 96%
Waterproof 80%
Protection 70%
Value 80%
Pros
Excellent ventilation / Decently Waterproof / Lightweight / Comfortable / D3O CE Level 1 Armor / Many sizes / Women’s version available
Cons
Only one color / Only CE Level 1 protection / Absorbs and retains moisture

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When running errands or short rides, my default is to wear jeans. I don’t like walking around in heavy and hot riding pants. I am all for All The Gear All The Time (ATGATT), but I don’t always put it into practice.  I am hoping the Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants change that.

Over the last couple of years, I have followed several UK-based Youtubers (the Missenden Flyer and Richy Vida, to name two) that often wear Richa gear. So, intrigued by the brand, I reached out to Richa to see if I could review a waterproof mid-season jacket and pants. Richa sent me their new Softshell Mesh WP pants and Airstorm WP jacket.

The Softshell Mesh WP are commuting/touring motorcycle pants for around $235 USD. In addition, they have waterproofing, several pockets for storage, ventilation, D3O CE Level 1 knee protection, and excellent comfort.

I tested the pants on two different bikes. The first was a touring/cruiser (Yamaha Stratoliner), and the second was a standard/naked (Kawasaki ZRX) bike.

I received the jacket in late August, which is not ideal for testing mesh pants. However, I lucked out with some above-average late summer temperatures, so everything turned out okay. I was able to get plenty of opportunities to test the Softshell Mesh WP pants in combination with the Richa Airstorm WP jacket.

Rider wearing Richa Softshell WP Pants

About Richa

Richa dates back to 1952 when RICHA’s founder Charles Rigaux released his first pair of leather motorcycle gloves. He put quality above all else, which has remained Richa’s priority ever since.

Richa grew, creating high-quality leather motorcycle jackets, as well as motorcycle pants and accessories with high-tech coatings and advanced D3O® protection. Since 2011, Richa gloves have been Gore-Tex certified, and they also received a GORE-TEX® license for their motorcycle clothing in 2015.

Richa is now a well-respected motorcycle apparel brand sold in over 40 countries around the world. They offer a full range of products for any budget, embodying Richa’s motto: ‘Feel safe, feel good.’

I would like to thank Ann-Sophie from Richa for providing the opportunity to review the Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants.

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant Features

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants come with several features that offer protection from both inclement weather and abrasion. The most notable include:

  • 3M Reflective inserts
  • D3O knee protection
  • Stretch softshell outer shell for comfort
  • Removable waterproof Aquashell liner
  • Large mesh panels
  • Adjustment straps on the waist

For a complete list of features, visit Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants.

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant First Impressions

I was looking forward to receiving the waterproof Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants (and Airstorm WP Jacket) for short rides and errands as well as day-long trips in warm-weather.

The first thing I noticed was how light the pants felt. After putting them on, I also liked the slim. jean-like fit (this is a relative term when you are my size). The Richa pants appeared to be well built. I liked the subtle black styling and subtle branding.

Rear-view of Richa Softshell WP Pants

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant Construction

Outer Shell

The softshell material makes up most of the outer shell. The material has stretch properties that allow for a comfortable slim fit.

Typically, there is a label identifying the materials used in each garment’s construction. In this case, I found a tag saying “Material Composition,” but the information on the tag outlined care instructions. I would guess from previous experience that the outer shell and interior lining are polyester (but I can’t be 100% sure).

Interior

Nylon mesh lines the interior of these pants throughout for increased airflow and comfort.

Waistband

The waistband features a velcro adjustment on both sides. The closure is zippered, covered by a flap held in place by a snap and metal hook. Behind the zipper is an additional layer of backing material. All this adds to comfort and weather protection.

Close-up of zippers on Richa Softshell WP Pants

Pockets

There are three pockets in total:

  • Two front zippered slash pockets
  • One zippered back pocket

Close-up of zipper on pocket of Richa Softshell WP Pants

Close-up of zipper on back pocket of Richa Softshell WP Pants

Hi-Viz

Hi-visibility is more a feature of jackets than pants, so any reflective elements are a bonus.

There is a reflective band on each thigh, and on the piping of the bottom leg opening. The reflective bands are subtle in the daylight, but they use 3M reflective elements. These elements would mainly be visible from the side while seated on a bike.

Side view of reflective elements on Richa Softshell WP Pants

Branding

Branding is subtle, which I like. The Richa name appears in the reflective strips on each thigh. Additionally, the Richa ‘R’ logo is displayed above the left front pocket.

Zippers

The main fly zipper has an additional rain/wind flap. All pockets are zippered and include a glove-friendly pull tab as well as a zipper ‘garage.’

There are zippers at the bottom of each leg with mesh backing. There is also a zipper to connect the Softshell Mesh WP Pants to a compatible jacket.

All the zippers operated smoothly.

Colorways

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants are only available in black.

Waterproof Inner Liner

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP pants use a zippered -n AquaShell waterproof inner liner. The liner attaches with a single zipper that runs around the waist. The liner also fastens at the bottom of the legs with color-coded buttons.

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant Overall Build Quality

Sizing

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP pants come in 9 sizes (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, 6XL), and three inseam lengths (30, 32, 34). Please see the Richa size charts for details on sizing and conversion.

At the time of the order, I was 6’3” tall, and I typically wore 38W x 34L jeans. Richa pant sizes use hip measurements (for me, 44.5”). This measurement put me in a 2XL on their sizing chart. However, I typically have a problem with standard leg length once seated on my bike, so I ordered the long version.

I would also add that the Richa Softshell Mesh WP Lady pants are also available as a women’s version of this product.

Comfort

I found the pants very comfortable with or without the Aquashell liner. The fit is similar to jeans but with a lower waistline.

Articulated stitching at the knees helps with flexibility and comfort. The softshell material has some stretch, which reduces bulk and also adds comfort. The availability of different lengths is a big plus for tall or short riders.

Adjustability

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants allowed for fitment in several ways:

  • Adjustable velcro at the waist
  • Zippers at the hem
  • Adjustable velcro at the hem

These straps and adjustments allow you to fine-tune the fit for comfort and reduce wind turbulence. In addition, the hem adjustment opens wide enough to slide over motorcycle boots with velcro to tighten around the ankles.

Close-up of velcro strap on Richa Softshell WP Pants

Close-up of velcro strap at leg opening of Richa Softshell WP Pants

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant Functionality

Waterproofing

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP uses a Richa Aquashell branded zip-in liner.

If possible, I try to rain-test anything branded as a pair of waterproof motorcycle pants. With heavy rain predicted in the area during the period of my review, I headed out for a 50 km ride.

 Rider in helmet and Richa Softshell WP Pants next to screenshot from weather app

Was this ideal riding weather? No. But it was absolutely perfect for rain-testing!

Perhaps 14 Celsius is not ideal for mesh motorcycle pants—but I managed, the Richa Softshell Mesh WP pants managed too. I managed to stay dry in steady rain with intermittent periods of heavy downpours.

The outer shell did absorb a lot of water. so I hung it in the garage overnight to dry. This is where I encountered one of the few negatives with these pants—the following morning, they were still very damp.

If I were on a multiday trip with rain, it would be uncomfortable to wear these pants the next day. You could work around this problem by leaving the liner in and letting air movement dry out the shell while riding, then removing the liner afterwards—but to me, this seems a bit inconvenient.

Breathability

The Softshell Mesh WP Pants contain ventilation on the thighs and lower legs via mesh panels.

I was able to use the Softshell Mesh WP pants in many weather conditions, from 15 C (60 F) (worn with the liner and a base/mid-layer) to heavy rain, to 30 C (86 F). Unfortunately, the pants arrived in late summer, which prevented testing in hot and humid conditions. However, I can say with confidence that the pants flow air very well.

Overall I thought the ventilation on the Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants was excellent, which is what I expected.

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Excellent selection
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Richa Softshell WP Pants Protection

The Softshell Mesh WP Pants offer several layers of protection:

  • D3O CE Level 1 protection in the knees
  • Hip pockets for added armor (armor not included)

Protection is another area that the Softshell Mesh WP Pants are lacking. I have tested pants in this price range that use the higher CE Level 2 armor.

Also, I am not confident that the softshell material would be as protective in a slide as a Denier material. This is a trade-off for comfortable stretchiness that riders may want to consider.

Optionally, you can add hip protection and upgrade the knee protection.

Label and pocket for protective elements on Richa Softshell WP Pants

EN17092-4:2020 specifies general requirements for CE certification. The standard includes (but is not limited to) impaction abrasion resistance, tear strength, seam strength, and dimensional stability.

Close-up of CE information on Richa Softshell WP Pants

  • Classification AAA: The highest level
  • Classification AA: More suited to touring gear
  • Classification A: Deemed suitable for urban riding
  • Classification B is similar to A, but impact protectors are not required
  • Classification C covers garments such as the mesh under-suits that have impact protection for off-road riding

The armor used in this jacket is:

  • Knee Certified (EN 1621-1:2012; K TYPE A; Protection level: 1)

EN1621-1 is a certification standard for shoulders, elbows, and knees.

Protector styles are as follows: S = Shoulder, E = Elbow, K = Knee, and FB = Full Back. Type A has smaller dimensions, and Protection Level 1 provides less protection than Level 2.

Knee protectors in Richa Softshell WP Pants

Richa Softshell WP Pants Care Instructions

I found the best way to keep the pants looking good was to wipe them down with a damp cloth. If the pants get very dirty, remove the armor, hand wash them, and hang them to dry. If you get caught in the rain, let them drip dry instead.

Here are the attached instructions for these pants. As is often the case, it is mostly a list of what not to do.

Close-up of care instructions on tag for Richa Softshell WP Pants

For more details, please visit Richa Care and Warranty.

Warranty

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant carries a two-year guarantee on materials and workmanship. The customer must inform RICHA of any possible non-conformity as soon as they notice it, and in any case within two months of receipt. The warranty does not cover wear or abnormal use of the goods.

For details, please visit Richa Warranty.

Should You Buy the Richa Softshell WP Pants?

Rider wearing Richa Softshell WP Pants standing next to Kawasaki motorcycle

As mentioned in the introduction, I don’t typically wear riding pants when running errands or out for shorter rides. Maybe it is just laziness, but I just don’t like walking around a store or lunch stop with hot and heavy riding gear. The rest of the gear is easy to remove and leave on the bike—not so much for pants.

I have two main negatives with these pants. The first is their water absorption—or more specifically, their drying time. I would hesitate to wear these pants on an extended trip. My second complaint is about their lack of CE level 2 protection. Although this can be alleviated with upgraded armor, that comes at a cost.

The Richa Softshell Mesh WP pants give me the fit and convenience of my jeans, with added comfort from the stretch material and mesh panels. They also offer some abrasion protection and weather protection.

Overall, the Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pants is a serviceable piece of gear that will have a place in my riding closet. I now have no excuse not to be ATGATT.

Pros

  • Excellent ventilation
  • Decently Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • D3O CE Level 1 Armor
  • Many sizes
  • Women’s version available

Cons

  • Only one color
  • Only CE Level 1 protection
  • Absorbs and retains moisture

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Richa
  • Price: (When Tested) $235 USD
  • Made In: Pakistan
  • Colors: Black
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, 6XL; Short, Standard, Long
  • Review Period: Aug – Sept 2021

Important Links / Where to Buy

Shopping Now? We Recommend:

webBikeWorld works closely with Revzilla and Amazon to provide our testers with quality products to review. While we have an affiliate relationship and receive a commission from items purchased, this addition comes at no additional cost to you. It is the primary way we pay for our site and reviewers.

Amazon

Free shipping (with Amazon Prime)
30-day return policy
Excellent selection
Competitive pricing

Buy on Amazon

Richa Softshell Mesh WP Pant Image Gallery

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